I received this autographed card of Ricky Nolasco from Matthew of Bob Walk the Plank. It's a terrifically designed card made all the more powerful by Nolasco's hard-signed signature.
Ricky Nolasco didn't exactly have a long and proud history with the Dodgers, but the card is so nice that I'm very happy to own it.
I was so impressed with it, in fact, that I asked myself this question: "Why do I have sticker autographs in my collection?"
It seemed like a reasonable question. I'm not really an autograph collector. I don't seek out autograph cards. I view them as a perk, but not the basis of a collection. And if I'm treating them as a perk, shouldn't I accumulate only the autographed cards that look the best to me? The on-card, hard-signed cards?
I've also started thinking about possibly selling some of my cards online. Possibly COMC or, shudder the thought, ebay. Sending off some of those sticker autographs would be a sensible first step.
I mean, I don't think I would miss these much:
Who are these guys?
(Then again, who would buy them?)
So I started looking through the collection and pulling out all the stickered autographs. They would be the first to go.
One of the first cards I came to was this one:
Oh, man. Dee Gordon. I don't want to get rid of an autographed card of Dee Gordon. Even if it is a sticker.
So I put that one aside. I won't be trying to sell that.
Then there was this one:
Chris Withrow? Hell, no. I'm not selling my only autographed card of one of the Dodgers' only reliable bullpen members just because it's a sticker.
And then I realized that I was having a difficult time parting with the stickers.
Three of the four autographed cards I have of Johnny Podres are stickers. I don't know how I feel about selling or trading a Podres autograph.
Two of the four autographed cards I have of Duke Snider are stickers. And this one was pulled for me in a group break. Get rid of the Duke and the memories of group break luck all because of a sticker? I don't think I can do it.
Sure, this is the only one of three Burt Hooton autographs that I have that is not on-card. But it's also the only one in which he signed his name "Happy."
Get rid of an autograph card of the best pitcher in baseball because of sticker? I don't think so.
And then there are these over-the-top things. I'd have to be stone-cold to try to sell these.
So that's when I knew that this was yet another area where it is not cut-and-dried. Not all hard-signed cards are fantastic and not all sticker-auto cards are terrible. It's up to your personal preference. And now that I've looked, I definitely enjoy some sticker autograph cards.
That doesn't mean I don't think hard-signed cards shouldn't be the objective of every card company. And it doesn't mean that some day all of the above sticker autographs may end up being sold off anyway.
After all, I'm pretty much a base-card guy.
But there's more to the story than whether your favorite player has touched the card or not. For me, it's all about the card, not the person or even the signature. I guess some collectors said the same thing when I was thinking of ditching most of my relic cards (turns out I've only gotten rid of a few).
If the card looks good (or creates a connection), that's all that matters.