Magazine Tabs Best, Worst Signers

Autograph collector magazine has made it’s list –and hopefully checked it twice. They’re naming the names of players who will and won’t…well…sign their names.

Boxer Oscar de la Hoya and race car driver Jeff Gordon are the best, while basketball player Kevin Garnett and football quarterback Brett Favre are ranked the worst sports celebrity signers, according to Autograph Collector magazine.

Results of the magazine’s first annual listing of athletes who are cool or
cruel to fans and autograph collectors who approach them for autographs are in
the December-January issue of Autograph Collector magazine

The magazine has published 14 annual rankings of the best and worst
Hollywood celebrities, but this is the first time Autograph Collector has produced a
"With the advent of eBay, athletes are well aware that their autographs are
often being sold as quickly as it takes for them to sign them. Simply put,
they know the value of their autographs, and the sports stars of today are
becoming less likely to sign for fans and collectors for free," said Steve
Cyrkin, Editor and Publisher of Autograph Collector.

However, de lay Hoya is praised by the magazine for his generosity toward fans and collectors. He is quoted as saying: "If my signing makes people happy, I’m
happy." Gordon is honored for "signing up a storm every week before a NASCAR race."

On top of the Worst list, Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward Garnett is described as "the most difficult active NBA player to get an autograph from," even turning down the requests of young children. The magazine article notes that Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Brett Farve "hasn’t retired from football, but a few years ago did retire from signing for free."

To be fair, Favre has been one of the more commonly forged signatures and the former three-time MVP has taken matters into his own hands to keep forged autographs out of the marketplace. A ring of fake Favre items was recently broken up and those involved charged with felonies.

Favre also quietly signs numerous autographs for charity, including a recent gift of 75 jerseys to Northeastern Wisconsin servicemen wounded in battle.

Here are Autograph Collector magazine’s 10 best and 10 worst sports signers:

The Best
1. Oscar de la Hoya (boxer)
2. Jeff Gordon (race car driver)
3. Kurt Warner (football player)
4. Phil Mickelson (golfer)
5. Tiki Barber (football player)
6. Torii Hunter (baseball player)
7. Tom Glavine (baseball player)
8. Tony Hawk (skateboarder)
9. David Beckham (soccer player)
10. Shaquille O’Neill (basketball player)

The Worst
1. Kevin Garnett (basketball player)
2. Brett Favre (football player)
3. Barry Bonds (baseball player)
4. Randy Johnson (baseball player)
5. Tony Stewart (race car driver)
6. LeBron James (basketball player)
7. Tom Brady (football player)
8. Emmitt Smith (football player)
9. Maria Sharapova (tennis player)
10. Kobe Bryant (basketball player)

The 15th annual Autograph Collector magazine listing of top 10 best and
worst Hollywood celebrity signers will be released in May.