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  • How do you care for an autograph

    How do you store or display an autographed ball or other memorabilia so that the sig does not fade or deteriorate from light, humidity, etc?

    My son got three balls autographed at ST this year...all with a sharpie. One started blurring within a few days and now looks like it has been stored under water. It is worthless. The one that remains very nice is the $16 major league ball, so perhaps ball quality has a lot to do with it??? We are obviously newbies, but hope to get some pointers for next years autographs.

    We'll definitely use the major league balls, but any other advice?

    Thanks! Vdub

  • #2
    I wouldn't use sharpies for balls, I would use a pen, my color of choice is blue. Just a regular BIC pen. For storage, I just use any ball case that I can find. You can buy the OMLB in a case so that makes for easy storage.
    A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

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    • #3
      Originally posted by E.Banks#14
      I wouldn't use sharpies for balls, I would use a pen, my color of choice is blue. Just a regular BIC pen. For storage, I just use any ball case that I can find. You can buy the OMLB in a case so that makes for easy storage.
      yea mine are autographed in blue, and in a case
      Southlake Carroll Dragons Football
      National Champs '04, '05, '06
      State Champs '88, '92, '93, '02, '04, '05, '06

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      • #4
        never ever, ever use sharpies on a ball, they make look good for the first year/2, but will start to fade, use black/blue ballpoint pen on balls, sharpies on cards, if card is glossy, take an eraser, and and lightly rub it on the card, this is done before the autograph, and keep them high up somewhere, or where the light can't get to them
        Last edited by ADunn44; 07-25-2005, 10:56 AM.
        The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America is ruled by it like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. -James Earl Jones as Terence Mann in Field Of Dreams

        Sailors Creed

        11 General Orders of Sentry

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        • #5
          Hello, I'm new here, but I collect signed baseballs and cards all the time. For baseballs, I would put them in a UV-protected ball cube, so the fading won't occur. I have a couple Ryne Sandberg signed balls with the HOF '05 inscription, but I got them signed in Sharpie. I wish I got them signed in pen. :grouchy

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          • #6
            You can probably pick up some good protective ball cubes for around $3 apiece at your local cards store.

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            • #7
              Interesting... Are pretty much all markers bad ideas (I have been using blue sharpies, and experiencing the same problems)...

              Also, for cards, I have been using silver sharpies, but how should I store them, a card sleeve and a toploader/card sheets?
              Me, at a Boston restaurant, to a waiter:
              Are you sure the Manny Ramirez (name of burger) isn't a sloppy joe?

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              • #8
                I really recommend NOT using Sharpies or any other markers on balls. They smudge easily and don't last like pen signatures do. On photos, use a blue Sharpie. Black Sharpies on the photos gain a yellowish border around the 'graph in time. For hats, if the signing surface is dark (e.g. Cubs Royal Blue), I'd use a silver Sharpie. If it's a lighter color (e.g. Cubs Red), I'd use black Sharpie. For cards, the most common that I see being used is a black Sharpie, but if you want to use silver, I see nothing wrong with that. As for storage, there are certain sleeves and toploaders that I use. (There's a term that they use--- non-alcoholic or something like that. Use those because they don't smudge or wear away at the autograph.)
                A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by E.Banks#14
                  I really recommend NOT using Sharpies or any other markers on balls. They smudge easily and don't last like pen signatures do. On photos, use a blue Sharpie. Black Sharpies on the photos gain a yellowish border around the 'graph in time. For hats, if the signing surface is dark (e.g. Cubs Royal Blue), I'd use a silver Sharpie. If it's a lighter color (e.g. Cubs Red), I'd use black Sharpie. For cards, the most common that I see being used is a black Sharpie, but if you want to use silver, I see nothing wrong with that. As for storage, there are certain sleeves and toploaders that I use. (There's a term that they use--- non-alcoholic or something like that. Use those because they don't smudge or wear away at the autograph.)
                  I believe the term you are looking for is non-acidic. Sharpies and markers of all kinds are bad for balls. I prefer black ball point pens to blue, only because I have had blue fade more over the years (I had a Ted Williams ball my father got when he was a kid that was signed in blue and had faded so the signature as very faint). For Jerseys, bats, gloves and cards a sharpie should be the utensil of choice over any other markers. On these surfaces sharpie should not bleed. In college as a freshman we were reguired to wear beanie caps (RAT capsto all of the football games and after each game the scores were written on the cap with a sharpie. After an entire football season and days in the rain the scores were still crisp. ever since I have sworn by sharpies. as for storage ball cubes are great and they make similar displays for bats and gloves. For cards top loaders are fine, but screw down cases may be prefered. How ever you display your memorablia avoid taking it in or out and handeling it. Hope this helps.
                  I signed with the Milwaukee Braves for three-thousand dollars. That bothered my dad at the time because he didn't have that kind of dough. But he eventually scraped it up.~Bob Uecker


                  "While he had a total of forty home runs in his first two big-league seasons, it is unlikely that Aaron will break any records in this department." ~ Furman Bisher, Atlanta Journal and Constitution "journalist"

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                  • #10
                    Okay, thanks for all the advice... I wonder, though, if there would be any way to try to keep the shapie signatures from deteriorating any further?
                    Me, at a Boston restaurant, to a waiter:
                    Are you sure the Manny Ramirez (name of burger) isn't a sloppy joe?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Yankees
                      Okay, thanks for all the advice... I wonder, though, if there would be any way to try to keep the shapie signatures from deteriorating any further?
                      I've heard of quite a few people baking the baseballs in the oven to keep them from fading. I myself, havn't tried it, though.

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                      • #12
                        I've microvaved one once, but for a different reason, and it worked out prefectly.
                        Me, at a Boston restaurant, to a waiter:
                        Are you sure the Manny Ramirez (name of burger) isn't a sloppy joe?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Recovering Signature

                          I was reading this thread and thought one of you specialists could help me. I have a baseball my dad got me in the late 60's. It's signed by Stan Musial. The problem is that the autograph is all but faded. I'm sure Musial probably used a ball point pen or an ink pen, but I was wondering if there are any "tricks" to bring the signature back?

                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            A few points:
                            1. I've been told that silver and gold Sharpies can fade over time and it's best, when in need of a silver or gold signature, to use a silver or gold paint pen, such as those made by Pilot.
                            2. I know of no way to safely resurrect a bady faded autograph. Unless you get expert advice from a paper or autograph conservator, I wouldn't even take a chance with something that could ruin the whole thing.
                            3. Getting and keeping signatures on baseballs creates a predicament: if you want to enjoy the ball by displaying it, you will experience fading over time. It's best to limit the amount of exposure to light, which means keeping it out of view for most of the time. UV holders may help, but they will not prevent some fading in the long run.
                            4. Limit exposure to moisture, both from your hands and from the air. That means basement displays can be a real problem, eventhought that's exactly where many collectors like to display their collections.
                            5. Oils and perspiration from hands leave residue on the baseballs that can yellow over time, sometimes in ugly splotches, and also contributes to the degradation of the signatures. So don't handle the baseballs with your bare hands after they've been autograped. And I guess it would also be wise to not have handled the baseball too much before it gets signed.

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