1992 Score The Franchise Autograph Cards – Musial, Mantle, and Yastrzemski

In their 1992 Series 1 baseball release, Score included Joe DiMaggio’s autograph chase cards. However, it was in Series 2 that Score released The Franchise cards, which would set the standard for certified autograph trading cards. Although The Franchise cards included three individual autographed cards featuring Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Carl Yastrzemski, which were technically a parallel to the unautographed insert set, it was the Triple Autograph that’s become the GOAT of junk wax era signed cards.

I’ve organized this article similar to the Series 1 writeup about the Yankee Clipper, starting with some 1992 Score Series 2 advertising material before showing the pack and box packaging to frame the set’s production numbers. Then I highlight each card along with some recent sales.

1992 Score Baseball Advertisements

This first 1992 Score Baseball Series 2 advertisement focuses on the set’s base cards. It’s in the third paragraph of the copy where Score discusses winning one of the thousands of personally autographed cards. They first highlighted the Chuck Knoblauch rookie card signatures before discussing the autograph cards of Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, and Card Yastrzemski. Score didn’t even refer to the set as “The Franchise” cards in this ad. However, they did mention that the chances of finding a single autographed card would be no better than 4000/1 and the possibility of finding a combination autograph card was no better than 50000/1 – which we now know was referring to the triple auto card of Musial, Mantle, and Yastrzemski.

1992 Score Baseball Series 2 Advertisement – Pack-to-Pack Action

This second ad actually has the word Signature highlighted across the page and shows The Franchise cards along the top, though unsigned. The copy is similar and includes no new information about the autographed cards.

1992 Score Baseball Series 2 Advertisement – Score Signature

1992 Score Baseball Series 2 Packaging and The Franchise Autograph Production Numbers

Score highlighted the exclusive Musial, Mantle, and Yastrzemskis autographed cards on the front of their Series 2 boxes, along with a photo of my hobby favorite, Cal Ripken Jr

1992 Score Baseball Series 2 Box

The front of the plastic 1992 Score Series 2 packs also highlighted the opportunity to “win” Musial, Mantle, and Yastrzemski autographed cards and that the promotion’s details were on the back of the wrapper.

1992 Score Baseball Series 2 Pack – Front

And just as all the Score autograph promotions before, the wrapper highlighted how to get the cards instantly (out of the pack) or via mail-in sweepstakes.

1992 Score Baseball Series 2 Pack – Back

The pack shows that the Franchise set consists of one card each of Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Carl Yastrzemski, plus a combo card with all three players on it. Score noted that 6,496 autographed (1999 of each player and 499 combo) cards and 599,984 unautographed (149,996 of each of the four cards) cards had been randomly packed in Series 2 Score baseball card packs. The mail-in sweepstakes offered four autographed and 16 unautographed Franchise cards.

1992 Score The Franchise Overview

The three individual Franchise cards highlight the player in an action shot at bat, while the combo card features posed batting positions. Each autographed card was signed on the front and numbered on the back. You’ll find that a lot of catalogs note that each player signed their card in blue ink (prone to fading) and the combo cards in gold ink. Some catalogs note that Musial and Yastrzemski appear to have signed their cards in blue and gold ink. However, I haven’t found any Musial or Yastrzemski cards signed in blue ink, but, again, they’re pretty rare, so I can’t say there aren’t any. I have also only found individual Mantle cards signed in blue ink.

When you read the back of the cards, you’ll see why the subset was called “The Franchise.” These three players had played more games for their team than any other player in his club’s history.

1992 Score The Franchise #1 Stan Musial

1992 Score The Franchise #1 Stan Musial

Like a lot of junk-wax-era autographed inserts, PSA’s population report is a little tough to interpret. But they appear to have encapsulated approximately 24 signed Musial cards, though it’s likely more because there seem to be some signed ones in the APR for regular cards. However, the graded population count is WAY lower than the 2000 that were signed.

Sales of these iconic cards are scarce, Collect Auctions sold a signed Musial for $66 in August 2020, and another changed hand on eBay in May 2020 for $100, but expect to pay a lot more today.

1992 Score The Franchise #2 Mickey Mantle

1992 Score The Franchise #2 Mickey Mantle

Again, take this number with a grain of sale, but PSA has encapsulated around 87 signed 1992 Score The Franchise Mickey Mantle cards. Probstein sold a signed Mantle on eBay for $851 in August 2022, and another sold on eBay for $615 in October 2021.

1992 Score The Franchise #3 Carl Yastrzemski

1992 Score The Franchise #3 Carl Yastrzemski

Only around 17 signed Yastzemski Score insert cards are in PSA’s pop report. The last sale I tracked down was in September 2021 for $241. Another sold for $237 on eBay in January 2021.

1992 Score The Franchise #4 The Franchise Players Musial, Mantle, and Yastrzemski

1992 Score The Franchise #4 The Franchise Players Musial, Mantle, and Yastrzemski

The triple-auto is the true gem of the Franchise subset. PSA has encapsulated around 33 of them, and they command monster prices. One sold for $3010 on eBay in June 2022 and another for $4k in March 2021. Greg Morris Cards also sold one on eBay in March 2021 for $2551. The year before, in June 2020, the card was “only” $1326.

A Few Final Notes and Recommendations

I can’t tell who printed this article, but I found it online here. It mentions that at least three people had discovered what was possibly the most valuable “of all the autographed insert cards produced so far by the major card companies.” The article, which may have been more of a corporate promotion written by Score, confirmed that the HOFers signed just 500 combo cards. Score predicted that that card could be worth $5k someday, which sounds reasonable. They also mentioned that they didn’t promote the card too heavily.

Card News & Price Guide – The Year’s Most Valuable Card?

How many franchise autographs are left to be ripped from packs? Who knows, but a bunch are likely lost forever, and they aren’t printing more of them. 

Now, who would they include if Topps or Panini were to re-create the series with more modern players? Maybe Cal Ripken Jr. and Derek Jeter? In the comments, let me know who you’d have in a contemporary Franchise series.

You’ll also notice on the 1992 Score Series 2 box pictured above a promotion for an autographed Chuck Knoblauch rookie card. I’ll be highlighting that in a future Post War Cards Newsletter, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the details of that 1990 Score Buy Back.

And if you’re interested in other early junk wax-era chase cards, you’ll want to check these out:

Happy collecting!

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