Monday, September 9, 2013

Unsolved Mystery...

Over the past few years, Topps has been inserting Sandy Koufax autographs into some of their products.  And thanks to this new crop of signatures, prices for a Koufax is starting to enter into the realm of affordability for collectors on a budget.


Last month, I won an auction for this 1998 Donruss "Significant Signatures" card of Mr. Koufax for just under $115.

However... it didn't come without concerns.  This particular copy isn't serial numbered like his other Significant Signatures cards.  If there's anyone out there that specializes in this set, I'd be interested in hearing your feedback.

Could these be extras he signed for Donruss to be used as replacements?

Anyways... I know that he put his signature on at least two different versions of this card.  One of them features him in his Brooklyn uniform and has a regular non-refractive look, while the other has him pictured in his Los Angeles uniform and is numbered R3.

As soon as I have the opportunity, I'm going to compare it to my Nolan Ryan and Ozzie Smith "refractor" signatures from the same set.

But it could be awhile before I make it down to my parents house.  Until then I'm hoping a few you guys out there have a little background history on one of my favorite cards in the collection.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

11 comments:

  1. see this auction of a graded LA Dodgers Koufax, it has a serial number:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sandy-Koufax-Autographed-1998-Donruss-Significant-Signatures-Series-R3-/130966299271
    None of the Koufax's were put into packs, instead there was a kind of redemption program for them. So, i don't think it's likely there were extra's for replacements

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    1. Yeah... I know that all of the Koufax's were bonuses for people who pulled the Billy Williams autograph. I was just thinking that they might have been a few set aside just in case they arrived damaged... but you're probably right.

      Another thing I considered was that it was part of extra inventory that was sold off when Pinnacle filed for bankruptcy in 1998. These are just possible theories... but hopefully someone out there has some concrete facts about this particular card.

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  2. The signed Koufax card I bought more than 30 years ago has saved me so much money.

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    1. Yeah... I was a little late and missed that boat a long, long, long time ago.

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  3. The Beckett Price Guide states Sandy Koufax was on the original checklist but his cards were not returned in time for the pack out. Thus, officials at Donruss made the Billy Williams card an exchange card. Each collector that pulled a Williams card could send it in to Donruss for a Koufax card. In addition, the signed Williams card was sent back too. Koufax Not Meant For Public Release. There are two Koufax signed cards: NNO Koufax Brooklyn/2000 and R3 Koufax LA/2000 (refractor). Non refractive version of Koufax/2000 cards made their way into the secondary market. Each card features a different card front image than the Refractor versions (most notably with Koufax wearing a Brooklyn cap).

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    1. Yeah... I had a buddy who sent in the Williams and received both cards back. It was definitely an awesome gesture by Donruss.

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  4. What had happened was...I don't know and I don't care. That's a sweet auto no matter what the story is. Damn verb at the end of a sentence...

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  5. All that matters is that you have a Koufax auto. It's probably my big White Whale.

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  6. 115$ for an auto? I still have lots to learn about this hobby..

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  7. Hey Fuji, been meaning to ask you -- in your sidebar, isn't it Stanford Cardinal (no "s")? They're named after the color, not the bird.

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  8. Wow, an autographed Koufax. It's something I've tried for for years. I never bid high enough. LOL

    Heck of a card, Fuji. Congrats and I'll try to not be very jealous.

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