I primarily stick to autos of lower end players, both for ttm mailings and for certified auto pickups. There's a certain appeal to the unsung hero. And my wallet certainly appreciates it, since it allows me to keep most of my card budget focused on my black and gold additions. But every once in a while, some stars find their way into my collection in the most unexpected of ways.
At card show a few months ago, I came across an dealer with a box of
autos marked $1. I almost didn't look, but I'm glad I did. Apparently
the guy bought up a collection, and was looking to offload the
uncertified autos. Most were good ttm signers who I had little interest
in, but I found a few gems, including half a dozen Steeler autos that
will pop up on Battlin' Bucs.
The Smits auto was undoubtedly the prize of the day. I loved
basketball in the 90's, and the Smits and Reggie Miller led Pacers teams
were among my favorites. I've also always enjoyed the Hoops sets, so
it's a double win in my book.
The Smits may be the
prize, but in pure star-appeal, this Tony LaRussa auto probably takes
the cake of the bunch. It's not perfect - I would have preferred a
Cardinals or A's uni over this early-career Sox card. But after a
number of failed TTM attempts to my most hated division rival, I can't
Jaws pickup was a bit more impulsive. I never saw him as a player, but
have always enjoyed his work as a broadcaster, and he was someone I had
wanted an auto of but missed the boat on his TTM days.
the LaRussa, I'm thrilled this Dye is in a less familiar uniform. Even
though I loathed the 90's Braves teams, I was captivated by Jermaine
Dye's play during the '96 season, his lone season in Atlanta. Imagine
the Braves impressive run had they kept Dye. For $4 total, these are
some great additions.