2023 Topps Chrome Baseball Cards Slipping Out The Backdoor

2023 Topps Chrome Baseball isn’t due out for months, yet a few singles have popped up on eBay.

eBay user truf2228 had two 2023 Topps Chrome Baseball Autographs up for sale. One of Livan Soto, and the other of Spencer Steer.

The Soto autograph was sold on 4/11/23, and the buyer left positive feedback. The Steer autograph was taken down before the sale was completed.

In addition to both of those cards the same seller had a Nelson Rada 2023 Bowman – Chrome Prospect Autograph Orange Refractor #’ed/25 up for sale with a missing signature. It too was taken down before the sale could be completed.

A few months ago in a now deleted Reddit post an individual mentioned they were gifted cards, and wanted to know what they were worth. The pictures they showed were of 2023 Bowman and 2023 Topps Chrome Baseball cards. Before the post was deleted Card Shark Brian posted a link to it on Twitter.

Fake cards? Authentic cards slipping out the backdoor by an angry employee? You be the judge.

Stuff like this has been happening for years.

I’m not fully convinced the signature is authentic. Compare it to Soto’s signature from his 2019 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph.

Topps Printed Autograph COA On ’22 Stadium Club Cards Not Meant To Be Signed

Accidentally printing the autograph COA on cards that were never intended to be signed opens up the possibility for all types of fraud. We’ve seen it happen with products such as 2018 Panini Illusions Football, and 2021 Topps Archives Baseball.

Absolutely nothing stops some deadbeat scammer from forging the player’s signature, and attempting to pass it off as the real thing. A collector who doesn’t know any better could easily see the COA, believe the autograph is authentic, and easily be taken advantage of.

Topps recently made this mistake again in 2022 Stadium Club. I’ve talked about this before, but wanted to bring the subject up again to help clear some things up. Especially now with the release of the standalone 2022 Stadium Club Chrome product.

2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Refractor Non-autograph (front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Refractor Non-autograph (back)

The 2022 Stadium Club set has (300) cards in it. (90) of those cards have Chrome versions with accompanying parallels. The non-autographed Refractor parallel of those cards come with the Topps autograph COA on the back that reads “THE SIGNING OF ALL AUTOGRAPH CARDS IS WITNESSED BY A TOPPS REPRESENTATIVE TO GUARANTEE AUTHENTICITY.” These specific cards were not meant to have this COA printed on them. It looks like this is isolated to just the regular non-autographed Refractor parallel. Non-autographed Orange Refractors #’ed/99, Pearl White Refractors #’ed/30, Gold Minted Refractors, and SuperFractors #’ed 1/1 do not have this COA printed on the back.

2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Autograph (authentic front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Autograph (authentic back)

With all of that being said, there are legitimate pack-inserted Chrome autographs. If you’re looking for an authentic 2022 Topps Stadium Club – Chrome Autograph not only should it have the COA printed on the back, but the front should have the “TOPPS CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH ISSUE” message as well. It should also be serial numbered.

2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome – Refractor Non-autograph (front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome – Refractor Non-autograph (back)
2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Autograph (front)
2022 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Autograph (back)

In addition to including Chrome cards within the regular 2022 Stadium Club set, Topps issued a standalone 2022 Stadium Club Chrome set. Its a completely separate product. No errors were made to those non-autographed Refractors.

Card manufacturers can sometimes make things so confusing.

Card of the Day: Yosemite Sam 1974 Warner Bros. Wonder Bread National Periodical Cards

5 Historic Easter Trading Cards For 2023

Happy Easter every Bunny!

Spring has arrived. Hopefully a majority of the cold weather is coming to an end.

Its time to gather with friends and family, eat a good meal, and hunt for some candy-filled eggs.

In between all of that be sure to check out my top five historic Easter trading cards for 2023.

1991 Peanuts Preview – Easter Beagle #22

2018 Attic Cards Inked Nightmares Easter Bunny Sketch Card by Amanda Pattison

2022 Topps Wacky Packages Monthly Series – April – Hop Tarts #4

Bunny Pearce 1911 E100 Bishop & Co. P.C.L. – Type 1

1995 Disneyland 40 Years of Adventure – Thumper’s Easter Egg Hunt #28 #’ed/90,000

Product Highlight: 1995 Fleer Easter Cards Premiere Edition

Basing an entire product around the Easter holiday may not have been the best idea. But that’s exactly what Fleer did in 1995 with their Easter Cards Premiere Edition. Let’s just say the Premiere Edition is the only edition they made.

