Confirm or Debunk: 1990 Upper Deck Ben McDonald #54C with White Circle on Front

26 Jan

Another long-running mystery variation, first cataloged by Dick Gilkeson in his 1990 Error & Variation guide, the possible third variety of one of the most iconic error cards from the error craze days: 1990 Upper Deck Ben McDonald #54 with “White Circle” on front.

I say ‘possible’ because not only have so few examples shown up in the last 5-10 years, it’s a very likely candidate for counterfeiting due to the astronomical sales that the Orioles variation saw upon it’s release ($50-100). Add to that, the 1989-1991 Upper Deck cards were often erased by unethical dealers looking to cash in the error craze. I can personally recall being warned specifically about the erased McDonald card back in 1990-91. With little effort, these cards can be erased to show a blank white area on just about any section of the cards, this makes it extremely important to be able to hold a copy and tilt it under a good light source to see if the gloss has been dulled, before purchasing.

(copy owned by e.v. of the forums)

The above copy is just the third I have seen. The previous two were found on ebay with $100 buy-it-now’s during 2007-2008.

Some things worth noting:

The McDonald’s have a TM next to the white circle, this is what shows next to the ‘Star Rookie’ or corrected variety. The ‘Orioles’ errors have an R (registration symbol) next the logo.

It’s long been speculated that the McDonald error’s were intentional. Him being a huge prospect at the time, coupled with the growing error craze made this a perfect choice for a boost in sales and publicity for their sophomore product. It would be of little surprise that some of the folks at Upper Deck saw the value on the secondary market and created this third type as a way to cash in a little extra, we already know that they printed extra 1989 Dale Murphy and Griffey cards.

Another idea is that this card is a transitional type between the two types, but it seems odd that they would swap out the trademarks first, before the logos. Not impossible, but it’s a red flag for me. However, I have not ruled out the possibility that this card was printed after the Star Rookie logo was applied, either due to a plate error or just a short-run variety intentionally created for renewed buzz after the initial excitement over the product died a bit.

At this point there just isn’t enough info available for this variety. Having been in the market for one, I couldn’t bring myself to lay down $100 for a copy that didn’t come with some kind of guarantee, but at this point, holding one in person and thoroughly examining it under a loop would be the only way I could make a final determination of this cards place as a legit variation. I definitely encourage anyone with any additional info on it, to post comments.

7 Responses to “Confirm or Debunk: 1990 Upper Deck Ben McDonald #54C with White Circle on Front”

  1. Eric Bronner February 10, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    There are a few other cards out there that I would like to confirm or debunk. Each of these has proven impossible to find, and I am beginning to question their existence. Any confirmation as to the existence of these cards would be appreciated:

    1991 Score – #352A – Scott Chiamparino (Bats Left on back)

    1991 Topps I – #337C – Keith Comstock (yellow line in L and R border) – I’ve seen a scan of this one at some point, so it’s likely it exists, but I am unsure of how many of these versions were printed

    1995 Topps (Hobby) – #337A – Jason Jacome (no Diamond Vision logo on back photo)

    While I’m at it – I’m also trying to track down some variations that I know exist but that I have had difficulty locating. If anyone has any extras of these cards, please let me know:

    1976 Crane Potato Chips Discs – #22A – Reggie Jackson (A’s)
    1976 Crane Potato Chips Discs – #32A – Carlos May (White Sox)
    1976 Crane Potato Chips Discs – #36A – Andy Messersmith (Dodgers)
    1976 Crane Potato Chips Discs – #62A – Andre Thornton (Cubs)
    1990 Upper Deck – #137A – Tim Birtsas (no Copyright info on back of card)
    1991 Donruss – #222B – Von Hayes (no first names in Traded players on back)
    1991 Donruss – #386B – Checklist (green borders)
    1991 Pro Set Football – #8C – Jim Kelly (w/ R but no NFLPA logo)
    1991 Topps – #42A – Chris Hoiles (white border around inside)
    1991 Topps – #48C – Dennis Boyd (black tip in banner)
    1992 Score – #754A – Dave Hansen (no Rookie Prospects stripe on front)

    I appreciate any help that can be offered on these cards.

    • Kandis Bonnet October 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

      Eric I have both of the Keith Comstock cards the one with the yellow lines is the Mariners card I also have the cubs card its red and blue I can take a picture if u like send your email address thanks for all of the info

      • Dylan December 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

        This is incorrect. The yellow lines refer to thin yellow lines in the white border space on either side of the “name banner” on front.

  2. Kellen August 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Has anybody seen a billy Ripken fuck face card that has thin line cut out of the center of card?? I never seen or heard anybody talk about that version of it.. It has fuck face on it but it also has a thin line or rectangle cut down the center of card

    • Kellen August 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      Would like to hear somebody tell me something bout this version

  3. Jeremy June 1, 2020 at 5:59 pm #

    I have one. It looks a little faded around the top of the white circle like it’s been cleaned or something. Everything about it looks fake really.. the color on front and back isn’t as sharp as the original rookie.. but I only paid $25 for it. That’s better than $100 I guess…

    • Dylan June 1, 2020 at 10:19 pm #

      There is one up on eBay currently that matches that description. I’d like to think this exists but likely all fakes created in response to the surging price of the Orioles version back in early 1990.

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