Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Mount Rushmore Of Cuts

Just when I thought I had seen just about everything that can be done with a card, there appears to be a new wrinkle. A card featuring the cut autographs of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore.

I saw a post detailing this on Sports Cards Uncensored. The practice of including historical figures cut signatures is getting a bit out of hand. What exactly would a baseball fan do with this? The only real option would be to sell it on eBay to the highest bidder. What are the chances that this card will come out in a Beckett box break? Better than if I bought a box of 2008 Premier Baseball.

At first glance, this card seems cool. It hits all the right tones with a central theme that's easy to spot. That's all the trappings of a classic card that could skyrocket in value. The fact that this card is a 1/1 is just icing on the cake.

The more I think about this card, the more I feel cheated. For one, I would expect a baseball themed cut signature in a baseball card release. Secondly, where is Upper Deck getting these signatures. A 20th century president is probably more common, but when a card also has 19th and 18th century presidents, I start to wonder where these signatures are coming from.

George Washington died in 1797. How many pieces of paper still exist with his signature on it? I would think that there were very few left. What was left would be on important historical documents. I'm sure there would be a couple of handwritten letters that were saved, but wouldn't those be priceless as well? It's one thing to take a signature from a check. It's quite another to deface something of historical value for a pack thrill.

Thomas Jefferson died in 1809, 12 years to the day after George Washington passed. I would think there would be slightly more signatures available of Jefferson, since he died 12 years later and held several offices during his career, but not that many more.

I have reservations about cutting up signatures like this for cards. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fascinating and cool. I just think a little part of history dies each time a card like this is made.


Gellman said...

See new post - it gets better now.

capewood said...

I have never understood the economics of cards like this, or actually, any relic cards. Upper Deck had to spend real money to acquire those cut signatures. I can't begin to imagine how much. $1,000? $2,000? I understand the concept of a loss leader. Clearly all relic cards are loss leaders.The card companies must make money doing this or they'd stop doing it. I understand that Fleer got in so my financial trouble because they had a lot of money tied up in memorabilia.

Steve Gierman said...

Oh no, glasses? That is insane.