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Making the Cut: Sourcing Ernie Davis Autos for 2010 National Treasures Football

March 15, 2011

Of the myriad headline-making cards to come from 2010 National Treasures Football, perhaps none is more majestic than the 1/1 Souvenir Cuts Ernie Davis masterpiece that was pulled last week from Triple Crown Trading Company in Naperville, Ill.

It’s one of just five Davis certified cut autograph trading cards in existence — but it stands alone as the only one to include Davis’ full, hand-scrawled “Ernest” first name.

Davis — the legendary Heisman Trophy-winning running back from Syracuse University whose short life was chronicled in the Disney movie “The Express” — was diagnosed with leukemia in 1962 and died one year later before he could ever play a down in the NFL.

The heroic Davis left behind a tremendous legacy and precious few examples of his highly coveted autograph. Two of those bold, timeless signatures, however, were penned by Davis more than 40 years ago, on Nov. 4, 1959. That was the day Davis took his Zoology I mid-semester exam at Syracuse University.

That graded test, obtained last fall by Panini America from Davis’ family, included Davis’ signature on both pages and served as the source document for two of the grandest treasures in 2010 National Treasures.

“We’re talking about a once-in-a-lifetime find,” says Joe White, Panini America’s football acquisitions manager for more than 10 years. “Davis autographs rarely, if ever, surface. They are very, very scarce.

“Knowing that these autographs are from the family, that they’re ironclad authentic, helps tremendously. The fact that you can attribute these autographs to a specific day in Davis’ legendary life is simply phenomenal.”

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Robert abraham permalink
    March 15, 2011 4:07 pm

    Thanks for the info. I was the person to pull the auto. I also got it graded by Beckett services on Friday and it faded out as a 9.5 with a 10 on the auto. I will print out this info and keep it with the card. Thank you so much
    sincerely, Robert Abraham

  2. Brandon Gable permalink
    March 15, 2011 4:59 pm

    I was fortunate enough to pull the Souvenir Cuts Materials Davis with the other autograph shown in this post. I will also print this out, it’s fascinating to see where the autos came from! However, I still haven’t heard from anybody from Panini regarding the COA issue I have with the card. Can I expect someone to contact me? Either way, I’d love to send a scan or photo of my Davis to you for this post or a future update, just let me know where to send it.

    • Brandon Gable permalink
      March 15, 2011 9:23 pm

      Actually, I take it back. The cut signature on my card does not match the “Ernie Davis” signature on page one of this test. Did you acquire another signature from somewhere? Is there a third Ernie Davis cut autograph card in National Treasures?

      • March 15, 2011 9:27 pm

        We produced three Ernie Davis cuts in 2010 products; one in Plates & Patches and two in National Treasures.

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