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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My 2011 Summer Movie Summary… So Far

Let’s face it.  This summer has been one of the best for movie goers, especially if you’re into superheroes.  So far this summer I’ve been to the movies five times.  I don’t think I’ve ever been to the movies that many times in one summer before.  Ranking them in order from most favorite to least favorite, I’ve seen:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  2. Thor
  3. X-Men: First Class
  4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  5. Green Lantern

Marvel films are kicking ass when compared to DC Comics.  All these individual films leading their way up to The Avengers is just amazing.  I’m totally excited to see it!!! After seeing the trailer for The Avengers that’s at the end of Captain America, just makes me want to see it even more.  Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and many more all in one movie is just mind blowing.

If I had it my way, I’d have Christopher Nolan direct every DC Comics movie.  He has done a great job with the Batman films, making them feel down right dirty, gritty, and truly lifelike.  I look forward to seeing The Dark Knight Rises next summer.  After his epic Batman conclusion, I’m interested in seeing what he can do with Superman.  I wish he would have taken on Green Lantern.  I’m not saying Green Lantern was bad, it was just choppy.

Cowboys and Aliens and Rise of the Planet of the Apes look like fun, so I might see those.  As far as superhero films go, it looks like their finished for this summer.  Next summer is right around the corner – The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises.

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Minor League Team Sets & Browsed Through My Collection Today

This afternoon I decided to go through one of my football boxes where I store a bunch of chrome rookies and various serial numbered inserts.  I was looking for my Chris Johnson rookie cards I knew I had put away in there.  I consider myself pretty lucky because I never seem to have a problem finding certain cards I’m looking for.  I’m either really organized or perhaps I have a photographic memory.  It didn’t take long for me to rediscover my two Johnson rookies.  They aren’t anything too special.  Just two plain base rookies from ’08 Upper Deck and ’08 Bowman Chrome, but I wanted to find them since he has a good chance at rushing for 2,000 yards this season.

After putting the box back, I saw two red albums on my shelf and remembered inside were some of the first minor league team sets I ever purchased.  Inside the front cover of the first album was the beginning of the 1996 Harrisburg Senators Team Set I bought while attending my first baseball game back in 1997.  Whats special about that set is that it includes Vladimir Guerrero.  At the time I had no idea who Guerrero was just like a lot of people, but over time he became a pretty popular player to collect as his career grew.  From that day on, I’ve always picked up a team set whenever I attend a minor league game.

What surprises me the most is how well the value of the Guerrero card has held steady over time.  Guerrero’s most popular rookie is from 1995 Bowman’s Best, and can easily be found for $10.00 – $20.00.  The Guerrero from the 1996 Harrisburg Senators Team Set sells for about the same amount which to me is mind blowing.  For many years minor league cards issued by teams haven’t been considered that collectible.  I can only think of a few players that have seriously desired minor league cards.   I think its impressive for a minor league card issued in 1996 to be worth about the same as a card issued in 1995 by a major manufacturer.  In one way it makes perfect sense for this to happen.  Yes, team issued cards aren’t made by large manufacturers but they can be harder to obtain because they are issued regionally.  I know Topps now has the exclusive rights to produce MiLB licensed trading cards, which means TRISTAR will have to do something spectacular to keep people buying their MiLB products next year.  I’d like to see Topps produce team sets specifically for each minor league team.  Ones that can only be purchased directly from the team.  Perhaps that would draw more attention to minor league team sets.  How cool would it be to buy a team set at the game, open it while eating a hot dog, and pull an autograph and/or relic made by Topps specifically for that team?

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My Crack At A Custom Card

Love’em or hate’em, custom cards are a big part of The Hobby and there seems to be quite a little market for them.  The other day I came across this seller who seems to be selling a ton of homemade college cards for basketball and football players/coaches.  Custom cards are great as long as the seller informs the potential bidders that the card is homemade.  I don’t like to see when scammers try to pass off a card they made as something made by a major manufacturer.  After see the success that eBay seller has had, I decided to try and make my own custom card.  I browsed through a bunch of photos I had taken and found a picture of the Joe Paterno statue that stands right outside of Beaver Stadium.  Since Paterno has very few cards, I decided to use that image for my own card.  I printed it on thick photo card stock and it would be great to use for an autograph if I ever met Paterno.

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I even put the Sports Card Info blue square up in the corner.

My First Card Show Purchase

For some reason tonight I felt like looking up Willie Stargell stuff on eBay and I found a card that takes me way back to my early days of collecting.  When I attended my first card show back in the mid 90’s, in addition to meeting Scott Rolen while he was working his way through the Phillies organization, I would try to acquire cards of players whose signature I had on baseballs.  The first autographed baseball I ever received was Willie Stargell when I was 3 years old.  That day at the show I was looking for a Stargell card, especially one that wasn’t too expensive.  I remember finding this Willie Stargell 1970 Topps Scratch-Off card sitting in the front part of one of the dealer’s boxes.  This was my first purchase I ever made at a card show.  After awhile I stopped obtaining cards of every athlete I met and a few years ago this card made its way into another collector’s hands.

What was your first purchase at a card show?

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My First Bat

It was the summer of 1996, and I had just really gotten into collecting.  My dad and I decided to go see a Harrisburg Senators baseball game one weekend.  I had never been to a minor league game before so I didn’t know what to expect.  When we got there I saw a lot of people, food stands, and stuff to buy.  We went over to one of the souvenir stands and I picked up a hat, program, and team set.  The team set featured a player named Vladimir Guerrero, which actual became my first small exploration into prospecting.  After we purchased our souvenirs we found our seats and began to explore the program and look at all the advertisments.  That day, the Harrisburg Senators (Montreal Expos) were playing the New Haven Ravens (Colorado Rockies).  Our seats were closer to the Ravens dugout and we could watch them practice swinging their bats.  I remember before the game there was a fan with an album full of minor league team sets that he would take to games to have the players sign.  After awhile we got hungry and ate some hot dogs.  What happened after we were finished eating really surprised me.  One of the Ravens players had broken a bat, and when they picked up the broken bat they brought it over, and swung it around the fence to me.  I couldn’t believe it.  They gave me a full size game used bat.  It wasn’t even that broken, just a small piece of split wood off of the handle.  I never found out who used the bat.  On the bat’s barrel it says, “GENUINE MODEL C243 PRO STOCK”, and on the bottom of the bat knob there is a number 15.  I would say that this was a great way to start my collecting career.  Here are a few photos.  Maybe you can help me find out who used the bat.