Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dak Prescott Autopen: We don't REALLY care...

In case you've missed it, there is a huge controversy regarding the alleged use of autopens on Panini's Dak Prescott cards. Autopenning is the use of machines to reproduce a signature. Sometimes, the signer holds one pen while a slew of machines hold additional pens, such that the autograph is instantly replicated as the original is being signed. Other times, a pen follows an existing signature while replicating the signature onto a slew of other cards. Either way, the player does not actually "sign" the additional cards. It's a practice seen off and on in the cardboard world over the decades.

Why it won't matter: We, the hobby collective, don't really care. Oh, we care. At first. Right now, it's a hot topic and many folks in the hobby are steaming mad about it. Panini has even issued recalls on the cards so as to try and get the back, presumably to be destroyed. But, really, when all the dust settles, it means those autopenned cards that collectors held on to will be worth even more now. Why? Because there will be fewer available. And, we, the hobby collective, don't really care.

Why it won't matter: We, the hobby collective, want autographs (not me, frankly. I mean, autos are cool, I guess, but I've never been goo-goo gah-gah over them). We want autos and we will continue to collect autos, regardless of how those were produced, obtained, and/or distributed. Ever since the beginning of collecting, autographs of the players and people we cheer have been highly sought. In the old days, it was more difficult to get autos of your favorites because you either had to get to the game itself or know someone that knew someone who knew someone that was going and would not only try to get the auto for you but then actually give it to you once they got it. Or, you had to hope a card show was coming close to your town and that your faves would be there. Autos by mail took off in the 70's and 80's. In the 90's, card companies started having players sign stuff you could actually get in packs. And we, the hobby collective, loved them for it. Allegations of autopens, having others sign the cards (*cough* Shaq *cough*) instead of the actual players, and other controversies flared up. But, in the end, it didn't matter. Why? We, the hobby collective, don't really care.

Point all the fingers you want - at Prescott, at Panini, at MLBPA, at whomever - but, in the end, the real blame lies on us, the hobby collective. We will still seek autos. We will pay premiums for faked autos BECAUSE they are fakes. We will pay premiums because in the end, we don't really care.

Various sources: