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  #201  
Old 10-13-2021, 07:18 PM
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Good spot and interesting observation Paul. For Rube anyway it seems they needed to overlay another signature to make the display fit together without a bunch of white borders as he didn't sign over the photo - so maybe they printed another unsigned photo and added a copy signature to it for him to make the display work. Matty, McGraw, and others are perfect matches for their signed photos though, so it is hard to think that these are anything but the signed originals.


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Originally Posted by T206Collector View Post
Take a look at the signatures of Marquard, Crandall, and Latham on your 1911 newspaper premium — they are each different, in terms of placement and style, from the photographs at auction.

It would appear that this would be an example of the use of facsimile signatures at least on the premium, as Tom suggested above. Either that, or Marquard, Crandall and Latham signed multiple copies of the same photo in different places. This muddies the waters for me.
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  #202  
Old 10-13-2021, 07:24 PM
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Notice that the bottom one had no bids and didn't sell, and that was less than two months before the photo sold for $1.4 million. The top one sold for $763 in August of last year. I'm guessing that despite the Beckett COA, there was serious doubt about the authenticity.

Sorry but its asinine to compare a price between a torn notebook page with numbers, to a signed type one photo.
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  #203  
Old 10-13-2021, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Republicaninmass View Post
Sorry but its asinine to compare a price between a torn notebook page with numbers, to a signed type one photo.
Should be "it's" asinine, not "its." And it's not just numbers, but also written names. Given the rarity of anything written by Jackson, one would absolutely think that a legitimate item with numbers and names would sell for more than $763 and $0. Certainly not $1.4 million, but if the writing is indeed authentic it would rewrite history with regard to the extent of his illiteracy.
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  #204  
Old 10-13-2021, 08:07 PM
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It should be noted that, for the notebook, I don't see anyone claiming that Jackson wrote everything in it. I think this was a Mastronet item way back in the day-- I am sure there is more history that goes with it than the short auction descriptions I could find. I just remembered it and thought I should post to show he could hold a pen to write numbers. I seem to recall another page from it where there was a shaky "Joe" written next to some of the numbers that was attributed to Jackson, so some of the other writing in there could have been his wife, customers, etc. Not sure - shared because hopefully someone will be able to share more.
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  #205  
Old 10-13-2021, 10:29 PM
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In terms of another authenticated JJ autograph, wasn't there a scrap piece of paper that had 3 Joe Jackson signatures on it - a progression of attempts to sig his name - that was cut up and sold? I don't recall the origins of that, but I recall all 3 being authenticated by PSA. I'm only asking as another comparison piece.
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  #206  
Old 10-13-2021, 10:49 PM
ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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Originally Posted by canjond View Post
In terms of another authenticated JJ autograph, wasn't there a scrap piece of paper that had 3 Joe Jackson signatures on it - a progression of attempts to sig his name - that was cut up and sold? I don't recall the origins of that, but I recall all 3 being authenticated by PSA. I'm only asking as another comparison piece.
Yes this was in I believe one of his Liquor Store little flip notepad/book. This and same kind of thing with an alleged envelope where he practiced signing his name on the back I think none of them were full "Joe Jackson" signatures but all were "Joe". All of them were from later in life

If I recall correctly the notebook had family providence and that was very likely his scribbling...not sure on the envelope. Again just going off memory right now but I think the envelope had two attempts on the back and was bought and cut up by a card company and special cut signature cards made of them, one is a duel cut of "Jo" and "Pete" Rose (attached).

---as for debating the 1911 photo--- Folks here seem strong leaning one way or the other, I can make a good case it is not his signature and believe there are more red flags than green flags...but others have made a few good green flag points (Jobu for one) and I really feel one or two people are just wanting to troll and argue here much like in other "controversial" topic threads (I skip past their posts honestly). Some very respected collectors have expressed it is fake both publicly and privately and that only strengthens my thought it is fake. In the end only one person knows and he died a long time ago. Im happy to express my thoughts if anyone is interest in messages but I just feel like this post is beating a dead horse or two now
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  #207  
Old 10-13-2021, 10:55 PM
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The notepad I think had the one "Joe" written and it was likely someone elses named Joe and it was his charge account notation but possibly written by Jackson so not really his signature per say but him writing "Joe" like he would his own name...attached photo
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  #208  
Old 10-14-2021, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post
I can make a good case it is not his signature and believe there are more red flags than green flags...
You keep saying that. Perhaps you could share these arguments with the rest of us? It is the purpose of this thread after all.
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  #209  
Old 10-14-2021, 07:13 AM
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You keep saying that. Perhaps you could share these arguments with the rest of us? It is the purpose of this thread after all.
They have already been shared in this thread.
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  #210  
Old 10-14-2021, 11:06 AM
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It's often difficult for people to think outside of widely accepted narratives. The saying "perception is reality" holds true throughout so many different aspects of life. The illiteracy narrative of Joe Jackson could very well be one such narrative that, at its core, is almost universally misunderstood. That's not to say I'm suggesting he could read and write just fine, but rather that it's very plausible that he could have been illiterate but knew how to write letters and numbers, knew how to do simple arithmetic, and at some point, learned how to spell common names (as in his purported notebook) all while still being technically illiterate as he could not read or write a book. I don't know the history and provenance of the illiteracy story or the extent of the abilities/inabilities he is attributed to have had. But I am someone who regularly views these sorts of narratives through a very different lens than most people. I view them probabilistically and am nearly incapable of accepting them whole cloth. In fact, I see the entire world this way. I see nearly everything probabilistically. Perhaps it's because I am mildly autistic or perhaps it's just because I'm a mathematician at heart, I don't know. But I do know that in general, I often discount what others accept at fact. That's not to say that I don't believe he was illiterate. I'm sure there are very good reasons to believe this. But I discount the probabilities of the various assumptions that can be made based on that fact. Someone above said something to the tune of "that notebook couldn't possibly be his handwriting because Jackson was illiterate". That's an example of a conclusion that someone like me is incapable of making. I think that once a narrative gets formed and begins to perpetuate, particularly one that is 100+ years old, it can become nearly impossible to correct it.

