The Beckett Blog


George Steinbrenner’s legacy of winning with New York Yankees is not reflected on baseball cards by Chris Olds

George Steinbrenner — one of the most polarizing but successful owners in Major League Baseball history — died at age 80 Tuesday morning.

Steinbrenner bought the New York Yankees in 1973 and amassed seven World Series titles and 11 pennants in his time at the helm. Despite that success and his status as the highest-profile owner in the game, Steinbrenner never appeared on a standard-issue baseball card made by a major manufacturer.

In fact, Steinbrenner appears on just 15 items in the Beckett.com database — the lone highlights being four 1/1 cut autograph cards made by SportKings and Upper Deck in 2008 and 2009.

Three of those cut autographs come in the Yankee Stadium Legacy Moments in Time Dual Cut Signatures set, pairing him with others who are tied to memorable moments in the stadium’s history. The card above features Steinbrenner’s signature along with Nelson Mandela, who made one of his first stops after 27 years in prison at an appearance in the stadium. The other two cuts from the set include Steinbrenner with actor Jason Alexander (an obvious Seinfeld reference) and a card with former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert.

Steinbrenner’s autographed items are already proving to be volatile on the auction block with signed jerseys, baseballs and documents being the priciest items. (Whether those items sell remains to be seen.) While his signature may be plentiful, his status in the game should command some strong prices — so buyers should exercise caution and buy only certified signatures or items from trusted dealers.

Other memorable items — such as his Sports Illustrated cover appearances — should make for of-interest lower-end items for collectors hoping to pick something up.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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