Q & A – Why Isn’t My Sid Luckman Card Autographed?

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I get questions all the time from collectors passing by Sports Card Info.  99.9% of them go a little something like this – “I just purchased a card for $20.00, how much is it worth?”  Every now and then I get a really good question that deserves its very own blog post.  Today I received one of those questions.

Last night Sports Card Info was contacted by  a collector who told me they had a Sid Luckman 1997 Leaf Reproductions card that looks as if it should have been autographed, but isn’t.  As you can see in the above picture the collector sent me, in the upper right hand corner it says “[Authentic Signature]” but there is no signature.  There is a perfectly good explanation for this.

Deep within 1997 Leaf Football there is a 24-card set called Leaf Reproductions.  This insert set contains twelve current players (current as of 1997) and twelve former players.  Every card is serial numbered to 1,948 copies ironically due to the fact they are designed after the 1948 Leaf Football set.  The last 500 copies of the twelve former players are autographed.  The current players have no autographs.

All is good until we reach Sid Luckman.  Many believe the cards he did sign were released onto the secondary market by his family after his death in 1998, and not in packs of 1997 Leaf Football.  Luckman didn’t sign all of the final 500 copies of his card.  This results in what we have here.  One of the final 500 cards that should have been autographed.

The first 1,448 cards were released in packs.  None of these were autographed either.  The collector I talked to thinks he pulled this card from a pack.  In my opinion, Donruss either included some of the cards that should have been signed but weren’t into packs, or the Luckman family released the unsigned ones to the public along with the handful he did sign.

If you look this card up, you’ll see three different versions – autographed, non-autographed, and a promo.  But after seeing this card, there is really four.

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After seeing the serial number on this card, I thought I might be able to determine a ballpark figure on the number of cards Luckman actually did sign.  But looking at some of the autographed versions, it looks like he skipped around in the order that he signed them.

Its funny how a simple card serial numbered to 1,948 copies can get so complicated.

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2 Responses

  1. I realize this is a 2+ year-old article, but I’m compelled to write.
    I actually pulled an autographed Sid Luckman card from a Leaf pack, so some of the cards did make it into the packs. If you like, I can send you a scan as I did to the Beckett folks.

    • was checking for 1997 Leaf “Authentic Signature” cards that were unsigned and came across this article. I have a 1997 Leaf Robert Brooks 8 x 10 First Down Marker that says “authentic signature” on the bottom but is unsigned. I understand he signed 1000 8x 10s and another 100 First Down Marker 8 x 10s. Any info would be appreciated.

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