Being around this hobby for over a decade, I've see a lot of cardboard over the years.
One cardboard memory that I have is seeing the first Sidney Crosby's dual autograph cards during the earlier part of his career. While dual autograph cards aren't abnormal, these cards stood out to me because Crosby had signed these cards with....himself.
If you've ever wondered why or how those cards came to be, I wanted to solve that mystery here on my blog.
Going back to the 2005-06 season, Sidney Crosby was starting arguably one of the highest profile careers in all of hockey history at the time. He was the next Great One, and people were paying attention. Every since Crosby has been able to lace up his skates, it seems like the hockey world had anticipated this season.
Off the ice, there is a lot more than meets the eye with professional athletes than just hockey, especially for these soon-to-be all-time greats. For Sidney Crosby, his image had to be flawlessly constructed now that he has finally reached the NHL.
On the hockey card side of things, it was no different. From the image, written text, and especially any autograph deals, there was always an approval process to go through when dealing with Crosby's camp, which was mainly handled by his agent. However, on the autograph front, a key person present for these dealings was Troy Crosby, Sidney's father.
Apparently, Troy Crosby played a main factor in limiting his son's autograph involvement between him other players. Now, before the uproar starts, they didn't want it to come off in a negative light.
Even though Crosby had a higher ceiling than many of the other prospects of the time, the main idea theorized behind this was to not takeaway someone else's spotlight on a card, even the veterans of the league at the time. I would also theorize that they also wanted to limit or preserve the amount of autographs Sid had to sign at the time.
So due to this agreement, Sidney Crosby was only able to sign autographs with himself. In his rookie sets, you'll notice his 2005-06 Rookie Inspirations Dual Autographs /199, normally a dual autograph card, Crosby had signed and inscribed "2005 #1 Pick" instead of having another player on the card.
During the same time period, there is one instance where a card did not follow the "Crosby only" rule, and that was on a single set is 2005-06 SPx in the Winning Combos Dual Autograph Memorabilia subset, pictured with Wayne Gretzky.
Apparently, this card was never allowed to exist due to the initial autograph agreement, but was made anyway.
I suspect that because both of these autographs were on a sticker, UD assumed this combo would be acceptable and placed these stickers on the card. After this card was made, the door was slammed shut and no other dual autograph card with Crosby was made at this early stage of his career. Only 25 copies exist of the only true dual autograph card featuring Crosby.
Since this point forward, if Upper Deck wanted to put Crosby in a dual autograph set, he was only allowed to sign autographs with himself. With those rules being strictly enforces, these autographed cards looked something like this:
In 2011, however, collectors were overjoyed when Crosby's camp had presumably reached a new autograph deal around this time which now allowed dual signatures with other players.
While no doubt this list of players Crosby will sign with is limited and very exclusive, the anticipation of more card combos was fun to speculate on.
For 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup, there was an agreement in place to permit Crosby's first (allowed) Dual Autograph & Memorabilia cards was with Mario Lemieux. A very fitting combo no doubt. I still remember the hype around these awesome cards at the time.
Though Upper Deck was unsure if the cards would be signed or returned on time, they were included via redemption cards inside 2011-12 The Cup. Better late than never as they always say. He also had a dual with Mario Lemieux in 2011-12 SP Authentic, too.
Though Crosby's autograph is limited (and expensive to acquire, I'm sure), he has since been featured on various hard-signed dual autograph/memorabilia cards with other star players since 2011.
I've included some more examples below:
I've accumulated some images of Sidney Crosby's dual autographs over the years. I know I'm missing quite a few in this blog post, especially with the rise of achievement autograph cards on ePack, but if you know of any I'm missing, please leave a comment below or send me a quick email.
I hope this blog post was informative and you learned something new about this awesome hobby.
Author - Aaron
I've been collecting Hockey cards since the late 90's. Mainly the goalies since 2005. I also Co-Host a Hockey Card Podcast.
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