Finally Getting A Signature Rookie – At A Fraction Of The Price

1994 Signature Rookies Preston Wilson

If Upper Deck gets the credit for introducing the baseball card-collecting world to the autographed insert card, then Signature Rookies sets are the ones that got us to where we are today.

Upper Deck included signed Reggie Jackson cards in 1990 that were so limited that most collectors never got to see one in person. In 1994, Signature Rookies featured an autographed card of a minor league player in every (expensive) pack. Quantity over quality, right?

At the time, I thought it was a great idea. Who wouldn’t want an autographed baseball card of an up-and-coming star? It’s probably a good thing that the cards were out of my budget range as a high school senior.

See, they weren’t all up-and-coming stars. Some of the players never made it to the majors. A lot of the ones who did just had cups of coffee, or maybe they settled into longer careers as middle relievers or bench players.

Some, like Preston Wilson, actually had solid careers as major league regulars. But even that isn’t quite enough to excite card collectors these days. I found my copy of Wilson’s card in the dollar box at my local shop.

I’m happy to have a card that I once wanted and couldn’t afford – and I’m glad I got it for a buck instead of whatever the going price was in 1994.

I’m also glad that I didn’t go prospecting years ago, though it might have been nice to pull the Derek Jeter card that’s in one of the early Signature Rookies sets.

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About Paul

Star Wars fan, NY Mets enthusiast, toy collector & amateur gardener. I like to take pictures & write things.

Posted on June 4, 2010, in Autographs, Baseball Cards and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Signature Rookies were awesome. I never had the money to buy packs but I did cherry-pick some individual “prospect” autographs that I liked.

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  2. Paul –
    I remember these when they came out. The packs were expensive, although intriguing to have a chance to get an auto in each pack. These cards can routinely be found in the common or dollar bin. I think there is a Jeter issue of this card.

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  3. I have picked up a few of these cards for a couple of bucks each over the year.
    Have ROYs Marty Cordova and Tod Hollandsworth. My favorite is Pokey Reese, signed as “Calvin Reese Jr.”.

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    • I love it – I bet there aren’t many other “Calvin Reese Jr” autographs out there outside the Signature Rookies set.

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