Topps Printed Autograph COA On ’22 Stadium Club Cards Not Meant To Be Signed

Accidentally printing the autograph COA on cards that were never intended to be signed opens up the possibility for all types of fraud. We’ve seen it happen with products such as 2018 Panini Illusions Football, and 2021 Topps Archives Baseball.

Absolutely nothing stops some deadbeat scammer from forging the player’s signature, and attempting to pass it off as the real thing. A collector who doesn’t know any better could easily see the COA, believe the autograph is authentic, and easily be taken advantage of.

Topps recently made this mistake again in 2022 Stadium Club. I’ve talked about this before, but wanted to bring the subject up again to help clear some things up. Especially now with the release of the standalone 2022 Stadium Club Chrome product.

2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Refractor Non-autograph (front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Refractor Non-autograph (back)

The 2022 Stadium Club set has (300) cards in it. (90) of those cards have Chrome versions with accompanying parallels. The non-autographed Refractor parallel of those cards come with the Topps autograph COA on the back that reads “THE SIGNING OF ALL AUTOGRAPH CARDS IS WITNESSED BY A TOPPS REPRESENTATIVE TO GUARANTEE AUTHENTICITY.” These specific cards were not meant to have this COA printed on them. It looks like this is isolated to just the regular non-autographed Refractor parallel. Non-autographed Orange Refractors #’ed/99, Pearl White Refractors #’ed/30, Gold Minted Refractors, and SuperFractors #’ed 1/1 do not have this COA printed on the back.

2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Autograph (authentic front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Autograph (authentic back)

With all of that being said, there are legitimate pack-inserted Chrome autographs. If you’re looking for an authentic 2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Autograph not only should it have the COA printed on the back, but the front should have the “TOPPS CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH ISSUE” message as well. It should also be serial numbered.

2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome – Refractor Non-autograph (front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome – Refractor Non-autograph (back)
2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Autograph (front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Autograph (back)

In addition to including Chrome cards within the regular 2022 Stadium Club set, Topps issued a standalone 2022 Stadium Club Chrome set. Its a completely separate product. No errors were made to those non-autographed Refractors.

Card manufacturers can sometimes make things so confusing.

Probstein123 Sells Fake Willie Mays eTopps Autograph

Popular eBay seller Probstein123 sold a questionable card recently. The card in question is a Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autograph. Screenshot. Probstein123 is a notable seller that scammers have used multiple times to move their homemade merchandise.

Fake Autograph Front
Fake Autograph Back

Topps sold non-autographed Willie Mays eTopps Classic cards in 2002 with a print run of (4,000) cards. In 2004, Topps had Willie Mays autograph (100) of those cards from 2002.

The card Probstein123 sold is authentic, but the autograph is not.

When issued by Topps, this specific eTopps autographed card (and many others) came with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). The COA has a serial number on it which matches the serial number found on the square hologram sticker on the back of the card.

Probstein123’s card does not come with a COA like it should.

I know what you’re thinking. Maybe the COA got lost. I highly doubt it. I don’t believe it exists.

The serial number on Probstein123’s card looks to be 5320815. When Topps sold these cards the serial numbers for the autographs were issued in a close sequence. A few other authentic Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autographs to surface recently have the serial numbers 1354477 and 1354499. No authentic Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autographs have a serial number anywhere near 5320815 like the one sold by Probstein123.

Here is what an authentic Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autograph should look like. This one has the 1354477 serial number, and the accompanying COA. Comparing it to the card Probstein123 sold, you can clearly see the autographs look nothing alike.

Authentic Autograph Front
Authentic Autograph Back
COA

The non-autographed Willie Mays eTopps Classic cards come with a circular hologram on the back containing a serial number. Somehow a square hologram meant for an autographed card ended up on a non-autographed card such as the one Probstein123 sold. The Willie Mays autograph was then forged.

Authentic Non-autographed Front
Authentic Non-autographed Back

How did this happen? Good question. Scammers are very creative. The only way I would purchase a Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autograph is if it came with the accompanying COA, and had matching serial numbers. The square hologram on the back of the card alone isn’t enough. At least not for me.

I think the evidence is fairly clear that something isn’t right with the card Probstein123 sold. Especially when it comes to the Willie Mays signature which looks way too clean.

Shikellamy Card Show – 1/7/23 – Phillies Prospect Autograph Signing

Needing to pickup some new top loaders is always a good reason to visit your local card shop. That’s exactly what I did this weekend. Sports Zone Toys & Comics located in Sunbury, PA is a great shop.

