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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used > Autograph Forum- Primarily Sports

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2019, 08:13 PM
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canjond canjond is offline
Jon Canfield
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Default Best Pen for a Signature on a Baseball?

I'm reposting this thread - what ballpoint pen do folks use for signatures on a baseball? I have a few official Manfred balls that were signed in the last 18 months (all at various times, and the balls came from various batches - not a single dozen from the same batch) with a BIC blue Round Stick Medium ballpoint, and I've noticed that all are starting to show various parts where the signature is bleeding (some in the middle of the signature, some towards the end, including the final stroke). All of the pens used were prepped first, although I did not erase the balls or otherwise prep them before signing (I've heard some folks do that).
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:18 PM
mr2686 mr2686 is offline
Mike Rich@rds0n
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Blue Bic Medium point is my pen of choice on baseballs. I can't remember any problems I've had with them, and any problems I've had were ball/ball handling or other pen related.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:03 AM
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Scott Garner Scott Garner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr2686 View Post
Blue Bic Medium point is my pen of choice on baseballs. I can't remember any problems I've had with them, and any problems I've had were ball/ball handling or other pen related.
+1 But use blue pen, not black. Black ball point pen fades over time
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:39 PM
biohazard biohazard is offline
d.ean
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I have over 100 plus signed baseballs. Due to fading, bleeding etc. I stopped getting balls signed. People swear by the blue bic pen, but there are other factors as to why signatures deteriorate. The leather. The pressure the player exerts when signing. Gaylord Perry is a big cat, hands like mitts but he has the softest signature (will fade) out there. Hand oils. Reggie Jackson after signing a ball used to palm the ball and set it to his right. Exposure to light.

I tried to find the perfect pen and this is what I found.

pigma-micron pens

I never purchased a pen. I just gave up on getting balls signed.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:17 AM
jimjim jimjim is offline
Matthew
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So this is what I have learned over the past 30 plus years. Pre Selig balls do have toning issues, but overall no major ink issues. There always a few bad apples but I don’t have one AL/NL ball with ink bleeding. A large number of Selig balls from the early 2000s we’re defective and developed oil spots. That has been attributed to the Rawlings manufacturing process. Late Selig era balls and Manfred balls are the major problem in my opinion. They don’t have toning or oil spot issues but I feel these balls have a disproportionate amount of ink bleeding. It has to be the leather as sometimes a small portion of the autograph will bleed and the rest will look fine. Back in the day nobody even thought about pen choices and the balls turned out fine. Now I see discussion after discussion about pens. I used to use bic fine point but they started bleeding on ball after ball. Switched to Pentel and a few of those are now showing minor bleeding. Some people are now using Zebra pens but I feel the jury is still out on those. I wish there was an easy answer but it’s really a crapshoot these days.

Last edited by jimjim; 03-17-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:43 AM
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canjond canjond is offline
Jon Canfield
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Thanks everyone.

Matt - what you describe is exactly what I'm experiencing, too. Many of my old signed balls look perfectly fine. The new Manfred balls are consistently showing bleeding in certain parts of the signature, notwithstanding the fact they are all from different batches of balls, and all stored out of light in the exact same way I store all of my baseballs.

I just purchased a box of Staedtlers so I may try that next.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:18 PM
jimjim jimjim is offline
Matthew
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Does anyone prep baseballs? I remember when people used to use the cheaper official league balls (OLB), and they would stick them in the oven for a few minutes to dry out the leather. I did that on a few of them and those autographs still look great. I only used a few of those cheaper balls many years ago.

Ive exclusively used OMLBs for at least 15 years. Ive never done or heard of anyone prepping OMLBs by placing them in the oven. Thoughts?
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:57 PM
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mcgwirecom mcgwirecom is offline
R@nda!! H@hn
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I know they were making a baseball that looked like an Official ML Manfred ball but was made in China I think and had a synthetic cover. These of course were much cheaper then the real thing, but they LOOK like the real thing. Are you sure you have the one with the leather cover? Just throwing it out there...
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Last edited by mcgwirecom; 03-18-2019 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:58 PM
Mr. Zipper Mr. Zipper is offline
Steve Zarelli
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I was recently looking through my signed baseballs... most obtained in-person in the 1990s and early 2000s. So, they are typically Selig and Budig official baseballs.

They have been stored in cubes in a cool dry closet since they day they were signed. In a shocking number of cases, the balls have dark toning and stains. On some, portions of the ballpoint signature has almost evaporated. Not like UV fading, but portions of the signature are significantly lighter than other parts. Yet, some balls stored in the same closet are still snow white.

I suspect this is the result of chemical reactions of oils and/or the chemicals used to process the leather. It is certainly not environmental or from handling.

In my view, recently signed baseballs are like investing in a ticking time bomb. Even under the best conditions they can fade or stain to the point of undesirability. There isn't a thing you can do to prevent it.

I would not purchase a signed ball unless it was at least 20 years old at this point. I think if you get to a certain age and the ball is still clean looking, it likely stable and will remain free of atypical spots or toning.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:30 AM
saltbox68 saltbox68 is offline
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Two quick opinions:
1. Until 1974 baseballs were covered with horsehide, not the presently used cowhide. The horsehide was more accommodating to signatures. Usually when the ball toned or darkened, it did so evenly.
2. Game used balls that have been rubbed with umpires’s mud are also more likely to age well. This makes the leather less absorbent and so the ink of signatures is less likely to lighten or disappear entirely.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:27 AM
Case12 Case12 is offline
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Of hundreds I have, never had one bleed. All Rawlings OMLB, most signed in 80's or 90's. All blue ballpoint. Some browned slightly. A couple Browned a lot. I am ok with Browning personally. That's how history works sometimes. Only one faded. Ryne Sandberg from early 2000's. I got him at a show. Signature completely gone and inscription gone. That sucks. Had I caught it early enough I would have traced it (it was personalized, so I would rather trace than loose it). All displayed in same place.

Last edited by Case12; 03-19-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:29 PM
biohazard biohazard is offline
d.ean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Case12 View Post
Of hundreds I have, never had one bleed. All Rawlings OMLB, most signed in 80's or 90's. All blue ballpoint. Some browned slightly. A couple Browned a lot. I am ok with Browning personally. That's how history works sometimes. Only one faded. Ryne Sandberg from early 2000's. I got him at a show. Signature completely gone and inscription gone. That sucks. Had I caught it early enough I would have traced it (it was personalized, so I would rather trace than loose it). All displayed in same place.
I feel your pain. I have a Bob Horner, Gaylord Perry and Bud Selig that are all but gone. The Horner being the worst of the bunch. On the bright side the DiMaggio and Mantle look as if the balls were signed yesterday. I have sworn of getting balls signed, which stinks because a ball signed on the sweet spot just displays so well.
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