Amazing card acquisition – Part 3 (or maybe not so amazing)March 13, 2009 at 12:43 am | Posted in My Cards, Upper Deck | 7 Comments
This post has been in draft mode for a while now. Check out my third amazing acquisition:
Stan Coveleski is a name that is familiar to most baseball fans. He’s a Hall of Famer, but not many people know much about his career – at least I didn’t until recently. A little over a month ago, I had just finished watching the 3rd inning of Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary on MLB Network (covering 1910 – 1919) in which Coveleski was mentioned. I had trouble falling asleep that night, so I walked over to my computer and started looking at eBay auctions that were about to end. This card was one of them. The only cut signature card that I owned was the Enos Slaughter that I pulled from Sweet Spot Classic (see it here) and I thought that it would be cool to add another cut signature of a Hall of Famer to my collection. I had seen many cut signatures sell for well over $100, so I was very pleased to be able to get this one for $43.57.
Coveleski was a Polish kid who grew up in the Pennsylvania coal mines. He made his major league debut for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912, but he had his best years with the Cleveland Indians between 1916 – 1924. The highlight of his career came in the 1920 World Series, in which he had quite possibly the greatest pitching performance in World Series history. He pitched three games, completing all of them, and giving up only two runs in 27 innings. He won all three games and had an ERA of 0.67 for the Series, a record that still stands today. He was a master of the spitball, which was outlawed after 1920, but Coveleski was one of several pitchers who were still allowed to throw it until their retirement. After his tenure in Cleveland ended, he went on to pitch for the Washington Senators and New York Yankees, retiring after the 1928 season.
Coveleski wasn’t one of the elite pitchers of his era – that group includes Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, and Grover Cleveland Alexander – but he was definitely in the second tier of great pitchers. He was finally elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, and he passed away in 1984.
I think that it’s awesome to own a signature of a legendary Hall of Famer who pitched almost 100 years ago, and who passed away 25 years ago. However, in light of the recent allegations about card companies, including Upper Deck, allowing fake cut signatures into some of their products, the card has lost a little bit of its luster for me. The wording on the back of the card that the signature was “independently authenticated by a third party authenticator” doesn’t inspire much confidence. I think that there’s a pretty good chance that the signature is real, if only because counterfeiters would probably be focusing their efforts on bigger names than Stan Coveleski, but it’ll always be a question mark in my mind. I probably won’t buy any more cut signature cards in the future, unless the card companies do something significant to give collectors more confidence that they’re completely authentic.
As you can see, the card pays tribute to 1920, when Coveleski had his amazing World Series performance, but a photo on the front of the card would’ve been nice – especially since many collectors probably have no idea what he looked like. So I present to you a photo of Hall of Famer Stan Coveleski in action:
Watch out for Part 4 of my amazing card acquisitions, featuring a player who played even before Coveleski…