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There are plenty of firsts when it comes to presidential autographs …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

First, there were cut autographs of former U.S. Presidents, but now in 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter there’s another first.

Well, sort of. Here’s what Topps had to say Wednesday about its 200 George W. Bush autographs in Ginter:

“Our 2011 Allen & Ginter product will continue Topps’ historic tradition of chronicling heroes both on and off the playing field,” said Topps VP, Mark Sapir.  “We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s set will include limited edition autographs of our country’s 43rd President, George W. Bush – marking the first time ever that a living President has made their autographs available in a trading card product.”

The first time ever that a living president has signed for a card product.

Well, maybe a baseball product, but a few collectors (and others) were quick to point out that two other presidents had signed for card companies in the past — George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

Bush — and his wife, Barbara — both signed for Donruss2008 Americana II (above). Meanwhile, Ford signed for a University of Michigan football set, Michigan TK Legacy, which was released in the 2000s (below).

First card signed for Topps? Yep, and that’s what our story said (but not the quote).

First card signed by a living president for a card company’s product? Nope.

The unfortunate part of the wave of national mainstream media attention that will undoubtedly help sell some cards?

Most outlets took their word for it.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

2 Comments

Amen. And are non-collectors supposed to understand the difference between a sticker, on-card and cut signature? Chances are, as non-collectors, all they’d care about is the autograph. The power of the Bush, and any other card that gets the same sort of attention, is that it might draw in new collectors. And how are they supposed to feel when they feel scammed, hoodwinked and tricked? As soon as I read the one statement I saw there was much more harm than good in it.

Posted July 14, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink
Greg

The way I see it Topps had Bush sign THE CARD. He saw & knew what it was he was signing and what was being distributed. Donruss (not Panini) had Bush sign a sticker sheet. Who knows what it was going to be used for at the time.

In the end it is the VHS or BetaMax debate. For the younger folks, it’s the BluRay vs. HD-DVD battle. One will die out over time, and one will continue to sell cards just like they have for six decades. You figure out which one is which.

Also, in saying that Bush will bring in new collectors is a little far fetched for me. The man was not liked, nor was he well received so I don’t see people running out for him, or is products. It is what it is. Panini should be thrilled that Topps threw them a bone and gave them a press release for them to comment on… More attention then they have had in quite some time unless you count their 694720591 football/ basketball/ hockey products that no one really seems to be buying.

Posted July 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

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