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Hair-Raising History: Panini Produces Troy Polamalu’s First On-Card Autographs!

September 9, 2011

For those counting at home, it’s been more than eight years since Pittsburgh Steelers defensive dynamo Troy Polamalu last appeared on a certified autograph trading card. But he’s never once signed on-card for a manufacturer — until now.

Today, Panini America announced that it has secured autographs from Polamalu for insertion across several of its 2011 NFL trading card brands, including a small number of on-card autographs. For a player as popular as Polamalu on a team as collected as the Steelers, the announcement ranks as huge news in the sports collectibles industry.   

During Polamalu’s rookie season of 2003, Panini America became the first (and remains the only) trading card manufacturer to include signatures from the wildly maned wunderkind in a select number of rookie-themed products. Today, those autographed Rookie Cards from 2003 Rookies & Stars and 2003 Playoff Contenders carry an average value of $450 according to Beckett Media.

All these years later, Panini America is making Polamalu history once again. 

Following years of attempting to reach additional autograph agreements with Polamalu (and not receiving as much as a counter offer from Polamalu or his representatives), Panini America steadfastly went after the six-time Pro Bowler and 2010 Defensive Player of the Year for 2011.

Somewhat shockingly, Polamalu responded this time.

“Oh, I was shocked,” said Joe White, Panini America’s NFL Acquisition Manager. “But due to his immense popularity and the demands on his time, it was difficult for Polamalu to find the time to sign. But he carved out some time for us this summer — and it probably didn’t hurt our case that we were the only company to sign him to an autograph deal during his rookie season.”

Polamalu’s live autographs are sure to inject new levels of collectibility and interest to most of Panini America’s remaining 2011 NFL products, including 2011 Absolute Memorabilia, 2011 Crown Royale and 2011 Certified.

“This is awesome news for us and we’re obviously thrilled to have him back in the fold,” White said. “But it’s even better news for the countless passionate Polamalu collectors who’ve been waiting almost 10 years for new autographed trading cards. Make no mistake about it, this is huge news in collecting circles.”

Panini America made similar waves earlier this year by announcing that it had secured Charles Woodson autographs for the first time since his rookie season of 1998.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2011 4:14 pm

    Even a Bengal’s fan can appreciate Troy’s solid play and impact on the game. Hard to believe he hasn’t had a signed card for that long – I’m sure Steelers fans can’t wait.

    Overall I think it’s good to get guys to sign that just haven’t had one in a while. I wonder who the next player might be?

  2. Matthew Gilman permalink
    September 9, 2011 4:30 pm

    First Woodson…now the best safety in the game!! Way to go Panini!!

    And are there going to be any auto’d hair cut pieces?? :)

    • rickyraven permalink
      September 10, 2011 1:47 pm

      best saftey in the game is ed reed man

      • Ryan permalink
        September 10, 2011 11:54 pm

        Ricky, now you know that’s not true. Polamalu is the best safety in the leauge.

  3. Lenny permalink
    September 9, 2011 4:46 pm

    Did you guys forget about his auto redemption in last years Certified? Mirror Gold Sigs #122.

    • Nick Gauder permalink
      September 9, 2011 5:58 pm

      That was a redemption for Certified wasnt it Lenny? Im pretty sure they just now got his autos in house, thats why they just announced it. Great job Panini!! Just make sure you keep the Aaron Rodgers autos coming for me!

  4. September 9, 2011 5:52 pm

    Wow, a Polamalu on card auto is awesome. I hoep you guys get him in house to sign sometime, an unwrapped with him would be the best.

  5. September 9, 2011 8:18 pm

    That is great news for 2011 products, but I hope they got some autos for the 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear Plates Auto #ed to 10 I redeemed back in Feb. I would love that card in my collection.

  6. Ernest Hebert permalink
    September 9, 2011 9:35 pm

    That is great news!Your not kidding me are you?Are you?….lol…seriously that is great news any true football fan I am pretty sure would love to pull one…. Troy is a great player who had already made his mark and is continuing to do so……..this truly gives me as a collector and fan a great thrill ……..Awesome job Panini!

  7. September 9, 2011 10:55 pm

    A great new athlete to add to the Panini products. Great job acquisition team! Those cards will be HOT when they come out.

  8. Mark permalink
    September 10, 2011 9:50 am

    Just imagine if Panini put the effort in to produce their cards in advance so every card could be on-card autos…

    • September 10, 2011 2:17 pm

      We’ll continue striving to get as many on-card autos in our products as possible. We’ve made huge strides this season and you will see that continue.

  9. September 10, 2011 3:49 pm

    That is great (coming from a Ravens fan). It is good that defensive players are getting some love. One problem though, if the cards will look like the one pictured, he signed them like he was signing at a game or an event. Maybe, the way he signed becomes a new twist on on-card autos. Let the players hang loose and sign however. Either way, can’t be on-card autographs. I see other companies are following suit!

  10. jimblasko permalink
    September 10, 2011 5:39 pm

    Hey Panini what about the redemption cards of Troy from 2010?

    After 9+ months I’m still waiting for my Troy Polamalu 2010 Panini Certified Fabric of the Game Jersey Number Prime Signatures /10 .. all the news I heard from Panini is this post, and there is no mention about any redemption cards from the past..

    Just news about more new 2011 products.

    Please advise back Panini..

  11. jimblasko permalink
    September 10, 2011 6:36 pm

    Thank you

  12. Kwb permalink
    September 10, 2011 8:58 pm

    You go, Panini!

  13. Matt permalink
    September 12, 2011 11:03 am

    Yes please tell me my 2010 gridiron gear plates and patches auto is coming in the mail soon!!!

  14. chris b permalink
    September 12, 2011 6:44 pm

    I too am waiting for 2010 FOTG jersey signatures /25 i redeemed back in january. can i get an update? its been 9 months…

  15. September 13, 2011 6:19 pm

    I was told that my 2010 Troy Polamalu 2010 Panini Certified Fabric of the Game Jersey Number Prime Signatures /10 card, get this…….has never even been made yet – let alone signed by Troy.

    How can we still be waiting on Troy to return the card if it doesn’t exists yet, How can you give away redemption cards if you don’t even make the card yet let alone have it signed..

    Now I’m waiting on a special card to be made still, then sent to Troy, then signed, then returned to you, and now that the season started, I doubt I’ll see this untill after the season is over – if I’m lucky.

    I’m so upset about this. I re-read this story again, and the way you guys sound so shocked to get some troy signatures, I”m doubting I’ll ever get this card now.

    You’re proudly promoting new Troy signatures, but ones that were redeemed over 9 mos ago, still haven’t been givin to us.

    As a fan of donruss since 1984, I’m now feeling ready to give up.

    • September 14, 2011 4:29 pm

      Jim, it appears that there is some miscommuncation. The cards are made. They’re just awaiting the autographs. That process should happen in the near future if it hasn’t already.

      • September 22, 2011 9:49 pm

        I got a message today that my card has been sent, just one week later? Is this really true?

        :-)

      • September 22, 2011 10:15 pm

        I would certainly assume so.

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  1. Hair-larious Troy Polamalu Signs First Cards Since 2003

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