Although getting autographs of current stars is great, there's something about signatures from the past that's fun to collect as well. 2012 Topps Archives Baseball caters to a segment of the hobby who grew up watching players long before autographed baseball cards were commonplace. Boasting a checklist of more than 70 different signers, 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs bring together several generations of retired stars (and Bryce Harper) using retro Topps designs.
Inserted two per hobby box, checklist highlights include Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Don Mattingly and Will Clark. However, the real charm of the 2012 Topps Fan Favorites Autographs are the mid-range players that make up the majority of the checklist. These players might not have the stats to land a spot in Cooperstown but they are some of the most beloved figures in their teams' histories. Andy Van Slyke, Sid Bream, Ron Gant, Jay Buhner, Jim Abbott and Brett Butler are just some of the players who represent this group. Many of them haven't signed a ton of cards in the past, especially in the last five years, meaning the market isn't flooded with their autographs.
There are a couple of things worth noting about the 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs. The most notable is that Jose Oquendo has a total of nine versions - one for each position. The cards use the 1988 Topps Baseball design where the positions are listed on the back. Each has a different photo on the front.
And while they're not official variations like the Oquendo, Sid Bream uses different Biblical references along with his signature. This may lead to a few people chasing the various inscriptions.
A handful of cards in the set are redemptions, all of which are marquee names. The 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites redemptions are Bryce Harper, Ken Griffey Jr, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays.
Although both Yu Darvish and Gary Carter have similarly styled autographs, neither are considered to be part of the 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs set.