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.  Another key feature of an authentic card is a black dot in the empty name box.  This card which BGS claims to be authentic contains all of the lines, the “Topps” name on the front, and zero black dot.  MAJOR RED FLAG!  Its important to note that some counterfeits do have the missing black lines, no “Topps” name, and black dot.  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!

Choose your grader wisely

If you are new to collecting it can be very confusing when you see all the different grading companies.  Personally, I only trust a few of them: PSA, SGC, and BGS.  You will see other companies such as GEM, Pro, WCG, etc……  Companies such as those are not very reliable and have been known to have a hand in taking part in the largest counterfeiting ring of all time.  GEM grading will give almost any card that comes through the front door a 10.  If you took that card to BGS it would proabably get a 7 or 8.  Many of these second rate graders have even accepted money for giving cards higher grades.  PSA, SGC, and BGS are the best grading companies in the world.  It is very hard for a counterfeit card to get slabbed by them.  Just because a grading company is cheaper doesn’t make it better.