Right around the corner from my local card shop is the Shikellamy High School. The high school band was holding a card show for a fundraiser. 40+ dealers setup at the show. Admission was $1.00. And a Phillies prospect signed autographs for no additional cost. Not a bad deal.

Phillies pitching prospect Braeden Fausnaught signed autographs from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Fausnaught is a local graduate of Danville Area High School. He went on to play at West Chester University. On 8/1/22 the Phillies signed him to a minor league contract. He is currently with the FCL Phillies.

In 2022 he pitched in (2) games with a total of (2) IP, and had (3) SO. As of right now his ERA is 0.00. Not even Nolan Ryan can say that. Fausnaught currently doesn’t have any cards to collect. I thought he did have some cards, but got him confused with Nate Fassnacht who also is in the minor leagues for the Phillies. Two completely different people with a last name that is pronounced the same, but spelled differently.

Originally I had planned just to visit my local card shop. But while eating lunch at Burger King the decision was made to check out the show since it was so close.

Normally I would take one of my baseball bats to get signed. Since this was a last minute decision I didn’t have anything for him to autograph. The show was packed with cards, but I came up empty when looking for a baseball to buy for him to sign.

I wasn’t totally out of luck. A local artist made a drawing of Braeden Fausnaught, and had prints available.

The show looked to be well attended. Fausnaught had a steady group of fans wanting his autograph for the time he was there.

Did Pristine Auction Sell A Fake Willie Mays Autograph?

UPDATE – 12/17/2022

According to Pristine Auction “Looks like that is an auction from 2014. This may have fooled us and others back then but is more known now. We always guarantee authenticity so we would buy it back (if we didn’t already).”

An interesting card sold over at Pristine Auction that I believe is worth talking about.

The card that caught my eye is the Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time Autograph.

Link to the Pristine Auction listing. Screenshot for when their auction listing comes down.

Its a great looking card, unfortunately Willie Mays never signed them for Fleer.

Fleer inserted redemption cards for these Willie Mays autographs inside packs of 2001 Fleer Tradition Baseball. For some reason Willie Mays chose not to sign them. Possibly due to him not wanting to sign Negro League items.

After Fleer’s bankruptcy the non-autographed cards they had intended Willie Mays to sign surfaced. Because they were originally meant to be signed the cards come with Fleer’s autograph COA on the back.

If you come across a Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time card containing an autograph there are two possible outcomes.

The first outcome is that the autograph is fake. Many scammers have forged Willie Mays’s signature on these aftermarket cards, and passed them off as the real thing. Collectors who don’t know the true history behind this card will see Fleer’s COA and not think twice about it’s authenticity.

Second would be that an individual purchased the non-autographed card on the secondary market and was able to get Willie Mays to sign it in person. Difficult to do, but not completely out of the realm of possibility.

I would stay far away from any autographed versions of this card. Even the examples that come with PSA/DNA and JSA authentication. If you didn’t get Willie Mays to sign the card yourself assume that it is a fake signature.

Judging by that Pristine Auction listing Fleer’s COA is suppose to be good enough. BAD IDEA! Their description mentions nothing about this card’s history. Either they don’t know about it or just don’t care. You be the judge as to whether that autograph is real or not.

Willie Mays does have an insert and relic found in the 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time set. Both of these were pack-inserted by Fleer.

2022 Topps 582 Montgomery Club Set #5 Autograph Arrives

Between 2022 Bowman Sapphire Edition, 2022 Topps Finest Flashbacks, and the missing autograph in Set #5 of the 2022 Topps 582 Montgomery Club membership, Topps has had some mishaps recently. I’m not sure what Fanatics is doing over there, but someone needs to take charge.

Topps had to send out the autographs separately to members of the 582 Montgomery Club. Here’s the autograph I received which was suppose to be included within Set #5 of the 2022 membership. Next up is the 2022 Topps 582 Montgomery Club Factory Set.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a Ke’Bryan Hayes autograph.

Panini’s 2018 Illusions Football Autograph COA Mistake Continues To Screw Unknowing Collectors

In 2018 Sports Card Info helped to shed some light on this issue.  Even though not much has changed since the initial story broke, I believe its important to remind people that this continues to be a MAJOR problem in the hobby.  Especially when a collector was recently screwed out of $400.

