Way back in 1995, Roy Halladay was an 18-year-old pitching stud that only a few people knew about. He was not featured on his first Major League card until 1997 (Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman’s Best). But when he was just a teen, he had a few cards featuring him in his minor league uniform. One of them just so happened to have his signature.
It was found in a product called Signature Rookies Tetrad 95. The product was an “off” brand, but offered the first signatures of top athletes in four different sports — baseball, basketball, football and hockey. Kind of like the old Classic Four Sport sets.
The product was one that was not cheap in 1995, and even if you can find it these days, it still costs some decent coin.
But before you go running to eBay to buy some … I have some words for you to heed:
DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.
I’m a dumbass sometimes. Not a lot, but on occasion. I did exactly what I told you not to. I went to eBay. And I bought some. Four boxes actually. I wanted Halladay’s first autograph, too! I sunk $40 into this 15-year-old product.
I believed that I was getting one autograph per pack. That’s the way I remembered the product when it was new, and that’s what I was reading when I looked at the boxes in the picture.
What I had forgotten — and what didn’t register in my brain — was that you got a redemption per pack, which can be exchanged for an autograph. The whole hook behind this product was that “You Make The Call” — you choose who will be featured on your signed card.
Needless to say the moment I opened the first pack and found the redemption card in the middle, my heart sank and I got an empty feeling in my stomach. I knew at that moment that my $40 had essentially gone to waste.
The one bright side though is that I did pull a Halladay base card in each of my four boxes. So I guess not all was wasted. This was issued two full years before his Bowman, Bowman Chrome and Bowman’s Best rookies.