PDA

View Full Version : What's your stance on later in life autographs?


mschwade
04-19-2012, 09:54 PM
I was looking at an autograph of "Bullet Joe" Bush from later in his life and it was very, very shaky. I've also seen the same of Mark Koenig as well.

Some guys these days refuse to sign as they get up there in age, see Neil Armstrong. To me, I'll still enjoy a shaky autograph just as much. I like when a person takes pride in signing their name for you and would do anything to fulfill your request. I've received two autographs TTM in the last six months that were very shaky handwriting-- and I was just so thrilled to receive anything back from them.

Would you rather these guys call it a quits and stop signing at some point or would you like them to continue as long as they're capable to put pen to paper?

GrayGhost
04-19-2012, 10:12 PM
Id take em. I think its cool they still try to make someone happy, even when old and frail

bender07
04-19-2012, 10:21 PM
I actually don't like the post illness/late in life autograph since it's not how I want to remember these guys. I prefer autographs from their playing days, especially guys from the 30's to the 50's. There's just something cool about a kid (or adult) trying to obtain their heroes autograph not for resale or future cash value but for a connection with the ball player.

With all of that said, I never considered the coolness factor that these guys still try to sign for their fans regardless of their failing health (King Karl and Buck Leonard jump to mind). Great topic.

mr2686
04-19-2012, 10:28 PM
Sometimes they're all you can ever find, but either way I don't mind them at all.

scmavl
04-19-2012, 11:53 PM
I kind of like them. I appreciate that these guys that played 50+ years ago still embrace their younger days. I have a few shaky Musials (including the one on his RC) that I really love. A shaky Duke Snider too.

Jerry G
04-20-2012, 12:15 AM
I was very happy when I received the elderly Mr. Chico's autograph through the mail, but when I saw his interesting and unique vintage signature on eBay I had to have them both.

I wouldn't mind having one of those shakey Cy Young's either.

Scott Garner
04-20-2012, 06:37 AM
I prefer to find the earliest example of a persons sig that I can find and I have a bias that leans heavily toward fountain pen signatures. At times I will upgrade for exactly this reason.

That being said, as Mike already stated, sometimes the later example of a player's script may be the only version you can find. In this case, I would be more than happy to add it to my collection if it filled a hole. ;)

BTW, regarding Bullet Joe Bush. Here are a few examples of his signatures through the years. A signed photo of Bullet Joe probably signed in the early- mid 1960's. A typical later example of his signature on a 3 x 5, circa 1970. An unusual signed check whith his given name Leslie Ambrose Bush. Finally, an earlier example of his signature, circa 1953, on a GPC in fountain pen where his script doesn't show the typical shakiness that you see so often. This example is far more challenging to find, FWIW...

HexsHeroes
04-20-2012, 06:55 AM
.


. . . when there seem to be almost no vintage examples available of some ballplayers, during or years after their playing days.

One example, for me, is Ralph "Sailor" Stroud. He lived a fairly long life, and has died within the past 42 years. But almost every example of his autograph that I have encountered has been of the shaky, later in life variety. Since that is what was available, that is what I bought. Fifteen years later, I was finally given the opportunity to acquire a 1930's GPC with a much more appealing Stroud signature. But the "younger" versions have been few and far between.

mschwade
04-20-2012, 07:39 AM
I prefer to find the earliest example of a persons sig that I can find and I have a bias that leans heavily toward fountain pen signatures. At times I will upgrade for exactly this reason.

That being said, as Mike already stated, sometimes the later example of a player's script may be the only version you can find. In this case, I would be more than happy to add it to my collection if it filled a hole. ;)

BTW, regarding Bullet Joe Bush. Here are a few examples of his signatures through the years. A signed photo of Bullet Joe probably signed in the early- mid 1960's. A typical later example of his signature on a 3 x 5, circa 1970. An unusual signed check whith his given name Leslie Ambrose Bush. Finally, an earlier example of his signature, circa 1953, on a GPC in fountain pen where his script doesn't show the typical shakiness that you see so often. This example is far more challenging to find, FWIW...

Thanks for posting those Scott. The 3x5 I saw that prompted me to start this thread was exactly like the circa 1970 you posted.

I don't think you would find anyone (at least I don't think) that would prefer a shaky signature over a steady one-- unless it's one of the last few signatures that person ever gave. Reminds me of Kevin Keating's story and his buddy Warren Spahn.

mschwade
04-20-2012, 07:40 AM
.


. . . when there seem to be almost no vintage examples available of some ballplayers, during or years after their playing days.