This thread reminds me of the Luka Doncic signature drama. I can't tell you how many times I've encountered the narrative that "his mom signs his cards for him" because there are clear differences in some of his signatures. Some of his autos clearly say "Lulu" in swooping cursive letters that, admittedly, do appear to have a bit of a feminine looking flow to them, while other signatures of his look much more choppy and masculine. The theory is that he signs the masculine ones and had his mom (or some say girlfriend) sign the loopy ones. This is a widespread belief in the modern side of the hobby. You can find YouTube videos and dedicated threads to it on other forums. For many, it's a simple fact: "Luka's mom signs his cards". However, there are mutliple examples of people getting things signed by Luka in person, live on video, where he signs with the exact loopy, feminine-looking version of his signature, yet somehow, this narrative is still extremely difficult to combat. Imagine if we didn't have modern technology and we weren't able to witness him signing both forms of his signature right there before our very eyes. Imagine he was a player from the 1910s and all we had were two versions of his signatures to look at and the tales that got passed down from one generation to the next. I have no doubt that the accepted modern view would be that his mom signed the loopy ones and that only the choppy ones are authentic. Yet, this wouldn't be true. It often takes someone who discounts narratives at face value to see through the fog. That doesn't mean we should completely disregard narratives, but rather that it's beneficial to say, "perhaps that is what happened", or even "most likely, that is what happened", or "I'm sure some version of that is true". But it is a heavy handicap to discovering truth if one approaches these sorts of stories with the viewpoint of "we know X, therefore Y". If you don't question the axioms upon which X stands, then you will often be misled.

[...here come the arrows twisting my words into something ridiculous like me proposing that Jackson wasn't actually illiterate. Again, that's not what I'm saying, so if that's how this post comes across to you, please read it again before putting words in my mouth that I'm just going to have to spit back out...]
I wouldn't rule out Jackson becoming literate at some point, or being literate but simply not writing.

I worked with a guy who is for sure literate. He will not write unless he's almost forced to.
I was after him to sign his work orders once the job was finished, so I didn't come in a day later and waste time redoing it.
After a couple weeks he finally gave in and wrote his name on one. It took him 5 minutes, and made Jacksons signature look good. Apparently he has some bad dyslexia. We agreed that signing or initialing wasn't going to work but he would make a checkmark, x or maybe one initial.
Numbers are less of a problem except he writes so seldom it's also a slow thing.

When you think about it, he had little need to write to play baseball.
But it would be a big benefit in running a store.
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  #211  
Old 10-14-2021, 11:23 AM
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I think this is a poor comparison. The fine motor movement skills of a small child versus an adult are vastly different regardless of literacy.
And those vary a lot between individuals.

I was way ahead on fine motor skills, way behind on large motor skills.
I could handle building some pretty detailed models before I was 6, 1/72 biplanes. but struck out in kickball - regularly.... Like who does that?? Apparently me.

Large motor skills didn't get to even as much as average until maybe 8th grade.
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  #212  
Old 10-14-2021, 11:37 AM
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I don't think writing is a motor skill issue. It's muscle memory and repetition. I gave the example before of trying to write with your weak hand. My motor skills are highly developed over the course of my life. I still can't write with my weak hand because I don't have the muscle memory or repetition to do it.
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  #213  
Old 10-14-2021, 12:27 PM
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I don't think writing is a motor skill issue. It's muscle memory and repetition. I gave the example before of trying to write with your weak hand. My motor skills are highly developed over the course of my life. I still can't write with my weak hand because I don't have the muscle memory or repetition to do it.
It's interesting, is it not, that from playing baseball those of us who are right handed probably catch much better with our left, even though we couldn't use it well to write our name or shoot a basketball.
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  #214  
Old 10-14-2021, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
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I don't think writing is a motor skill issue. It's muscle memory and repetition. I gave the example before of trying to write with your weak hand. My motor skills are highly developed over the course of my life. I still can't write with my weak hand because I don't have the muscle memory or repetition to do it.
I can write with either, but only rarely write with my weak hand.
Writing is considered part of fine motor skills*. Writing well is muscle memory and repetition.
But both grandfathers were tool and die makers, and I know for sure one was ambidextrous.
For a brief time, maybe a week I was trying to train myself to do some of Davincis tricks - mirror writing, writing something with the left hand of the page left handed and the right side right handed, writing two different things at the same time.... Totally impossible except for the mirror writing.

*It's sort of a part of one of the childhood developmental "tests" the doctors give. They have the kid copy a plus sign and circle. It tests fine motor, visual perception and eye/hand coordination all at once. Anything close to a + is a pass, as is any closed figure, even if it's not all that round.

