1990 Pro Set Jim Morrissey #754 – Does It Exist?

25 May

An interesting find in the March 1991 issues of Beckett Football Card Magazine. In their first listing for the 1990 Pro Set Final Update set, they show card #754 as Jim Morrissey. As many already know, that card belongs to Steve Tasker (which can also be found in two variations) of the Buffalo Bills. Interestingly, the card of Chicago Bears player fits correctly in Pro Set’s 1990 team order, right between a Buffalo Bills player (James Lofton #753) and a Cleveland Browns “player” (Jim Shofner CO #755). Since Beckett and other hobby publications received preliminary checklist info from the companies, it is safe to assume that they had originally planned on Morrissey’s inclusion.

Was this card produced? Has anyone seen a copy? What happened to cause the switch out to Tasker? My guess? It’s out there. Someone has an unfinished, blank back type of proof for this card. If anyone has any info or photos to add to this mystery, please reply in the comments.

Quick Look: 1990 Donruss Grand Slammers Red Star Error (Todd Benzinger)

7 May

The first and only example, until recently, that I had seen of this variation turned up in 2015 on eBay. I can’t recall if I found it completed or was outbid but I have been trying to track down this variation since. Not on any of the dozens of want lists or master set checklists sent to me by E&V collectors, this elusive variation, so far, has only shown up on Todd Benzinger’s card. A few 1990 Donruss experts have claimed that other cards in the Grand Slammers set can be found with the red star on front too, however, I have yet to confirm this.

If you have photos of any other 1990 Grand Slammers with a red star on front, please send to: jacksoncoupage@yahoo.com and I will update this post with a credit.

Quick Look: 1990 Pro Set Paul Gruber #310A Missing Name & Number On Back

6 May

Recently unearthed the one and only image I have of this card. Another Pro Set collector told me that there was a recent-ish eBay sale for this extremely scarce printing variation but somehow I didn’t catch it in any of my searches. This is quite possibly the last, super-scarce 1990 Pro Set issue that can be found in packs. At this point, aside from Dexter Manley in the Final Update sets, most of the big ones came directly from the company in promotional or inter-company gift form.

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1987 Topps Errors & Variations: Ongoing Checklist

4 May

4a Dave Lopes RB (RPD affecting the copyright line on back, several variants exist)

  • 4.1a 1985 Copyright on back **UNVERIFIED*
  • 4.2a 198? Copyright on back
  • 4.3a 1957 Copyright on back

4b Dave Lopes RB (correct)

92a Urbano Lugo (no TM on front)

92b Urbano Lugo (correct)

97a Glenn Wilson (incomplete circle around Phillies logo on front)

97b Glenn Wilson (correct)

99a Darryl Motley (RPD “NOW WI” on front

99b Darryl Motley (“NOW WITH BRAVES” on front)

104a Billy Sample (RPD missing border, upper left corner)

104b Billy Sample (correct)

128 Checklist (Woodgrain/Stain variations – four known)

170a Bo Jackson (RPD Missing top of R in FUTURE STARS on front)

170b Bo Jackson (correct)

191a Cardinals TL (black line through CAR on front)

191b Cardinals TL (correct)

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1990-91 Score Eric Lindros #440 Counterfeits: Where Are They Now?

2 May

One of the earliest forays into prospecting for me came during the 1990-91 NHL season with the arrival of Eric Lindros in the 1990-91 Score set. The card was instantly hot and exclusive to the company. Lindros had a ton of hype behind him, deservedly so, and despite what many think today, he had a pretty solid career. To this day, the 1990 Score Lindros Future Superstar and the 1990-91 Upper Deck French Sergei Fedorov Young Guns cards are two of my favorite “worthless” junk era items to pick up. While hockey junk wax and it’s rookie classes haven’t exploded the way that NBA cards form the same time have, these two cards remain icons of the period and may eventually see their moment as well.

By 1991, warnings of counterfeit O-Pee-Chee Premier cards (the other mega-hot product at the time) and 1990 Score Lindros cards began to pepper the hobby magazines. Not that I had the money to be stocking up on the Lindros card in any sort of bulk (or any OPC Premeir, for that matter…) but this info always sort of alarmed me. I recall being hyper-vigilant about it, analyzing every copy I encountered at the shops at that time. It was a thing and lasted for a few years until players like Pavel Bure, Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya came along and took the hobby’s attention away. By this point the knowledge of counterfeit Lindros cards was relegated to a little blurb in the Beckett listing for 1990 Score: “BEWARE LINDROS COUNTERFEITS”

