1991 Topps A*B* Sheet Code Variations: Ongoing Checklist

28 Oct
This impressive look at 1991 Topps A*B* variations comes courtesy of JunkWaxGems contributor, Eric, a fellow E&V collector with an impressive collection:

“As if 1991 Topps has not already confounded collectors enough with its broad range of errors, variations, and printing oddities, one print variation may even eclipse the tough-to-find Mark Whiten, Drabek and Hoiles errors in scarcity.

It is well known that the backs of some 1991 Topps cards were printed with both a bold red 40th Anniversary” design behind the player stats and a more faded version that makes the card back easier to read.  All cards that were printed on the A* and B* sheets can be found with both bold and faded backs.  However, some of the cards from that A* sheet can also be found with an A*B* print designation at the bottom of the back of the card. 

This variation has ONLY been seen on cards with the bold “40th Anniversary” back and any cards with this variation have proven to be incredibly scarce.  In fact, these cards are so rare that it has been difficult to compile a complete listing.

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:

#13 – Mariano Duncan
#54 – Gary Mielke
#63 – Milt Thompson
#72 – Junior Ortiz
#76 – Jerry Browne
#83 – Daryl Boston
#120 – Joe Carter
#123 – Greg Harris
#153 – Bryan Harvey
#155 – Dwight Evans (error version only)
#170 – Carlton Fisk
#177 – Reggie Harris
#178 – Dave Valle
#190 – Matt Williams
#192 – Rob Deer
#193 – Felix Fermin
#213 – Frank Wills
#216 – Greg Gagne
#223 – Allan Anderson
#237 – Rick Cerone
#242 – Mike LaCoss
#248 – Tom Gordon
#250 – Dennis Eckersley
#265 – Mark Gubicza
#270 – Mark McGwire (correct version only)
#272 – Jeff King
#284 – Billy Spiers
#290 – Steve Sax
#297 – Manny Lee
#312 – Charlie Hayes
#314 – Gary Pettis
#317 – Mike Fitzgerald
#345 – Len Dykstra
#382 – Mackey Sasser
#384 – Gerald Perry
#422 – Rick Reuschel
#440 – George Bell
#453 – Bill Schroeder
#454 – Kevin Appier (error version only)
#463 – Dwight Smith
#475 – Teddy Higuera
#478 – Kurt Stillwell
#480 – Dave Magadan
#481 – Eddie Whitson
#509 – Glenallen Hill
#532 – Kirk McCaskill
#538 – Bip Roberts
#584 – Kevin Brown
#595 – Bill Landrum
#610 – Andres Galarraga
#622 – Jack Daugherty
#642 – Hal Morris
#644 – Chuck Crim
#650 – Jack Clark
#664 – John Farrell
#667 – Kent Anderson
#677 – Bill Ripken
#716 – Bob Geren
#718 – Steve Crawford
#756 – Jeff Huson
#781 – Daryl Hamilton
#783 – Joel Skinner
#785 – Scott Fletcher

If this wasn’t enough, there is also another variation from the A* and B* sheets where the light pink area behind the biographical information on the back of the card is printed in the same dark red color as the rest of the red card back.  This seems to be more common on the B* sheet, and again, is only found on cards with the bold red “40th Anniversary” back.  At present, there has not yet been an attempt to catalog these variations so it is unknown how many cards from these sheets were affected by this variation.”

A huge “thanks” to Eric for digging this out, doing the research and this thorough write-up.

I can safely say that throughout my many 1991 Topps phases, I have opened more of the product than most people would be able to rationalize . I have broken countless boxes, sets, and sorted through hundreds of thousands of loose 1991 Topps singles found in miscellany and junk boxes and have turned just about every copy over as well: these variations (Daryl Boston excluded) are hands down the rarest of the issue. I’ve come across many Mark Whiten, Drabek and Hoiles errors, yet have never held a copy of these A*B* variations. While patience will usually bring out the “big three” previously mentioned, less than ten copies of this variety have ever been offered for sale!

24 Responses to “1991 Topps A*B* Sheet Code Variations: Ongoing Checklist”

  1. Robert June 18, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    My friends and I would like to know what were the odds of getting a misprint/error card in the 1990’s ? 1:50,000 or higher

    • Dylan July 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      I don’t have any idea where to begin with this.

  2. Adam shugan September 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    I was going through my collection and I must have found something ultra rare. It is a #83 Daryl Boston a* b* print code without the bold red Tops 40!

