In the Hobby Penny Pincher, I will be displaying a modern “hot autograph” available on the secondary market and then I’ll point you to a usually cheaper but just as beautiful alternative to help make your purchasing decision. I don’t use eBay affiliate links and have no way to make money off my work, it’s just a free service for those deep into collecting. I know at times in my collecting life I have been left disheartened due to price gouging and would hate to see someone walk away because they feel like they aren’t able to keep up with the Joneses.
Well, 2022 is lurking just around the corner but that hasn’t stopped Topps Company from pumping out one final baseball product for the calendar year. Allen & Ginter Chrome is now live, in demand and completely unnecessary. Allen & Ginter, a brand that was once a set collector’s dream that was known for being fun & quirky has descended into just another release dominated by Chrome/Refractor madness and chased by young flippers looking to make some quick money.
One of the bigger hits so far, available on eBay, is a wonderful Reggie Jackson Orange Refractor, on-card autograph numbered to 25 with a $999.99 price tag. Let the record show that not even one week ago, a 2021 Topps Finest Reggie Jackson autograph sold for $30.00 and most of his 2021 Topps autographs regularly sell for well under $100. Seems to me that the Allen & Ginter Chrome is a bit inflated at the moment. Thankfully, I have a much better Jackson autograph and unlike the Ginter Chrome, this one is HISTORIC.
Look, I have absolutely no idea why you’d even want a Reggie Jackson autograph. Perhaps he’s your uncle? Maybe he’s your stuck-up neighbor yelling at kids to stay off his freaking grass? There’s plenty of Reggie Jackson on-card, certified autographs available to choose from and like most of his 2021 checklist, you can find hundreds for under $100 if you are smart and patient. While there are many flashy versions that will include gimmicks, the one you really want comes from way back in 1990.
You see, Upper Deck, in only their second year, inserted Reggie Jackson certified autographs in packs of their flagship. Let that sink in for a moment … their SECOND YEAR. Meanwhile, Topps, as usual, asleep at the wheel, was still learning to use gold foil (read about their test run here). This Reggie Jackson card is not rare by any stretch of the imagination, but it is truly the FIRST pack-inserted, certified autograph to hit the market and truthfully, it is absolutely glorious in every way. Ungraded copies can be had for under $300, again with patience.
You will easily find flashier Reggie Jackson autographs featuring Refractor technology, low numbered serial printing, and even game-used memorabilia but nothing beats 1990’s Upper Deck REGGIE card. This was a time when Upper Deck was years ahead of its time and truly innovative in an industry full of lame ducks like Donruss, Fleer, Score, and Topps Company. Upper Deck’s reign wouldn’t last long, as Topps Refractors were just three years away but in 1990, there was no greater baseball card manufacturer.