Do “Window” Autos Count?

I have very few card collections given my limited resources and space, but I did decide some time ago to begin collecting on-card Royals autographs. It’s been a blast so far trying to track these things down and this is the latest addition to my collection. To view the cards currently in the collection, take a look at the Gallery or the other posts in this series. I’m working on getting a legit want list together on my trade page but, in the meantime, if you have any on-card Royals autos that it looks like I don’t have, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

That's his grounder-to-short trot!

I’ve got a bunch of Mike Aviles autos. Here are a few lame letter patches that I don’t collect anymore (anyone want them?). This one is a 2008 SP Authentic Gold (#/50). Somehow I don’t have the base of this I don’t think. But assure you I did not pay a premium for that numbering. Aviles has turned into a pretty standard light hitting 2nd or 3rd tier infielder (and, apparently, sometimes outfielder) for the Red Sox (after leaving the Royals in exchange for Kendal Volz and Yamaico Navarro). Not much else to say about the dude other than he appears to be playing below his potential- he’s had two 100+ game seasons that were definitely above average as a hitter. I hope he puts it together and becomes the Ryan Theriot type it looks like he could be. That may sound like damning with faint praise, but I like Ryan Theriot!

This particular auto begs a new question about my “on-card” auto collection. Do these “window” style autos count as on-card? Technically they’re on a piece of paper and not a sticker. And there’s no real way of knowing how UD got these autos. For some reason, these were really popular in the early 2000s… maybe as a response to the early sticker backlash? Fleer and Skybox used them extensively back then and I haven’t really seen them since. It looks to me like they had a guy sign an insertable piece of cardboard and put it into a card made with a window for the auto. Zack Greinke’s 2002 Prospect Premieres auto is one of these types as well.

Anyone have any insight on these or why they stopped making them? I’ll keep them in my collection for now because they’re at least not as gaudy as stickers. But, ultimately, the focus of my collection on on-card autos is more of principle- I don’t consider a card that was not handled and signed by the player to be an autographed card. And, technically, these don’t fit that description. It’s a quandry, but a mild one. I like my Greinke RC auto and want to keep it so I’ll have to reconcile the two competing philosophies at some point. Thoughts?

3 comments to Do “Window” Autos Count?

  • Personally, I do like the appearance of these over the more traditional “sticker” auto, but I don’t have a problem with the sticker-ed autos either, as long as they are done and applied correctly.
    IE. The autograph is full, semi-centered on the sticker, and the sticker centered in the right spot on the card. It would be the same for the window treatment. If the signature was of the loopy-scrolling type, and part of it dipped above or below the frame of the window, it would detract from the overall appearance of the card when assembled (or if the signature left one edge of the sticker!)
    But on a more personal note, I’ve not been that lucky to have pulled many autos for comparison, I think I’ve pulled two, but one was from the 2010 Opening Day set!!.
    One could also argue, would you stand in a long autograph line, get to the front, and be like, ” Oh mister, could you please sign this blank sticker, I’ll find something to put it on later!!”

  • I don’t really see how you could consider this on card. It’s a nice auto though, and having one wouldn’t bother me at all (although sticker autos don’t really bother me either, to be honest).

    • I guess I’m just a stickler for stickers. The only place I’ve seen a sticker auto I didn’t mind was on 2010 Magic football. Beautiful auto set, stickers and all! I think Nathan’s right though… these aren’t really on-card and probably don’t have a place in my collection. Next purge, I’ll send them off!

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