30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, April 11, 2016

Exceptions to Every Rule

For years... I obsessed over memorabilia cards.  The thought of owning a piece of sports history that was embedded into a trading card made me giddy like a schoolgirl.   I still enjoy memorabilia cards... but vague COA's and overuse of event worn materials have sort of lessened their luster.

The exact same thing can be said for certified pack pulled autographs.  Remember when you pulled an autographed card out of a pack and smiled at the thought of the player actually touching the same card you're holding?  It's like you and the player made a personal connection.

These days... more often than not... card manufacturers are using stickers signed by the athlete instead of actually having the players sign the cards.  It's an issue many of us have addressed and although I understand why companies have gone in that direction... it's still not my cup of tea.

But there are exceptions to every rule and today I'm going to give you five scenarios where I'll gladly add a player signed sticker to my collection:

1.  The price is too good to pass up.

2004 Donruss Timelines
Boys of Summer Auto #15

Fred Lynn isn't enshrined in Cooperstown... but he wasn't a nobody either.  He was a 9x AL All-Star, a 4x Gold Glove Award winner, the 1979 AL batting champion, the first guy to win the ROY Award and MVP Award in the same season, and the only MLB player to hit a grand slam in Mid-Summer Classic.

All of these accomplishments took place during my childhood when baseball made its biggest impression on me.  That's why I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to grab this on-sticker autograph when I saw it on sale for $2.50.

2.  The person doesn't have any on-card autographs.

2015 Americana Signatures #41

Kevin Hart is hilarious and one of my favorite comedians.  Plus he's a fellow member of the Short Men of America Club.  Unfortunately... he doesn't have many certified autographed cards and the ones he does have are all on stickers.

3.  The person has on-card autographs, but they're too expensive.

2005 Heritage Real One Auto #ROA-AR

I was out of the hobby from 2001 to 2007, so I totally missed the boat on guys like Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Lebron James, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and Aaron Rodgers.  By the time I reentered, autographs of these guys were way out of my price range.

It would be nice to own a Lebron or Pujols autograph, but they aren't high priorities at the moment.  However... as a diehard Packers fan... I had to own a signature of Mr. Rodgers.  Sadly by 2008 most of his on-card autographs were three figures, which was way too expensive for my budget, so I settled for a pair of his more affordable sticker signatures.

4.  The card company is creative with their stickers.

Meet Joe Pavelski.  He's the current Sharks' captain and the team's leading goal scorer.  Guess what?  He's never held this card.  Instead, Panini handed him a sheet of cool looking stickers for him to sign and at the end of the day... they produced a great looking card.

The sixty-four dollar question is... Why don't card companies do this more often?

5.  The card is a gift.

All three of these cards were given to me by fellow collectors and I'm proud to call them a part of my collection.

So what about you...

Are you a stickler for non-sticker autographs or do you make exceptions too?

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. I'm not too picky, but I would rather have an on card auto then a sticker auto.

  2. I love on card, but I own a ton of sticker autos. I actually don't mind the ones from Sage at all, those weird silver oval ones.

  3. I generally only buy cheap autographs, and more often than not these are stickers, so I guess I'm not picky. I'm honestly not much of an autograph collector, they're just a fun novelty to me.

    I do like that one special sticker; companies should do more things like that, but then I guess they're limited to how the stickers can be used.

  4. An autograph is an autograph to me. I don't mind stickers

  5. On-card autos simply look better in most cases. But there are sticker autos in my collection that I enjoy just as much.

  6. The only time I will actually buy a sticker auto is if it's of someone who has passed away and they never had any on card autos.

    That Joe Pavelski autograph is pretty interesting though. Looking at the picture, you can't even tell it's a sticker.

  7. Am I the only person who thinks Kevin Hart isn't funny? It's ok if I am.

    1. For me he's like a clock that works twice a day. Some jokes work, most of the time it doesn't for me.

  8. I like sticker autographs. I don't like how people can easily wipe off the signature and replace it with a fake signature to later use as some high priced autograph of a superstar though. Though then again on card autographs can be faked too.

    I guess my own personal rule for autographs is to never buy an autograph with a triple-digit price tag. Although I've broken this rule a few times and will probably break it one more time. Note, Luis Torrens autographs are an exception to this rule.

  9. I prefer on-card autographs for the same reason as you, the personality held that exact same card when they signed it, but the hobby has changed and stickers are easier for the companies so really now I go with what I can get on-card or sticker. An autograph is an autograph.

  10. I'm like you, Fuji, in that I vastly prefer on-card, but will make similar exceptions, like when I bought a Mike Trout stickergraph to save money over an on-card auto.

  11. Great buy with the Lynn card. I've never bought a sticker auto. Have received a few in trade. Much prefer older on card autos. Although I'm not a huge auto chaser either

  12. I don't like sticker autos either, but that Hockey card in #4 is a neat idea. I think I wouldn't mind it too much if companies did that more often.

  13. cynnicalbuddha - i think you need to be more cynical towards sticker autos ;)

    spastikmooss - oh man. i can't stand those sage autos for that exact reason. different strokes for different folks, right?

    shlabotnikreport - yeah... it'd take more thought, but i feel the effort would pay off for both the collector and the card companies.

    sport card collector - great positive attitude. i guess the older i get the more finicky i get.

    night owl - agree 100%

    jon - yeah... panini has done this with a few different products. the sticker is embedded and then matted into the card. very clean look.

    the lost collector - zippy nailed it. not all of his jokes work (c'mon... how many comedians are 100% funny?)... but the ones that do make me tear up.

    zippy zappy - wow... people really wipe off the autographs, forge another person's auto, and place it on another card? it seems like that would be really difficult to pull off, b/c taking a normal card and slapping a sticker on it would look weird. it's a shame that there are shady people out there who ruin things for everyone else. gotta wonder how they sleep at night.

    corky - wish i could buy into them... it'd definitely save me some money and give me more options.

    defgav - yeah... sometimes on-card signatures are just too pricey

    mark hoyle - thanks. i was shocked to see it that cheap. i too prefer those older on-card autographs

    joseph - yeah... the card is so smooth that it doesn't even have the sticker auto feel.