Card-ography #3 – Ryan Dempster

Who’s ready for a reboot of a feature that hasn’t appeared on this blog in over 4 years?

Even after having a hand in the case-breaking world, Autographed cards still fascinate me.  Allow me to explain with this series introduction from the early days of the blog.  To see the other parts of the series, click on the “Card-ography” tag at the bottom.

Now that I’m back into collecting, one of the biggest surprises greeting me at the door was that signatures on cardboard (or on stickers placed on cardboard) are now a regular part of the hobby.  In fact, it’s basically expected at this point.  I know there are plenty of people who feel that if their box doesn’t have an auto – or even the RIGHT auto – then it’s a waste of money.  Hell, I’m still not completely jaded by relics, so I can’t understand this theory.
I know that most of the autos aren’t all that valuable, but seeing that blue, red, and sometimes black ink on a card in your hands still holds significance to me.  It still makes for some of the most enjoyable moments in collecting.
That’s why I’m starting a series that will analyze the signatures we see.  It’s common to see people lump them into “good” and “bad” categories, but I want to take it farther than that.  This player took the time to sign your card (although some of them don’t take tons of time).  I’m going to take the time to inspect it.

Look at that young buck

This is my very first Ryan Dempster autograph in my collection.  He really doesn’t sign much at all.

Still a minor league card

And this is my second and last (so far) autographed card.  Or maybe this was the first and the other was the second.  It doesn’t matter.  The point is I have two.  I don’t think there was a single MLB licensed card signed by him after he joined the Cubs.  I know of a couple Skybox Autographics from his Marlins days, but there really are few of them.  So, let’s analyze what we have.

If you didn’t know his name, what would you think this said?  “Ry D backwards C”

Style points:
I really enjoy his signature.  It’s playful, like he is known to be.  It seems very simple, but yet the big sweeping loops add an extra level of personality.  You can see that both of these are slightly different, but hold the same characteristics overall.

Space Usage:
Sure, you could try to confine this to a sticker, but you can tell that this is an autograph that thrives with more leg room.  Dempster makes good use of that extra space on these cards.

He may miss a few letters in his first and last names, but I wouldn’t really call that lazy.  It appears to be a very conscious choice and it works well.

You know, it took a while for me to realize that I was missing a Ryan Dempster autograph from my collection.  It wasn’t until I started thinking about listing out how many autos/relics/serial #’d cards for each collection, did I notice it.  That really speaks to the unnecessary nature of autographs in my personal opinion.  I know a lot of collectors want to focus solely on that.  Regardless, I’m happy to have these and they were easy minimum bids on ebay.  I’m looking forward to tracking down a cheap Major League licensed auto in the future.

Honestly, I really enjoy his signature.  It’s as simple as that.  It’s almost a shame there aren’t more of them out there, but at the same time, I can’t be too upset about not having a ton of random autos and parallels to chase.  I’ll have enough of that with Maddux, Thomas, Gwynn, Wood, and (possibly) Castro.  But that’s a discussion for another episode in this newly reborn series.

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