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1990 Pro Set Football: What’s Rare & What’s Not – Looking Back On The Last 7 Years of Discoveries And Sales

18 Nov

It seems the nostalgia boom of Pro Set collecting has all but come to an end. Sure there are several of us out there still flipping over cards in junk lots and scouring auction sites for new and interesting oddities but nothing quite like the heyday of the late 00s, early 10s. In those years, there seemed to be so much being uncovered, an endless supply of new items to chase and an ever-growing population of collectors jumping into what are arguably the most error/variation laden products of the junk wax era. Over the last five+ years, the collector slowdown started gradually (and I blame much of this on the glut of printer’s scrap and sheet cut items hitting the market) and has pretty much come to a near stop, save the likely, few dozen collectors still pursuing the impossible idea of a “complete” set. Let’s take a look at some of the cards which have filtered out to remain truly rare and elusive, and, conversely, which previously-believed to be rare items have proven to be much more acquirable.

Below is my completely unscientific and very fallible list of Pro Set winners and losers, after watching a recording appearances for sale, realized sales and frequency of availability for purchase. Obviously this does not take into account collector to collector data.

1990 Pro Set Football Winners (included prototypes and non-pack issues):

  1. Steve Young #666 – I believe this to be toughest Pro Set issue of all. Despite information, including pics, circulating for over a decade now, I do not recall a public sale of this card. Truly the holy grail of Pro Set issues, across all sets and sports.
  2. Eric Dickerson #338FACT Cincinnati. Have any copies of this card changed hands or been offered for sale in the last seven-to-ten years? As far as I know, none have. I had received an email ca. 2010, I think, that contained an image of the card back. I do not believe I had seen it prior to or since then. Truly a worthwhile runner-up to the Steve Young card as most sought-after and elusive 1990 Pro Set issue.
  3. Paul Gruber #310Missing name, position and uni number on back. Unreal to me that only one copy has surfaced. This card is similar to the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF, where, clearly, an obstruction blocked an imperfect portion of black ink on back. Though unconfirmed, I believe that whichever Bucs player sat above his card on the 10-up sheet strips should also be missing black ink on their cards.
  4. Dexter Manley #772missing bio or “ghost bio” variation. Via emails and ebay messages ca. 2005, I was turned on to this card’s existence but did not see a copy until 2010. Since then, I know of just four copies in existence. Two of which are never likely to leave their collections. Odds are, like all other rarities in mass produced sets, there are more out there but this variation remains one of the most elusive Pro Set mistakes produced, even if categorized as a “print flaw” by most.
  5. Chris Hinton PB #343Trade snipe on front, “Has been named…” text on back. This odd transitional version appeared for sale with some regularity for a small stretch a few years ago but they have pretty much become a ghost these days.
  6. Chris Hinton PB 343Trade snipe on front, “Six-time…” text on back with white text in snipe on front. This card was allegedly updated/reworked at the same time Rison’s card #134 was, which coincidentally also can be found with white text in the snipe on front. Made more interesting by the fact that the two players happened to be swapped for one another as part of the Jeff George draft day trade! Both cards went through several changes across the life of the product and these versions pop up very, very occasionally. I do not have a proper count but I will guess no more than ten copies of each have show up for sale.

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800 copies of 1990 Upper Deck Mike Witt #702 Discovered!

11 Jul

A card previously believed to be quite rare, with under 50 copies estimated in circulation has now jumped to closer to 1000 known copies with the recent discovery of an 800 count box filled with 1990 Upper Deck card 702, featuring Mike Witt. The cards were believed to have been pulled from production and destroyed, however, it appears that at least one box made their way out of the factory.

A collector named Gilbert claims to have found the box at a flea market in California. After corresponding privately with collectors he found via commenting on this blog, he took to posting at FreedomCardboard.com for more information on the Witt card. Here is a link to that discussion, which provides so very interesting information: Mike Witt 800ct Discovery Freedom Cardboard Forums Discussion

Below is the initial emails I received upon their discovery:

Gilbert writes:
“Hey Guys,just wanted to update everyone on these cards,ive sold a total of 10 cards so far,some less then $100,my intentions was and will try to get them out to all collectors who would want one for their collection,I’ve made a lot more money from these then I can imagine for something I spend $10 on,talked to a lot of cool people from all over the U.S…made some friends and had a few who tried to take advantage,lol..but it has been an experience,its gotten me into the collection world,the guy I got them from continues to have a huge collection and I’m there every Saturday and Sunday looking thru them,And my “Gem Mint 10″ is now on eBay,so I’m excited about that,i just want that card to be sold for a little higher then the most expensive one sold for(1300)…only time will tell,after that,i might sell a total of maybe 10 after that,but I won’t give them away,lol…so after that,the will be put away…there might be over 800 cards,but not a lot out in the market,what hopefully they keep some value…I admire all you guys,maybe some day I can be a master collector like you all…have a great day people!��”

For Sale: Rare (and Interesting) 1980s and 1990s Error & Variation items

13 Oct

My last batch as an eBay seller is up right now and I’m hoping to move some of this over the next week before I stop selling on the site. A recent 60-day review showed me $600 in sales, netted me $140 in pocket and this has been going on this way for over a year with no sign of changing for the better!  So, unfortunately, this current batch of stuff will be my last for the foreseeable future. The good news is, it’s some of the best I have had in a long time. You can check it all out here.

Currently taking lower-than-usual offers on this stuff, after this next week, I will be revamping the “For Sale” page on this site to include a large run-down of available merchandise and will most likely only sell through this site. An occasional “must-auction” item may hit eBay here and again, but my days of selling on their site in any kind of volume are over.

So, please do, check ’em out and make offers, mention JunkWaxGems for free, combined shipping!

Thanks!

1994 Topps Sheet Code Variations…An Ongoing Mystery

8 Oct

Continuing on with my recent spotlighting of post-prime era variations (mid 90s and on), here is a look at a recently discovered (2007-ish) variation affecting an unknown number of 1994 Topps subjects. Several of the base cards are commonly found without a print code on back – very common for this set, however, a handful of these subject have shown up in extremely limited quantities with a print code.

Brought to my attention from a fellow collector, so far, only Mark McGwire, Pedro Martinez, Mel Rojas and an already-forgotten Montreal Expos common have been confirmed. This is most-likely due to the fact that by 1994, the error and variation craze had died down considerably and collectors weren’t pouring over the issue like they had in the late 80s. My own research has been pretty limited as far as this set goes, I’ve poured over half a dozen factory sets and twice as many 3200ct boxes but have never found a with code and without pair.

I’d be interested to hear what the player collectors out there turn up. If anyone has any more info on these variations or other 1994 Topps errors, I’d like to get an ‘Ongoing Checklist’ for 1994 Topps going soon. I am fairly certain there is a lot more to be discovered in 1994 Topps.

Record Sale For 1990 Topps Frank Thomas No Name On Front Error

17 Aug

Not mine, but I sure wish it was…

http://cgi.ebay.com/FRANK-THOMAS-1990-TOPPS-RC-NNOF-NONAME-FRONT-BGS-8-5-/360385899834?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item53e8ac6d3a

A benchmark sale for the Junk Wax Gem of Gems!

Truly an ode to the power of the catalog’s recognition coupled with star factor. How many unlisted printing flaws could $2K get you?

 

 

New Blog Feature: Ongoing Checklists

20 Jun

One feature I’ve been meaning to work into the blog for at least a year now, is an ongoing checklist category. Essentially, it will be a “living” checklist of featured sets that will be added to as new variations are found. I will continue to update the posts in the same way I continue to add to the 1990 Pro Set Master Set Checklist post. This will hopefully function as a valuable source of information for junk era set completion.

Suggestions, new info and comments are very welcome with this, but keep in mind that wrong backs, blank backs/fronts and missing foil errors will not make the cut beyond an occasional note of “such and such printing flaws are very common in this issue” etc.

Also, I may note when a particular variation is exceptionally rare or seldom (or never) offered for sale, but I would rather not receive a bunch of “value” or “worth” requests of such cards or “how much will you pay for this” type comments. Mainly because the E&V market tends to fluctuate dramatically on a weekly basis. The lack of catalog info on many variations tends to create a hesitant buying market. One of the key goals of this blog is to provide and share information on variations and to eventually get many of these variations properly cataloged in future annual guides.

1992 Topps Blackless (Missing Ink) Variations

29 Mar

A recent trip to the card shop in search of some junk boxes yielded one1992 Topps Wax Box and one 1997 Score Hobby Reserve Box (complete waste of money). The Topps box was quite a score because almost every other pack had two Match The Stats game cards, which were the primary reason for the purchase. But in the last quarter of packs, these two cards popped out:

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