On February 28, 2020 a Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends Autograph sold for $393.  Too bad the autograph is a complete fake.  Panini made the huge mistake of printing the message “THE AUTOGRAPH IS GUARANTEED BY PANINI AMERICA, INC.” on the back of a bunch of cards from 2018 Illusions that were never intended to be signed.  But yet these unsigned cards with the autograph COA on the back somehow found their way into the product.  We’ve seen this error popup on the Living LegendsIllusionists, and Mystique inserts.

Panini allowing cards to ship out with their autograph COA yet lacking the actual signature itself opens the door to all types of fraud.  And that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.  Loser scammers will sign the athlete’s signature themselves, and then attempt to pass it off as the real thing.  Because that COA is printed on the back people will believe its authentic.

As you can clearly see the autograph here is on-card.  MAJOR RED FLAG as the authentic cards use stickers.  Another indicator is the absence of a serial number.  It should be #’ed/10 or 1.

Panini simply stamped their autograph COA on too many cards here.  Some were meant for legitimate pack-inserted autographs.  Others received the autograph COA by mistake, and are just basic unsigned inserts.

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (front)

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (back)

This is what an authentic example should look like:

Tombstone Pizza’s 1995 Super-Pro Series Could’ve Landed You An Autograph

Happy National Pizza Day!

Food manufacturers have included sports cards with their products for decades.  It still happens today, but not quite as often.  At one time sports cards were offered with potato chips to dog food.

The folks at Tombstone Pizza created a few different sets throughout the 90s.  In 1995, I remember pulling a Frank Thomas card from one of their specially-marked frozen pizza boxes.  The 1995 Tombstone Super-Pro Series Baseball set consists of (30) cards.  (15) players from the National League, and (15) players from the American League.  Inside each Tombstone Pizza box you would find (1) card.  Randomly inserted autographs could also be pulled.  Some lucky pizza lovers opened their box and found an autograph card of George Brett, Johnny Bench, or Bob Gibson.  Tombstone included 6,000 total autographs.  That’s 2,000 autographs a piece.  In order to get the certificate of authenticity you needed to send away for it.  You could also send away for a complete set with (5) proofs-of-purchase.

Zoet 2018/19 Topps UEFA Champions League Museum Collection Auto/Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Jeroen Zoet 2018/19 Topps UEFA Champions League Museum Collection Museum Autograph/Relic Gold Parallel #’ed/50.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • U.S. residents only.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

PSA “Loses” Customer’s Connor McDavid 2017 Upper Deck Buyback Autograph

The hobby media has been beating up grading companies recently, and for good reasons.  Whether its guaranteed grades based on your volume submission, to looking the other way when it comes to altered cards.  It hasn’t been a good year for graders.  Just check out all the garbage that’s been going on.  And the hole just keeps getting deeper.

I woke up this morning to see a tweet on Twitter from a Dave Guido.  In it, he talks about how a friend of his recently submitted a Connor McDavid 2017 Upper Deck Buyback Autograph to PSA for grading.  On June 19, 2019 this e-mail began to fly around:

That’s correct.  PSA openly admits to losing the card.  They offered a $499 credit on the account or a check for the same amount.  If you’re wondering why the declared value was only $499, its so his friend could take advantage of a specific grading pricing structure.  There is no excuse for losing that card.  Did they even lose it at all?  That card is worth well over $499.  For all we know PSA saw an opening to basically buy a card for $499 while fully aware that they could sell it for a lot more.  I’d like to see this footage they’re talking about.  Unfortunately, that footage will probably never see the light of day.  It’ll get locked up with the Bigfoot, UFO, Elvis, and JFK tapes.

FYI – I wouldn’t deal with any grading companies today.  If you have to, I’d suggest declaring the card’s actual value just in case they decide to pull something like this.

Padres ’04 Upper Deck Etchings Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

2004 Upper Deck Etchings was a fun product that I had a lot of luck with.  I remember opening a few boxes and pulled an Alex Rodriguez/Derek Jeter Bat Relic, and Mark Prior autograph.  That’s when a Mark Prior signature actually meant something.

Anyone remember Rusty Tucker?  That’s ok.  Me neither.  He was drafted by the Padres in the 21st round of the 2001 draft.  Not much has been heard of him since 2008.

This contest is for a Rusty Tucker 2004 Upper Deck Etchings – Future Etchings Rookie Autograph #’ed/700.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!