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And here’s a rare Rodney Holman, if you’ve never seen one

In 1991 Portraits on December 1, 2014 at 1:14 am

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Beau, another friend of the site, shared with me a Rodney Holman card he owns. He said he acquired this card in Hawaii in the 1990s from an acquaintance who worked for NFL properties. He said there is a “long, cool story” attached to the card. Here is Beau’s story:

I was in the military, and I had volunteered to work for the Special Olympics during a Topps NFL card show/NFL experience. The Special Olympics held a silent auction, and Bill Barnes of NFL Properties had donated many items for us to auction off. My son and wife visited the card show. And as I was working the booth, they looked around and took part in some of the games there. I heard my name called over the speakers telling me to go to the medical tent. When I arrived, Bill Barnes was there with my wife and my son. My son’s face was a bit bloody, and I asked what had happened. I guess my son tried catching a football thrown by one of the machines, and the operator of the machine did not reduce the speed (my son was 5 years old at the time). So the ball hit my son in the face. Nothing was broken. However, upon seeing me, Bill was like, “Damn I am so sorry, Beau!” Of course, I was not upset. Things like this can happen. So after my son was attended to, Bill hooked him up with many NFL items, one being this card. So that’s the story of how I got the card.

Beau was interested in getting a handle on a value for the card. Beckett lists it at $350. I’m not a big fan of Beckett’s accuracy when it comes to the values of cards in this set. That’s why I created the market data section. Check it out here.

But as far as I know, $350 might be accurate for this card. There are so few of them around, that I don’t have access to the sale prices of many of these. So Beckett’s guess is as good as mine.

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A look at a rare card

In 1991 Portraits on December 1, 2014 at 1:05 am

rashad family front Joseph Carnevale

rashad family back Joseph Carnevale

Joseph C., a friend of the site, shared with me a Rashad Family card that he owns. It has Phylicia’s signature on the front and Ahmad’s signature on the back. It’s quite a rare one.

Note that the back of the card does have a number, but the card does have the embossed seal.

Joseph is very near completing the set. He said he’s never seen an Al Davis signed, embossed card.

Is this why there are so few Lionel Washington cards in the set?

In 1991 Portraits on December 1, 2014 at 12:30 am

lionel washington pro line

I won an auction for this card on eBay recently, and the seller said “all” Lionel Washington cards in the set were like this. That may be an exaggeration; I’m sure I’ve seen a few with an autograph that wasn’t in this bad a position.

But it raises some questions: Were many of the Lionel Washington autographs cut off at the bottom? Is that why they are so hard to find? Did the Pro Line folks trash a bunch of them because the signature was so poorly positioned that they found them to be unusable?

I think it is obvious that Washington signed his cards when they were still uncut. There’s no way someone would choose to place the autograph right on the edge like that, making the act of signing difficult. I’ve written on the blog before that the subjects of the Pro Line Portraits were told to sign at the bottom on the back, which is what it looks like he was trying to do here. Now, having said that, my buddy Cole McGinnis pointed something out that I overlooked: If the cards were uncut and in a large sheet when he signed them, if his autograph bled off the bottom of one, it would’ve overlapped onto the top of the card directly below it. So my guess is that this card, and perhaps all the Lionel Washington cards that went into circulation in packs, were all the ones along the top row of the uncut sheet. Those may have been the only ones that were not spoiled by the bottom half of his signature from the card directly above on the uncut sheet.

The top half of Washington’s signature on the bottom of a card is one thing, as we see in the photo on this post. It’s not ideal. But a card with the bottom half of his signature along the top and the top of his signature along the bottom was probably unacceptable to the Pro Line folks. I’m betting those didn’t get inserted into packs.

And if we knew how many cards were on an uncut sheet, and in what configuration, we might be able to arrive at a good estimate of how many Lionel Washington certified autographs were inserted into packs.