Last edited by steve B; 10-14-2021 at 12:30 PM. Reason: fixed wrong word
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  #215  
Old 10-14-2021, 01:02 PM
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They have already been shared in this thread.
No, he most certainly has not even attempted to make that case here. All he has said was "he was illiterate", and "read the thread from 2015 (which is also completely void of any good arguments)", and "many experts agree", and "the Joe Jackson Museum deserves more respect!", and "snowman is an ignoramus" and other such gems.

I am completely open to arguments as to why this isn't his signature. I have no skin in the game. And my default position on any potential Joe Jackson autograph is that the likelihood of it being a fake is extremely high. I'm looking for the arguments on both sides here, and thus far, the 'nay' side is lacking here in this thread.
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  #216  
Old 10-14-2021, 01:08 PM
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No, he most certainly has not even attempted to make that case here. All he has said was "he was illiterate", and "read the thread from 2015 (which is also completely void of any good arguments)", and "many experts agree", and "the Joe Jackson Museum deserves more respect!", and "snowman is an ignoramus" and other such gems.

I am completely open to arguments as to why this isn't his signature. I have no skin in the game. And my default position on any potential Joe Jackson autograph is that the likelihood of it being a fake is extremely high. I'm looking for the arguments on both sides here, and thus far, the 'nay' side is lacking here in this thread.
Go back and use one of the many post grad degrees you have and read his many comments about the signature. He has actually contributed to this thread unlike someone who is just here to play devil's advocate.
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  #217  
Old 10-14-2021, 02:30 PM
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Most of this I have already said if you read my posts, some of this I have not posted bc I only thought the strongest point should be made and in an effort to save time and space didn’t feel like getting into the weeds that deep was needed…but here ya go…cant say Im not a good sport even though I don’t like being baited into this (I am not a document expert or authenticator so I guess that can always be thrown out there against my observations which is completely fine)

1 Signature is too large – yes this matter a lot as Jackson signed documents and one paper alongside other signers, he had the opportunity and a visual example right there to write bigger and still chose to write very small. He chose to write small so this would be the only time he ever he wrote a jumbo signature

2 Never signed a photo before or after this one and he had many 5x7 photos later in life he would give out for autograph requests…all signed by his wife.

3 Signature is too smooth and flows too well for Jackson – While it looks shaky, compared to his other signature it is not shaky like they are (the Js in particular).

4 Lack of obvious hesitation points throughout or large ink pools – Jackson could hardly write his own name and as you can see in most of his other signature he stops and starts a lot which leaves hesitation points and larger paths of ink. This one doesn’t have those

5 The Js don’t match at all…too loopy, the space in between the loops too big, no shakiness or hesitation points or what I call dimples in the top left side of the Js and they end with a big tail up and to the left almost as high as the top of the J. All of which is inconsistent with his other signatures

6 space between Joe and Jackson is very large compared to other signatures

7 the A and the C don’t have the same bottom to them here, A has a slight point and the C is curved, whereas if you look at other signatures the A and the C match each other (either both curved or both a slight point)

8 the “cks” section: Jackson’s C kind of hangs over the K or looks like chasing it like it is trying to eat it (pacman), this photo it is not doing that; in his other signatures the C and K are generally at the same level at their high points and they are not here as the K is much taller; the K is closed at the bottom with a loop upward and an ending that looks nothing like his other signatures; the bottom of the S has the same kind of bottom that dips down then back up, this also is not consistent with other Jackson signatures

9 the ending: majority of his other signatures end with a downward stroke with some ending with a straight/even stroke. This one has an obvious up stroke

These are the main points for me and a document expert can probably pick up on things about the E O and A. I think they are the closest letters made that resemble Jackson’s signature so I left those out.

The logistics of when where and how the photo was signed and the bottom line added also throws doubt on it with me…

So what is GOOD about it: The photo is a period photo and came from a person who would be connected with the Indians. That proves provenance of the photo not the signature. Maybe 3 letters kind of match…so when I say the red flags outweigh the green ones with me that’s what I mean. (I hope more will go into what they feel is good about the signature itself)

Richard Simon and Ron Keurajian are well respected experts who have publicly given their opinions, both said fake, I have private messages from two others (one who does post on here from time to time) that also said it was fake and no Im not going to name them bc if they want to say it publicly that is up to them. This also factors in for me.

The financial gain and pressure to pass this could easily be seen as a motivating factor in pushing it from let’s say “questionable” at best to “authentic” and PSA has passed bad signatures before and turned down good ones before so it is more than reasonable to question their judgement and motives here.

Again this is just my opinion on it and my own analysis of it and I am not a forensic document trained expert (I wouldnt mind being one though and will gladly accept an opportunity to get that training).

Thomas L Saunders
(hope I made sense with this)

Last edited by ThomasL; 10-14-2021 at 02:57 PM.
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  #218  
Old 10-14-2021, 02:47 PM
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Most of this I have already said if you read my posts, some of this I have not posted bc I only thought the strongest point should be made and in an effort to save time and space didn’t feel like getting into the weeds that deep was needed…but here ya go…cant say Im not a good sport even though I don’t like being baited into this (I am not a document expert or authenticator so I guess that can always be thrown out there against my observations which is completely fine)

1 Signature is too large – yes this matter a lot as Jackson signed documents and one paper alongside other signers, he had the opportunity and a visual example right there to write bigger and still chose to write very small. He chose to write small so this would be the only time he ever he wrote a jumbo signature

2 Never signed a photo before or after this one and he had many 5x7 photos later in life he would give out for autograph requests…all signed by his wife.

