Grand Cards: This Just In: Topps Co-Signers with Curtis and a Yank

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This Just In: Topps Co-Signers with Curtis and a Yank

I've never been a big fan of Topps Co-Signers. In fact, the 2008 iteration drew considerable ire in my Ultimate Checklist review last year. So many parallels! So little difference! Of course, there is one thing about Co-Signers that kind of works and is free from the parallel bug --the whole reason that the set is called Co-Signers in the first place:

2007 Topps Co-Signers #CS-GC Curtis Granderson/Melky Cabrera

First of all, in 2007 this pairing made a lot of sense. Two up-and-coming centerfielders destined for stardom, or at least solid MLB careers. This is Granderson's only pairing with a non-Tiger in this set. His other two cards feature Jeremy Bonderman, who used to be a pitcher, and Craig Monroe, who used to play in the Major Leagues.

Secondly, let me speak for a moment about the use of sticker autographs. Yesterday, Dinged Corners put together a wonderful piece on autograph collecting which included a hierarchy of autograph desirability. Using their list, which I highly recommend become the accepted standard industry-wide:

Best: meet and talk with the player in a pleasant interaction

2nd best: Player signs and says a few words but doesn't make eye contact

3rd best: Player signs but looks like he'd rather be swimming with alligators

4th best: Through the mail with a personal note from player

5th best: Through the mail, autograph only

6th best: "Certified" autograph pulled unexpectedly from a pack

7th and STINKY: Sticker autograph

Boy, those sticker autographs don't come in highly. I understand why--there is no player interaction--the player didn't even touch the card--they are impersonal, they throw off the aesthetic of the card etc. I wholly agree with this from an autograph collecting point of view. From a card collecting point of view, I'm less of a stickler. In this sense, I can get on board with sticker autographs. For one, they allow more cards of my player of choice to be autographed. For two, they can allow for interesting combination autographed cards. Three, the much maligned cold shininess of the Topps sticker can work, especially in a product like Co-Signers, which is already rather cold and much too shiny. This set was discontinued for a reason, people.

In all, the design of the card can accentuate the problems of sticker autographs--far too much attention is given to the sticker and not enough to the players--as is the case with these Co-Signers offerings. Still, all of these flaws make cards like this eminently affordable, and who doesn't like the opportunity to add a signed Curtis Granderson card to their collection for the same amount as a low-numbered hyper-plaid, X-Shininator Co-Xtreme parallel with no signature at all?

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