****THIS STORY IS STILL DEVELOPING & WILL BE UPDATED AS MORE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE***
Earlier this week, 2018 Bowman High Tek Baseball was released. The second year product boasts a bevy of parallels and on-card autographs. However, earlier today I was contacted by Dolphin Dan about some autographs in this years product that seemed…off. After researching, examining & discussing with multiple experts, the autographs of Colorado Rockies star prospect Colton Welker are suspect to say the least. Something is off. WAY OFF!
What makes this even stranger is that the autographs in question seem to be limited to the base autographs (which, per a source present at one players signing session, have a print run of 3000) and an incredibly small amount of the #’d parallels (one has surfaced so far). The rest have his normal signature. Take a look at the Base auto (left) next to his #’d parallel.
Beyond the glaring differences above, Welker has NEVER had a variation of his signature that looks remotely similar to these. Multiple authenticaton experts we spoke with also agreed that the signatures are questionable, but couldn’t confirm definitively without seeing them in person.
We have reached out to Welkers representatives, as well as Topps, but requests for comment from both parties have yet to be returned.
There are quite a few differences in these autos than any previous autos, the most obvious being the curl on the “W” as seen below.
Even when he does spell out his entire name, the signatures aren’t remotely close. As you can see below, no matter how many times his signature has changed, the overall stroke has always been the same. Until Now.
Now, it’s quite possible Welker has completely changed his signature, using a handwriting he has never used before. But unfortunately, due diligence must be performed these days, as this sadly isn’t anything new. We all remember the infamous Dak Prescott Auto-Pen scandal from last year, which rocked the NFL hobby world and gave collectors yet another reason to question the authenticity of the autographs we spend so much money on.
***This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available***