30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

All Autograph Team: Vol. 3 (The Sticker-Graphs)

I'm not exactly sure which card company started the trend of having athletes sign stickers instead of the cards themselves, but my first exposure to "sticker-graphs" was 1998 Sage Basketball.  I remember owning Paul Pierce, Jason Williams, and Vince Carter autographs from that set and at the time, I could care less that they were signed stickers.  I owned their autographs and that's all that mattered.

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

2004 Upper Deck USA Baseball 25th Anniversary Signatures #MAU

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

2004 EX Signings of the Times #OS

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

2005 UD Hall of Fame Class of Cooperstown Autographs #CC-SM2

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

2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Autograph #GBA-LB

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

2012 Leaf Pete Rose The Living Legend Autograph #AU-19

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

2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Autograph #GBA-BG

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

2009 Topps Tribute Autographed Relics #TAR-TS

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

2015 Topps Museum Collection Dual Relic Autograph #SSD-MSR

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

2013 Leaf Sports Heroes Autographed Printing Plate #NNO

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!


  1. Holy cow, this is your 'C' team?!? I'm in awe. The Cabrera, Morgan, and Brock cards stand out to me, among a very impressive group. I've been trying to get a Gibson auto for a while; haven't found one I like/can afford. Also..you have 16 Kaline autos?!? Wow.

    To answer your question - I do have a preference for hard-signed/on card autos, and I acquire them when I can; cause I dont want to encourage companies to make more sticker-graphs (same goes for photo-shoot relics) But they don't bother me all that much.

    1. Whoops..that was way over ten words! I'll summarize: Sticker graphs are accepted but not preferred. :)

  2. ANother outstanding team stickers or not as an auto collector it doesn't bother me if there signed stickers i'd take them all!

  3. Half of those cards I can barely tell they are sticker autos. That is the sign of a good sticker auto.

  4. Sticker-graphs aren't the problem - modern players' signatures are.

  5. How well has your oldest held up over time? (Seperation...)

  6. I prefer on-card autographs but sticker autos aren't terrible ... as Angus stated, the main problem is the actual signature of the player signing said sticker. Also, that Joe Morgan Giants card is super cool!

  7. If card's pretty, sticker's OK. Many of above are UGLY.

  8. 1. Sticker autographs are fine
    2. Your autograph collection is RIDICULOUS!

  9. This is really an incredible lineup. That Ozzie Smith card exudes everything that is right and fine about that particular player. Even if it's on a sticker, which I am not particularly fond of myself. I think I only have two autos in my entire collection: Dwight Gooden (got in person at a card show in 2016) and Darryl Strawberry. Well, anyway, thanks for showing off these amazing cards.

  10. I’m ok with them. As long as a player signed it, I don’t really care if it is on card or on sticker as long as it doesn’t look tacky.

  11. I like all autograph cards, no matter what.

  12. Some of the stickers hide quite well in your scans.

  13. Boo on stickergraphs. Players didn't even touch the cards.

  14. Stickergraphs only if no on-card ones available.

  15. Never heard of any of these guys.....hehehehehe

  16. Never have sticker autographs looked so good! Impressive lineup Fuji!

  17. On-card is much better, but stickers do in a pinch.

  18. I'm a cheapskate..if a sticker-graph will save me money, I'm in. Wish I had that Seaver!

    Joe Morgan wasn't just one of the best 2Bs of his time...he was clearly the best, and might be the best ever. The odd thing is as an announcer he hates Sabermetrics, but Sabermetrics make him look great.

    Hope somewhere Will Clark is overjoyed to be starting over Miggy and Rose.

  19. Good ol' sticker-graphs. I am not a big fan, mainly because they take away from the personal touch. Yes, the player handled the sheet of stickers, but he never touched the card.

  20. It is crazy to think how long Mauer has been playing.

  21. It's a shame that fleer used stickers on the 04 gotg set.

    I was ok with stickers until I saw Johnny podres signed cards were being manufactured after his death. Now I look for on card if.i am searching for a signed card

  22. Stickers aren’t a big deal except for higher valued cards.

  23. Your Musial autograph looks so much better than my leaf one. This must have been when he signed better

  24. I'll only settle for a sticker if I can't find an on card autograph. Unfortunately, many of Pete Rose's cards are sticker-graphs :(

  25. Love your list. I was always a sucker for those EX autos. I always thought they looked pretty nice. Stickers never really bothered me. On card is always the preference but a lot of the guys I'm chasing autos of have very few on the market.

  26. I don't own many autographs, so I don't mind stickergraphs.

  27. Joe Morgan just doesn't look right in a Giants uniform...

  28. Ohhhhhhhh. Now I need to go find me a Bobby Cox auto. He's got a decent sig.

  29. I can’t recall the first time I pulled/received a sticker graph but Since I’ve been back into the hobby (2011) they haven’t been anything new; but they haven’t lost their shine with me, so when a sticker graph of a player that I like arises - I won’t shy away from picking it up.

  30. How about four words. I don't like them.

  31. Great team BTW especially the outfield. OK it's all great but especially the the outfield and the starting pitching.

  32. will accept. prefer on-card. mostly stopped chasing sticker-graphs. that's ten.

  33. No problem with sticker autographs unless the sticker is crooked.

  34. Stickergraphs work for a product like TTT, otherwise no thanks.

  35. Stickergraphs like the Morgan above don't bother me a ton, as its hard to see. But like many, overall, I'm not a fan. Almost missed this post!

  36. Now that my hockey team is posted... contest entries for this post are closed.

  37. Thank you for the wonderful feedback everyone! Sorry it took so long to respond to comments...

    Chris - Yeah... I went through a phase with Kaline. His autographs are very affordable. Most of them I grabbed in the $12 to $22 range.

    Adam Sanders - Now I just need one from his days with the A's ;)

    Brett Alan - Honestly had no idea Morgan was THAT great until I started doing the research for these team.

    Corky - True. What's crazier is that Ichiro just hung it up and he played all of those years in Japan before. That's assuming he's actually hung it up.

    gcrl - The whole "post death" issue would make a great post. I remember Gary Carter and Tony Gwynn autographed cards being produced after their deaths too.

    reds card collector - i feel ya on the pete rose thing. i've actually been looking for an affordable psa/dna card i like, just so i can own a certified on-card autograph of him

    matt stupienski - he has an affordable signature in one of those ny yankees autograph sets. and it's on-card