Thursday, April 21, 2016

A set just for autos? Yes please.

Yesterday I mentioned the first two TTM successes I had while growing up. They were basketball cards, as I was a very seasonal collector. Basketball in the winter, baseball in the summer.

I did like basketball because it was easier to get a star player. With 12-man rosters, I had better odds of getting a Jordan or Shaq than I did a Griffey or Thomas. Plus, admittedly I didn’t know a lot of relievers or utility guys, which is ironic because those are now the baseball cards I cherish and wish there was more of.

As a youngster, I remember reading an article in Beckett about how Fleer changed to this matte finish on their cards in order to entice kids to get autographs. I totally bought in. For whatever reason, I chose this Matt Wagner card – a guy I had definitely never heard of, and sent him a TTM request. If memories serves, I sent it to the Expos spring training site. 
Luckily, I got the card back. Fleer was right. The cards were perfect for autographs. Since then, I’ve gotten a few more of these signed (by guys I’ve heard of), and each one comes out great.

I also love the idea of creating a set just for autograph collectors. Maybe it’s too niche, but it would be cool. I could see the set being called “Topps TTMs” or “Panini Penned” or “Stadium Club Script” or something. Maybe a card company would give them out to kids at fan fests or spring training with the purpose of having something to get an autograph on other than a baseball or photo.

This will never happen. The cost outweighs the benefit and it’s too small of an idea given the cost. I get it. But just seems like a great way to get baseball cards in kids hands and encourage autograph collecting, a great part of the hobby. It worked for me as a kid when Fleer did this, so perhaps it could work again.


  1. You and defgav (the best custom guy I know) need to patent this idea and make a promo set. Send some out for TTMs and once they come back take them to Topps and sell the concept to them. “Topps TTMs” or “Panini Penned” or “Stadium Club Script” Those are awesome! Once the two of you make your millions don't forget to send me a thank you card for the great idea. (An Ernie Banks rookie would just about do it! LOL)

  2. Excellent point about the Fleer cards. A matte finish does wonders for autographs. That's the primary reason why I bring mostly Ginter/GQ cards with me if I'm going to a game to try and get autos.