3 Signature is too smooth and flows too well for Jackson – While it looks shaky, compared to his other signature it is not shaky like they are (the Js in particular).

4 Lack of obvious hesitation points throughout or large ink pools – Jackson could hardly write his own name and as you can see in most of his other signature he stops and starts a lot which leaves hesitation points and larger paths of ink. This one doesn’t have those

5 The Js don’t match at all…too loopy, the space in between the loops too big, no shakiness or hesitation points or what I call dimples in the top left side of the Js and they end with a big tail up and to the left almost as high as the top of the J. All of which is inconsistent with his other signatures

6 space between Joe and Jackson is very large compared to other signatures

7 the A and the C don’t have the same bottom to them here, A has a slight point and the C is curved, whereas if you look at other signatures the A and the C match each other (either both curved or both a slight point)

8 the “cks” section: Jackson’s C kind of hangs over the K or looks like chasing it like it is trying to eat it (pacman), this photo it is not doing that; in his other signatures the C and K are generally at the same level at their high points and they are not here as the K is much taller; the K is closed at the bottom with a loop upward and an ending that looks nothing like his other signatures; the bottom of the S has the same kind of bottom that dips down then back up, this also is not consistent with other Jackson signatures

9 the ending: majority of his other signatures end with a downward stroke with some ending with a straight/even stroke. This one has an obvious up stroke

These are the main points for me and a document expert can probably pick up on things about the E O and A. I think they are the closest letters made that resemble Jackson’s signature so I left those out.

The logistics of when where and how the photo was signed and the bottom line added also throws doubt on it with me…

So what is GOOD about it: The photo is a period photo and came from a person who would be connected with the Indians. That proves providence of the photo not the signature. Maybe 3 letters kind of match…so when I say the red flags outweigh the green ones with me that’s what I mean. (I hope more will go into what they feel is good about the signature itself)

Richard Simon and Ron Keurajian are well respected experts who have publicly given their opinions, both said fake, I have private messages from two others (one who does post on here from time to time) that also said it was fake and no Im not going to name them bc if they want to say it publicly that is up to them. This also factors in for me.

The financial gain and pressure to pass this could easily be seen as a motivating factor in pushing it from let’s say “questionable” at best to “authentic” and PSA has passed bad signatures before and turned down good ones before so it is more than reasonable to question their judgement and motives here.

Again this is just my opinion on it and my own analysis of it and I am not a forensic document trained expert (I wouldnt mind being one though and will gladly accept an opportunity to get that training).

Thomas L Saunders
(hope I made sense with this)

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  #219  
Old 10-14-2021, 03:01 PM
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Other than that, Thomas, it's good? Thank you for taking the time, very helpful.
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  #220  
Old 10-14-2021, 04:13 PM
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Other than that, Thomas, it's good? Thank you for taking the time, very helpful.
I mean it could be real, I think it is possible (very very slim), but I highly doubt it

I will add that this was authenticated before Kevin Keating joined PSA (that might carry some weight with some folks on here)

I personally regard JSA higher than PSA and they also passed it for Heritage according to their description in 2015, I dont know if anyone has pointed that out but should be noted as well and would go in the green flag side you could say. Im sure Spence himself examined it and I would love to hear his breakdown of why he passed it.

Personally I think Frank Smith wrote it all with the intent of creating a facsimile signature and probably had access to something Joe Jackson actually did sign and did his best to replicate it...maybe a 1910 or 1911 contract stored at the stadium or maybe a permission release for use of his image in print (seems reasonable that given 3-4 years of practice he would have been able to write his name by 1911).

But looking at it in person and examining it for sure would help (as would ink analysis) and you have to acknowledge that PSA and JSA had that advantage.

Last edited by ThomasL; 10-14-2021 at 04:31 PM.
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  #221  
Old 10-14-2021, 04:30 PM
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It makes sense to me that Smith wrote it and picked up on some of the characteristics of the exemplar he had but not in an exact way. That could explain the odd "e" in Alexandria.
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  #222  
Old 10-15-2021, 04:02 AM
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These are the main points for me...

Thank you for taking the time to spell out your arguments. I said earlier that you hadn't provided any good arguments for why this signature is fake. After reading your post, I still stand by that statement. Nearly every single claim you made is false, in my opinion. I have responded to each claim below with specific examples of his signatures that clearly refute these claims.


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1 Signature is too large – yes this matter a lot as Jackson signed documents and one paper alongside other signers, he had the opportunity and a visual example right there to write bigger and still chose to write very small. He chose to write small so this would be the only time he ever he wrote a jumbo signature
People sign their names in various sizes all the time. When you have limited space to sign in, it should be expected that a signature would be smaller, and when space is not a factor, it makes sense that it would be larger. Regardless, your claim that this signature is larger than his other known signatures simply isn't true. His signatures vary in size. Just look at the signature on his South Carolina driver's license below. It's almost the same size as the one in the photo despite the spacing being limited on it. You can get a good reference for their relative sizes by measuring the signature widths against the PSA labels in both images. Both signatures are very close in width to their respective labels, which are the same size.






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2 Never signed a photo before or after this one and he had many 5x7 photos later in life he would give out for autograph requests…all signed by his wife.
How could you possibly know this to be true? Perhaps he never signed another photo that has been authenticated by PSA or JSA, but that doesn't mean he never signed photos. And even if it were true, that doesn't imply, or even suggest, that this one is fake.


