Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio

February 22, 2009 at 1:24 am | Posted in My Cards, Pinnacle, Video | 13 Comments

Here it is.  This is what I referred to yesterday as “quite possibly the most awesome product that I’ve ever opened”.  I was intrigued after reading a couple of posts on Wax Heaven (here and here) about the Joe DiMaggio “cut signature” card from 2008 Playoff Prime Cuts, where Donruss-Playoff cut up certified autograph cards of DiMaggio that were produced by Pinnacle in 1993.  I’ve always thought that it would be awesome to own a Joe DiMaggio autograph.  After all, he is one of the greatest players of all-time, and his 56-game hitting streak is one of baseball’s most unbreakable records.  For many decades he held the title of the “greatest living Yankee” until his death in 1999.

Then, last week, I was checking out Dave & Adam’s Card World when I came across one of their weekly specials – an unopened box of 1993 Pinnacle Joe DiMaggio cards including one certified autograph for only $150 (and free shipping).  I was amazed by the price, considering that cut signature cards of DiMaggio from recent products sell for much more than that.  In fact, the Prime Cuts card that features the cut up card from this very set, is selling on eBay for $200 and more.  Isn’t it better to own an original on-card autograph, a card that DiMaggio personally touched and signed in 1993?  This was an easy question for me to answer, and I jumped at the chance to buy a box.

Even though I knew exactly what I would pull from my box, it was still a lot of fun to open.  It’s a very good feeling to know that you’re definitely going to pull an amazing card.  I captured the box break on video, complete with the song “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio” playing in the background.  Here it is:

Here is my new prized possession:

dimaggio_auto

And here’s the back of the card:

dimaggio_auto_back

Here’s my certificate of authenticity from Pinnacle:

cert_auth

There are five different autographed cards that were produced, and there are 1800 copies of each one, for a total of 9000 autographed cards.  The number on the back shows that I have #0376 of the first card (number 1 of 5).  I chose this card because it’s my favorite of the five photos.  You can see what the others look like here.  I absolutely love the design of the card and the clear, crisp autograph.  The only bad thing is that the card is oversized (4 1/8 inches tall) so it won’t fit in a standard top loader or magnetic case.  I’m still trying to figure out how to store it, but for now I have it in the original holder that you can see in the video.

I know that the economy is in horrible shape and that not everyone can afford to add a card like this to their collection.  However, I still believe that this was an incredible value.  For $150, I obtained a certified on-card autograph from one of the very best players of all time, who passed away almost 10 years ago.  There are only 9000 of these, and with Donruss and possibly other card companies buying them, cutting them up, and inserting them into new cards, the supply is going to dry up.  When you consider that some collectors are spending $100 on jumbo boxes of 2009 Topps, I think that buying something like this is a much better way to spend money.  Also, I’d much rather buy something where I’m guaranteed to pull something great than to take my chances by opening a regular hobby box.  I’m planning to keep this card in my collection, probably forever, and pass it down to my children some day.  As the years continue to go by, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the value of this card will be climbing.

Here’s an image from eBay of one of the Prime Cuts cards:

prime_cuts_dimaggio

Can anyone explain to me why someone would want this “card” when they could buy the actual Pinnacle card for less money?

If you’re interested, the weekly special from Dave & Adam’s is over with, but you can still pick up a box from them for $164.95 or the single autograph card for $159.95.  There are also some sellers on eBay that are offering it for a little more.

Finally, here are some of my favorite cards from the 30-card base set:

dimaggio_swing

This is card #9 and features a great photo of DiMaggio’s iconic swing.

dimaggio_feller

This is card #11 – DiMaggio in his rookie season of 1936 with a 17-year old Bob Feller.

dimaggio_gehrig

And this is card #17 – the Iron Horse and the Yankee Clipper together.  It must have been great for fans to watch them play on the same team between 1936 – 1939.  I learned something that I didn’t know on the back of the card.  Gehrig passed away during the middle of DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941.

You can see what all of the base cards look like in the video.

So like I said, this was quite possibly the most awesome product that I’ve ever opened, and my best “pull” of all time, even though I knew what was in the box.  In my opinion, it just doesn’t get any better than this…

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13 Comments »

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  1. Dave,
    That card is awesome and it’s a real shame that card companies feel the need to cut that to insert into another card. It makes no sense to me. Anyway, it’s a great deal and maybe I will pick one up for myself in the future. I think the only thing that bothers me is the fact that the card isn’t regular sized.

  2. Hehe any ideas how I can convince the wife that I need a $150.00 early birthday present!

    I’m gonna have to call the store tomorrow as their website isnt working ATM

  3. Very, very cool.

  4. No kidding!! That abortion of a cut signature is ridiculour. It really is heard to believe how relatively affordable that auto is.
    Pinnacle a company ahead of their time. Amazing.Thanks for sharing!!

  5. That is one beautiful card! We have to buy them all before donruss cuts them all up!

  6. awesome card. I was at his last appearance at Yankee Stadium. That card is great (and now thinking about buying one).

  7. I’ve been procrastinating buying a Dimaggio for my collection. I just spent my Paypal loot on a Clemente rookie …perhaps a Dimaggio should be next. The Dimaggio autos are slightly oversized, right?

  8. Congratulations, that’s a great looking card!

  9. Nice find, good and interesting reporting.

    I agree the original card looks much better than the cut card.

  10. Man I traded a 1987 Topps Bonds card right before he hit 756 (I don’t know how I pulled that one off I guess it was marked for ten and the card booked for ten and I knew the dealer) for one of those but it wasn’t sealed and I had no idea about it and I din’t get an auto. It’s hard to explan but read the back of the authenticator lens and you will learn more, and it works on the base cards and other Pinnacle cards.

  11. I saw something just just a secound ago your tin is modled after card #10 and mine is modled after card #30. so I gess the different tins have different auto’s maybe?

  12. Yankee – Pinnacle did make 200,000 DiMaggio sets without an auto, and 9,000 sets that did have an auto. So maybe you picked up one of the non-auto tins…

  13. Joe had to sign 9,000 cards? That’s just mean.

    Anyways, this is what “high-end” collecting should be. You get what you pay for, none of this gambling nonsense where an auto of a Hall of Famer like Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken or Tony Gwynn is considered a bust because you paid $300 for it.


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