I used to love Star Pics autographs. They were my thing. . . they are tough to find so I enjoyed the hunt, and there are some spectacular signatures in the SNL set — among the best is Chris Farley.
I got lucky when I bought my Chris Farley. Mark Macaluso had one I had been eyeballing for several months back in 1997 — the year Farley passed. When I heard the news that one of my favorite comedians was no longer with us one of the first things I did was call Mark and buy that card. I haven’t seen another legitimate one since.
Times were different in 1997, of course. Counterfeits were barely ever spoken of — if anything there were reprint sets of classic cards, but if there were counterfeit autographs I never heard it. Anytime I see a Farley I compare with mine. . . of course it’s possible that my card is questionable, but given that it came from Mark Macaluso in 1997 I’m confident it’s the real deal.
That brings us to the card pictured here — eBay item 260724097721. This card popped up on my radar after two Webjon readers inquired about my opinion of its authenticity.
Unfortunately today isn’t 1997, and while I still love Star Pics autographs my days of hunting ‘em have passed because they are among the easiest and cheapest cards to fake. The autograph cards are on commons, which are readily available and are authenticated with stickers which are also readily available and inexpensive on sports cards.
If you are going to buy a Star Pics autograph you probably should become an expert in Star Pics autographs, and you should probably ask a lot of questions before buying ‘em. Provenance is important with these cards.
I have no idea what the provenance of this card is, so I can only go on what I see. . . I’ve been reluctant to post about this card in many ways because it’s not obviously real or fake, but people have been asking my opinion — and if two people are asking several others are likely wondering.
The first thing that I don’t like about the Farley is there is wear on the edge of the sticker at about 10:00. That wear could be from where someone peeled this sticker from another card. I wouldn’t buy a Star Pics autograph unless the sticker on it is perfect. Additionally the sticker is upside down. When looking at the signature this one doesn’t look very similar to the Farley autograph on my card, but even more than that the loop in the ‘h’ in Chris is shaky, and “Chris” seems thicker than “Farley,” which could be an illusion due to the way the photo was taken, but I don’t think so. I personally wouldn’t buy this card.
BTW — I hope you all know who Mark Macaluso was — at one point he was probably the biggest non-sport card dealer in the world, he also started the Fantasy Trading Card Company and manufactured several sets. Mark’s untimely death came many years ago leaving a void in the hobby that has yet to be filled.