So what happened to them? Based on details from the research done at the time (see pics below), I have never been able to locate a copy and while I haven’t been looking the entire time, at every copy presented for sale online, I have checked in to sites like COMC.com and eBay on occasion. COMC is obviously perfect for this as you get to review zoomed-in images of both the front and back of cards on the site. Typically there are hundreds of the Lindros cards available there at any time and I’m fairly certain I’ve checked them all out. Not a single iffy, suspect, maybe-phony card has shown up. Don’t get me wrong, I believe they exist, in fact, I would that say I’m in the market for one and if multiple counterfeit types exist as posited by SCD in the Sportscard Counterfeit Detector book, I’m in the market for both! But, today, this card, at best, is a $1 nostalgia purchase. A card produced in the millions with far fewer collectors for it so I don’t expect many people to be analyzing their copies too closely. If anyone does have a copy, for sale or otherwise, even a scan, or anything solid to add to this article, please comment below.

1990 Action Packed All-Madden Team Roger Craig #32 Prototype or Withdrawn Variation?

2 May

Here’s a bizarre item I stumbled across a few years back. A set that for the most part I have zero interest in diving into, but like many other new entries into the market at the time, it’s a set prone to mistakes and likely preceded by a number of proof and prototype cards in it’s efforts to secure a license. And as many collectors already know, this often leads to new variations and oddities for the collection.

Card 32 in the base set is reserved for Ronnie Lott but either early on in the run or prior to production, a card of Roger Craig was issued as 32. Take a look at the pics below. Feel free to comment with any info on the source or history of the card.

Cards You’ve Never Seen: 1992 Topps Debut ’91 Todd Van Poppel Promo

1 May

It isn’t too often that you get a look at the prototypes and mockups of Topps’ oddball and direct market sets of the Junk Wax era. One of my favorite sets and one that I wish could’ve continued through the 1990s is the Topps Debut set, featuring each player who made their major league debut the previous season. Image a 1993 Topps Debut ’92 Mike Piazza or a 1996 Topps Debut ’95 Mariano Rivera…plenty of interesting what-ifs there.

This is the only known prototype from the 1990-1992 sets as far as I could find. There is a Golden Spikes Award version of Alex Fernandez’s 1991 Topps Debut ’90 card, which also happens to come in two versions itself. Looks like Mr. Van Poppel was the lucky subject of their testing out the design elements for the final version. While this card is likely just a mockup and was probably never printed, please comment if you can confirm a physical copy. I’d love to showcase it here, especially images of both sides.

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1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF August 1995 Beckett Write-Up: 25 Years Later

30 Apr

A quick look at two pages from the August 1995 Beckett Baseball Magazine outlining the most up-to-date info on the card at the time. The ‘Readers Write’ letter is interesting to me as it tackles the big question surrounding the legitimacy of this printing error vs. others and the generally accepted hypocrisy applied to it. Also noticeable is how their example does not contain the tiny piece of Frank’s name commonly (but not always) found on the iconic print flaw. Theo Chen’s estimation of 500 to 1000 and possibly even “less than 100” copies is laughable 25 years later. While truly a needle-in-a-haystack card, far more than 1000 copies have surfaced since.

Bonus: January 1994 NNOF Pricing

Cards You’ve Never Seen: 1990 Upper Deck No Position On Front Promos/Proofs

29 Apr

Take a look at this interesting print ad for 1990 Upper Deck baseball. In the foreground are a handful of cards, oddly enough, all from the 101-199 sequence (the missing copyright affected sequence), showing no position in the upper left corner box. Ken Griffey Jr, Bo Jackson, Barry Larkin among other highly collected players. I can only imagine what kind of money these likely-unproduced variations would bring today. What’s also interesting is that the cards in Reggie Jackson’s hand appear to be printed with their positions.

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Quick Look: 1991 Pro Set ‘Special Promotional Sample’ Stamped Promo Cards

28 Apr

My memory may be off but I am fairly certain that I was given one of these stamped 1991 Pro Set cards upon visiting their booth at the 1991 National Collector’s Convention in Anaheim. I want to say it was Randall Cunningham’s base card. Or maybe Jeff George. All I know is that I was disappointed it wasn’t Emmitt or something more “valuable.” In the years since I have only seen a handful of these cards pop up. The image below of Rocket Ismail’s card was one I found in a box of various early 90s “hot” cards in sleeves, picked up at a thrift store in Van Nuys, CA. As of now, it is impossible to say whether Pro Set stamped the entire series one set or just certain players and exactly how many of each were issued. I do not believe that any more than two copies of any player have been confirmed. Because of their non-descript fronts, I turn over every 1991 Pro Set single I find mixed with other promo/oddball/hot cards of the time.

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