Card of the Day: 2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy – A Hutt Called Jabba #85

Card of the Day: 1979 Topps The Incredible Hulk – A Titan In Times Square #44

Under The Tree: William “The Fridge” Perry G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Apparently when William “The Fridge” Perry wasn’t scoring touchdowns in the Super Bowl he was a Physical Training Instructor for G.I. Joe.

That’s correct. Legendary Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion William “The Fridge” Perry was made into a G.I. Joe action figure in 1986. This was only the second time an actual living person was incorporated into this specific toy line. Wrestling fans might remember that Sgt. Slaughter was the first.

You simply couldn’t visit your local toy store to purchase this figure. Hasbro only made it available through a mail-in offer. Specially marked G.I. Joe figures contained a “Fridge” Proof Of Purchase Certificate. Collecting (5) of these certificates would entitle you to a free William “The Fridge” Perry G.I. Joe action figure.

Hasbro began this promotion in 1986. But the figures didn’t start shipping until 1987. You could redeem your certificates from 1986 all the way to 1989.

When your figure arrived it came in a small package. Along with the figure is his football on a chain weapon and bio card.

The quality control on the figure’s paint job could have been better. Its common to find figures where the colors on his wrist bands are reversed. Every possible paint combination known to man can be found on the wrist bands. Sometimes they go blue/orange on one hand, and on the other hand orange/blue. Variation fans can go nuts!

Another variation that exists is where his belt buckle has a silver G.I. Joe logo printed on it versus the standard red one.

Did Pristine Auction Sell A Fake Willie Mays Autograph?

UPDATE – 12/17/2022

According to Pristine Auction “Looks like that is an auction from 2014. This may have fooled us and others back then but is more known now. We always guarantee authenticity so we would buy it back (if we didn’t already).”

An interesting card sold over at Pristine Auction that I believe is worth talking about.

The card that caught my eye is the Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time Autograph.

Link to the Pristine Auction listing. Screenshot for when their auction listing comes down.

Its a great looking card, unfortunately Willie Mays never signed them for Fleer.

Fleer inserted redemption cards for these Willie Mays autographs inside packs of 2001 Fleer Tradition Baseball. For some reason Willie Mays chose not to sign them. Possibly due to him not wanting to sign Negro League items.

After Fleer’s bankruptcy the non-autographed cards they had intended Willie Mays to sign surfaced. Because they were originally meant to be signed the cards come with Fleer’s autograph COA on the back.

If you come across a Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time card containing an autograph there are two possible outcomes.

The first outcome is that the autograph is fake. Many scammers have forged Willie Mays’s signature on these aftermarket cards, and passed them off as the real thing. Collectors who don’t know the true history behind this card will see Fleer’s COA and not think twice about it’s authenticity.

Second would be that an individual purchased the non-autographed card on the secondary market and was able to get Willie Mays to sign it in person. Difficult to do, but not completely out of the realm of possibility.

I would stay far away from any autographed versions of this card. Even the examples that come with PSA/DNA and JSA authentication. If you didn’t get Willie Mays to sign the card yourself assume that it is a fake signature.

Judging by that Pristine Auction listing Fleer’s COA is suppose to be good enough. BAD IDEA! Their description mentions nothing about this card’s history. Either they don’t know about it or just don’t care. You be the judge as to whether that autograph is real or not.

Willie Mays does have an insert and relic found in the 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time set. Both of these were pack-inserted by Fleer.

Q&A – Does Rob Thomson Have A Rookie Card?

When the Phillies fired their manager Joe Girardi in early June, 2022 their record was 22-29. Coming in to take over as interim manager was Rob Thomson. The Phillies won nine straight games under their new manager. As the season went on the Phillies kept playing better and better. Under Rob Thomson, the team ended the regular season 87-75 (65-46 just under him). On October 3rd the Phillies secured a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. This was the first time the team had made the playoffs since 2011. Beating the Cardinals, Braves, and Padres, the Phillies became National League Champs making it all the way to the World Series. In the end, the Phillies lost the World Series to the Houston Astros 4-2. You never want your team to lose the World Series. But considering how the season started compared to where it ended 2022 was a great year for the Phillies. Citizens Bank Park will have a new pennant on display next year, and the team will receive NL Champion rings. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the Phillies made the choice to keep Rob Thomson around as manager for the next few years. I think fans have a lot to look forward too.

Does Rob Thomson have a rookie card? Yes. You can find Rob Thomson’s rookie card in the 1987 ProCards set. Card #2351 shows him as a catcher for the Lakeland Tigers. The card has his name as Bob instead of Rob. Rob Thomson was drafted by the Tigers in the 32nd round of the 1985 Draft. He played four seasons professionally in the Tigers minor league system. In 1988 his coaching career began with the Tigers. Starting in 1990 be began a long career with the Yankees that lasted until 2017. The Phillies saw him join the team in 2018.

Like most ProCards, Rob Thomson’s card is fairly easy to find. Due to his recent popularity prices have seen an increase, but are still quite affordable.

