Yesterday I put together my personal list of the worst type of autograph cards. Cards that literally make me cringe every time I see them. Today, I want to talk about the ones I like the most, and for an autograph collector, this is most of my collection. Im sure everyone has their own opinion, but this is where I stand.
1. Inscription Autographs
Right now, autographs are commonplace. They are stale even. Every product released has some sort of autograph component down to the lowest end products, and it just isnt special to have one in your collection anymore. To me, Inscriptions add a lot of appeal, because it adds a flair that isnt available on a sticker, or isnt available without some sort of personal touch from the player. When 2010 Five Star FB really launched in deep, but Upper Deck had them even before that. Today, an inscription set happens once or twice per year, and they rule the roost for me.
2. Framed Autographs
When Museum Collection released the first batch of framed autographs a few years ago in Baseball, I was pretty floored by how they looked. Now that Topps has updated their usage of the framed autographs to include framed auto patches in Definitive collection, I feel the examples speak for themselves. It adds a gallery style point to the card, and makes it look super premium for display with the rest of your collection.
3. Buyback Autographs
I am a huge fan of buyback autographs, especially when they have on card autographs on them. Most of the time, the companies will choose iconic cards to buy back and have signed, or at the very least, good looking base cards. Some of these buybacks have gone for thousands, but it all depends on the player. Some of my favorite cards in my collection are buyback autos.
4. Shadowbox Autographs
When Upper Deck released the first of this style of autograph in 2008 SPX, I was floored. I was absolutely shocked by how amazing the card looked with a lenticular approach. Since that time, the shadowbox style has morphed into some amazing stuff, including Strata’s shadowbox auto relics. Of course, Panini had to go and bastardize the genre with stickers, but that’s not what I am talking about here. If you get a nice Shadowbox auto, it can be a collection centerpiece.
5. Acetate Autographs
If done right, acetate is a great medium. The issue is that lately, it has been overdone in completely the wrong fashion. Stickers, signed scraps, its really bad. That doesnt change that if a company takes the time to design a great acetate autograph and gets it hard signed, it is up there with the best. The transparent quality of the stock can make autographs pop, and I think that if acetate werent treated like bacon is in cooking, we would see the gem it is.
Again, there are other types of cards that maybe belong on this list, but this is where I stand at the moment. Hopefully we get more of this type of thing as the autograph continues to go through changes in the hobby, but it all depends on companies taking time to do things with quality in mind instead of quantity. Any of these can be abused, I hope that doesnt happen.