Tag Archives: 1990 Pro Set Errors

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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UPDATED: 1990 Pro Set Error & Variation Master List

18 Dec

More than 50 new additions have been made to the . I will continue to add more as time permits. I know there are many more that have shown up over the last two years that need to be added.

If you have any additions that you feel should be added, please post them in the comments section here or in the original 1990 Pro Set Errors & Variations Master Set Checklist blog.

The following items will not be added to the Master Checklist:

-The printer’s scrap cards that have flooded eBay the last few months. This includes the blacked-out cards, smeared, miscut fronts/wrongbacks, errant color tone, smudged, etc. These cards are printer’s waste and were NOT pack-issued or meant for distribution. They were cut from sheets pulled from garbage bins. While really fun to look at and collect, they should not be considered essential to a master set.

Wrong front/back cards. Again, these are really cool but are seldom found pack-issued and were usually cut from sheets found in the trash, making their way into the market illegally.

Miscuts.

Draft Day blank back/front proofs. Great, recent discovery variant proofs for Jeff George and Keith McCants draft day subset but not pack-issued or legally distributed.

Some spectacular recent finds in 1990 Pro Set variations

19 May

To say April 2011 was a good stretch for me, Pro Set-wise, would be an understatement.

I recently purchased a 5 box lot of 1990 series 1 on ebay. Found 2 Fred Marion errors. This was especially significant to me because I had previously never pulled a copy myself, not to mention, they were both pretty decent looking copies. And though the rest of the boxes yielded corrections and the more common varieties of each variation-affected player, a second glance at the backs of my Fred Marion corrections, revealed a new variety, which starts off this blog entry:

1990 Pro Set Fred Marion with P. over bio data

Not quite sure what is going on with this card but it looks like a handwritten P. except that it is definitely printed on the card. Similar to the 1978 Topps Bump Wills with black circle, in person, it looks like a proofer took a marker or sharpie to a plate or a negative and made a note in the form of ‘P.’ A search through nearly a hundred other copies did not produce another!


Another recent discovery, also revealed to me through my recent box breaks, was a new variation on Roger Craig’s card #287. Roger’s card has seen a few different printing varieties on it’s reverse but this was new to me:

1990 Pro Set Roger Craig with “Blood” on pants

While examining the Craig cards from my break, I noticed that they all had a slanted top stat line on back, so I dug into my inventory of Pro Set commons and pulled out all my Craigs. Immediately I caught a copy that had what appeared to be blood stains on his leg on front, very likely that they are printing flaws, but since they so strongly resemble that, and how appropriate that is considering the sport, I decided the moniker fits best. A search through the remaining (almost a hundred) copies turned up four more.

And last but certainly not least, a huge discovery for me and for 1990 Pro Set, here is a new addition to the ever-growing family of Dexter Manley variations:

1990 Pro Set Dexter Manley with “No Bio” on back

This exciting variety had been whispered of first back in 2005-ish. Like many other Pro Set collectors out there, I have bought my fair share of sealed final update sets in hopes of the elusive “substance abuse” variety, failing to find one every single time. Even the less-rare “backwards t” version has only crossed my path a handful of times. But a recent trip to Hoopla sportscards in Beaverton, OR yielded this:

I usually visit this shop every couple of weeks and scoop up their junk boxes, typical late 80s to early 90s stuff and a great source of the bulk of my 1990 Pro Set inventory, not to mention, a slew of unmarked promos and other oddball goodies. On this trip, they had several 800ct boxes for $1 each, some including a bunch of 1990 Pro Set commons, a stack of mixed 3200ct and 5000ct boxes at $5 a piece – I grabbed them all. Interestingly enough, Dexter was just one of three final update subjects (Fred Washington and Brad Baxter were the others) among mostly series one and two commons found in this lot. The funny thing too, is that I didn’t even notice the bio area immediately, hoping for a long shot chance at a “substance abuse” variation. I reviewed the card over and over and finally decided to add it into my PSA submission, unfortunately, they do not recognize the variety on the label but still graded it an NM-MT 8. Not bad, really!

