Signing a lot of autographs could cause carpal tunnel for athletes, but Dak Prescott may have found way around it.
The days of card collecting merely for the fun of it are probably gone, as kids today have other, more modern, distractions to occupy their time. But cards with the subject’s autograph on them hold value, and many incoming rookies in the major sports sign endorsement deals with one of the notable card companies.
Dak Prescott emerged on the scene last year as a rookie, starting every game and establishing himself as the quarterback of the present and future for the Dallas Cowboys. That position on “America’s Team” makes him a pseudo celebrity, and a lighting rod for criticism if he ever fails on the field..
But it’s off the field where Prescott may find himself in some hot water right now. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Prescott is being accused of using a machine to sign his autograph. Specifically, five autographed cards from an autograph redemption in Panini’s 2016 Prizm set have been placed under scrutiny.
No less an authority than Steve Grad of Beckett Grading Services has offered his thoughts.
“They had a very machine-like feel,” Grad said. “You could see the starts and stops.”
“I immediately knew they were autopen,” Grad said. “I’ve never heard of a modern athlete doing this.”
Grad is the principle authenticator for Beckett, so his opinion carries a lot of weight here. An autopen, per Revell, has been around in politics since the late 50s. But Grad’s assertion about a modern athlete using the device rings true, since authenticity is the name of the game in sports autographs.
It’s possible Prescott never saw the cards in question, and it seems like a small sample compared the volume of cards and memorabilia he has surely had to sign more recently. Memorabilia scandals are an offseason story, and this one relates to another big name quarterback in the NFC East.