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3 Signature is too smooth and flows too well for Jackson – While it looks shaky, compared to his other signature it is not shaky like they are (the Js in particular).
You say that, yet we have clear examples where his signature was not very labored. This one below, from a 1916 voucher, is less labored than the one in the 1911 photo.




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4 Lack of obvious hesitation points throughout or large ink pools – Jackson could hardly write his own name and as you can see in most of his other signature he stops and starts a lot which leaves hesitation points and larger paths of ink. This one doesn’t have those
There are multiple points of hesitation on this signature. Look at the top of the first 'J', multiple points of the first 'o', the top right of the 'e', the bottom left of the 'c', the base of the 'k'. These are all points where the ink is darker that sure look like hesitation points to me. This aspect looks no different than any of his other signatures. And do you really think both PSA and JSA would have overlooked such a simple and obvious giveaway like this if so? Also, if Joe didn't write it, then it was certainly someone attempting to duplicate his labored signature. Would you not expect someone forging a labored signature to not also leave the same hesitation marks? They'd me making intentional pauses so as to look labored, would they not?


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5 The Js don’t match at all…too loopy, the space in between the loops too big, no shakiness or hesitation points or what I call dimples in the top left side of
The 'J' on the left looks pointy to me. Regardless, he has some fairly loopy J's in his other signatures too. Here are a few shown along with the one from the 1911 photo for comparison. Note the one in the middle row has a fairly large loopy 'J' that is difficult to see because the ink was dry on it, but if you zoom in close you can definitely see it, it's pretty loopy.




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the Js end with a big tail up and to the left almost as high as the top of the J. All of which is inconsistent with his other signatures
You say that, yet we have these... All of which show the tail of one of the J's going up nearly to the top of the loop. How is this inconsistent?




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6 space between Joe and Jackson is very large compared to other signatures
Again, you say that, yet, we have these... Note, the spacing between letters in his signatures is wildly inconsistent. But there are multiple examples of both cramped letters and widely separated letters in his signatures.




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7 the A and the C don’t have the same bottom to them here, A has a slight point and the C is curved, whereas if you look at other signatures the A and the C match each other (either both curved or both a slight point)
I'll refrain from reposting the images again, but just look above. Several of these have either a pointyish 'a' and a more curved 'c' or vice versa. Regardless, by your own statement, you admit that he is capable of signing both the 'a' and the 'c' as being either pointy or curved.


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8 the “cks” section: Jackson’s C kind of hangs over the K or looks like chasing it like it is trying to eat it (pacman), this photo it is not doing that; in his other signatures the C and K are generally at the same level at their high points and they are not here as the K is much taller;
Yet, we have these, each showing a much taller 'k' than the 'c'.




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the K is closed at the bottom with a loop upward and an ending that looks nothing like his other signatures; the bottom of the S has the same kind of bottom that dips down then back up, this also is not consistent with other Jackson signatures
I agree. The 'k' looks more "completed" on this 1911 photo than it does in the other handful of known signatures we have here.


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9 the ending: majority of his other signatures end with a downward stroke with some ending with a straight/even stroke. This one has an obvious up stroke
Again, you say that, yet, we have these, all showing an upward tail at the end...

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Old 10-15-2021, 08:30 AM
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I think the only two points you countered well here were the tall K and to an extent the pacman C (I didnt have those in my file but still majority of time the C has that long hanging top) and the up tail ending sort of...

Of the up tail endings you posted one is a straight line I would say, one slight up tail after a long straight stroke, and one long gradual but obvious. Yet none are done in a sharp quick stroke that matches the short sharp one on the photo.

The other best case you made was smooth signature with one example (where all others arent even close) Yes that one signature (I think a 1916 voucher) it appears smooth compared to his others but it has obvious hesitation points on the Js, e, a and k so not as smooth as this photo (you are wrong about the hesitation points on the photo...maybe one on an O but that;s it...and the Js have zero which is not like his signature)

Sure there could be variations in signatures and no two are the same and all that. But to accept it is authentic means to accept he broke with all of those habits at the same time and only did that in a full signature once in his life....I think it takes a bigger leap of faith to accept that over the likelihood it is not his signature...but thats just me. This one looks nothing like his other signatures BUT you think it does and you are entitled to think whatever you like.

Like I said maybe he signed this photo, an item he never signed ever again and had the opportunity to all the time later in life, in a way and style that he never used ever again.

Last edited by ThomasL; 10-15-2021 at 08:38 AM.
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  #224  
Old 10-15-2021, 11:23 AM
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Good points made on both sides. Many thanks to both contributors for devoting the time and effort to explain their respective rationales. Some good points made both ways.

I don't think we will ever achieve complete clarity on this one. I lean towards it being not authentic, but you have to allow for significant variance, considering the signer was not even literate. And the photo itself comes with good provenance. Regardless, it seems like a huge price to pay for a piece with such doubt hanging over its head.

