Do these extra embossed seals bother you?

In Oddities on February 20, 2012 at 5:14 am

The two things that were unique about the Pro Line autographs that were inserted into packs were the embossed seal, which certified the signature was authentic, and the lack of a card number on the back.

If you’ve got these two things, it’s a good bet (but not a guarantee) that you have a) a card that was inserted into a pack and b) an authentic signature of the person on that card.

As we’ve seen, some cards were never returned to the company (see Mark Rypien). Some cards were not legitimate autographs of the “person” depicted (see Santa and Mrs. Claus). Some cards were signed by an autopen (see Jim Kelly and others). And I’ve even got a couple of oddball cards with the seal but without a signature. I suppose I could sign those cards and sell them as inserts, but I won’t. That’s how I roll.

And then there are the cards with the embossed seals from the 1991 and 1992 national conventions. I have many of those that are not signed.

But this third-party service — is it SB? — that authenticates autographs actually took a page from the Pro Line book and uses an embossed seal stamped in the corner to guarantee a signature is legit.

Does this bother anybody?

An autograph can raise or lower a card’s value. If I were going to get Wayne Gretzky’s autograph, I wouldn’t take one of his rookie cards. I’d pick a regular card of his that would look good with a black Sharpie scribble on it, and I’d use that. So anybody who believes an autograph lowers the value of a card probably believes this SB company’s embossed seal also lowers the value.

If you’re collecting the autograph for the sake of the autograph, that embossed seal actually might be worth something to you. Theoretically you could trade or sell that card down the line with the expectation that everybody who ever looks at that card will understand that its authenticity has been verified.

Generally speaking, though, the Pro Line cards already have that. I suppose you could send a Pro Line to such a service and verify that I didn’t sign my entire set of 1992 National embossed cards.

I’m not sure everybody needs to do that.

Even so, whenever I see these cards with the extraneous seal embossed on them, I think they’re kind of neat. It doesn’t bother me that this seal is on the card at all. So I never hesitate to bid on such a card. And sometimes I think I may be getting a slight bargain, because I’m pretty sure there are people out there who don’t want to buy a Pro Line with this unnecessary seal.

(The seal I’m talking about is at the lower left of the Warren Moon card at the top of this post.)

  1. The SB embossing is from the company Score Board, who acquired Pro Line in the mid 90’s. With the acquisition, Score Board decided to place the leftover Pro Line autograph inventory into their own sets adding the second embossing in an attempt to make it their own. I could be wrong, but I believe the Pro Line / SB cards were inserted into 97/98 SB products.

    Score Board took the Pro Line 1 autograph per box theme and blew it out of control even to their own demise. They relied heavily on redemption cards. When Score Board went bankrupt there were thousands of collectors who never received the autographs and memorabilia they were promised. I want to say Fleer/Donruss aquired SB after they went bankrupt and honored a small number of these redemptions.

  2. thank you for the information. that explains why so many of these pop up.

  3. Thanks, B Ross. That is a very informative. When I get around to updating my site, I’ll make sure to add that piece of information.

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