Rare Roy Campanella Vintage Signed 1956 Topps #101. PSA Auto 7
One of the keys to completing this autographed registry set. Our research shows this to be only the fourth example certified by PSA/DNA. The last pre-accident signed Campanella Topps card, a 1953, commanded $5,700 in a 2019 auction. These rarities are seldom seen as there was a small window of time to obtain his signature.
This limited supply is a result of his near-fatal automobile accident that occurred in January, 1958, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. He remained confined to a wheelchair until his death in 1993. Consequently, those early autographs (known in the hobby as pre-accident) are scarce. Always in high demand, prices for them continue to escalate - the classic supply-demand equation.
Since this particular example was manufactured by the Topps Chewing Gum Company in 1956, it left no more than 24 months of time for a fan or collector to obtain his signature on the card.
"Campy" (1921-1993) has been overlooked; it is as simple as that. His impressive career has been overshadowed somewhat in recent decades, but his statistics speak for themselves, especially when compared to other catchers also enshrined in Cooperstown. He was an offense force and considered an effective defensive catcher. His range was excellent and he threw out runners consistently. Even the "all-important" defensive WAR statistic ranks him well above his contemporaries.
Arriving in the Majors in 1948 at the age of 27, just a year after integration, his career was a truncated one, lasting just 10 seasons before that tragic accident. Along the way he won three Most Valuable Player awards-1951, '53 and '55, and was selected to eight all-star squads. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969. One great note we continually point out is that Yogi Berra also captured three MVP awards during the period (1951,'54 and '55). That resulted in something quite remarkable: 6 total MVP awards in 5 years by catchers! That will never happen again. In fact, only one other catcher has won the MVP award twice--Johnny Bench. That speaks volumes about the two Hall of Famers, but inexplicably Campy has been lost in the discussion of all time great catchers.
Collecting autographed baseball cards has been a popular part of the hobby for decades. After all, what better medium to have a player affix his signature? This sector of the market has a crossover effect, attracting the serious and advanced baseball card collectors and the ever-growing group of memorabilia enthusiasts. The rapidly-escalating prices prove just that. It seems "everyone" is searching for autographed baseball cards, including vintage-signed examples, which seem incredibly "cheap" vis a vis those of current players (see e.g., recent examples of Trout, Otani, and Jeter, which just sold for $180K in auction; see also Brady, LeBron and Doncic in other sports).