On-card vs. sticker autos: binders will be lighter in 2012.

Why do collectors enjoy Through the Mail (TTM) autographs on baseball cards? Because the result, though not certified, is NOT A STICKER. Why does everyone happily converge on a set that includes on-card autographs, such as 2009 Goodwin Champions, even if most of the autographs in the set are players just slightly more well known than Aunt Tillie? Because the signatures are on-card. Why do eBay auctioneers specify "on-card auto" when they want to seek top dollar? Four syllables: not a sticker. How would a refractor look with a sticker slammed onto it? Not good! Why do collectors love vintage autos, even ones in ballpoint pen? Word! Stickers weren't even invented yet. In fact, we believe the Maya were not referring to all of humanity coming to an end in 2012; they were referring only to STICKER AUTOGRAPHS on baseball cards. Doesn't make sense for civilization to encourage sticker autos to continue existing. There can be no logical argument made for cards that depict players who probably have never even seen the card their sticker is being affixed to.

You'll see: binders will be lighter in 2012.

We're not sure sticker autos can ever have personal stories, either.

Among the most compelling on-card autographs are those presented on Allen & Ginter cards, because they're designed well, they incorporate retro perfectly with modern preferences, and unerringly depict players we kinda like.
Not sure exactly how cut autos fit into all this...except why should cut autos even exist of modern players? They may be better than stickers, but are NOT as good as on-card. Unless we're talking Babe Ruth.
Also, as you may know if you've been reading Dinged Corners for a while, we love the unassuming yet snazzy Nabisco autographs. Maybe even adore. (We're still seeking Catfish Hunter.) Those in fact may be our favorite on-card autographs of all time. And you can still get them--of players such as Ernie Banks or Don Drysdale--on eBay for a relative song. Another favorite are the Topps Heritage on-card autographs by players from the past. These are wonderful looking cards, with perfect autos...the only sticker involved here is a tiny certified auto sticker on the back. These are more expensive to collect, though. We happened to get this one in a repack pack:

Now that we've definitively and for all time cleared up the sticker vs. on-card question, we need to know, What are your three favorite on-card autos? TTM, in person, certified, whatever...as long as they are on-card. In anticipation of your responses, we declare this ACTUAL AUTOGRAPHS WEEK! Or at least Actual Autographs Wednesday.

Leave a link (or send an email photo of your fave and we'll post it). You truly never fail to amaze, so we're anxious to see the results! It takes a village to make a great post. Also, if you must, you may confess one exception to the absolute 'On-Card Autos Rule' Rule. In our case, predictably, it's David: Although if push came to shove, this on-card David may be the one we take to the desert island:

So please tell us your favorite on-card autos--your top three--and remember, although you are allowed ONE sticker exception, that sticker auto better be awesome and, if possible, have a story, to make up for its pathetic, sorry little existence among your favorites.


NicoLax24 said...

I have actually seen some sticker auto cards that specify on the back that the card was sent from the player to the company before being packaged. In these cases it seems safe to assume that the sticker was already on the card when the player signed. I guess this is slightly better than the player signing a page of stickers without even knowing what card they might end up on.

Dinged Corners said...

Hi NicoLax24. Unless there's a clear statement that the card was signed rather a sheet of stickers, which we've yet to see, we probably wouldn't assume that. Production-wise, signing individual cards would be much slower and more unwieldy. Also, the photos we've seen of players signing show them signing sticker sheets rather than cards.

Kevin said...

Favorite on-card autos:

1. Brooks Robinson - Mr. Oriole, and an absolute class act.

2. Mike Boddicker - My first TTM.

3. Nick Markakis - My first on-card pull.

The Gooch said...

Favorite autos: Chuck Knoblauch, Mariano Rivera, and Adrian Gonzalez. Pics are at the link below.


The Mojo Hand said...

#1 2006 David Wright Allen & Ginter ( one of my most treasured cards)

#2 2008 Dick Butkis 08 Masterpiece Stroke of Genius.

#3 2001 Topps Archives Hank Aaron ( this one comes to my grave with me)

mmosley said...

I posted my three:


SpastikMooss said...


paulsrandomstuff said...

I picked out my three favorites and posted them on my blog.

Collective Troll said...

Although I didn't follow the assignment exactly, the instructor posted more than 3, so I followed suit... It can be found here:
thanks for the inspiration!!! I hope this catches on like the 6 in 30 frenzy you inspired a few months back...

Paul P said...

I've never met a cool guy called Vance.

zman40 said...

1. Danny Tartabull

2. Cal Ripken Jr

3. Wally Joyner

I hope that the links all come out OK.

night owl said...


dayf said...

I posted mine, but closed the tab before I copied the link. You know where to find it.... ;)

Joe S. said...

Great idea! I posted my three at:


In short, my favorites are Kei Igawa (signed in Japanese), a Jim McMahon with a special inscription, and a Ruben Sierra ticket stub (close enough...).

gcrl said...

here's mine


Mark's Ephemera said...

Mine can be found here.

This is almost a blog-bat-around. Almost.

Hackenbush said...

My three favorites are of Ron Santo, Jean Beliveau, and Harmon Killebrew.
You can see them here, http://canthavetoomanycards.blogspot.com/2009/11/favorite-on-card-autographs.html

Jim said...

I've already featured my favorite, but I'm posting #2 and #3 tomorrow. Thanks!


Bo said...

Here's my link (I only have three on-card autos!)

mikepelfreyshouse said...

Heres my top 3! Hope you like it!