I have never been someone who likes cut autographs, especially ones that have been created in the last few years. I completely understand the necessity of having cuts in a lot of the cases in which they are used, but it seems like the companies are losing sight of what makes them awesome. It used to be that pulling a cut auto was like hitting a cardboard meal ticket in every way, where now, some cuts are offered at one per case.
As with every innovation in the industry, the manufacturers will exploit it like a child actor. Its gotten to the point now that companies have forgone paying for the licensing fees of including player pictures, only because the cuts need to be made as cheaply as possible. Then, when half the cuts themselves are of people that the casual or even hardcore fan has never heard of, things start to look more and more like the cards are becoming a gimmick rather than a worthwhile addition to the set.
This is one thing that Topps has actually done better than both Upper Deck and Panini put together, mainly because they use cut autos sparingly in most of the products that contain them. Of course, the cuts themselves usually look ridiculously awful, but at least the players are worthy of being included. However, Topps has had problems with including fake cut autographs in high end products, similar to what Upper Deck ran into a few years ago, and that brings them right back down to everyone else’s level.
In all truthfulness, are cut autos even that necessary anymore? Every player that needs a cut auto has one, and its only getting worse when you are pulling a ten dollar cut from a product that costs 200 dollars a box or more. Even in the recent Panini Classics product, almost 90% of the cuts in the product sell for less than half the cost of a box, and at that point, I would much rather have another scrub rookie than a signed piece of paper from some guy I have never heard of.
The worst thing is when companies destroy valuable pieces of American history to create the cards. I mean, there cant be THAT many letters and things signed by George Washington any more, right? Even if there are ten thousand valid sigs out there, its still a part of our country’s history that maybe should remain intact. Thats just me, im sure others love that they have these types of opportunities.
Either way, cuts are still out of control. Look at some of these recent ones I saw on eBay:
Brett Favre Cut Auto – A cut auto of a living player that signs no shortage of items? WTF. Seriously, WTF.
Mantle/Williams Cut Yaz/Robinson Sticker I actually dont even know where to start with this abomination. Triple threads is bad to begin with, but sticker autos on top of cuts? Cmon, I cant understand why this was even conceived.
Mantle Picture Cut – Aside from the fact that Mantle has one of the most forged signatures in history, im not sure why a card like this happens. I would much rather just have a redemption for the whole picture they cut up for this card. Happens all the time, and I just dont see the appeal in half of a signed pic of the Mick’s calves.
Lee Smith Cut Baseball Card – Tristar is almost offensive the way they do cuts, and this is a prime example. I think this franken-cut speaks for itself. Holy shit.
Walter Payton Phone Card Cut Auto – Considering how many autos Payton has out there, its terrible that Donruss has used these phone cards to death. Even worse than the fact that they look terrible, they cost about 90 bucks if you want to buy one uncut. It could be so much better for not much more cost.