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Sam Jones, Sam Jones, or Sam Jones?

frankhardyfrankhardy Posts: 8,029 ✭✭✭✭✭

As most of you know, I am a Cardinals team set collector. I also collect signed Topps Cardinals team sets which I have chronicled in an ongoing thread since 2007. I am approximately 95% complete from 1952 to 2019.

Here lately I have resorted to using cut signatures from index cards and gluing them to Topps cards for players that have long since passed away. So far, I have done 11 of them. There are 4 1952 Topps high numbers that are Cardinals. My Wilmer Mizell is an "on card" signature. The other three, Les Fusselman, Eddie Yuhas, and Hal Rice are all 3 cut signatures. All three of these are virtually impossible since the high numbers are rare enough coupled with the fact that all three died decades ago.

I have since done a few more - 1958 Herm Wehmeier who passed away in 1973, 1953 Topps Hal Rice, 1953 Topps Les Fusselman, 1953 Topps Eddie Yuhas, 1960 Topps Cardinals coaches card with Howie Pollet (already have Keane, Katt, and Walker), 2000, 2001, and 2002 Topps Darryl Kile.

The beginnings of this actually started before my idea with the 1952 Topps. In 2014, Oscar Taveras tragically passed away in a car accident in the Dominican Republic 11 days after his 2014 Topps Update and Update Rookie Debut were released. This means it is unlikely that there is a signed card in existence. I was able to snag 2 authentic (with pictures) clear stickers signed the day before he left for the D.R. immediately after the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs. I got these 2 clear stickers from a member on this board. I think they look fantastic on my two 2014 Topps Update cards (base and rookie debut).

So, now I have a few more cut signatures that I want to pursue. By the way.....any cards that I have used cut signatures for, I will always be looking to replace them because "on card" is what I really want. However, the cut signature method will work until then.

**Now, here is the reason for this post. **It concerns Cardinals pitcher Sam “Toothpick” Jones. He pitched for the Cardinals in 1957 and 1958, and has a Topps card in those years as well as 1959. All three feature him as a Cardinals player. Since he passed away in 1971, any signature of his is a target of mine so I can use the cut on his 1957, 58, and 59 Topps cards.

Here is the problem. There are 2 more athletes named Sam Jones to be concerned with. There is another baseball player that played from 1914 – 1935. His name is “Sad” Sam Jones. There is also a basketball player for the Boston Celtics who played in the 1960’s by the name of Sam Jones.

So, there is Sam “Toothpick” Jones who played for the Cardinals; there is a “Sad” Sam Jones who played baseball earlier, but not for the Cardinals whose career ended in 1935; and there is a the basketball HOF’er Sam Jones.

This is where it gets MORE confusing and this is where I NEED HELP!

As we all know, in some years Topps used facsimile autographs on their cards. If you look at Sam Jones’ 1952 Topps and the back of his 1953 Topps, his signature looks exactly like the pictures I posted below of an “on card” autograph on a 1962 Topps and an “on card” autograph on a 1960 Leaf card.

Please hang with me!





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Now, we go to Sam “Toothpick” Jones 1956 and 1959 Topps cards with facsimile autographs. These autographs are identical to an index card I found on Ebay signed “Sad” Sam Jones. See below and compare. How did Topps get a “Sad” Sam Jones signature on a Sam “Toothpick” Jones card when “Sad” Sam ended his career in 1935 before Topps produced cards? Also if you find the “Sad” Sam Jones signed index card on eBay, you will notice that the title says “Toothpick” Sam Jones (apparently incorrectly).

My brain is going bananas!

Look at the "J" in all of these "Jones' "




Close up


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Also, if you look at the Boston Celtic’s Sam Jones, his signature looks VERY similar to what I believe to be real Sam “Toothpick” Jones (1962 Topps and 1960 Leaf). Even though they look similar, I don’t think there would be any mix ups, would there?....like a Celtics player signs a baseball card?

The Baseball Card Exchange (BBCE) on eBay has a Sam Jones cut signature authenticated by JSA and slabbed by Beckett. I messaged them and asked them which Sam Jones it was and they said it was the Boston Celtics Sam Jones. But if you look at the signature, it looks VERY similar to what I believe is Cardinals player Sam “Toothpick” Jones.




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Also, here is a modern Celtics Sam Jones signature for reference. It is a little more refined, but looks sort of like the JSA / Beckett slabbed one above. But in my opinion, the JSA / Beckett slabbed signature looks more like the Cardinals Sam "Toothpick" Jones than the Celtics Jones, but they are close.


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I just need some guidance, folks. Cardinals pitcher Sam Jones passed away in 1971 and it is going to be very difficult to land these. A cut signature is my best option for now, but I need to know what to look for! As you can see, even the facsimile signatures are not much help because Topps contradicted itself!

Any help or comments would be appreciated.


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