    • Dylan December 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      Boston is the one “common” A*B* variation, sorry.

      • Adam shugan December 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

        Even without the bold Topps 40 logo?

  3. Adam December 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    For some reason today I thought about my 1991 Topps Don Mattingly that I actually found the error myself (probably 20 years ago) while just looking through the stats. I think it was the hits on one was different than the other. I googled it just now and found this site. Is the error card worth anything? I’ve always wondered if it was.

  4. Eric January 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Just wanted to quickly post a note to say that I believe that the above list of 63 A*B* variations is complete. It appears that the variations only exist on the first six rows (or top half) of the A* sheet. That would be 66 total cards (11 columns, 6 rows). However, three of the 66 cards are manager cards (Roger Craig, Nick Leyva and Don Zimmer) which I do not believe have this variation.

  5. Eric January 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Adam, let me check what I have. Daryl Boston is the exception to all the A*B* rules, but let me make sure that I see it without the bold “40” as well….

  6. Scotto February 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Hoping for some help here. I came across a card from the 91 topps ML Debut set. Its Charles Nagy #114 and its an A*b* sheet variation. I’d love to know if this was a reprint from a later year or a legit ab sheet

  7. Ben North February 22, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    When going through some 91 Topps today I found card #9 Darrin Fletcher with and with out the F* sheet code. It is on the regular non bold back.

  8. Sara February 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    Have you ever seen a similar error to this but with E*F* ? Or is that completely meaningless? I have a Steve Olin #696 with a faded logo, and the E*F* print code..

    • Dylan February 25, 2016 at 10:41 am #

      Very common, sorry.

  9. Bill Palian June 29, 2018 at 5:47 am #

    #453 – Bill Schroeder is actually #452.

  10. Kingnino July 15, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

    Daryl Boston is the rares 1 2 have 4sho bkuz i never seen nobody selling it. I have 1 but not 4 sell. N please if u don’t have this card stop saying u do bkuz this card is really rare. N if do got post it n I’ll post mine.

  11. Kristofer Benham February 2, 2020 at 11:39 am #

    To Robert’s original question (7.5 years ago), the odds of something can only be calculated if we know how many total cards were made, and how many total misprints there were. Since misprints are not intentional (*glares suspiciously at card companies*), and tons of 1991 Topps Baseball cards have been thrown away over the past 29 years, or are still hiding in factory packaging somewhere in storage units and attics, there is absolutely no way to calculate those odds. You can do small sample sizes, and then make an educated guess, but that data can be way off from the actual total for many, many reasons, especially with the endless error/variation rabbit hole that we call 1991 Topps Baseball.

  12. Kristofer Benham February 2, 2020 at 11:40 am #

    To Kingnino (1.5 years ago), you should be respectful of the people that have to read anything that you write by using proper grammar, capitalization, sentence structure, punctuation, etc. The whole purpose of everyone learning the same language is to communicate efficiently. We didn’t spend 12+ years of our lives learning English in school so we could decipher a random code of lazy millennial babble. The Daryl Boston is NOT rare at all, no matter how many birthday candles you blow out wishing it to be so. You don’t see any of the Boston card for sale because the few people that want it already have it (as it is super easy to get), and everyone else in the world doesn’t care that baseball cards even exist. Everyone on here could show you that they have that card, but instead of people doing that, we prefer to trust what each other says (what adults commonly do), as anything contrary to that behavior is counterproductive.

  13. Nicholas W Luttrell March 8, 2021 at 6:59 am #

    I have a few 1991 Topps Bold print on the back. B print. Do you know if these make the card more valuable? Or less Valuable?

  14. Nicholas Luttrell June 11, 2021 at 12:38 am #

    I found a Stan Belinda #522 With the Bold print back. 1991 Topps. Is it worth anything? Definitely Gen Mint condition.

    • Dylan June 11, 2021 at 9:01 am #

      This site isn’t a price guide. I’d recommend checking out completed sales on eBay for your card.

  15. Adam Eveless November 10, 2022 at 8:25 pm #

    I have a checklist with the A*B* sheet code.

    • Dylan November 10, 2022 at 8:58 pm #

      I don’t believe any 1991 Topps checklists were printed in A* or B* sheets, only E* and F*.

      can you send a pic to: jacksoncoupage@yahoo.com

      • Adam Eveless November 13, 2022 at 3:37 pm #

        It may take a minute or two to dig it up but I’ll send a picture when I do…

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