As of this writing Rob Thomson only has about (20) different cards. We don’t see as many manager cards made as we use to. Other key cards of his include 2008 Topps Gift Sets New York Yankees #15, 2009 Topps Heritage Rob Thomson / Tony Pena / Kevin Long / Dave Eiland #465, and 2009 Topps Yankee Stadium Opening Day #27.

Mike Baker Authenticated Is A Pointless Service The Hobby Does NOT Need

In 2020 and 2021 we saw card prices shoot to the moon. And in 2022 we have seen them completely tank.

During that fun time when everything was going up in price lots of new businesses arrived on the hobby scene attempting to convince collectors that they needed them. A lot of new and naive people bought right into it too. In this hobby it is very easy to convince people you are something that you really aren’t.

One of these joke business ventures that popped up is Mike Baker Authenticated. I’ve talked about them before, but it can’t hurt to bring them up again.

Mike Baker Authenticated would love to grade your graded cards. They’re trying to create another level of scarcity for you to chase. DON’T FALL FOR IT!

For example, lets say you have two of the same cards both graded by PSA a GEM MT 10. Mike Baker Authenticated wants you to believe that if they place one of their Silver, Gold, or Black Diamond labels on one of them its going to be worth more than the card without it. This has to be one of the most pointless services ever offered to collectors. What’s next? Grading the graded, graded, graded card?

Who is Mike Baker? Mike Baker was the first grader to work for PSA. In fact, he was their first employee. He was right there when the world famous 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner was graded a PSA NM-MT 8. It was altered/trimmed, and slabbed in a PSA holder. That card shouldn’t have been graded. Knowing the publicity and money that card would bring is what didn’t stop them. On the Mike Baker Authenticated website it states “He has been a developer in the field of identifying counterfeit and altered trading cards.” What a joke!

Probstein123’s auctions was the first place I remember seeing Mike Baker Authenticated labeled slabs. Early on the COA Mike Baker Authenticated supplied with the card was down right sloppy. SGC graded cards came with PSA labeled COAs. Numerous misspellings could also be found. You could tell they were in a rush.

With card prices in free fall, grading companies are beginning to lower their fees. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the big three BGS, PSA, or SGC go under. BGS or SGC more likely. PSA has some other sources of income. HGA and CSG could also be on the chopping block.

If the grading companies are hurting right now, so is Mike Baker Authenticated. This downturn could easily put them out of business. A good thing about a tanking market is purging the hobby of bogus and unnecessary services such as Mike Baker Authenticated. If you’re attending a card show and see their little tent, just ignore it.

2020 Topps Baseball’s Finest Flashbacks Hits A Home Run With Collectors

As a member of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club I was able to purchase (3) boxes of the new online-exclusive 2020 Topps Baseball’s Finest Flashbacks for $55/box.  The design pays tribute to 1993 Topps Finest which introduced collectors to the Refractor.

Not only is the design a nod to the original set, this new version also consists of (199) cards and contains (1) refractor per box.  With that being said, most people ripping find at least (2) refractors on average.  Parallels include Base Refractors, Gold Refractors #’ed/50, Black Refractors #’ed/25, Red Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1.  Even though the Base Refractors aren’t serial numbered, its speculated that no more than (50) copies exist for each card.

Opening a single box doesn’t guarantee an autograph.  Autographs fall about 1:6 boxes.  Base Autograph parallels include Base Refractor #’ed/20, Gold Refractors #’ed/15, Orange Refractors #’ed/10, Red Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1.  Base All-Stars Autographs are #’ed/20, and have parallels which include Gold Refractors #’ed/15, Orange Refractors #’ed/10, Red Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1.

Andre Dawson, Ivan Rodriguez, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, and Roberto Alomar each have original Autograph Buybacks #’ed/20 or less.

Inserts come in the form of All-Stars Jumbo Box Toppers.

(18) packs come in a single box.

Pack Odds

Base Parallels:

  • Refractor (1:18)
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/50 (1:18)
  • Black Refractor #’ed/25 (1:36)
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5 (1:176)
  • Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:880)

Autograph Parallels:

  • Refractor #’ed/20 (1:296)
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/15 (1:381)
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/10 (1:573)
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5 (1:1,138)
  • Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:5,765)

The odds of finding an Autograph Buyback is (1:2,260).

Given that the odds of pulling a non-autographed Superfractor are (1:880) packs should tell you how limited this product actually is.  Normally that number is in the thousands.

This was a no-brainer buy for me.  Where else are you guaranteed (2) cards #’ed/50 or less for the price of $55/box?  The answer is nowhere.

Nostalgic design.  Colorful, low-numbered parallels.  On-card autographs.  It doesn’t surprise me that these boxes are selling for hundreds on the secondary market.  Nobody knows what the ceiling will be for these boxes.

Card of the Day: 1977 Topps Star Wars – A Pair Of Jawas #257

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: Luke Richardson 1995-96 Upper Deck Be A Player Auto