If you have any additions that you feel should be added, please post them in the comments section here or in the original 1990 Pro Set Errors & Variations Master Set Checklist blog.
The following items will not be added to the Master Checklist:
-The printer’s scrap cards that have flooded eBay the last few months. This includes the blacked-out cards, smeared, miscut fronts/wrongbacks, errant color tone, smudged, etc. These cards are printer’s waste and were NOT pack-issued or meant for distribution. They were cut from sheets pulled from garbage bins. While really fun to look at and collect, they should not be considered essential to a master set.
–Wrong front/back cards. Again, these are really cool but are seldom found pack-issued and were usually cut from sheets found in the trash, making their way into the market illegally.
–Draft Day blank back/front proofs. Great, recent discovery variant proofs for Jeff George and Keith McCants draft day subset but not pack-issued or legally distributed.
I recently completed sorting through my 5000ct box of 1990 Pro Set series one inserts: those folded booklets that come with two scratch-off areas, one for “points” redeemable through the Gazette and one for the chance to instantly win one of several prizes ranging from a trip to the Pro Bowl to a Collector’s Game Program.
While hunting and successfully discovering several variations, I also stumbled upon an actual, unscratched “5th Prize” instant winner. Holding up each copy from the monster box to a desk lamp, I was able to see what was printed beneath the silver scratch-off ink. An amazing feat, considering the stated odds for this prize was 1:7200 packs! With a stated print run of 10,000 “5th Prize” instant winner cards, that places production equal to the pack-issued Lombardi holograms! And when you consider how many were mailed in (maybe few, maybe most) and how often these find their way into the trash, this becomes one of the rarest items among the 1990 Pro Set issue.
For less than a decade now, the Sports Collectors Digest has listed a major variation within the 1990 Topps set. Just recently, it’s catalog price has jumped up near Frank Thomas NNOF range, funny, considering zero copies have ever come up for sale! In fact, only one or two copies have been confirmed to even exist. Rare right?
I’m talking about card number 454 Jeff King. Yeah, the former #1 overall pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates and later, Kansas City Royals fame. Jeff’s card can be found with a solid, yellow and black cardback, meaning the cardboard colored areas (bio, border design, etc) typical on the reverses of 1990 Topps are inked over in yellow. Below is the only-known pic out there (as of today!) and the only confirmed copy I know of, however, Bob Lemke of SCD stands by them having recieved more than one submitted to them while editor of the big book.
This card, rather it’s catalog-worthy status is irksome to say the least. Collectors, especially those with error and variation focused collections as well as the powers-that-be of the industry, Beckett and SCD, have long held the “rule” that most printing flaws, especially ink-run types, are not considered true variations. This rule of course, has it’s many, many exceptions (Frank Thomas NNOF or 1986 Topps Roger Clemens “Blue Streak” for fresh examples), which is frustrating enough because by cataloging these entries as variations, they become must-have for the completists out there. These books lend a lot of legitimacy to which variations they decide to recognize.
The following 1991 Topps cards are presently known to be available with the A*B* print designation, although it is possible that other cards from the A* sheet are also available with the A*B* designation:
I’ve been meaning to post about this bizarre card for a couple years now but couldn’t locate the scans I saved. In fact, these images are the only I’ve ever seen and were poached from a message board in 2009. Since I am in the mood to do a little bit of detective work, I feel now is the time to shed some light on this very unusual card:
Not much is known about this card, in fact, I’ve yet to hear any mention of it since it was posted in the legendary Frank Thomas NNOF thread on the Collectors Universe boards.
Here is what we do know:
- Pulled from a 20-set case of 1990 Topps Debut ’89 sets.
- 1990 Topps Debut ’89 features 152 subjects.
- Topps likes to print cards in multiples of 11 (33 Glossy All-Stars, 132 O-Pee-Chees, 792 base set, etc…)
Here is what I think:
152 subjects doesn’t work with Topps’ multiples of 11 sheet orientation, however, 154 does. This leads me to believe that on a single uncut 154 card sheet, you will find all 152 cards plus two of these “corner” cards. Obviously, the same formula can be applied to a theoretical 77 card sheet, but one X card per.
I believe that these cards were intended to be thrown out as printer’s waste but some, apparently very few, made their way into sets.
I do not believe that the X cards were intended to depict a player. Although I did not do the research, Topps claims that this set features every major league debut of the 1989 season, which would explain it’s unusual subject number (152) , which varied each of the subsequent years lending some truth to the claim.
What’s especially odd is that given Topps’ high production run during this era, those two “wasted” spots would seem like something of loss financially. Given how often Topps put advertisements and offer cards in products, why didn’t they use those spots for something useful? Food for thought.
Obviously, all of this could be simply explained with an image of an uncut sheet but until I get a hold of one, where’s the fun in that?
Take a look at this freshly-discovered promo variation from the 1990 Score Rookie & Traded set. This was discovered just weeks ago in a discussion on 1990s promo cards over at Freedomcardboard.com. A longtime dealer posted an image of Dave Winfield’s card number 1 in the set that by all appearances, seems like the regular issue card (below). Another forum member posted a pic (2nd) of the set-issue showing a difference in photo cropping, something fairly common with early 90s Score issues: