Donruss/Playoff made a promise to collector’s in 2005 that their redemption cards would be good for Mike Ditka autographs.

Three years later, they have made good on that promise.

“Mike has spent the majority of his time over the past three years promoting the Gridiron Greats fund,” said Donruss Vice President Bill Sawtelle. “We received a tremendous amount of feedback regarding these cards and we want collectors to know that we heard that feedback, we didn’t give up and we hope to reward those that stuck with us over the past three years.”

They held out hope and we’re rewarded as Ditka even signed the cards on the cards instead of stickers. This was viewed as an added bonus for the collectors who had to wait so long.

“We know a lot of collectors have become frustrated with us (Donruss) that these cards were not signed sooner,” said Football Brand Manager Ben Ecklar. “Knowing this, we asked Mike to actually sign these on-card. We hope that collectors appreciate all we have done to complete this agreement.”

Ditka certified autographs are already a tough pull as he hasn’t appeared in an NFL autograph set since 2005 and has pretty much only signed for Donruss. So the collector’s who had one of these redemption cards knew they would be sitting on a rare card.

Donruss said that the fulfillment process for these cards will begin soon.

It’s nice to see a company trying so hard to make good on their redemptions. With Upper Deck coming out with that long list on nonredeemable cards earlier this year and collectors constantly complaining about redemption replacements, Donruss has put their redemption program ahead of Topps and Upper Deck with this announcement if you ask me. I haven’t seen those other two companies making such an effort to get autographs from three years prior before.

Here are the sets that Donruss is fulfilling:

2005 Donruss Classics FB
Card # Player Name Team Cardset Qty.
115 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Significant Signatures Bronze 50
115 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Significant Signatures Silver 25
115 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Significant Signatures Gold 15
115 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Significant Signatures Platinum 10

2005 Leaf Certified Materials FB
Card # Player Name Team Cardset Qty.
53 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Fabric of the Game Jersey Number 89
53 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Fabric of the Game Team Logo 5

2005 Longevity FB
Card # Player Name Team Cardset Qty.
33 Mike Ditka Chicago Bears Sunday Signatures 150
33 Mike Ditka Chicago Bears Sunday Signatures Gold 55

2005 Leaf Limited FB
Card # Player Name Team Cardset Qty.
21 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Team Trademarks 50
21 Mike Ditka Dallas Cowboys Limited Team Trademarks 25

Ditka has previously appeared in these autograph sets:

-1991 and 1992 Pro Line
-1998 Ron Mix HOF Platinum Autographs
-2000 Greats of the Game Gold Border Autographs
-2003 Donruss Classics Significant Signatures
-2004 Donruss Classics Significant Signatures
-2004 Greats of the Game Gold Border Autographs
-2004 Playoff Prime Signatures Signature Proofs
-2004 Upper Deck Legends Legendary Heritage Autographs
-2004 Upper Deck Legends Legendary Signatures
-2005 Upper Deck AFL Arenagraphs
-2005 Upper Deck Legends Legendary Signatures
-2006 Upper Deck AFL Arenagraphs

So you can see that Ditka is a relatively tough signature to get when compared to other stars of his era. Part of that comes from him have significantly less issues (184) than his counterparts.

Nevertheless, you can expect these redemption autographs to sell for quite the dollar once collectors get them into the market.