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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 04:18 AM
baseball111 baseball111 is offline
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Default New to collecting autos and the forum

Hello, I am new to the forum and have already learned a lot from everyone here and it has really fueled my interest in the hobby . I started collecting autographs TTM a few months ago and decided to collect HOF single signed baseballs. I don't have many (~30), but had a few questions before I started shelling out a ton of cash without a clue of what I'm doing. I was going to start with the better known, less expensive autos of living HOFers that have frequently signed just to get the ball rolling.

I've heard stories of fakes being passed by JSA/PSA and legit autos being rejected. When shopping on Ebay, is this theory pretty much negatable as long as there is a COA when your dealing with autos are aren't "rare", such as Alomar, Molitor, and Marichal to name a few.?

Secondly, where is your best bet when looking for "high-end" autos? Do you abandon Ebay all together and stick to an auction house?

Thanks for any input it's very much appreciated. Look forward to hearing from you guys!
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:33 AM
travrosty travrosty is offline
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high end autos can be found anywhere, as for jsa or psa, they have an opinioni like anyone else, and you have to research to figure out how good they are.

i already know and have formed my own opinion, but each person has to figure it out for themselves.

Last edited by travrosty; 12-08-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:37 AM
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earlywynnfan earlywynnfan is offline
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I don't imagine JSA or PSA get the Marichals of the world wrong enough to even consider. However, with living guys like that, if you want certain authenticity and don't have the opportunity to get them in person, you might want to watch for private/public signings. There are several groups out there who are very trustworthy who hold signings and put their own hologram on the ball: MAB, Steiner, TriStar. Upper Deck is long gone, but their stuff is geniune. And, of course, you can't go wrong with an MLB hologram on an auto.

I'm sure most of us watch ebay AND every major auction we can find. However, if you've been reading the recent posts here, you'll see that none are immune from errors. (Check out the "Cuban Connection III" post: Jim Stinson made the best 1-line post I've ever read with regards to the Jose Mendez ball!) I'd suggest going slow on the biggies; unless you have a boatload of money and/or obsessive disorders combined with a need for speed, you can accumulate under-$100 balls for quite some time while watching, learning, and pricing the higher items. This very forum is a great place to learn, so welcome!!

There are also some very trustworthy dealers out there for older items, too. Nobody can ever be 100% sure about the Babe Ruths of the hobby, but there are people out there whose knowledge will get you closer to that 100% than JSA or PSA (in my opinion.) This is a good time to repeat Stinson's mantra: Ask every collector you feel comfortable with to name their top 5 dealers. You'll see a pattern, and that pattern is there for a reason. Of course, what Jim is too modest to say is he's going to be in pretty much every one of those top-5's.

Happy collecting!
Ken
earlywynnfan5@hotmail.com
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:01 AM
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Welcome to the board! Just read a lot of threads here to learn about what to spot. There is a book that came out that is 100% about HOF autographs that I highly recommend.
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:53 AM
baseball111 baseball111 is offline
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Thanks for the input everyone. I'll start looking around for some good dealers and see who is under signing contracts
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:47 AM
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Welcome to the board. I suggest going back through the pages of previous posts there are thousands of useful dialogs on here to read through.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2012, 02:06 PM
cottnat cottnat is offline
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Welcome to the board and the hobby. You have already made a good decision by narrowing your collection down to a focus because there is no limit to the amount of things to acquire when you take a shotgun approach.

I too collect almost exclusively autographed baseballs, with a significant focus on single signed baseballs in blue with HOF inscription. Almost my entire collection has MLB, Steiner, UDA, Mounted Memories or Tristar Holograms because I havent had the time to be an expert on every HOFer signature. A handful of my autographs I obtained in person at Twinsfest (Killebrew/Carew/Molitor/Feller/Fingers/Jenkins/etc) or at local shows. If you go with the 1st party authentication, you will likely have to pay more vs. unauthenticated or in some cases the 3rd party companies (PSA or JSA).

I personally check around everywhere for autographs because you never know what you can find. You have to be EXTREMELY skeptical when buying off of craigslist, but thats probably where you can really get some of your best deals (vs. eBay where the auctions close at market value more often than not). I have purchased a Koufax for $50, a Burleigh Grimes for $60 (although not on a Rawlings ball), a couple of Puckett's for $30 each, a 1927 Yankees team ball for $1,000 and a UDA framed Michael Jordan 8x10 for $175 on craigslist.

You are going to get your best selection on eBay, but I would recommend being really patient. A lot of the guys that you can acquire for under $100 are readily available with whatever type of authentication you are looking for. You might also want to try to get some guys that are closer to kicking the bucket if you are wondering who to get first (although you obviously cannot predict that with 100% certainty). If you havent learned yet, once a HOFer passes away, their items will become extremely inflated as everyone races to get one (as much as 2-5x what they went for before). It will usually settle down, but just be aware that it is a reality of the hobby. It also can be nice to get guys a little earlier in their lives so that you can get a nicer auto (see Stan Musials older signature vs. his most recent). Again, its all personal preference, but most prefer a nicer signature.

It sounds like you have already done some TTM stuff, so you are already likely aware that you can get guys like Nolan Ryan and Bobby Doerr with donations. I am sure there is a compiled list if you want to go that route.

Another great way to add to the single signed HOF collection is Steiner's 3 for $99.99 sale that they have every so often. Here are some of the guys you can expect to make it on that sale:

Rollie Fingers, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Ralph Kiner, Fergie Jenkins, Orlando Cepeda, Luis Aparicio, Bobby Doerr.

Unless you are going to invest the time to get autographs in person (not at shows with inflated prices), you can't beat a HOFer (sometimes with HOF inscription) in blue on a Rawlings ball and 1st party authentication for $33. Many times they will have MLB holo on them as well.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2012, 02:51 PM
cottnat cottnat is offline
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On a side note, I have an extra Mike Schmidt with Mounted Memories hologram and a Jim Palmer with HOF inscription if you need to add them. PM me if interested.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:18 PM
baseball111 baseball111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottnat View Post
1927 Yankees team ball for $1,000
Wow, that's quite the pick-up. Thanks for the response and your advice was taken note of. As I mentioned, TTM is what sparked my interest and I have gotten the few cheap and free HOFers such as Doerr, Fingers, Carlton and a few others. In regards to Musial's auto, after I checked SCF and saw the returning Musial autos people were getting back for $100, I always look at recent returns of older players to check their sigs before I would consider spending cash and possibly 'wasting' a ROMLB. When talking about authentication, what is the general concensus on PSA/JSA when it comes to more common, HOF autos. I know it comes down to your own opinion and gut feeling, but would you purchase a Mays baseball from JSA with confidence? Thanks for your response and all of your advice.

Last edited by baseball111; 12-09-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:07 AM
dgo71 dgo71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottnat View Post
It sounds like you have already done some TTM stuff, so you are already likely aware that you can get guys like Nolan Ryan and Bobby Doerr with donations.
Wait, when did Doerr start charging TTM?
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:53 AM
baseball111 baseball111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgo71 View Post
Wait, when did Doerr start charging TTM?
He still signs for free
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