Seeing one of your favorite players retire is not a fun thing to go through, especially when the player was one of the best at their position.
Mariano Rivera retired last season, now making me cringe anytime Joe Girardi makes a call to the bullpen. However, I did notice one advantage to Rivera hanging up his spikes – more autographs on the market.
Right now, Rivera is listed as having 297 autograph cards, according to the Beckett database. His first autograph cards appeared in 1996 Leaf Signature. He had a number of signed cards in the mid-2000s in sets like Triple Threads and Co-Signers. But there were just a handful of cards in 2011, and none from Topps in 2012 (but his signed cards did show up in Panini and Upper Deck).
Last year, he also had just a handful of signed cards hit the market – and only in high-end sets.
This year, Rivera has had cards appear in Donruss, ITG Past Present Future, Panini Prizm, Topps Gypsy Queen and Topps Tribute. They will also be in Topps Tier One, which comes out tomorrow. Yet, all these autographs have been limited, which makes it seem as though he is getting the Albert Pujols treatment – his autographs are limited and mostly appear in high-end.
Besides being Mariano Rivera and a New York Yankee, the other appeal of his autograph is his beautiful signature. He is probably in the top five when it comes to signatures in any sport.
The real culprit in bringing more Rivera signature cards to the market seems to be Panini. It has included Rivera autographs in nearly all of its baseball releases. Even though some of the cards have been limited, something is still better than something.