Autographed Cards and the PSA Set Registry

Autographed cards have been steadily growing in popularity in recent years. Once just a child’s novelty, signed trading cards, particularly vintage and key examples, have become a legitimate hobby category that is enjoyed by many high-end collectors.

For more than a decade the PSA Set Registry has been a popular playground for card collectors of all levels. Hobbyists come together on the Registry to document their collections, share them with others, find trading partners and compete to build top sets in countless categories. The vast majority of Registry members collect cards without signatures, but there is also a small yet impressive portion of the Registry that is dedicated to autographed cards. Like the non-auto Registry, the autographed card section is divided into sub-categories. Take a look at the following descriptions and examples currently on the Registry:

Company Sets

These are standard annual sets such as Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, etc., that have been collected with after-market autographs. A completely autographed company set is often the work of 10-or-more years, and to have the cards all authenticated by PSA is an incredible hobby achievement.

Hall of Fame Sets

As can be derived from the title, these sets are all comprised of members of a Hall of Fame (baseball, basketball, football or hockey, respectively). Once the HOF basis is established, these sets might be further broken down by team, position, coach/player, administration, etc.

Key Card Sets

Key Card sets are really fun and a segment where a sense of creativity is beneficial. How about a Los Angeles Dodgers All-Time Team collection? Or a set dedicated to the Vikings “Purple People Eaters” defense? Maybe you only collect quarterbacks of the 1960s and want to put together an autographed set of your heroes? The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and ability to convince the PSA’s Set Registry department that your set request is valid).

Player Sets

How about a collection of autographed cards of your favorite player? Try gathering an autographed master set of every Lance Alworth card? I did that and it took me forever, but it is one of my favorite collections to look through. These sets are labors of love and homages to our favorite players!

Team Sets

This is just what it seems, a standard team set completely autographed! World Series winners, Super Bowl champions, or your favorite team as a child. You’ve already got the graded set, so try an autographed version!

The collecting possibilities in the world of signed cards are every bit as expansive and fun as other segments of the hobby. Collecting cards with signatures, however, shift the hobbyists’ focus from corners and creases to signing habits and life spans. It is yet another area of the hobby to be explored, enjoyed and celebrated!

Posted by Todd Tobias

Todd Tobias is a longtime hobbyist and PSA staff member who is constantly on the hunt for vintage lacrosse issues and autographed cards for his American Football League (1960-1969) collection.

Johnny Robinson - Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019!!!

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