Blog: FBI in Chicago, Potty-Mouth Mantle Scoring, Crap-Tastic Autographs

For as much time and effort that is apparently being expended, one would expect that the FBI is pretty serious about its investigation of the sports memorabilia industry.

An agent was in attendance at last weekend’s Chicago Sun-Times show, according to the New York Daily News.  Exactly what the goal was isn’t known, but Bureau reps have been regulars at some of the major shows in recent years.

If you think it’s taking a long time, just remember the FBI is very thorough.   The Barry Bonds investigation isn’t over yet, is it?


He was contrite when he was on his deathbed, but when Mickey Mantle was at his autograph/money machine signing best, there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t put on a baseball.

A few drinks helped.

One of Mantle’s ‘creative’ signatures is up for bid at Grey Flannel Auctions.  The ‘F’d up’ official American League baseball has already been bid way past the point you’d expect to pay for a standard, less R-rated artifact.


A year or two ago, Arnold Palmer lectured PGA Tour players about signing autographs.  Not only reminding them it was a good idea to sign as often as possible (Tiger Woods just got that memo), but to make their signature readable.  It sounds like simple advice, but just take a look at your signed cards from today’s athletes and you’ll see that the quality of the autograph has declined more than just a little.

Some players just want to get it over with.   Journeyman running back Vernand Morency must have buzzed through his stack of cards in record time not long ago.  His “V” signature drew collectors’ ire.

The worst autograph in the NBA might belong to Maurice Ager.  The former Michigan State star contributed this beauty to the pack out three years ago.

Do the card companies really pay for these?

The glut of nasty signatures even spawned one of my favorite blogs. displays the careless penmanship and on card foibles for the world to see.   It’s not updated real often, but if you haven’t seen it, there are plenty of examples in the archives to make you chuckle–or cry.


Is your company having a Black Friday or Thanksgiving weekend special?  Let us know and we’ll post a list in the next blog.