Rate Tim Lincecum’s Autograph: A Progressive Analysis – Part II
In Part I of this two part series, I took a look at whether a player’s (in this case, Tim Lincecum’s) signature changes over the course of his career. Even after just two years in Tim’s career, the answer is yes, with the most glaring difference seen between signatures from 2006 and those after 2006. Now I want to ask the question of whether a player’s signature quality decreases over the course of signing hundreds of cards within one set. The most obvious cause for this is tiring of the hand and laziness (desire to finish and get it over with). Do you ever wonder why some people desire low numbered cards in a set with a high serial number? I know I do. Maybe the reason is that the signature in the lower numbers is of higher quality than that of higher numbers.
I assessed this by looking at an autograph set with a high number of signatures, but they also had to be sequentially numbered. The analysis is based on the assumption that he signed the cards in numerical order according to the serial number from lowest to highest (or that he signed a bunch of cards and then the company serially numbered the cards from the first ones to the last ones). I picked 2007 Bowman Chrome as the product and I chose the refractor parallels as the type to analyze. This is the easiest because they are all numbered out of 500, which gives me a big number to work with and plenty of examples to find off eBay. Unlike some cards, these are also serially numbered out of 500 so it is easy to put the cards in numerical order once I’ve found them. Let’s take a look at the exhibit:
As you can tell by just casual observation, the quality definitely goes down. This is seen by comparing cards relatively to one another. You can see at those cards under 250 that there is some semblance of letters other than “T” and “L,” but appear messy. Some look like complete crap such as card 342/500. In fact, none of these signatures look all that great, but you can slightly make the argument that he put a little more effort into the lower numbered ones than the ones that are reaching the 400s. He probably used all his effort and energy to sign those blue, gold, orange, and red cards. I even included my own serial numbered refractor in this set for comparison. See if you can find it. Give up? It’s card 433/500. What the hell happened to the “L” you ask? He probably sneezed, was in the middle of a mini earthquake or was battling some evil Dodgers or something.
So I conclude that a player’s signature quality does decrease over a period of signing hundreds of cards, which would make lower numbered cards more valuable and desired. As for owning a perfect Lincecum autograph, I think I have still yet to find one.