Stockpiling Autographed Index Cards

Here’s what this post is NOT about:

An index card can be a useful autograph tool. It’s too time-consuming or sometimes just impossible to find a card photo of a former player (although Internet searches are opening new horizons for making customized index-photo cards). Also, meeting a former player at the last second means a signed index card beats an autographed hot dog wrapper.

Additionally, an autographed 3-by-5 can be a swell consolation prize from a virtual non-signer. For TTM toughies like Fred Lynn (who may own a blue index card-making plant) or Joe Morgan who’ll offer nothing but one signed index card, this could be matted with a photo or more meaningful collectible.

What this post IS about:

My puzzlement over the collector who sends two blank index cards as “protection” for the card to be signed. No request is made to sign the 3-by-5s, just the hunch that an eager autographer will be inking anything sent by the collector. And, frequently, a collector does get three signatures while asking for just one.

Sure, things can get bent in the mail. Yes, some confused retirees autograph the plastic top loader the card is in. I get the theory of protecting a card.

I’m not criticizing. I’m just asking:

Is there some underground trade in autographed 3-by-5s I’ve overlooked? Even the “one of everything” type of collector might have little use for an extra identical blank index card. Clue me in, please.

But lastly, let me make one plea to all collectors who get one OR MORE signed index cards…

In light pencil, write down the name of who signed on the card’s reverse. Trust me, you may not be able to decipher the handwritten autograph a year (or even a DAY) from now!

What’s your feeling about including one or more extra index cards in your autograph request letter?

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