Sunday, June 1, 2014

2 Billie Jo Powers (Redemption) Autograph Cards

I figured I should get back to last week's batch of Benchwarmer redemption cards... with two models left, I hesitated as to which one to feature first, but I opted Billie Jo Powers because I'm relatively familiar with her work, and could relate her back to sports fairly easily.

You see, the 27-year old third-generation superstar model - can you believe she (in 2004), her mom (1979), and her grandmother (1944) were all May Queen/Homecoming Queen at the same high school? - hails from the city that only houses teams I have always rooted against, from the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins to the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers to MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates. In its defense, Steel Town has improved greatly in the past 15 years or so, focusing its economy and construction on greener energies, after making the bulk of its cash in the 20th Century in metals, banking and petroleum. Also, it serves as a place where we can safely stow away Sidney Crosby without having him bore Canada to death as its 'clean' alternative to Justin Bieber.

But back to the model at hand. Billie Jo Powers started modeling professionally the minute she graduated from high school. It started with a first place at Model America in 2006, then a place in the 12-month Hawaiian Tropic calendar which led to a Miss Hawaiian Tropic award; she has two Planet Beach Model titles (2008 and 2009), and was named Girl Of Playboy Golf in 2010, the same year she was named the World Bikini Search's Miss January, and Miss Swimsuit USA. She was runer-up (and Miss Photogenic) at the Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant (which leads to Miss USA and Miss World).

She has lived her life being pretty, so chances are that's not the line you want to open up with should you meet her in a bar, or at a Pool Party she may be hosting - I can hook you up with a place on the guest list. No, instead, you might want to go ahead and praise her work ethic - or her brains, because what started as ''just helping Mom out'' has turned into two successful businesswomen running their own show and living from putting their ideas to good use.

Which brings me to the cards. Here's one from Benchwarmer's 2012 Father's Day web-exclusive set:

The regular-issue of that card was #4 in the set and was signed in black sharpie; this one, signed in purple, has no number on the back, thus probably identifying it as a redemption (or an error card). If you're familiar with Benchwarmer cards and you think the picture on the front may just have been recycled from a past set, you're not too far off, it's actually an alternate pose as this card (different smile):

If you look at her top too closely, you'll see BW likes a specific colour combination on the Pennsylvania beauty, as shown in this card is from Benchwarmer's 2012 National set (the Charm City sub-set, paying tribute to Baltimore, home of the 2012 National Sports Collectors' Convention), manufactured at only 99 cases (12 boxes per case, 10 cards per box):

This one, signed in black sharpie, is numbered (4 of 6), so my guess is they had printed more cards than were needed for the limited scope of the Convention boxes: 99 cases at 12 boxes per, at 10 cards each makes a total of 11880 cards; according to their sales page, they printed out 117 different cards in 9 different subsets, an average of 101 of each - less if you factor in that many of those had numbered variants depending on colour of foil.

The important thing is I have my hands on one. Good stuff!

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