How To Spot A Fake Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 Rookie Card

It might seem like a trivial card to counterfeit today, but at one time the Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookie card was the king.  Back in the 1980s this card easily fetched over $100.  Many hobby veterans consider it to be the card that kicked-off the whole prospecting phenomenon.  With that type of attention and money being thrown around its no surprise that the counterfeiters came crawling.

Counterfeit Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookies have been around almost as long as the real card itself.  If it weren’t for counterfeit versions of this card being made, the Upper Deck Company most likely wouldn’t exist.  Getting duped is what gave them the idea to print cards featuring holograms in order to make counterfeiting more difficult.

Don Mattingly has a very dedicated group of collectors.  His rookies may not be worth what they once were, but still are in demand.  An endless amount of counterfeits will always be floating around.

Here are some tips for spotting a counterfeit Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookie card:

  • Card Stock – Large quantities of counterfeits were printed on thin card stock.  Authentic examples have card stock which is much thicker.
  • Gloss – Counterfeits tend to contain a lot more semi-gloss on the front.
  • Print – Blurry, dot-matrix printing is a major red flag of a counterfeit.  Especially on the front where it says “DONRUSS ’84”.
  • Coloring – A lighter-colored front/back is a telltale sign that the card is not genuine.  On an authentic example these areas will be darker.

One of the best things you can do is compare your Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 rookie to other cards from that same set.  The card stock, gloss, photo, and text should all look similar.  I wouldn’t use cards depicting star players from 1984 though.  Even those are known to have been counterfeited despite not being rookies.  Use some nobody.

There has been a growing trend of counterfeit cards being sold as reprints.  Counterfeits and reprints are two completely different things.  Reprints originate from the card manufacturer.  Counterfeits are whipped-up in some losers card doctoring lab.  Its a wording loophole that helps them move their stash of counterfeits.  They’re hoping the people buying them don’t realize the difference.

Authentic front

Authentic back

Counterfeit front/back

Card of the Day: Harold Carmichael 1984 Topps #326

Wonder Woman 1984 – Official Trailer

Card of the Day: Roy Lee Jackson 1984 Fleer #158

How To Spot A Fake John Elway 1984 Topps #63 Rookie Card

John Elway and Dan Marino are the two key rookie cards when it comes to the 1984 Topps Football set.  Eric Dickerson, Howie Long, and Dwight Stephenson aren’t far behind.

Here are some tips on spotting a counterfeit John Elway 1984 Topps #63 RC:

  • Image Quality – Counterfeits tend to have a blurry, fuzzy, pixelated quality to them.  Its actually not uncommon for authentic cards to have a snowy-look to them as a result of a printing defect.  Another printing defect found on some authentic cards includes a small bubble around Elway’s fingers.
  • Card Stock – Counterfeit examples in many cases are printed on much thinner card stock.  When placed side-by-side the counterfeit tends to be half the thickness compared to the original.  Thin white edges are a pure sign of a counterfeit.
  • Black Border – Its not the easiest factor to spot, but the black border on a counterfeit can have very sharp 90-degree angles to them.  Authentic examples have a black border with a bit softer/rounded angles.
  • Blue Line – Some counterfeits contain a blue line within the Broncos logo on the front.  Right beneath the horse.  Originals do not have this.
  • Centering – Authentic examples are known to be off-center.  Counterfeits like to look as perfect as possible.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Remember, not every counterfeit John Elway 1984 Topps #63 RC will have all of these features.  Topps did issue genuine reprints over the years.  A majority of the reprints up for sale were not issued by Topps though.  A lot of these counterfeit cards are now being sold as genuine reprints.

Card of the Day: Joe Carter 1984 Donruss #41

Card of the Day: Dwight Gooden 1984 Topps Traded #42

Did You “Know” This About 1984 Fleer Update Baseball Cards?

The 1980s are notorious for issuing some of the most overproduced sets.  Despite that, there are a few gems to keep an eye out for.  One that still holds quite a bit of value today is the 1984 Fleer Update set.  This is Fleer’s very first update set, and it contains (132) cards.  It has a short print run, and was only available through dealers.  The set grew in popularity, and prices went up dramatically.  Today a complete set is worth well over $200.  That’s a lot considering most sets from the 80s can’t be given away.  Key XRCs from this set include Roger Clemens, John Franco, Dwight Gooden, Jimmy Key, Mark Langston, Bret Saberhagen, Ron Darling, and Kirby Puckett.  Roger Clemens and Kirby Puckett are the big money cards.  Even though its far from a rookie, the Pete Rose card is popular with collectors too.

  • The print dot pattern is different when compared to an authentic card.
  • Perfect centering – counterfeit cards usually have great centering.  Authentic cards are known for having terrible centering.
  • One of the biggest signs that your 1984 Fleer Update card is a counterfeit is finding a capital “K” in the word “Know” on the back.

Counterfeit

Authentic

How To Spot A Fake Roger Clemens 1984 TCMA Pawtucket Red Sox #22 Card

Despite all of the negative press, Roger Clemens is one of those guys collectors still go after.  Its going to be awhile before we see him inducted into Cooperstown though.  One of his most popular cards is the 1984 TCMA Pawtucket Red Sox #22 minor league card.  To many Clemens collectors, this is the big card to own along with the 1984 Fleer Update rookie.  Be careful, because there is a fair share of counterfeits for sale.

Here is an example of a counterfeit version:

Look at the right side of the letter “A” and the left side of the letter “W” in the word “PAWTUCKET”.  The green space in between almost forms a “V” shape.  That is the dead giveaway its a counterfeit.  The space should be a straight green bar with those two sides parallel to one another.

Here is an example of an authentic card:

As you can see, the green bar is perfectly straight and the right side of the letter “A” and the left side of the letter “W” are parallel.

How To Spot A Fake Dan Marino 1984 Topps #123 Rookie Card

1984 Topps Football is loaded with lots of rookie cards.  Eric Dickerson, Howie Long, and Dwight Stephenson to name a few.  There are two quarterbacks though who’s rookie cards you immediately think about whenever this set is mentioned – John Elway and Dan Marino.  Both have been heavily counterfeited over the years.

With so many grading companies looking the other way and allowing trimmed/counterfeit cards to pass through, its important to know what to watch out for.  Nothing could be more irritating than finding out the centerpiece of your collection is a fake.

Below are some tips on what to keep an eye open for when looking at Dan Marino 1984 Topps rookie cards:

  • Black border – many counterfeit examples exhibit a black border that comes to four sharp corners around the photo.  On authentic examples, those corners are much more rounded.
  • If you’re able to weigh the card, counterfeits tend to be a little heavier.  Counterfeits tend to weigh 1.93 grams compared to the normal 1.90 grams.
  • Look at the Miami Dolphins logo on the card’s front.  The stripes on the dolphin’s helmet are usually fuzzier on a counterfeit.  Take a common Miami Dolphins card from that set and compare it to the Dan Marino card you’re looking at.  Authentic examples should have clear stripes.
  • On the front of Marino’s jersey you can see the number “13”.  Lots of counterfeits have a notch out of the “1” near the edge towards the center.
  • On the back of the card, the © logo is incomplete, and the “A” in “YEAR” and “8” in “1983” (in the statistics box) are both filled in on counterfeits.