But it's not the first time a buyer has paid an ungodly sum, based on optimism or wishful thinking. And it certainly won't be the last!
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:17 PM
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Leaving Grad aside, has any widely respected autograph expert ever said yes to the 1911 photo? Perhaps that "appeal to authority" doesn't mean much to some people, but I would like to know.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:54 PM
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Leaving Grad aside, has any widely respected autograph expert ever said yes to the 1911 photo? Perhaps that "appeal to authority" doesn't mean much to some people, but I would like to know.
In post #220 above, Thomas mentions that JSA also authenticated this photo back when it was for sale through Heritage in 2015. Worth noting is that both PSA and JSA would have had the advantage of holding the entire portfolio of photos together in hand at the time of authentication. Without that portfolio, I doubt it would have been authenticated by either, but that's just speculation obviously.
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:01 PM
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That's really not how things are supposed to be done though. And I think that's my issue overall with this piece. Provenance should not matter one iota when it comes to authentication. We are all conditioned not to believe grandpa's attic story. It should either be authentic or not authentic or an opinion can't be rendered and that conclusion should be made based on what you're looking at.

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Old 10-15-2021, 02:04 PM
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I've seen so many (alleged) mistakes by JSA (read about them, not witnessed personally) that that doesn't do much for me.
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:09 PM
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That's really not how things are supposed to be done though. And I think that's my issue overall with this piece. Provenance should not matter one iota when it comes to authentication. We are all conditioned not to believe grandpa's attic story. It should either be authentic or not authentic or an opinion can't be rendered and that conclusion should be made based on what you're looking at.
So if there was a film of Jackson signing it you would disregard that because provenance is irrelevant? OK. Does your view also apply to all forms of memorabilia or just autographs?
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:13 PM
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Oh well if he was illiterate, his signature would likely change size and shape every time. Abnormally so if he had to really concentrate.
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  #231  
Old 10-15-2021, 02:19 PM
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So if there was a film of Jackson signing it you would disregard that because provenance is irrelevant? OK. Does your view also apply to all forms of memorabilia or just autographs?
Just autographs. And no, a video wouldn't suffice. That would be a pretty easy way to scam people, no?

But the same issues with weighing provenance plague memorabilia. I remember someone telling a story about a player selling milestone home run balls two or three times over saying a different ball was the home run ball every time. They were supposed to be real because of the provenance. But they weren't.

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  #232  
Old 10-15-2021, 02:29 PM
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Just autographs. And no, a video wouldn't suffice. That would be a pretty easy way to scam people, no?

But the same issues with weighing provenance plague memorabilia. I remember someone telling a story about a player selling milestone home run balls two or three times over saying a different ball was the home run ball every time. They were supposed to be real because of the provenance. But they weren't.
As we've seen, at least sometimes authenticating a signature is not always perfectly straightforward. It seems to me to be crazy to say provenance is always irrelevant. Sure, it may not be conclusive, it may be flawed, but surely it should be considered when available and given whatever weight is appropriate. The fact that you can identify an example of bad provenance doesn't argue for throwing out all provenance IMO.
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:33 PM
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I've seen so many (alleged) mistakes by JSA (read about them, not witnessed personally) that that doesn't do much for me.
I can't speak to the authority of anyone specific in the authentication space. I just don't know enough about it. But I do believe there should be room for human error when it comes to expectations for something like this, but people often don't want to lend it.

I'm reminded of the late 90s and early 2000s when Sony dominated the electronics market, becoming the top seller of TVs by a fairly wide margin. If you were to go into a TV repair shop and ask them which TVs they spent the most time repairing, every single one of them would have answered "Sony". The number of complaints began to mount, and Sony eventually began to garner a reputation for selling poorly made TVs. However, the actual defect rates were better than the competition, but since Sony dominated the market, they also dominated the repair market, causing a major hit to their reputation.

PSA and JSA dominate the authentication market, so it would make sense for them to also dominate the "oops, we fucked up" market as well. The number that ultimately should matter most is one that is nearly impossible for us to get, which is the ratio of correctly authenticated items to incorrectly authenticated items. I don't know how many mistakes we should expect to see from them, but I do know that whatever the number is, it's always going to be too high for some significant percentage of collectors.
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  #234  
Old 10-15-2021, 02:38 PM
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I get that but at the same time, on many of these items if I recall correctly, other people pointed to obvious issues which made the errors seem really egregious. And these items supposedly are rigorously scrutinized individually. I don't think that's quite analogous to an inevitable flaw rate in mass production or even the PSA assembly line.
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  #235  
Old 10-15-2021, 02:59 PM
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That's really not how things are supposed to be done though. And I think that's my issue overall with this piece. Provenance should not matter one iota when it comes to authentication. We are all conditioned not to believe grandpa's attic story. It should either be authentic or not authentic or an opinion can't be rendered and that conclusion should be made based on what you're looking at.
Agreed, but the problem is no one is still alive today that was on hand to see the item being signed, as is the case with most items from so long ago. And many people hope and want to believe that items were used, belonged to, and signed by certain people from the past. So even though there often isn't first hand verification of such, the provenance becomes a huge factor in determing if many items were actually signed, owned, used by the party they are purported to be.

In the case of autographs, the only way to truly be 100% certain it was signed by the person in question is if you witnessed it being signed yourself. Absent that, there is no 100% certainty, and thus you are forced to consider other factors, such as provenance surrounding such items and the circumstances of their being signed. This is done to determine where on the scale of 0% - 100% the consensus opinion of the public ends up falling as to the authenticity of an autograph. And it is the public at large that really ends up determining if an autograph is authentic or not. The opinions of so called "experts", just like the provenance and other known factors surrounding an autographed item, are simply contributing factors used by the public to decide for themselves if they will accept an alleged autograph is authentic, or not. And in the case of this alleged Jackson autograph it is never more true as you have "experts" giving completely opposite opinions, making other factors such as provenance, all the more important in shaping final public opinion.

