A Great Collecting Subculture Brings A Unique Twist To Rookie Cards

With the recent boom of autograph cards in the hobby, its rare that a rookie goes without a signature in any sport. Its just one of those things. As I have commented before, the days of rare signatures are over, and unique value will more likely be derived from the prestige of the item the autograph is signed on, or special inscriptions, rather than just the auto itself. Because almost every rookie has an autograph, even Mr. Irrelevant from the 2012 draft, its not as special anymore to have a signed rookie card – but it hasnt always been that way.

I have previously written posts about how much of a subculture has formed around collecting PSA authenticated signed rookie cards of HOF and star players from the previous era of collecting. The older the card and the more awesome the player – the better. This new chase was so prevalent that it literally blindsided me in Chicago during the 2011 National Convention, when table after table was filled with the cards.

Here are my favorites I found while writing this post:

PSA Authenticated Walter Payton RC With Sweetness Inscription

PSA Authenticated Stan Musial Leaf RC with Auto

PSA Authenticated Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer RC with Auto

PSA Authenticated Kareem Abdul Jabbar 1969 Topps RC with Auto

PSA Authenticated Nolan Ryan 1968 Topps RC With Auto

PSA Authenticated Kobe Bryant Topps Finest RC with Auto

As an autograph collector, I continue to be impressed by the way these cards usually look, even more so by people who took the chance to “devalue” their card by adding a signature. I have even started my own crop of said PSA authenticated examples that I trust, and have made it a point to compliment those who have their own collections.

Bottom line, with stickers becoming more and more of a situation that we will never be free from, its cool that there are collectors out there who want to create their own on card rookie autograph card by meeting the player themselves. I think the iconic stature of a Topps RC or even an Upper Deck RC in some cases will always carry water among the people who compose the hobby. With many unsigned cards not being worth the cardboard they are printed on these days, its becoming easier and easier to opt in to this type of project with modern cards too.

As many of the rookie autos that are out there, some players will never arrive to the party because of the era they played, something that can never be fixed by an Archives style reprint auto. Are you one of the autograph collectors out there who want to make your own? This is the way to do it.

2 thoughts on “A Great Collecting Subculture Brings A Unique Twist To Rookie Cards

  1. I think signed cards in general, not just signed rookie cards, is a niche in the hobby that is very strong. It is one area of the hobby that I enjoy a great deal.

  2. Liked this piece about signed (devalued) rookie cards. Nice looking group until the Kobe card! As an autograph collector myself, I have no problem, no hesitation with this. Stickers in a right looking format can be fine, but nothing like the on card method!!! Biggest obstacle to me is the astronomical cost of the meet-and-greet autograph.

    Went to a show once where Mets, Gary Carter, (R.I.P.), and Keith Hernandez appeared. I found it more economical, and still satisfying to acquire these autos from a dealer for a fraction of the price. Don’t call me cheap, Sometimes your wallet calls you to make hard choices.

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