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Forgers surface in hot market

Kris Bryant, the heralded Chicago Cubs third baseman, is off to a good start on the field. He’s even a good signer for fans, though his penmanship leaves a lot to be desired. For enterprising autograph hounds, it’s a good time to take a profit. Sellers are making product available, items signed this year, at spring training, in the minors. Buyers want to know if what they’re seeing online is real; or how much. Whoa, Nellie!

Now I’m not saying all of the Bryant autographs online arBRYANTe forgeries. But if you’re really not sure whether a signature of a young or actively signing player is real, and you’re willing to pay secondary market prices for it, then resist the temptation. Don’t buy it.

In fact, if Bryant or any player is such a great signer, just go to a autograph show this off-season — prices for autograph tickets at mega shows may be too inflated — and get your item signed in more of a controlled atmosphere, even if you have to pay a little extra. Enjoy a brief meeting.

It’s one thing if you get the sig yourself. You can enjoy and feel that sense of victory in acquiring a much-in-demand autograph. But this is precisely the most opportune time when forgers flourish — when a player is hot, demand his high and the speculator/forgers can cash in on a player who’s much in demand. So, step away from the computer. Take a deep breath.

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