Minnesota Twins Collection

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2008 SP Authentic By The Letter

To best honest, I had not been very familiar with the By The Letter cards found in SP Authentic... or with other similar letter cards found in other products. I do find it ironic that cards featuring letters from named embroidered on jerseys found in a product called "Authentic" are anything but.

As a little more background information, the By The Letter cards are inserts found in packs of SP Authentic. Each card features a embroidered letter patch autographed by the player and the letters altogether spell either the player's name or the team name or a nickname. The letters themselves are made to appear as though they come directly from a jersey, but the letter are, in fact, manufactured only for the cards. In 2008, By The Letter cards were distributed one per box.

However, I did receive this card from one of my fellow Team Collectors.

2008 SP Authentic - Joe Nathan - O

According to the card on the back, the letters should spell out either "Joe Nathan" or "Minnesota Twins".

I am a Twins Collector and I am also a Joe Nathan fan. Now that I have a By The Letter card in hand, I can see why other collectors go out of their way to get the other cards for their player.

Based on eBay sales, I could probably expect to spend over $20 for each additional By The Letter card. One of my local shops had a By The Letter card priced at $40.

The one thing I do not quite understand is the serial numbering.

This card was numbered 2/10.

The letter "N" currently up for auction is numbered out of 5. There are only 5 letter "N" total in "Joe Nathan" and "Minnesota Twins", which would indicate to me that you need all 5 to spell out both.

The letter "H", which can be bought now on eBay is numbered out of 50. A couple of letter "M" that were sold are numbered to 50 while a letter "I" that was not sold is numbered to 10.

The Beckett listing for the card seems to indicate that there are 365 cards total regardless of letter.

My question is this: Should I make my next quest to complete the Joe Nathan By The Letter?

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