For a guy who died nearly 70 years ago, Cy Young sure seems to appear often in Topps products. I’ve seen his cut signatures in Triple Threads, Tier One, Five Star, and Dynasty (see below). I’ve even seen his cut signature in products from Leaf and Upper Deck. There’s even more available if you’re searching for a non-card autograph. Still, a Cy Young autograph is 100 times more rare than anything from the modern era, which is why it’s such a big deal when you see them coming from a modern release.
For the most part, most Cy Young cut signatures have been well done and aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes a little piece of the signature is cut off but never anything as bad as the 2020 Topps Dynasty card, which missed two letters from his last name when there is only five total letters to include. It’s great to be able to find a card like this in a modern, albeit way overpriced product like Dynasty but sometimes a better judgement needs to be exercised when deciding what cards get made and what gets cut. Pardon my pun.
At the moment, you can find boxes of 2020 Topps Dynasty anywhere from $700-$800 per box. That box contains just one card. The ‘Cy You’ cut signature is currently sitting on eBay with a $6,000 price tag. While it is extremely unlikely that this card will ever sell for anything close to that asking price, it’s fair to say the collector is almost guaranteed to make back the money he paid for the box with lots of room for profit. With soaring prices on unopened products, this is a card that must be sold at any opportunity.
The problem is that Topps seems to have completely thrown their arms up and given up as a baseball card manufacturer. Take a look at the half a booklet below featuring Home Run King, Henry Aaron. I’ve already documented how Hammerin’ Hank signed stickers and cards way too deep into his life that tarnished his hobby reputation but this here isn’t even completely his fault. First off, Hank signed his name as ‘Hai’ but Topps then cut off the last name. It is mind-boggling that this card made it into production.
I haven’t written a new Hobby Penny Pincher in a couple of weeks but folks, there are plenty of on-card, Hank Aaron autos going back as far as 1991 Upper Deck. I am not a fan of that card due to a hardly visible autograph from the dark background but Aaron also has several more autographs in 1997 and 1998. That doesn’t even count the thousands and thousands of autographs he signed for Topps from 2010 through 2020. There are over 400 of those sloppy autographs alone on eBay right now. We as collectors need to start rejecting these now common, half-assed efforts from Topps Company.
Unfortunately, sticker autographs in modern products is a necessary evil. If a product is considered high-end, there should be more of an effort made to obtain hard-signed cards by the manufacturers. The only way we can combat the spread of these cards is to not spend our money on it. If these cards fail to sell on the secondary market, eventually, more collectors will decide that maybe a $700 box of 4 cards isn’t the best idea if you’re planning to make at least some of your money back.
eBay is littered with players who have signed WAY too much, cards with stickers that have signatures that went outside the alloted area, cut signatures that are either a disgrace or cut-off like the ones I wrote about today, and cards that have forged and/or auto-penned autographs. There’s a lot of garbage to wade through and that can frustrate even the most passionate collector. As always, your best bet is to look to the past and not spend a penny on cards that fail to meet you and almost every other collector’s most basic requirements.