And don't discount the fact that the public sees someone pony up $1.4M for the item, and a very large portion become swayed and lean towards thinking no one in their right mind would pay that kind of money for something that wasn't authentic. That in and of itself goes a long way for saying it is a legit auto, and has already been accepted as such by a large part of the collecting public, regardless of what any of us think or say on here.
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  #236  
Old 10-15-2021, 03:36 PM
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Totally agree but I also think it's important to remember authentication is an opinion and will always be. I'm not asking anyone to find a way to create fact out of something you can't know.

I do think there are instances, like this one, where an opinion should not be given one way or the other. But I do think it's appropriate for a buyer to hear the story associated with an item and make their own decision. I just don't think that story should be taken as fact by the authenticator no matter how trustworthy the source. And I don't say that because people shouldn't be believed. I say that because the opinion is supposed to be unbiased and about the item being examined.
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  #237  
Old 10-15-2021, 04:01 PM
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Totally agree but I also think it's important to remember authentication is an opinion and will always be. I'm not asking anyone to find a way to create fact out of something you can't know.

I do think there are instances, like this one, where an opinion should not be given one way or the other. But I do think it's appropriate for a buyer to hear the story associated with an item and make their own decision. I just don't think that story should be taken as fact by the authenticator no matter how trustworthy the source. And I don't say that because people shouldn't be believed. I say that because the opinion is supposed to be unbiased and about the item being examined.
You are right, but the problem is that there is always going to be some level of bias, no matter what anyone says or does. And I also said the "experts" only give opinions, just as you're saying. And that is also why it is the public that decides if they'll accept something as authentic or not. And the public taking into consideration the overt and hidden biases that may exist in opinions and stories around an item are all just part of the process, and can be wrong or right. I think that a large part of the public itself wants to believe rare items and autos are real and do exist, and because of that can thus possibly add an additional bias on top of everything else.

Here's what I'm 100% certain of when it comes to autographs, that there are many autographs out there that are deemed fakes, but in actuality are real, and there are also many that are recognized as real that are actually fakes.
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  #238  
Old 10-15-2021, 04:21 PM
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Here's what I'm 100% certain of when it comes to autographs, that there are many autographs out there that are deemed fakes, but in actuality are real, and there are also many that are recognized as real that are actually fakes.
+1

This is why I have never collected autographs and never will. I can't imagine the feeling I'd have, to build a nice collection of vintage signatures, but always knowing that some percentage of them were, in fact, fakes. Further, not knowing which ones they were.

Look at how many times people post on the autograph forum asking if a signature is good, and some respond "yes" and some "no." It isn't enough to just say: "Know what you are buying," or: "Only buy from trusted sources." With autographs, establishing authenticity is often impossible.

Cards may be altered and GU jerseys or bats might be restored, but at least their authenticity is usually easy to determine.
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  #239  
Old 10-15-2021, 04:31 PM
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+1

This is why I have never collected autographs and never will. I can't imagine the feeling I'd have, to build a nice collection of vintage signatures, but always knowing that some percentage of them were, in fact, fakes. Further, not knowing which ones they were.

Look at how many times people post on the autograph forum asking if a signature is good, and some respond "yes" and some "no." It isn't enough to just say: "Know what you are buying," or: "Only buy from trusted sources." With autographs, establishing authenticity is often impossible.

Cards may be altered and GU jerseys or bats might be restored, but at least their authenticity is usually easy to determine.

Unless of course you get autographs signed in person yourself. That way you know they're legit.
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  #240  
Old 10-15-2021, 05:44 PM
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Unless of course you get autographs signed in person yourself. That way you know they're legit.
You do. The next owner of it doesn't.

And that doesn't work for the vintage guys, regardless.
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  #241  
Old 10-15-2021, 10:13 PM
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You do. The next owner of it doesn't.

And that doesn't work for the vintage guys, regardless.
And that is exactly why someone earlier brought up provenance as a contributing factor.

For example, what if your Grandfather had gotten a card signed by Babe Ruth in person, and then years down the road told you the story and then gave it to you. Now would that make a difference to you?
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  #242  
Old 10-15-2021, 10:34 PM
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Going back to the early-'70s, I've always taken a camera to signings. Many of those pix are posted in another thread here, and in some of them you can see the actual item being signed. Even with that, if I ever tried to sell them I can totally see someone saying, "Yeah, but how do I know that's the EXACT SAME 1973 Topps Mays that Willie is signing in that picture?"
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  #243  
Old 10-16-2021, 05:51 AM
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I've seen so many (alleged) mistakes by JSA (read about them, not witnessed personally) that that doesn't do much for me.
https://thecollectorconnection.com/b...x?itemid=21487

"JSA Mistakenly identifies coach George Jendrus Anderson as HOF'er George "Sparky" Anderson who was only 14 years old in 1948 and 10 years away from his major league debut."

Of course if they have the wrong George Anderson how the hell did they authenticate the autograph?

EDIT: This was a mistake and my apologies to JSA. This is a PSA authenticated piece, NOT JSA.
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  #244  
Old 10-16-2021, 10:51 AM
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TPA do turn away good autographs I know for a fact...Im sure there are several stories like this out there and I dont remember which company he submitted to, but this is a story a friend of mine related to me:

He would attend New York Yankee spring training almost every year in the 60s-70s era and had tons of autographs of those players he got in person including many Thurman Munson signatures...every one of those Munson sigs he sent in was rejected.