One example, for me, is Ralph "Sailor" Stroud. He lived a fairly long life, and has died within the past 42 years. But almost every example of his autograph that I have encountered has been of the shaky, later in life variety. Since that is what was available, that is what I bought. Fifteen years later, I was finally given the opportunity to acquire a 1930's GPC with a much more appealing Stroud signature. But the "younger" versions have been few and far between.

That reminds me of Hal Chase. I'll gladly take a Hal Chase in shaky pen.

mr2686
04-20-2012, 08:10 AM
That reminds me of Hal Chase. I'll gladly take a Hal Chase in shaky pen.

Carl Mays seems to fit that too.

steve B
04-20-2012, 08:19 AM
I actually don't like the post illness/late in life autograph since it's not how I want to remember these guys. I prefer autographs from their playing days, especially guys from the 30's to the 50's. There's just something cool about a kid (or adult) trying to obtain their heroes autograph not for resale or future cash value but for a connection with the ball player.

With all of that said, I never considered the coolness factor that these guys still try to sign for their fans regardless of their failing health (King Karl and Buck Leonard jump to mind). Great topic.

Another aspect to consider, mostly for the players who weren't big stars is that it often makes them happy too.

I saw a talk by a guy that made a documentary on 6day bicycle racers. Most of the guys were young in the 30's, when it was a big deal. The top riders made more than nearly every baseball player, and the very best made more than Ruth. But the sport took a huge hit from WWII and never really recovered. When he interviewed some of the guys they started cautiously, but even guys who said they'd only give him a few minutes ended up talking about the old days for hours. All of them were very happy to be remembered.
(Many of them hadn't even been asked about their career by family!)

Steve B

MacDice
04-20-2012, 10:12 PM
I am amazed at how much Hank Aaron's signature has changed over the last few years. I would have a hard time telling what is authentic and what is not if I did not see it signed in person.

Mr. Zipper
04-21-2012, 07:56 AM
Generally I have no issue with later in life autographs. I have a mark Koenig signed Ron Lewis print that is extremely shaky.

That said, I would try to avoid one if a younger, more fluid signature is available for the same price or less. The Steiner Hank Aaron balls come to mind. Aaron's signature is now a giant cartoonish parody of his younger signature. Why pay a ton for one from Steiner when you can get an earlier sig for much less?

chaddurbin
04-21-2012, 01:23 PM
tend to avoid. the shakiness is a reminder of our mortality. i want to remember our heroes as strong and invincible.

David Atkatz
04-21-2012, 03:11 PM
Why pay a ton for one from Steiner when you can get an earlier sig for much less?Why pay a ton for anything from Steiner?

Exhibitman
04-22-2012, 06:50 AM
Depends. Some guys signed alot later in life and if I want a signature at a reasonable price it will be one of those. The Negro League guys are the best examples of that. No cards and precious little otherwise out there from their careers but some decent stuff at later in their lives. Plus, in some ways it says to me that the player wasn't spending his twilight years forgotten and unappreciated but was still getting love from the fans.

http://photos.imageevent.com/exhibitman/miscellaneous3/Leonard.jpghttp://photos.imageevent.com/exhibitman/miscellaneous3/OquNeil.jpg

The funniest incident I had with late in life signings was when I looked to buy some pieces from a longtime collector who attended lots of HOF events and got lots of signatures. He was an old man and his hand shook as he held the items so every signature he had in his collection was shaky, even when the athlete was young.

7nohitter
04-22-2012, 08:22 AM
This is a great thread.

I am happy with any auto, shaky or otherwise. I too have noticed the recent decline in Aaron's signature...scary.

mr2686
04-22-2012, 09:52 AM
Aaron, Mays and Musial are all getting real bad. In Mays case, I think he's fairly blind so he sometimes signs going off the page if he doesn't start in the right spot. I used to like Lee MacPhail's auto too, but it's getting real bad.

johnmh71
04-22-2012, 10:49 AM
I prefer to find the earliest example of a persons sig that I can find and I have a bias that leans heavily toward fountain pen signatures. At times I will upgrade for exactly this reason.

That being said, as Mike already stated, sometimes the later example of a player's script may be the only version you can find. In this case, I would be more than happy to add it to my collection if it filled a hole. ;)

BTW, regarding Bullet Joe Bush. Here are a few examples of his signatures through the years. A signed photo of Bullet Joe probably signed in the early- mid 1960's. A typical later example of his signature on a 3 x 5, circa 1970. An unusual signed check whith his given name Leslie Ambrose Bush. Finally, an earlier example of his signature, circa 1953, on a GPC in fountain pen where his script doesn't show the typical shakiness that you see so often. This example is far more challenging to find, FWIW...

I'd love to have the bottom one. All the ones that I ever see are shakey. I have an older Charlie Gehringer that I really like due to be larger than his later autos.