Dak Prescott is going to be signing a lot of autographs in the next calendar year. That’s what comes with being named rookie of the year.
But one authentication service this week refused to verify Prescott’s autographed cards from a 2016 set because it believes the signatures on them might be automated.
“They had a very machine-like feel,” Steve Grad of Beckett Grading Services told ESPN. “You could see the starts and stops.”
Grad said he “immediately knew” the signatures were done using an autopen, which is routinely employed in politics to save time signing multiple pieces of paperwork.
The autopen is important because right after the draft it was found that several of Atlanta Falcons first-round pick Takkarist McKinley’s autographs were flagged for being done in autopen.
The company that caught McKinley’s fake signatures was Panini, which also produced the Prescott card set in question.
In Pillar’s case, he attempted an initial statement, in which he said his actions were “immature, stupid and uncalled for,” without even being specific. But there wasn’t a sense that he understood the genuine impact of his words. His later statement, via Twitter, was strong in tone and heavy on personal responsibility.
“I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position,” it read in part.
He could’ve lost the crucial aspect of the letter of regret, but he didn’t, saying later in his remarks, “I also need to apologize … most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night. This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.”