Card-ography #5 – Tony Gwynn

Welcome to Part 5.  I missed the recent Blog Bat Around focusing on autographs and building a team with the signatures in their collection.  I honestly don’t have enough autographs to make that workable anyway (unless I were to draw from pack pulled stuff I have sitting around that I haven’t sold or traded yet).  So, instead, my contribution is a heavy hitter in my pre-existing series.

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.

Don’t get much cooler

I was lucky enough to grab this off of ebay back in 2014.  Back then, Gwynn autographs were significantly cheaper (for obvious reasons), and in this case, it was even more so thanks to the unlicensed nature.  People have sort of caught on and realized that logos or not, basketball photo or not, that these UD Black autos are fantastic and the ones I don’t have are too pricey for me to go after currently.  Not to brag, but this only cost me $20, which is half or less of the current price.

If you didn’t know his name, what would you think this said?  “Jerry 6 — y —–”

Style points:
Tony has one of my favorite signatures.  It’s extremely readable and that looping T and the pronounced sharp lines on the Ys have an elegance to them that really fit his character.

Space Usage:
I’ve seen a lot of examples of his signature and Tony was great about filling in the areas given to him.  It is a vertical and horizontal design and can extend in all directions as needed.

I can’t imagine anyone would claim laziness on this signature, and it’s incredibly consistent. Remarkably so.

Despite the consistency, this autograph’s T is a bit more jagged than what I normally see.  Still, the silver ink against the matte black paper looks great.  I love the young picture of Gwynn honoring his basketball skills.  Even though it’s unlicensed and not even a baseball card, this is currently my favorite autograph in my collection (across all players).

Tony was a very frequent signer, and unfortunately, we still occasionally see some sticker autos in current products today.  My collection is over double-digits and I’m happy to slowly build that up further, but it will be tough to beat this one.

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