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