One other interesting note: Like the John Fourcade stats variation, if you squint hard enough, it almost looks as if the presses did go down over the bio area and faintly printed the info in a yellowish color. It really is tough to see, so until a better description pops up, “No Bio” works for me.

As usual, it’s safe to say that this is not the end of new Pro Set variation discoveries, but it was a great month full of cool finds allover, from this to the recent sales of the scarce Jeff George Gold promos on ebay, to the flood of interest in the 1990 set thatĀ  I’ve been picking up on across message boards. Great to see so much happening with such a complex and fun set!

Quick Look: 1990 Pro Set #39 Cornelius Bennett – 3 Varieties

26 Dec

Another recent find, this variation is similar to the Rod Woodson and Wes Hopkins variations found in series 2. At first thought to be available in just red or black stat headings on back, it’s become apparent that three different types exist for card number 39. Here’s a comparison close-up of each type: black stat headings, red and black stat headings and just red stat headings:

Quick Look: 1990 Pro Set San Diego Chargers Pro Bowl Variations

26 Dec

Here’s a peek at a recently discovered variety in the 1990 Pro Set Series 1 Pro Bowl subset. It appears that all three San Diego Chargers players (Anthony Miller, Leslie O’Neal and Lee Williams) were produced with thier team logo in either black ink or blue ink. At this time, the solid black variety appears to be the tougher version.

New 1990 Pro Set variation: #135 Rohn Stark

17 Sep

Finding a new variation in the 1990 set is not generally big news, as tons of minor varieties pop up every day, such as hairlines in text, broken stat lines etc. New varieties featuring types of changes not previously seen before, are another thing.

Take a look at a recent find, unearthed while sorting over 30,000 1990 Pro Set commons. Card number 135, Rohn Stark, Punter for the Indianapolis Colts:

Notice how Rohn’s right foot lines up with the K in STARK on the first example and on the second, his foot lines up between the A and R in STARK. It appears as though Ron’s name was shifted to the left and eventually centered to fit the set’s format.

Out of 43 copies, just 3 had the first type with his name shifted to the left. Is it rare? Not sure, because, as with 1990 Pro Set, a collector out there could have 40 copies of the left-shifted name and 3 of the centered-name type.

Why is this a noteworthy find?

This marks the first of this type of error. As far as I know, there are no previously documented variations that involve the placement of the player’s name in the team-color bar, which opens the door to the possibility that there are others out there. Thus creating a new variety type to be on the lookout for.

I’d be interested in hearingĀ  of any other cards affected by this type of variation.

1990 Pro Set Football: A variation paradise – pt.1

27 Nov

This post will focus on the lesser-known variations in the Dallas, TX based company’s sophmore set. 1990 Pro Set is home to a ton of well-documented variations: The New Orleans saints cards with white numbers, cards of Ray Perkins and Johnny Holland are missing their names and position on the reverse, stat errors in the text of Joe Montana’s card #2, etc…all of that info has been recorded in many places online and is usually just a click away. Tonight, I’m going to showcase some of the lesser known variations that can be found in the set.

#772 Dexter Manley backwards T. Manley’s card is already one of the most desirable error cards produced in modern trading cards. As of this writing, the last sale was for over $600. For those who don’t know, Manley’s card originally had a message about his suspension from the league due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, to which Manley and his lawyer objected. According to Pro Set, just a handful slipped through before correction. Not a new story in the error card world, but what many people are just finding out, is that a third variety exists: a version of the corrected card where the ‘t’ in “Official card of the NFL” on back (at bottom) looks as though it was printed backwards, or better yet, like a ‘j’ that had it’s top crossed instead of dotted. The backwards t is also present on the original substance abuse version as well, making this card a somewhat difficult “transitional” variety. In the 55 sets I have acquired in pursuit of the ‘substance abuse’ error, I have found just one of these ‘backward t’ errors!

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