Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Adrian Gonzalez and Ps. 27:1
Photo: (AP/Ross D. Franklin) Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox, hitting a homer in the 4th inning of the All-Star Game
Interesting thing I discovered today. I'm looking to buy an Adrian Gonzalez (first baseman, Boston Red Sox) autographed picture and I saw two that I liked on two different sites. (I won't mention their names.) One site has an 8X10 and another a 16X20. I'd prefer the larger one, as 8X10s don't often show up well when framed, etc. But this 8X10 is much more clear than the larger picture, as the larger one shows him swinging, but you can't see the face well--and the computer simulations on the site showed that his face and foot would be covered by the frame and mattes. (A salesperson assured me this wasn't actually going to happen.) The 8X10 was very clear, and the autograph was very striking, and the face was clear. A headshot, really.
But then I noticed the really interesting thing. I've looked at a ton of Adrian Gonzalez autographed items--bases, uniforms, bats, cards, baseballs, photos, lineup cards, everything. Underneath every single autograph on every single item, he writes Ps 27:1, a reference to Psalms 27:1, which reads:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Every single item, under every single autograph, without fail. There are articles about him doing this; he's quite the fanatic about it, and I mean that in a good way. He engraves Ps 27:1 into all of his bats, and I'm not just talking about the ones he autographs; I'm talking about the ones he uses. Ps 27:1, always.
But not on the 16X20 I was looking at, the one I called the salesperson about. This woman told me that athletes change their signatures all the time, which I'm not sure I believe, either. Players I've spoken to are anxious about fans getting their autographs just to sell them online, and they're worried about forged products with their "autographs" on them. Not only do these flood the markets and lower the value of the real thing; they also gyp the player out of his cut, since he never really signed it to begin with. So no Ps 27:1, and I also then noticed that the A and D in his first name--the only legible letters--and the G and L in his last name--also the only legible letters in his last name--look a little bit (but noticeably) different in the 18X20. And the 18X20 is actually priced a bit lower than the 8X10, which I've also never seen before.
Now, I want to make it clear that I'm not accusing anybody of anything. I suppose it's possible that for the first time in his athletic life, Gonzalez forgot to put the Ps 27:1 on this particular item--each time he signed it. But I don't want to take that chance. I'll bet that signing the Ps 27:1 is just as much a part of his signature as is each letter of his name. If he signed all of the photos without it--and this photo was only available to the public a few days ago, on All-Star night (during which he hit the first, but, alas, not the last, homer)--I'll bet it was because someone told him to leave it out. Or they air-brushed it. Would Gonzalez allow that? I don't know. He's a VERY religious guy. VERY. And he's always signed it, millions of times, with the Ps 27:1.
Weird. If anyone has an explanation for this, please pass it along. Thanks. Look 'em up. It won't take long to find the two photos I mean. Put in keywords Adrian Gonzalez/autographed photos and you'll see.