Saturday, September 29, 2007

2005 UD Origins Old Judge Signature Al Rosen

My latest acquisition is a 2005 Upper Deck Origins Baseball "Old Judge" Signatures card of Al Rosen. Before I get to the card, can someone please tell the few remaining card companies that we are tired of sets whose names go one for days!? Yeesh...

As a kid, I never got into the whole "autographed card" craze. To me, having and auto on the card took away from the "purity" of what I was trying to collect. I supposed it's kinda cool if you get the actual player to sign his card and all, but I liked the cards the way they came out of the pack - either without a signature or with those goof facsimile sigs we still see today. As I've gotten older, though, I have grown to like getting auto cards that have the place set aside, ready for the sig. In particular, I enjoy collecting signatures from players of days gone by. Well, being a Tribe fan, that's not hard, since most players I get sigs from are no longer Tribers... In any case, I have several auto-cards now, which I will show off later when I do a post on my auto collection.

Rosen has what I think of as the "classic pose of yester-year" - hanging out, looking off into the distance, as if the cameraman caught him thinking about things bigger than baseball. I love the picture chosen. The signature area is located beneath the photo, and I like the large auto area. I think the border is way oversized for the card, so for me, some of the main elements get lost in the green background with little circles... Who's idea was that?

The back of the card has no stats, no bio, just a congratulatory message that basically serves as the card's COA. I think the card (and collector) would have been better served by having a little bio about the player. The COA stuff could have been tiny fine print a la legalese. We're not idiots, Upper Deck. We realize it is a signature card authorized and authenticated (sorta) by Upper Deck. I say sorta, because if you read the text, they have an "out" should the authenticity ever be questioned. Even though it says it is authentic, the 'well, we're very, very sure anyway' phrase on the back is, "This card was sent to Upper Deck directly from Al Rosen." This means that if later in life, the signature is challenged, Upper Deck can say, "So far as we know, Al Rosen sent us the card. He claimed he signed it. If he didn't, then he is the cheat, not us!" I do not believe for a moment that this would ever come to pass, but *IF* it did, UD covered their rears...

Of course, for me, I will always believe the card was signed by the actual player. I don't want or need a COA to tell me otherwise.

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