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 freedomcardboard.com 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:
If you own a copy of the great 1991 Pro Set NFL Collectible Book, not only do you own a cool set in the 9-card Cinderella Story inserts, but you get to catch the lone glimpse of a variation that has probably never reached the hands of any collector.
James Jefferson’ 1989 Pro Set card #539 already comes in 2 types: with and without the ‘Pro Set Prospect’ banner on front. Both are fairly common and we’ve all seen them any number of times. This mysterious third variety appears in the book:
The card pictured above, is actually the image cut from the page in the 1991 Pro Set retrospective book. For whatever reason, maybe just to drive Pro Set collectors even crazier, they used this picture. Pro Set seemed to like their variations to come in 3 or more types. The Riggs, McMahon, Byner and Gizmo Williams cards all attest to this. If this card actually exists, it has to be one of the rarest Pro Set cards produced to have remained hidden all of these years.
Though I’m not the first to notice it, I find it odd that this card has received such little attention over the years. The card in question, #370 in the 1990 Score baseball set depicting Chicago Cubs 1st round draft pick, Earl Cunningham, has a very obviously doctored bat handle. 1988-1990 Score cards had a specific way of covering up unwanted items that looks almost computer-generated:
Wow. Have I already sunk so low into the junk era that I’m blogging about 1991 Donruss? Unfortunately yes. 1991 Donruss is one of those sets that I despise from the beloved speculation era. I’m not sure why I hate it so much, the colors? The design? The fact that Ive never pulled an Elite insert? Well, 1991 Donruss gets a little credit in my book because of one card: 1991 Donruss Highlights Andy Hawkins #BC-12A “Pitcher” ERR
This stupid card has eluded me for the years now. My muddled memories of being at summer camp in 1991 are littered with images of frenzied 1991 Donruss, Stadium Club and Topps Traded pack-busting and I seem to think that at some point between 1991 and 1992, that I owned this specific variation. Whether I did or didn’t is pretty irrelevant but I can say for sure that it’s pretty impossible to find today. Probably because it’s a rare 1991 Donruss common (oxymoron).
The card pictured above is the corrected version. It reads: “No-Hits White Sox” under his name on front. The error version reads: “Pitcher” as if it’s in the base card format instead of the Highlights subset format. I am willing to bet that if up for the challenge, that you could pull one of those Ryne Sandberg Legend Autographs before you ever pull the Hawkins error. I truly believe it’s that kind of rare. I’ve never seen a single copy on ebay. None have appeared for sale on beckett, sportsbuy or anywhere whithin google’s search radius – for at least the last 5 years. Anyone have one these guys?
Periodically, I’ll be posting short blogs about cards (usually errors or variations) that are listed in the major price guides like Beckett and SCD that I have yet to confirm whether they actually exist or not. There is a pretty lengthy list but since I’ve recently been able to confirm the existence of another 1990-91 Fleer Basketball variation, I figure that this card deserves some focus tonight:
1990-91 Fleer Dan Majerle #150A with “award in 1988.” in text on back.
(corrected version #150b)
The Beckett annual price guide lists this card, yet I have never found one in all my travels. I’ve always checked the back of this card whenever Ive come across one and they always say “award in 1989” on back. Several collectors have messaged me over the years asking if I have a copy for sale and many more have had it listed in their wantlists that they would email to me – this is usually an indicator of one of two things: It doesnt exist or exists in such low quantity (if in any quantity) that it may possibly be a proof or it’s just that rare. To add to the mystery, I’ve purchased several copies of this card from dealers via beckett.com, naxcom (sportsbuy), etc and a refund for them always followed shortly after.
Can anyone confirm this card exists? Maybe a Majerle collector has some info on it? If you have a scan of one, please send me a message or post a link in the comments section, I’ll gladly repost it in this blog with a “Confirmed by” credit to you.