Five 2017 Bowman Chrome Refractor Aaron Judge autograph missing their autographs have now been discovered by collectors opening packs of Bowman Draft.
The issue came to light in December when collector David Bach showed us two unsigned Judge Refractors he found while opening boxes of Draft at a Georgia card shop—one green and one blue. Since then, two others have appeared on eBay including one that’s posted now. Bach also found an unsigned Finest Finishes card of Kris Bryant.
This week, fellow collector Roberto Ivaldi showed Sports Collectors Daily a fifth example of the Chrome Judge card which he says was pulled from a Draft box he ordered directly from Topps. The cards have a space at the bottom of the photo where an autograph would normally go but there’s no signature. The cards appear to have been leftovers from Bowman Chrome production that were never sent to athlete for a signature.
Bowman Chrome was released in late September while Draft wasn’t distributed until December 6.
It isn’t known how Chrome cards—none of which include the foil-stamped serial numbers commonly associated with them—wound up in a completely different product issued more than two months later. When Bach’s cards were discovered, Topps had claimed the inclusion of the “unsigned autos” of Judge and Bryant cards in Draft were a packaging error and an “isolated incident.” The more recent discoveries would indicate that while certainly rare, the cards were packed in multiple cases and how many exist won’t be known until more boxes of Draft are opened.
Bach and Ivaldi both say they received their requisite number of autographed cards promised in their Draft boxes so the unexpected “error cards” did not take the place of a signed card.
Bach has submitted his cards to Beckett for authentication and grading and will then decide what to do with them. Ivaldi says he’s contacted PSA for an opinion on whether they consider it an error card or a defective one. He says he’s hoping to pass the card down to his son Jacob who is also a collector.