Below is a beautiful card pulled from a box of 2015 Historic Autographs. It features an immaculate, on-card autograph of Yankees legend, Mickey Mantle. Wait, didn’t Mickey die in 1995? How could he have signed this brand new, 2015 baseball card? I mean, even the slab says it is from this year. What gives? Did Mantle fake his own death to avoid paying his gambling debts?
Okay, here’s the story. The card is really a 1981 Perez Steele postcard, which was signed at some point. All Historical Autographs has done is pasted their fancy, little borders and taken them in to be encapsulated. For around $100 dollars per box, you’re gambling your money away hoping for a Mantle when you’re more likely to find 87 other guys.
It seems like card companies (the lesser-known ones) are making their money by re-packaging old, forgotten products and selling them back to collectors for a premium. Leaf Trading Cards has basically been buying up all their 90s junk wax cards, adding stamps, serial numbering, and autographs and selling it back to collectors instead of focusing their efforts on new, innovative products.
There are also several companies putting together super high-end products with 7-10 cards per box, along with memorabilia for thousands and thousands of dollars per box and doing quite well, if YouTube box breaks are any indication. It seems no one is willing to take a chance at creating something new, instead, we are getting repackaged products at every turn.
Products like these and others are the reason why I support Topps Company and Panini America so much. Say what you will about both companies but at least they are still creating new products every single year. As much as I love the past and collecting for nostalgic reasons, it’s still good to be blown away by something new from the big two.