Chris Harris from Stale Gum brought this to collector's attention this week and we railed about it on the show Wednesday but it still irks me and apparently I haven't gotten it out of my system. I said on air that I could have lived with it as a gimmick, complimenting the gimmick of the card itself, had it been notated in small print or something that this wasn't an authentic signature and grading it was just a fun lark.
Autograph authentication and grading has it's detractors and this type of stunt doesn't help matters. Author of Autograph Hell, Charles Irion, has a great saying, "It doesn't have to be real, it just has to be authentic."
That said, how in good conscience could the powers that be at the #1 authority, grade this "autograph" at all, let alone give it a "10". What a joke. It's bad enough that Beckett will grade autographs without having them authenticated first.
Applying a grade to the autograph, in a sense, implies defacto authentication and is a very misleading business practice and less than ethical in my opinion. Why? Because the practice of autograph grading without authentication can create unnecessary confusion and taking money knowing this to be the case is just that, a money grab with no one's best interest in mind but their own.
So, what do YOU think?