Cards You’ve Never Seen: 1990 Upper Deck No Position On Front Promos/Proofs

29 Apr

Take a look at this interesting print ad for 1990 Upper Deck baseball. In the foreground are a handful of cards, oddly enough, all from the 101-199 sequence (the missing copyright affected sequence), showing no position in the upper left corner box. Ken Griffey Jr, Bo Jackson, Barry Larkin among other highly collected players. I can only imagine what kind of money these likely-unproduced variations would bring today. What’s also interesting is that the cards in Reggie Jackson’s hand appear to be printed with their positions.

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Quick Look: 1991 Pro Set ‘Special Promotional Sample’ Stamped Promo Cards

28 Apr

My memory may be off but I am fairly certain that I was given one of these stamped 1991 Pro Set cards upon visiting their booth at the 1991 National Collector’s Convention in Anaheim. I want to say it was Randall Cunningham’s base card. Or maybe Jeff George. All I know is that I was disappointed it wasn’t Emmitt or something more “valuable.” In the years since I have only seen a handful of these cards pop up. The image below of Rocket Ismail’s card was one I found in a box of various early 90s “hot” cards in sleeves, picked up at a thrift store in Van Nuys, CA. As of now, it is impossible to say whether Pro Set stamped the entire series one set or just certain players and exactly how many of each were issued. I do not believe that any more than two copies of any player have been confirmed. Because of their non-descript fronts, I turn over every 1991 Pro Set single I find mixed with other promo/oddball/hot cards of the time.

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1990 Pro Set Football Advertisements: Spot The Oddities

28 Apr

For several years of my Pro Set collecting I would purchase used copies of just about every hobby magazine I could get my hands on, clipping out letters from readers, advertisement for error-laded products and long-forgotten product info that may or may not have made it to the final version released to the hobby. One of my favorite finds were 1990 Pro Set NFL (and NHL) ads, with all of their mockup glory. Below are a few pages of ads for their 1990 series one and two offerings. How many promos, proofs, oddities can you spot?

 

Quick Look: 1991 Topps Desert Storm Norman Schwarzkopf “Smiling” Photo Variation

25 Apr

This card was only recently checked off my list after nearly 15 years of sporadic hunting for it. For an image of it even! For me, this niche corner of the hobby is like fishing: I find out about, learn about, hear whispers of a variation and I chase after it but I have no intention of keeping. This card is a perfect example. Easily in my top-10 most elusive Topps variations, I just don’t feel the need to own it despite the fact that it is an unbelievably scarce junk era item. One reason being is that it is a withdrawn card. Another is that it comes from the second series of a product that was already experiencing a drop in collectors/collecting activity after three (3!!) printings of series one (excluding the deluxe/tiffany factory set issues). And it is a drastic change from 1st to 2nd printing: the image, its tone and size of subject are very different from one another, something not seen very often in post-1960s Topps issues.

There are four other very short printed errors changed early in the second series set and three confirmed in the third series set. I will update with info as it comes in.

Quick Look: 1998 Topps Opening Day Nomar Garciaparra Missing Cup Error

25 Apr

A recent eBay find from a set I would never have thought to investigate. Apparently, Nomar’s card was originally issued without the Topps All-Star Rookie cup on front. A very bizarre mistake for the 1997 AL ROY. Despite it falling outside of the junk wax era, I feel that it is worth inclusion here since we don’t usually see many corrections made by Topps this late in the game. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate that iconic Topps symbol!

 

 

1990-91 NBA Hoops Errors & Variations Checklist

25 Apr

**I will be only listing E&V content here that is not already well-documented in the annual guides. For example, I will not list the Sam Vincent, Tom Hammonds, etc cards, only little-known, unlisted and under-represented variations**

**NPO Variations were NOT produced in equal quantities. Corrected versions of Ellison and Smith have been founbd in boxes with Ferry and Grant errors. Ellison correction appears to have been the earliest change**

**** = very scarce variation

67a Michael Jordan (missing black ink in Bulls logo on front) ****

67b Michael Jordan (faint, gray ink in Bulls logo on front)

67c Michael Jordan (corrected)

146a Ron Harper (prototype stamp on back bottom) ****

146b Ron Harper (pack issue, no stamp)

166a Tellis Frank (ghost position – barely visible on front – RPD) ****

166b Tellis Frank (corrected)

246a Terry Porter (no NBA logo on back) **UNVERIFIED** (one existing image on site with known photoshopped variation images – please email if you have a scan)

246b Terry Porter (corrected)

284a Sedalle Threatt (prototype stamp on back bottom) ****

284b Sedalle Threatt (pack issue, no stamp)

336a Danny Ferry (too little data will update when more info comes)

336b Danny Ferry (corrected)

342a Detroit Pistons Back to Back (no NBA Hoops logo on front) **UNVERIFIED** 

342b Detroit Pistons Back to Back (corrected/logo on front)

406a Danny Ferry (no position on front) ****

406b Danny Ferry (faint position on front)

406c Danny Ferry (corrected)

410a Mike Dunleavy (position printed low beneath name)

410b Mike Dunleavy (position printed close to name)

414a Kenny Smith (no position on front) ****

414b Kenny Smith (corrected)

415a Sam Perkins (position printed low beneath name)

415b Sam Perkins (position printed close to name)

421a Greg Grant (no position on front) ****

421b Greg Grant (corrected)

428a Bobby Hansen (position printed low beneath name)

428b Bobby Hansen (position printed close to name)

431a Bill Wennington (position printed low beneath name)

431b Bill Wennington (position printed close to name)

433a David Greenwood (position printed low beneath name)

433b David Greenwood (position printed close to name)

435a Sidney Green (position printed low beneath name)

435b Sidney Green (position printed close to name)

437a Jeff Malone (position printed low beneath name)

437b Jeff Malone (position printed close to name)

438a Pervis Ellison (no position on front) ****

438b Pervis Ellison (corrected)

440a Checklist (too little data will update when more info comes)

440b Checklist

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1990 Score Rookie & Traded Errors & Variations Checklist

25 Apr

1T Dave Winfield (promo)

1T Dave Winfield (set issue)

2T Kevin Bass (missing F in RF on front)

2T Kevin Bass (correct)

100T Eric Lindros (yellow front – no orange) **UNVERIFIED**

100T Eric Lindros (correct)

109T Terry Shumpert (promo)

109T Terry Shumpert (set issue)

110T Steve Avery (promo)

110T Steve Avery (set issue)

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Quick Look: 1988 Topps Keith Comstock Yellow Name Variation

25 Apr

It appears that the answer to ‘what would have to happen to get me back to this blog, posting new content?’ is: a global pandemic and an excess of (arguably unwanted) “free time.” Anyway, for those getting alerts, welcome back. Very excited to have exhumed this image from the mass grave that is archived message board posts. Since many have asked and so few have seen one, I present one of the last, truly RARE, junk era Topps cards, the 1988 Topps Keith Comstock #778c “Yellow Name” variation:

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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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Quick Look: 1991 Topps Double Front Proofs/Test Issue

28 Dec

Printed on 1991 Topps Traded “white” stock, these recently discovered dual-front test issues differ from their pack-issued counterparts by minor design and cropping variations.

 

Make sure to check out this in-depth discussion with comparison pics on the Net54 Baseball forums.