Right before the New Year’s, Bob Saget’s 2004 Leaf’s Fan of the Game autographs were regularly selling for under $30. It was safe to say that the iconic comedian and actor’s best days were behind him, as far as mainstream success was concerned. Saget, 65, had recently embarked on a stand-up comedy tour and even dealt with a case of Covid-19 but had just performed a great show in Jacksonville when Death came knocking on his door.
For most of us 80s kids, Bob Saget was a fixture in our homes. At one point, you couldn’t escape his goofy smile, especially if you were a fan of America’s Funniest Home Videos (YouTube before the Internet) or Full House … in my case, it was both. I grew up on Bob Saget but admittedly forgot he existed after maybe 2001. I knew he was still around, occasionally showing up on TV shows and podcasts but for the most part, I steered clear.
His untimely death has dealt a blow that I did not expect, kind of like that Uncle you loved as a kid and then forget all about when you became an adult. A week prior to Saget’s death, legendary actress Betty White passed away. The story made national headlines but was forgotten days later. Saget, however, to my surprise, has hit a note with friends, family, and fans. I’ve not seen an outpouring of tributes for a death like this since Robin Williams.
This brings us back to 2004 Leaf’s Fans of the Game. Prior to his death, you couldn’t give these things away. Now, you can’t buy one for less than $200, which is a 600% increase and one hell of an investment if you got in on the ground floor. In all seriousness, Fans of the Game continues to be one of the most important celebrity-themed insert sets of our lifetime. The set already included a James Gandolfini autograph.
For those unfamiliar with 2004’s Fans of the Game, the insert set includes many important signatures from the late, great Stan Lee, Olympic legends, Michael Phelps and Caitlyn Jenner (pre-transition, Bruce), Tony Hawk, Charlie Sheen, and a bevy of other celebrities. These cards were part of a multi-brand promotion and could be found in 2004’s Absolute Memorabilia, Donruss Elite, Leather & Lumber, Throwback Threads, and Studio.