30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chronicles of Cardfoolery #3: Bowman Originals Buyback Autographs

I recently picked up this 2005 Bowman Sterling "Original Autographs" card of Michael Young, because he's a solid player who hits for average and the price was right ($7 + shipping on COMC).

However, I must have quickly purchased this card without looking at it, because upon further inspection (when I received my package)... I realized I made a regrettable purchase.

Problem #1: Poor Sticker Placement

Topps made several foolish mistakes when they created this card. The first one is deciding to place a sticker on the front of the protective casing that states "certified autograph issue". Seriously? The fact that the card is inserted into your "tamper proof" plastic holder, along with your Topps hologram affixed to the back side of the card gives me enough peace of mind about the authenticity of this autograph. You don't need put a sticker in the middle of the card holder, because it just looks tacky.

Problem #2: Scratches

If you look beyond the sticker, you'll notice a number of scratches on the protective casing. I guess it's not the end of the world, since I was planning to free it anyways.

Problem #3: Damaged Card

If Topps is going to place that "certified autograph issue" sticker on the front, then the card was probably meant to be popped out of its case... right? Well... then my next question is... why would you insert damage cards into your protective holders? The black borders on this card allows the "chipping" to stand out in all of its glory. This card has one major ding on the left edge of the front and two small chips on the side edges of the back. And if that wasn't enough, there was a nice big "finger print smudge" on the front of the card. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in any of the scans.

Problem #4: Two Autographs?

Okay, I take full responsibility for my actions. I could have passed on picking up this card, but I chose to "Buy It Now". But I'm just wondering... why did Topps think this was a good idea? I understand that Bowman base card traditionally have a "facsimile" autograph on the front. Isn't that good enough? Do we really need two autographs? If this isn't a perfect example of "cardfoolery", than I don't know what is.

Which begs the question... Who's the bigger fool? The fool who produces "garbage" like this and insert into their packs or the fool who buys it? Don't answer that question... I already know the answer and don't need to be reminded of my own tomfoolery.

Well... at least it's not a "sticker" autograph on top of a "facsimile" autograph. Which leads me to today's question:

Would you prefer to have an "on card" autograph that already features a "facsimile" autograph or a "sticker" autograph without a "facsimile" autograph?

Before seeing this Bowman Originals autograph, I definitely would have said the "on card" auto with the facsimile. However, although I'm not a fan of most "sticker" autos, the fact is... they look better than "dueling" autographs. But that's just me. I'm looking forward to hearing how other people feel.

Happy Monday everyone! I'm off to watch the second half of the Lions and Bears game. Sayonara!


  1. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Seriously, the whole buyback autograph thing doesn't really interest me enough to care. If I had to make a choice, I'd go for the on card.

  2. Gotta be on card.

    I've got 3 Bowman buyback autos that, like you, I didn't pay much for. I really dig them, but the possibility of fakes scares me off of the lower numbered ones.

  3. I don't really like facsimile autos to begin with. I've gotten many Topps cards signed over the years with the preprinted auto already on it, and it always bugs me a little but seeing two graphs on a card, even if one is real.

  4. On card definitely. I have a Garrett Anderson Buyback that I picked up in a trade with Scott Crawford, and I don't mind the double auto. My eye just goes to the blue ink and kind of ignores the facsimile one.