Card-ography #4 – Carlos Marmol

How about this blast from the past?  Part 3 of this feature came 4 years after the first two.  Now, #4 comes back into the fold over two years after that.  Crazy how time flies when you have insufficient time to blog.  I have quite a few autographs in my collection now, so I hope to keep this going for a bit.

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.


I picked this up April 2017, and it had been a long time coming.  I’ve had a saved search for years without seeing this pop up once.  Makes sense with a print run of 50.  Still, patience paid off, and also paid the seller.

I own a lot of Carlos Marmol autographs, but I’m still chasing only 4 more.  One that’s missing is the 2007 Bowman Signs of the Future, which I see a lot but always slightly more expensive than I’m willing to pay, and the 2008 Stadium Club Beam Team autos (normal, B&W, Gold) which are going to be a lot tougher thanks to some tenacious super collectors.

Anyway, let’s break down this signature.

If you didn’t know his name, what would you think this said?  “Cry h down-arrow”

Style points:
Well, this is more substance than style.  It’s quite scraggly and staggered.  It’s not trying to look nice, it’s meant to get the job done.  The only real “style” is that his signature always creeps upwards, which is interesting.

Space Usage:
Marmol doesn’t cheat you on this.  Seam to seam coverage and plenty of real estate covered by plenty of…I want to say letters….

Not everything has to be perfect cursive.  I’d call this efficient rather than lazy.  Hit the main points, but still give some scratches to represent the full name.

In most of his autos, he also adds in his jersey number, which is a wonderful personal touch I love.  Not only does it show that he cares about his autos, but also there’s a sense of pride in his status by doing that.

It’s not the prettiest autograph I’ve seen, but with the number of times I’ve seen it in my collection, it’s become a bit of comfort.  I especially like looking at a stack of signed cards all in a row.  It’ll be bitter sweet when I can finally nab those last four autographs.

2 comments to Card-ography #4 – Carlos Marmol

  • I specifically remember this guy blowing a ton of leads for the Cubs when he closed for them. They were pretty bad at the time, so it really didn’t matter. Nice card none the less.

    • Jon

      Oh yeah, he fell off significantly those last couple years, but when he was good, he was one of the best. That’s why I started to collect him. He was a big part of the ’08 run.

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