I have no doubt JSA makes mistakes but I personally think they make less and I believe are the preferred authenticator of REA which I love as an auction house (they treat people right)...Beckett is the worst at autographs...PSA might be a little better after Keating joined them...but they have a bad track record.

Obviously a big problem for them all is that they like have authenticated bad signatures when they first started, or assumed a signature was authentic that might have sold in a high profile auction (Barry Halper) that wasnt and those are examples they use in their databases. They need to go back and reevaluate and purge bad and questionable signatures from their files...I dont know if they do this or not but they should, it would help.

The some of the best advice I got about collecting autographs is if it makes you feel bad or you question it in any way...dont buy it

Last edited by ThomasL; 10-16-2021 at 10:52 AM.
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  #245  
Old 10-16-2021, 11:04 AM
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also would share this story:

I have bought 2 Happy Felsch signatures that I submitted and were rejected by JSA, one I thought was questionable and likely fake (came with a money back guarantee) and one that I think was 100% authentic but was signed on a dark part of a newspaper picture so hard to see. Believe I got my money back on both but obviously lost out on the fees for submission.

I have never submitted to PSA, though I think I would knowing Keating is on their team now which helps, and never will submit to Beckett. Honestly I prefer that an authenticator errs on the side of caution, sure they will fail authentic signatures some times but they will also filter out the fakes more often than not...just my opinion on it and this like everything else is very debatable.

But if a collector is knowledgeable, has a good eye and is 100% comfortable with a signature Im in the camp of dont waste your money bc you probably know better than any TPA....if you are looking to sell unfortunately that goes out the window now unless you are one of a handful of dealers known inside the collector's universe

Last edited by ThomasL; 10-16-2021 at 11:06 AM.
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  #246  
Old 10-16-2021, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post
I have no doubt JSA makes mistakes but I personally think they make less and I believe are the preferred authenticator of REA which I love as an auction house (they treat people right)
JSA is known to authenticate items at shows without watching the signings as long as you bought the ticket. So you could swap items with no problem, if you chose.

They also authenticated the T206s outed on this board in Sharpie marker.
https://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=262673 But then, so did SGC and one got through PSA as well.
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PWCC: The Fish Stinks From the Head
PSA: Regularly Get Cheated
BGS: Can't detect trimming on modern
SGC: Closed auto authentication business
JSA: Approved same T206 Autos before SGC
Oh, what a difference a year makes.
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  #247  
Old 10-16-2021, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquarian Sports Cards View Post
https://thecollectorconnection.com/b...x?itemid=21487

"JSA Mistakenly identifies coach George Jendrus Anderson as HOF'er George "Sparky" Anderson who was only 14 years old in 1948 and 10 years away from his major league debut."

Of course if they have the wrong George Anderson how the hell did they authenticate the autograph?
If a data scientist who claims he does not know enough about the authentication space can give the thumbs up on the Jax then JSA surely can. After all, there should be room for human error....i.e. guessing or just taking a leap of faith based on a story or provenance.
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:07 PM
rand1com rand1com is offline
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Originally Posted by Lorewalker View Post
If a data scientist who claims he does not know enough about the authentication space can give the thumbs up on the Jax then JSA surely can. After all, there should be room for human error....i.e. guessing or just taking a leap of faith based on a story or provenance.
To be correct, they mistakenly say JSA wrongly identified Anderson. The link shows PSA/DNA to be the authentication culprit making the mistake based on the pictures of the item.
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorewalker View Post
If a data scientist who claims he does not know enough about the authentication space can give the thumbs up on the Jax then JSA surely can. After all, there should be room for human error....i.e. guessing or just taking a leap of faith based on a story or provenance.
Since you clearly care most about my opinion in this thread, allow me to correct it for you. As I stated above, by just looking at the autograph and photo, I think Peter's stance of remaining agnostic is the best position to take. Note that a position of agnosticism would prevent it from being authenticated. I only stated that I lean towards it likely being authentic, not that I think it definitely is. But in large part, my inclination to think it is more likely authentic than not has much to do with the fact that both PSA and JSA authenticated it. I trust their opinions more than I do the opinions of a handful of collectors on the internet despite the fact that I fully acknowledge and expect that the experts will offer incorrect opinions a fair percentage of the time.

Regardless, you should continue to ridicule and berate me. It's a good look. People love reading that stuff.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
Since you clearly care most about my opinion in this thread, allow me to correct it for you. As I stated above, by just looking at the autograph and photo, I think Peter's stance of remaining agnostic is the best position to take. Note that a position of agnosticism would prevent it from being authenticated. I only stated that I lean towards it likely being authentic, not that I think it definitely is. But in large part, my inclination to think it is more likely authentic than not has much to do with the fact that both PSA and JSA authenticated it. I trust their opinions more than I do the opinions of a handful of collectors on the internet despite the fact that I fully acknowledge and expect that the experts will offer incorrect opinions a fair percentage of the time.

Regardless, you should continue to ridicule and berate me. It's a good look. People love reading that stuff.
When it comes to cards I like my own opinion on authenticity. Since, like you, I know next to nothing about the auto authentication space but know it is affiliated with the same inept and corrupt companies who slab tons of bad cards I do put weight into what a handful of collectors...collectively think...especially when what they think is well thought through and articulated. And in this case there is more than enough info having been provided that would have been enough for me to pass if I were in the market.

Ridiculing and berating? Nah you will know when I am doing that. Just bothered by your contrarian know it all attitude. I will try to do better.
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