For those of you who read this site frequently, you know how much I love retro products with on card autographs. If a card company makes a commitment to getting buy back cards with on card autos, I will be there with bells on. I think hobby history and iconic cards are drastically underused in this sense, and that’s why I love a product like Leaf Memories.
Leaf Buyback Autos
Last year’s set was a huge success, at least in my opinion, because of the way the cards were done. Most of the big names from the iconic Leaf product were in the set, signed with on card autos. I loved it, because like the product name suggests, I have fond memories of collecting those cards. I still have my Leaf Frank Thomas RC, as it was my first high end card in my collection. Now that I see they are expanding the product out to other Leaf sets, I couldn’t be happier. If only my favorite player of the time was still alive, Kirby Puckett’s card would be atop my chase list.
Leaf Rookie and Veteran/HOF Autos
This is where I think the set got a bit disappointing, as the use of sticker autos took away from cards that would normally be quite attractive. Although the checklist was quite strong, on card would have made all the difference in the world. To see that for this year’s set Leaf is going to be using on card autos, makes this much more attractive than it ever has been in the past. We know that Leaf has a contract (at least prior to today) with Cuban defector Jose Abreu, but its unclear if he will have a card in this set. I hope he does. These types of cards are as similarly underused as the ones mentioned above, as I wish there were more companies that would use on card autos on throwback designs. We have seen a few sets use this premise in both Baseball and Football, but I wish there were more. I would much rather have a set like this, than another tired edition of Topps Triple Threads.
Leaf Rookie Cards
This is the de facto base card in the set, if you dont count the many unsigned buybacks, but these cards rarely matter in the grand scheme of things. Although we are getting color variations for the first time in the set, instead of just changes in the serial numbers, I think we could have gone with a different design. Because the design is identical to 2012, I don’t really think there will be much to chase here.
Its obvious that Leaf still has a ways to go when it comes to making a splash in baseball, as Topps still has a stranglehold on every last inch of that market. However, sets like this do chip away at the armor, showing what could be possible when there are no licenses to hold you back.