Throughout baseball history confectionery businesses and food chains have used baseball cards to increase sales of their products or visits to their stores. In 1976, the A&P grocery chain used paper-based picture cards of MLB players from the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers to increase the number of sales for certain products they were promoting in those two cities.
The 1976 A&P Royals set consisted of 16 over-sized semi-gloss paper (5 7/8″ X 9″) and as the name indicates was distributed by the A&P grocery chain around the Kansas City region. Customers received a set of four cards with the purchase of certain weekly specials.
The cards show 16 players, of which George Brett (a second year card) is the only Hall of Fame player. The unnumbered cards show a portrait of each player without cap. The fronts have a white border with a black facsimile autograph and the MLPA logo on the top-right. The backs are blank.
1976 A & P Brewers NNO15 – Robin Yount
The 1976 A&P Brewers set had the same number of cards and same design. The player list included two Hall of Fame players, Hank Aaron and a second year Robin Yount. Unlike the Royals set, the Brewers set included a card of County Stadium which reduced the player selection by one (15 players instead of 16).
Both sets have fallen into the background of hobbyists’ minds, of those that even remember these sets at all given their regionalism and 30 year history, and justifiably so. Presently, the Yount, Brett and Aaron cards are the only ones worth any significant amount of money (if you call $20.00 or less significant). The rest are only interesting to individual player, or team collectors.
For a full checklist and image catalog, see below:
The 90’s was the decade that ushered in the Authentic Company Made Autograph. No need go to card shows across the nation to get a famous retired Hall of Famer to sign a card for you. Just buy hundreds of boxes of baseball cards and find a licenced signature card. Upper Deck was the first to impliment this gimmick to convince buyers to purchase just one more box of their product (or 10, or 50). But soon after Fleer and Score joined in. But Since Upper Deck started it, I decided to use their cards as an example of what is so stupid about the pricing on these signature cards. Well, in my opinion, stupid. I’ll Let you decide for yourself.
The first ever signature card came in 1990 Upper Deck High Number boxes and it was the autograph of Reggie Jackson. Below are three cards of the slugging Hall of Famer that are priced approximately the same. Which of the three would you want the most?
Reggie Jackson Cards
The second example I will use is 1991 Upper Deck High Series that had Hank Aaron as its signature card. Which of the three cards would you prefer to have?
Hank Aaron Cards
And the third example is from 1992 Upper Deck Low Series that used Ted Williams as its signature card. Which of the three would you prefer?
Ted Williams Cards
What I’m guessing is that most of you would choose one of the other two cards rather than the signature cards. Myself I would choose the PSA 6 Jackson, The Ungraded Aaron rookie, and the ungraded Williams rookie, which I would then send off to be graded (if it holds at NM it’s a $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 card).
Personally, I’m not a fan of autographs on cards. A signature on a card usually makes it ridiculously expensive. If I would get a player’s signature I much prefer it on a baseball or a photograph.
What do you think. Would you think the people who would choose the signature cards crazy, or no?