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  1. #1

    Pro Line Autographs Question: 1991-1997

    As a child in the 1990s, I grew up in that era of crazy over production. Autographed inserts...at the time, were sort of the only relief from these boxes of virtually worthless cards. I remember as a kid, really liking Pro Line cards because they had such big auto sets. In recent years, I have read that many of these sets were plagued with autopens and other issues...in fact, some of the 1995 Pro Line issues even have "AP" after the numbering on the card (I assume that means autopen).

    Despite all this, I have always wanted to put together some of these sets. Outside of the 1992 Pro Line Profiles set (which I don't care for since there are 9 different autos of some players)...I really like these old cards. I know the 1991 and 1992 Portaits auto sets can be major challenges. It seems like the 1993-97 sets aren't so bad.

    Does anyone know the details of these sets? Are they as full of autopens as the internet has made it seem? Any advice for someone who has a handful from each set but would like to consider working on a set?
    Tony Graziani Collection: 44/49, Autos: 11/13, GU: 2/2
    Have You Seen This Card: 1999 Upper Deck Encore F/X Gold #11 Tony Graziani 1/1
    1967 Topps FB Set: 132/132 - Complete
    1994 UD Collector's Choice Gold FB Set: 384/384 - Complete

  2. #2
    I don't have an answer but it was something I was curious about as well. I've come across some of these but I've passed on them over the years because I don't want to get one that is "fake". Is there a website or blog that gives the rundown on what to watch out for in these sets? Or does anybody know?
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  3. #3
    I have no idea...part of me doesn't really care. I remember wanting these cards as a kid and even if some are autopens...that's how they were issued. But, I would really like to know the details before I start buying any cards though.
    Tony Graziani Collection: 44/49, Autos: 11/13, GU: 2/2
    Have You Seen This Card: 1999 Upper Deck Encore F/X Gold #11 Tony Graziani 1/1
    1967 Topps FB Set: 132/132 - Complete
    1994 UD Collector's Choice Gold FB Set: 384/384 - Complete

  4. #4
    I started collecting in 1992 and LOVED the Proline auto sets. Generally the autopenned cards were indistinguishable from the actual autos. The way to catch which ones were autopenned was recognizing that the autos of the autopenned cards were always flawless and always in the exact same location and at the same angle, which would be impossible for a human to do over and over.

    Now for the good news. Beckett is good for something. If you check their set list they actually designate "AUTOPEN" beside of the ones that were proven or known to be autopenned. I could recall that Jack Kemp, Jim Kelly were autopens, Beckett says some of the Kelly autos were real but I have no idea how to tell the difference between them http://www.beckett.com/football/1991...ts-autographs#

    By the way, I have several of these if you decide to do the set.
    Last edited by duane1969; 11-05-2014 at 03:08 PM.

  5. #5
    Collecting these was fun back in the day:















    Never knew why some Pro Lined were signed on the front and others on the back of the card?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by duane1969 View Post
    I started collecting in 1992 and LOVED the Proline auto sets. Generally the autopenned cards were indistinguishable from the actual autos. The way to catch which ones were autopenned was recognizing that the autos of the autopenned cards were always flawless and always in the exact same location and at the same angle, which would be impossible for a human to do over and over.

    Now for the good news. Beckett is good for something. If you check their set list they actually designate "AUTOPEN" beside of the ones that were proven or known to be autopenned. I could recall that Jack Kemp, Jim Kelly were autopens, Beckett says some of the Kelly autos were real but I have no idea how to tell the difference between them http://www.beckett.com/football/1991...ts-autographs#

    By the way, I have several of these if you decide to do the set.
    I knew about the Jack Kemp and some of the Kelly's as Beckett lists them...but what others are known to be autopens. I definitely want to do these sets as I loved them as a kid. But, I want to educate myself about them first.

    Also, do you know anything about the 1995 cards that have "AP" after the handwritten numbering. For example, Randy Baldwin has 3 different numbered auto cards in 1995. They are: /1435, /2405AP, and /760AP. I have always wondered what "AP" actually means. I assumed it means autopen...but on those, I don't necessarily think that's the case because the auto isn't always the same. Any thoughts?
    Tony Graziani Collection: 44/49, Autos: 11/13, GU: 2/2
    Have You Seen This Card: 1999 Upper Deck Encore F/X Gold #11 Tony Graziani 1/1
    1967 Topps FB Set: 132/132 - Complete
    1994 UD Collector's Choice Gold FB Set: 384/384 - Complete

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ronfir View Post
    Never knew why some Pro Lined were signed on the front and others on the back of the card?
    From what I have read...Pro Line didn't give clear instructions as to where to sign the cards...and there is no obvious place to sign them. So, for whatever reason...most players signed on the back. It's possible that Pro Line did in fact tell them to sign the backs because that is almost universal. I do know that there is even one 1993 Pro Line Live card that the player signed on the back (I can't remember who...I think he played for Miami).
    Tony Graziani Collection: 44/49, Autos: 11/13, GU: 2/2
    Have You Seen This Card: 1999 Upper Deck Encore F/X Gold #11 Tony Graziani 1/1
    1967 Topps FB Set: 132/132 - Complete
    1994 UD Collector's Choice Gold FB Set: 384/384 - Complete

  8. #8
    The only other ProLine auto I am aware of that was pretty much confirmed an autopen was Paul Tagliabue, but I can't remember what year that was from. I recall some suspicion that Troy Aikman was an autopen, but I don't recall it being confirmed.

    I am pretty sure the AP after the number denoted autopen as well.

    I don't think ProLine instructed them to sign on the back, but I have a feeling someone advised them too at some point because the back was less glossy and less likely for the ink to bubble or smear. I actually like the variation of autograph locations on these. This Ottis Anderson is awesome http://www.ebay.com/itm/1991-PRO-LIN...item4d26ea0fcd. Knowing that he specifically signed it so that the card could still be read is pretty cool to me.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by duane1969 View Post
    I am pretty sure the AP after the number denoted autopen as well.
    I have been told on another forum that the AP cards are legit. They stand for "additional print." Here is the explanation they gave:

    As stated by others, the AP cards are additional print cards. Most of those came in boxes sold in stores like KB Toys. The boxes had 12 packs in them (I think) and an autograph was guaranteed (all were AP autos). The same boxes had lots of the Printers Proof foil cards as well.
    That makes sense especially because all the AP cards aren't the same. If they truly were autopens, they would all be identical and they are not.
    Tony Graziani Collection: 44/49, Autos: 11/13, GU: 2/2
    Have You Seen This Card: 1999 Upper Deck Encore F/X Gold #11 Tony Graziani 1/1
    1967 Topps FB Set: 132/132 - Complete
    1994 UD Collector's Choice Gold FB Set: 384/384 - Complete

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