Counterfeit Frank Thomas 1990 Topps “No Name” Rookie Gets BGS Approval

On December 27, 2018 a counterfeit 1990 Topps Frank Thomas “No Name On Front” Error Rookie Card found it’s way to BGS (Beckett Grading Services).  It should’ve been sent back to the individual who sent it in with a note stating its not authentic.  But did that happen?  No.  Instead it slipped through the cracks, was slapped into a BGS holder, and labeled the real thing.

Thanks to BGS, this dangerous card is now floating around the hobby.  They assigned it the right card number “414A” and everything.  “414A” is used for authentic examples of this card all of the time versus “414” for the standard Frank Thomas rookie which contains his name.  Checking the BGS serial number 0011017488 even further makes you believe that its real.  Someone at BGS either didn’t know what they were doing, or was completely aware of their actions.  In today’s hobby you just can’t tell anymore.

What makes this card a fake?  Authentic examples lack a large portion of the black lines that surround the empty blue box where his name should be.  A chunk of black lines are also missing from within the inner yellow border as well.  Authentic cards also don’t contain the “Topps” name on the front.  This card which BGS claims to be authentic contains all of the lines, and the “Topps” name on the front.  MAJOR RED FLAG!  Its important to note that some counterfeits do have the missing black lines, and no “Topps” name.  Please watch out for those.  Legitimate reprints exist which were released in various Topps products over the years.  So not only did BGS grade a counterfeit, they graded a bad counterfeit.

Authentic (left) Counterfeit (right)

Originally it popped up for sale from Probstein123.  Big surprise considering the shilling, trimming, and altering scandals they’ve been involved with.  They supposedly took the card down after being alerted to it.

That brings us to today.  On July 28, 2019 eBay user infiniumusa sold this exact card (same BGS serial number 0011017488) for $3,000.  Its unclear if the transaction went through or not, but I haven’t seen it since.

The fact is that this card is out there ready to fool anyone it can.  If you’re in the market for one, stay far away if it has BGS serial number 0011017488.  TOTALLY FAKE!

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Card of the Day: Warren Moon 1990 Score Hot Gun #317

Card of the Day: Ralph Garr 1990 Pacific Legends #25

How To Spot A Counterfeit 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas Rookie Card

As a direct response to the high-quality cards found in 1989 Upper Deck Baseball1990 Leaf Baseball featured some upgraded qualities of it’s own.  Thicker card stock and glossy photos sure had card designs on the upswing.  That time period in the hobby is known as the junk-wax era.  Products were being overproduced to the max.  Today, most of those sets carry little to no value.

“The Big Hurt” a.k.a. Frank Thomas, has a rookie card in the 1990 Leaf Baseball set.  It is card #300.  This likely will be the most valuable card in the set until the end of time.  Guys like Larry Walker and Sammy Sosa have rookies in here too, but their cards don’t have as much demand.

Raw copies of this particular Frank Thomas rookie card continue to sell for anywhere between $2 and $20 depending on the condition.  That’s quite good considering the era its from.  At one point in time the price was much higher.

Counterfeit versions have been floating around the hobby for years.  They continue to popup today.  At a quick glance you could easily purchase one that’s fake.  Upon further inspection, the differences between the two are very clear.

Here is an example of a counterfeit:

The front is fuzzy-looking and has a dot-matrix print pattern.  This can especially be seen on the Chicago White Sox logo, and areas that have a silver color.  Much thinner paper quality too.  That bright gold line above the dugout is also a giveaway.

When looking at the back, the text is much darker.  The trademark logos are lighter in tone along with Frank Thomas’s picture.

Here is an example of an authentic card:

Card of the Day: Tommy Herr 1990 Donruss Diamond Kings #21

Big Bucks For “Buster” Boxing

42-to-1.  Those were the odds James “Buster” Douglas was given to beat Mike Tyson on February 11, 1990 in Tokyo.  Only one casino gave the odds as most others thought Tyson was a guaranteed winner.  Douglas pulled together a Han Solo “Never tell me the odds.” attitude, and ended up beating Tyson.  It was an upset the boxing world didn’t see coming.  For a little over eight months, Douglas held the heavyweight championship title before losing it to Evander Holyfield.

Considering he’s a boxer, collectors have plenty of options when it comes to his cards.  About (74) cards make up the James “Buster” Douglas checklist.  They start in 1991, and go all the way to 2016.  Thanks to products such as 2009 Upper Deck Prominent Cuts2010 Ringside Boxing Round 12011 Ringside Boxing Round 22013 Leaf Sports Heroes2013 Leaf Pop Century, and 2016 Leaf Pop Century, he has many autographs and relics available.

Some of his cards command quite the price.  Especially if Mike Tyson is on there with him.  One of the more expensive items you could add to your James “Buster” Douglas collection isn’t even a card at all.  Its a video game for the SEGA Master System.  Going into the fight as an underdog, and defeating Mike Tyson comes with it’s share of perks.  SEGA quickly signed him to a deal, and pictured him on the front of James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing.

Personally, I’m not familiar with the Master System.  At that time I had a Nintendo Entertainment System, and SEGA’s newer system the Genesis.  Released in 1990, James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing came out an entire year after the Genesis had already been out.  This game came out when demand for Master System games was on the decline.  Very few copies were produced and/or sold.  By then, SEGA fans wanted Genesis games.

Owning a copy of James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing for the Master System will cost you more than a lot of his cards combined.  Complete copies sell for $600+.  A Genesis version does exist, but is barely worth anything.

Sports video games traditionally tank in price over the years.  Its difficult for that genre to hold value.  Whenever I come across one that hasn’t tanked, I enjoy learning about it.

Card of the Day: Mariano Rivera 1990 Diamond Cards Tampa Yankees #17