Earlier today, etopps posted the announcement that Ryne Sandberg's autograph will be offered at 8PM EST on Valentine's Day. The autograph will be on his "Cards That Never Were" 1982 Topps card. Only Alex Rodriguez and Don Mattingly have not had their CTNW cards autographed. Between these two, it's more likely A-Rod will be offered since there have been past autograph offerings of his etopps cards in the past.
There will be 100 cards offered for $44.99. This is below market value by about $15 but when factoring the cost of the card whether at IPO or now, it's about even. Nevertheless, there is a good following of Ryne Sandberg collectors on ebay. When this card was originally offered as a promo at last year's National, I was surprised by the bidding action and the speed at which the Buy It Nows occurred. Among all of the promos, this was the best seller. For Ryne Sandberg collectors, this card is a great addition and so will this card autographed.
If you are plan on making it to spring training and like to get autographs, why not have a player sign an etopps card? There are a few things to take into consideration
First, the casing. Inevitably, you're going to have to break the seal on the bottom of the card. There's no way to go around this. Unless you are affiliated with eTopps or Topps, you will have an etopps card with a broken sticker seal but, hopefully, the satisfaction of getting the autograph will make up for this.
Here are tips for opening the casing of the card (and closing it):
- Practice, practice, practice on a few inexpensive (under $1) etopps in-hand cards so you feel more comfortable opening up the one that counts
- There are two ways of opening the seal: cutting through it with a razor or manually pulling the sticker off one side of the card (front or back). I guarantee that when you try to reseal the sticker, it will look like sloppy.
- Now the hard part (and this is where practice may come in handy): in between the two sides of the casing where the card resides, gently place something thin there to give room for a flat, thin screwdriver (not a Phillips!) to be inserted at the bottom of the card near a corner. Once the tip of the flat screwdriver is inserted, twist the screwdriver gently while holding the casing in your other hand without letting the card move. You should hear the acrylic casing slabs pop open.
- Do the same with the screwdriver by the other corner of the bottom of the card until the other side pops open.
- Now you can slip the front casing from the bottom. Watch the tabs at the top of the card while you do this. I did this too fast before getting an etopps card autographed and the top section that snaps together went flying in the air.
- After getting the card autographed, align the top tabs together for the front and back casing sections together and snap back together the two bottom corner sections with your index finger and thumb.
I would recommend either of the following:
- Rub the entire card with your fingers for a few minutes
- Take a piece of shipping or duct tape. Place the tape over the card and remove the tape. Do this several time
Best of luck in getting your etopps card autographed. Remember to bring a digital camera along when getting the card autographed to show proof that it was signed.