Below is a pack-inserted, certified autograph from Topps Company. If you can tell who signed it, you just might be a genius. It belongs to Stan “The Man” Musial, who passed away at the age of 92 in 2013. It is rumored that he was suffering through serious health problems way back in 2007 but he kept signing away. Stan’s auto can be found all over 2014 products and has already made an appearance in 2015 Topps.
With game-used memorabilia all but dead due to over production and questionable issues coming up over and over again, certified autographs are one of the few gimmicks left to move product by card companies. I can only imagine how important it is for a manufacturer to get their stickers and cards signed by someone as popular as Musial but when and where do we draw the line?
Fans of Musial have come to the defense of these autographs by stating that Stan just wanted to please his fans by signing as much and for as long as he could. The thing is, judging by that auto, he no longer could. Besides, at 92 years of age and with failing health, just how many people really believe Stan wanted to sign thousands and thousands of stickers in his final days?
This situation makes me wonder just how much card companies were paying Stan to flood the market with autographs which sell for as little as $40 dollars or less, if not certified. What if, and this is complete speculation, Stan was being pushed to sign these thousands of stickers to appease family members? Taking advantage of the sick and the elderly is extremely common when money is involved.
Much like Stan Musial’s signature, another signature addict is Hank Aaron. Also, much like Musial’s auto, Hank’s has been getting worse and worse as time goes by. Maybe it’s time card companies give some of these old timer’s a break. Look, it’s 2015 … we don’t need more Hank Aaron autographs. There’s already more than enough for every baseball fan who wants one.