Hobby Musings: Historic bringing star power with Half Century – Historic Autographs has created a number of cut autograph products over the years. Many of them have featured signatures from the top names in baseball history like Babe Ruth. While they’ve consistently gone bigger and more ambitious with products, the company is preparing to top everything they’ve done with their upcoming Half Century product.
Combining a vintage card with a cut autograph of the corresponding player, each box offers eight hits, including one guaranteed Hall of Famer. To find out more about what went into this product, I had the chance to catch up with Kevin Heffner via email.
KS: Kevin, your company has built its reputation in large part on its cut autograph products. With Half Century, you’re releasing arguably your most ambitious product yet. What more can you tell me about it?
KH: Historic Autographs has been building this product for over two years, and it has been a true labor of love. Our staff has worked so hard on this product and we hope that all baseball fans love it as much as we do.
KH: With all of our years in business – we are now in our 10th year – autographs have been our focus and I cannot say that the any one player is tougher; it is all about cost. That being said, the prices of most of the vintage Hall of Famers have risen with the tides.
KS: The other part of this is the original card that matches the player. So same deal, what are some of the top cards you included, and which cards were hardest for you to get?
KH: It is easy to say that Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson are all up in value, but all HOF cards have shot up in value over the past few years, especially the 1948 and 1949 Bowman rookie cards.
KS: Kevin, you’ve been doing this with cut autograph products for some time. Cut autographs themselves in products have been a thing for roughly 20 years now. What would you say is the state/demand of the cut autograph market today, especially as it relates to pairing them with trading cards?
KH: I believe that pairing a cut with an original card enhances the interest, and that is something we have learned from our 10 years in business.
KS: What do you think has been the biggest change in doing cut autograph products from when you started to today?
KH: Consistency and quality would have to be the biggest keys. So many companies have tried releasing products of this nature, but HA learns something from every product we put out, and we try to make sure that the overall value is there.
KS: Is there any one player who has stood out to you in becoming exceptionally harder to get autographs for over the years?
KH: Again, prices ebb and flow for all players but there has been a consistent rise in value for players that are highly regarded by the fans.
KS: Not all cut autographs are equal in terms of quality in regards to the autograph itself and the item it’s housed on. How do you make the decision to say yay or nay to an autograph for checklist inclusion based on these factors?
KH: We always try to keep the cuts we use to a certain standard, and we do reject many light signatures and those that are not as clean, but sometimes we need the autograph and use ones we would have rather not.
KS: Looking ahead a bit, could you see yourself doing a more ambitious/expensive cut autograph product than Half Century down the road?
KH: I would have to say no right now but I will never say never.
KS: Aside from Half Century, what other products do you have coming out in the near future?
KH: We will be issuing two of our brand recognized high-end standards – POTUS the First 36 and KINGS 3 – both are re-engineered with the collector in mind. But we still have a few new tricks up our sleeve and new ideas coming to fruition.
Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Hobby Musings: Historic bringing star power with Half Century
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