A few years later, I left the hobby and when I returned in 2008, most of the other card companies had jumped on the "sticker-graph" bandwagon. At the time, they were new to me and I didn't have strong feelings towards or against them.
However over the years, I grew less and less fond of "sticker-graphs" and focused on collecting on-card autographs.
That being said... I held onto most of the "sticker-graphs" I accumulated from the "earlier" years.
Today they'll be the focus of my third All Autograph Team. Like my prior two teams, I've made a few slight modifications to Kenny's original Blog Bat Around All Autograph Team.
I opted to go with the starting nine, a designated hitter, a pinch hitter, a pinch runner, a utility player, four additional starting pitchers, a reliever, and a manager.
Plus I've updated the guidelines for this particular team:
#1: All autographs are "sticker-graphs".
#2: All autographs are pack-pulled and certified from the manufacturer.
Now that we've established the fine details, let's check out my team:
Catcher: Joe Mauer
It's been a few years since Mauer played catcher, but that's the position I'll always associate him with. During his prime, Mauer was one of the best hitters in the game. Today he's still a consistent and productive member of the team that drafted him 17 years ago.
First Baseman: Will Clark
2004 EX Signings of the Times #WC
Being an diehard A's fan, what I'm about to say might be considered sacrilegious. Back in the 80's, I liked Clark more than Mark McGwire. There I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest.
Second Baseman: Joe Morgan
2005 Upper Deck HOF Hall Worth Autographs #MO2
I knew that Morgan was a great 2nd baseman, but I didn't realize that he was one of the greatest of his era. I also had no idea that The Little General won back to back NL MVP Awards in the mid 70's. We learn something new every day.
Shortstop: Ozzie Smith
On the other hand... I grew up admiring The Wizard of Oz. Some of the things he did defensively was simply breathtaking.
Third Baseman: Chipper Jones
2009 Topps Tribute Autographed Relics #TTAR-CJ
Ahh... the iconic silver Topps sticker label. There was a time when I'd tear into packs and hope I'd see the shimmering silver sitting inside a pack.
Left Fielder: Stan Musial
Stan was my starting first baseman on my Greats of the Game All Autograph Team. This time around he's in left. Gotta admire his versatility.
Center Fielder: Duke Snider
2004 Absolute Memorabilia Absolutely Ink #AI-113
It must have been pretty cool living in New York back in the 50's. It's crazy to think that all three of those New York teams future hall of fame center fielders patrolling their outfields.
Right Fielder: Al Kaline
2007 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Signatures #LS-AK1
I didn't know much about Kaline until I read an interesting article in Baseball Digest a few years ago. This "sticker-graph" represents the first Kaline autograph I owned. I have since added fifteen "on-card" autographs of Mr. Tiger.
Designated Hitter: Miguel Cabrera
2007 UD Elements Clear-Cut Elements #CCE-MC
What a difference a decade makes. There was a time when this was one of my favorite cards in the collection. It's still cool... but it would have been cooler hard signed.
Pinch Hitter: Wade Boggs
2004 UD Ultimate Collection Ultimate Signatures #WB
I've always been a big fan of contact hitters. Gwynn, Carew, and Ichiro are all guys I collect. Boggs probably should be on that list, but for some reason I never went out of my way to collect his cards. Hmmm... maybe I will.
Pinch Runner: Lou Brock
Once upon a time, Lou Brock held both the single season and career stolen base records. Then Rickey Henderson came along. Decades later, Lou is still second on both lists... which is why I picked him to represent my pinch runner on this team.
Utility Player: Pete Rose
Pete Rose is best known for either being the All-Time Hit King or the guy who bet on baseball. But did you know that Charlie Hustle played 500+ games at five different positions. He's got the skills to pay the bills.
Starting Pitcher #1: Bob Gibson
Mike Tyson. Ray Lewis. Bob Probert. Michael Jordan. Some athletes are just scarier than others. From what I've read Gibson would fit perfectly in this group.
Starting Pitcher #2: Tom Seaver
There are only ten MLB pitchers who have 3,000 career strikeouts and 300 career wins. Seaver is one of them.
Starting Pitcher #3: Jim Palmer
2002 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Absolutely Ink #AI27
There's more to Palmer than underwear ads. He's the proud owner of three Cy Young Awards and the only guy in MLB history to win a World Series game in three different decades.
Starting Pitcher #4: Ferguson Jenkins
2005 Diamond Kings HOF Heroes Signature #HH49
Gotta admit. Out of all of the guys on this team's roster, Fergie is the one I know the least about. But he's the only Canadian baseball player enshrined at Cooperstown and looking at his statistics, he was only 16 wins short of being a member of the exclusive 300 win/3,000 strikeout club. That's good enough for me.
Starting Pitcher #5: Max Scherzer
Coming off back to back Cy Young Awards, Scherzer is looking to make it three in a row this season. He's definitely one of the best starting pitchers in baseball right now.
Relief Pitcher: Bruce Sutter
When I was a kid, I measured relief pitcher's greatness by the number of Rolaids Relief Man Awards they had. Sutter won four of them. Only two guys won more: Dan Quisenberry and Mariano Rivera.
Manager: Bobby Cox
2010 Topps Tribute Autographed Relics #TAR-BC2
Cox is the 4th winningest manager in MLB history, has the 4th highest winning percentage among MLB managers with 2,000+ wins, and is one of the greatest managers of his era. As soon as I saw this card back in 2010, I knew I wanted to add it to my collection.
Well that wraps up my 3rd Volume of All Autograph Teams. The 4th Volume will focus on the Oakland Athletics in celebration of their 50th Anniversary in the East Bay.
In the meantime, here is today's question of the day/contest question:
In ten words or less, what are your thoughts on "sticker-graphs"?
Contest entries for comments on the first two volumes is officially closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a comment. I'll accept contest entries on this post until Thursday, May 3rd at 3pm.
Until then... happy Tuesday and sayonara!