We all know that nowadays you can pull from packs cards that feature pieces of a players jersey and cards that feature a players autograph, but there are some other brands of cards that feature some pretty sought after autographs as well.
Before the ‘hit-market’ boomed- players were signing cards for brands other than Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, Panini, etc., and for some players- these cards represent their only certified autograph cards. For the sets featured, food is the primary source for these sought-after signatures. Cross-promotion with tobacco, soda and cookies has always been a huge part of sports memorabilia history, so it’s not a huge surprise that these cards can be found from large food brands.
Nabisco created its All-Star Autographs in 1993 that featured six players that are now in the Hall of Fame. Brooks Robinson, Phil Neikro, Ernie Banks, Catfish Hunter, Willie Stargell and also features the only certified on-card autograph of the late Don Drysdale. According to Beckett.com, ” Don Drysdale tragically passed away between his signing the cards and the beginning of the promotion. Nabisco honored all requests until they ran out of cards on Drysdale.”
Though unnumbered, these cards did contain a certificate of authenticity from Nabsico. They were available for consumers who purchased specially- marked boxes and sent in two proofs of purchase with a fee for shipping and handling. These cards range from $15.00 dollars to $50 for Drysdale (via Beckett.com).
In 1999 Hillshire Farms released information for its promotion for a line of Home Run Heroes cards. According the the 2010 Standard Catalog of Cards, these cards were available ‘via a special offer from Hillshire Farms Meats.’ Baseball fans could send in a package and $4.00 for shipping/handling to receive stars like Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, and Willie Stargell. All currently Hall of Famers, these cards range in price from $15- $40 (via Beckett.com). These cards don’t feature any logos, but they are framed in a nice black and gold border and contain basic stat info on the reverse. For a player like Killebrew- these represent one of the few on-card autographs he has out on the market. Definitely the player worth picking up from this set.