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The Autographed
Ball Company
The Autographed Baseball Co.

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Baseball Memorabilia
& Collectibles

1960s Hall Of Fame
Souvenir Baseball
1960s Hall Of Fame Souvenir Baseball
with Stamped Signatures

Autographed Ball Co, Ad 1949 The Sporting News
Autographed Ball Co, Ad 1949 The Sporting News

 KeyMan Collectibles  NEWSLETTER November 2010  
FAKE SIMILAR AUTOGRAPHS - FACSIMILE
 Steven KeyMan
Steven KeyMan
- By Steven KeyMan
Founder of Keymancollectibles.com, and a long time collector, Steven KeyMan has more than 30 years of experience in researching, and cataloging information on Baseball Memorabilia. First used for his own personal collection, and then by helping others find information on their collectibles, the website grew into the largest online resource for baseball memorabilia
 

   Ask Steven: Direct your questions or feedback, about Baseball Memorabilia to Steven KeyMan Steve@keymancollectibles.com You can also Send KeyMan pictures of your personal Memorabilia Display, and get your own Free  Collectors Showcase Room featured on the website..   
-Revised on 3/11/16
    "Ideal gifts for baseball minded youngsters or treasures for club rooms and dens" Autographed Baseballs have been sold at ballpark souvenir stands since 1948. These stamped autograph baseballs were one of the first souvenirs kids got when they went to the ballpark with dad, and for decadesAutographed Souvenir Baseballs they were also beaten into submission at the playground.

 Today many of these baseballs turn up in estate sales, a box in the garage, the closet, or found in the attic. They are often mistaken for the real deal, and land up on ebay. The item description typically starts off with something like "My Uncle recently passed away, and was a big collector of memorabilia....WOW! Look what I found stashed in a box, I'm not an expert and don't know for sure but it looks real...." 

 These signatures are not fake, in the sense of being a forgery. They were not made to fool anyone into thinking they were real but they were advertised as "autographs of your favorite players" It was never mentioned that the signature was preprinted on the photo or stamped on the baseball. Back in the day many people did buy them thinking they were real and passed them on to their kids as such. Thirty years or so later the kids are heart broken, only to find that the authentic hand signed ball that was given to them by dad, is a stamped autograph souvenir baseball.

  So, how can we tell the difference? Sometimes it's hard to tell even by a seasoned hobbyist. These autographs are pre-printed or photocopied on photos, or made into dyes from an actual signature of the ballplayer. They are usually used on Souvenir baseballs, promotional photos, Postcards, Signature model Bats, Gloves, advertising, etc.

 A preprint or facsimile signature is simply a photographic copy of an original signed photograph. The signature often appears to be below tFacsimile Autographed Photohe surface gloss of the photo, and the signature is often very "flat." Hold the photo up at an angle to a light source. A real signature is written on the surface of the photo, and should have a different level of reflectivity than the rest of the surface. A preprint will blend right in because it's underneath the surface gloss. Obviously, preprint signatures will match exactly, and the signature will be in the same exact place on each photo. With Balls, gloves or Bats, dyes are created and stamped onto the object.

 With stamped autograph baseballs the ink is usually too consistent. When you sign your name, you use different angles, and pressure as you sign. This is more evident when signing with a sharpie. Some parts of the signature will be darker, or lighter depending on the pressure you put on the pen. A signature created with a stamp or dye, is usually all the same density, and thickness. The ink pressure is consent throughout the stamping of the signature. When you cross a "T", or at the end of your signature you might tail off as you come off the page. A stamped signature might start, and end with no variation at all. Stamped autographed BaseballThe ink will trend to be more uniform, or the same density throughout.

 Other telltale signs that you might have a souvenir stamped autograph baseball could be an interruption with the flow of the signature caused by the curvature of the ball. A part of the signature might disappear, and reappear, or skip. No disturbance with the flow of the signature over the seams. In some instances signatures will have the given name of a noted ballplayer, and not the name they are known by or typically use when they sign autographs. For example Henry Aaron is used instead of Hank Aaron, Larry Berra, instead of Yogi Berra, or Ed Ford instead of Whitey Ford.

 Dick Culler The Autographed Ball CompanyA brief history on the origins of these souvenir baseballs. The Autographed Ball Company was founded in 1947 by Richard B. (Dick) Culler in High Point, North Carolina. Culler played baseball in the major leagues from 1945 to 1950, for the Philadelphia A's, Chicago White Sox, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, and New York Giants.

 Dick Culler had invented a technique to stamp facsimiles of players' signatures on baseballs, so team-autographed balls could be mass-produced. A joint venture with ex teammate Billy Jurges, the company licensed the use of players' signatures on the basis of one cent apiece for each ball sold. The company sold balls through concession stands in big-league parks and also sold them through the mail, as was the 1950 Dodgers teamThe Autographed Ball Co. Mail Order Box souviner stamped autograph baseball pictured.

 Producing replica team autographed baseballs for almost 70 years, the Autographed Ball Company went out of business in 2014. These baseballs provided a history of the game unequaled by any other product. The balls were produced with current team rosters and reflected midseason call ups and trades. Team Balls made in April, can be completely different by October. The autograph dyes used for the baseballs were created at the time the order was placed. They did not keep printed balls in stock from a previous order.

 A Note on the title of this newsletter: This article "Fake Similar autographs - Facsimile" has been revised and I removed a paragraph about fake signatures. I decided it was irrelevant. The "Fake Similar" was a play on words and now Fake is relevant to Make. So I left the title alone.

The origins of the word facsimile: late 16th century (originally as fac simile, denoting the making of an exact copy, especially of writing): modern Latin, from Latin fac! (imperative of facere ‘make’) and simile (neuter of similis ‘like’ -'similar')

 
 
 
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