Monday, December 29, 2008

1977 Topps #393 and 1977 Topps Mexican #393 Mack Mitchell

There is an excellent article in today's Forth Worth Star Telegram about University of Houston defensive end Phillip Hunt. The article mentions that Hunt can break the UH career record for sacks. So let's look at the man who currently owns that record, Mack Mitchell.

Mack Mitchell played at UH from 1972 to 1974 leading the team in sacks all 3 seasons.

In 1972, he had 9 sacks as the Cougars went 6-4-1.

In 1973, Mitchell had 13 sacks which is the UH single season record. He shares this record with Craig Veasey who did the same in 1989. The 1973 team went 11-1, beat Tulane 47-7 in the Bluebonnet Bowl, and ended the season ranked 9th in the AP and 13th in the Coaches poll.

In 1974, he had 11 sacks as the Cougars went 8-3-1, tied North Carolina State 31-31 in the Bluebonnet Bowl, and ended the season ranked 19th in the AP and 11th in the Coaches poll. He was co-captain of the team with Bubba Broussard and Robert Giblin. He was also named 2nd team AP All-American.

Mack was drafted 5th overall in the 1975 NFL draft. He played four seasons for the Cleveland Browns from 1975-1978 and one season with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979.

Today's card is the 1977 Topps #393 which is Mack Mitchell's rookie card. It is a typical late '70s card, no logos, basic headshot. On the bright side, there are plenty of bright '70s colors and a great afro.

Let's throw in a bonus card, the 1977 Topps Mexican #393. The design is identical, but since it is designed for the Mexican market, it is in Spanish. On the American version, his position is DE, Defensive End. On the Spanish version, his position is L.

The best part of the Mexican card is the team name. Instead of the Browns, Mack plays for the Cafes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2007 Tri Star Signa Cuts Andre Ware

Today let's look at cut autographs. For those new to collecting, cut autographs are generally signatures on other documents that are cut to be placed in a card. Cut autographs were traditionally from items like checks, letters, contracts, etc not intended for collectibles, but the definition also includes items like index cards, photos, etc.

One positive of cut autographs is that it allows autographs of the deceased to be presented in a nice to display collectible, especially a card. For me that's the only positive.

Negatives... Sometimes they destroy documents. I would prefer having the original letter or check with the signature instead of a piece cut out of the document. Also if not done correctly, cut autographs can be displayed very poorly. Next, if the person is not deceased, why not get the person to autograph an item instead of getting a cut autograph. In some cases, documents or items are created just so a cut autograph can be created, the perception being that cut autographs can be more valuable.

Today's card is the Tri Star Signa Cuts Andre Ware. First of all, this is not a licensed product, so you won't see pictures or logos on the card itself. That in itself can make for an boring and ugly card.

Next is the cut signature. I've seen two variations of cut signatures for the Andre Ware card. Both are displayed below. First is the plain cut signature. Signed on a white background, there is no visual pizazz for the autograph, especially since there is not a picture on the card. The second variation is a cut up signed picture. To me this is even uglier than the plain autograph. Autographed picture of Andre Ware? Cool. A partial picture of Andre Ware? Not cool.

I just don't like this product at all. I've seen some very cool cards with cut signatures. This isn't one of them.