The entire set consists of (42) cards. (6) 7-card subsets make up the whole set – I’m A Little Teapot, Little Chick’s Easter Treasure, Mother Goose, Peter Cottontail’s Surprise, The Story Of The Easter Bunny, and The Ugly Duckling.

1:6 packs has a Golden Memories parallel. One card from each subset has a parallel like this. They don’t carry much of a premium on the secondary market.

Dealers received an uncut 6-card promo sheet featuring one card from each subset.

I think the most interesting thing about this product is the pack design. There is a window on the front that allows you to see inside the pack. Definitely not the most secure packaging, but these cards were made for little kids and there really isn’t anything worth searching for.

As a standalone set this product couldn’t survive. Cards like this make better inserts for Allen & Ginter and Goodwin Champions.

Hobby Pack
Base Front
Base Back
Golden Memories Parallel Front
Golden Memories Parallel Back
Uncut 6-card Promo Sheet

Card of the Day: 1948 Leaf Pirate Cards – Captain Crackers #73

Q&A – Did Star Make Chrome Cards?

No. But thanks to Topps collectors found out what Star Chrome cards would have looked like.

Between 1983 and 1985 Star was the only company to issue licensed NBA basketball cards. The cards were issued in team poly bags instead of traditional wax packs. At first they weren’t very popular. But then Michael Jordan decided to become the greatest basketball player of all-time, and then collectors began to pay more attention to the Star brand. The debate on whether Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 Star #101 or his 1986-87 Fleer #57 is his true rookie card is one that will continue to be discussed forever.

Star produced some unlicensed basketball cards after their NBA license ended following the 1986 season. The company eventually went out of business in the early 90’s.

In 1996 Topps created a 50-card Finest Reprints insert set. (25) cards were inserted into 1996-97 Topps Stadium Club Series 1, while the other (25) can be found in 1996-97 Topps Series 2.

The theme of the set is classic basketball cards printed on Chrome stock. (42) of the (50) subjects are from past Topps basketball sets. (8) cards are from Star.

Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, and James Worthy are the (8) Star cards found in the Finest Reprints set.

Each card in the set has a Refractor parallel.

Base Insert

Product Highlight: 1991 Hot Aire Trading Cards

Hot Aire Trading Cards made their debut in 1991 during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It was the brainchild of two hot air balloon enthusiasts, Danny Edwards and Patrick O’Hea. Edwards would collect pilot bios and take photos while O’Hea designed the cards.

The first set consists of (100) cards.  When they were first introduced, you could purchase them by the pack for $2.50 or in factory set form for $23.50.

Producing only 30,000 sets was thought to increase it’s value. That certainly didn’t happen.

Hot Aire Trading Cards lasted for a few years, and then fizzled out. If you’re looking for chase cards, there aren’t any. No “hot” packs containing inserts, parallels, autographs, or relics.

The hobby is filled with a lot of obscure sets.  With the rise of sports cards as an investment, people were willing to put anything on cardboard hoping one day it would amount to riches. We all know how that went. Not so well.

I wouldn’t hold out any hope for a standalone hot air balloon product to make a comeback anytime soon. At the most maybe a cameo appearance in Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions.

A modern day interpretation of a hot air balloon set would be interesting to see. It would give some card manufacturer the opportunity to invent the hobby’s first inflatable card. Or perhaps have a good excuse to bring back puffy stickers.

Q&A – When Were The First Relic Cards Issued?

Collectors were introduced to the relic card between 1996 and 1997. Believe it or not but at one point in time pulling a one-color, non-serial numbered relic card was a huge deal. A card which fits that description today gets tossed aside like yesterday’s trash. In this hobby when something starts off as rare and becomes popular with collectors manufacturers will eventually overdue it to the point where it looses it’s appeal.

Card companies such as Upper Deck, Press Pass, Pinnacle, and Collector’s Edge all issued relic cards beginning in 1996.

Pictured below are some of the hobby’s first relic cards.

Sterling Marlin 1996 Press Pass Burning Rubber
Terry Labonte 1996 Press Pass Burning Rubber Die Cast
Dale Earnhardt 1996 Press Pass VIP GOLD Firesuit
Allen Iverson 1996 Press Pass Game-Used Jersey
Mario Lemieux 1996-97 Upper Deck Game Jersey
Steve Young 1996 Upper Deck Game Jersey
Ken Griffey Jr. 1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey (copyright date on card is 1996)
Bill Elliott 1996 Pinnacle Driver’s Suit
Kerry Collins 1996 Collector’s Edge Advantage Game Ball

Tony Gwynn Did NOT Sign His 2014 Leaf Q Cards

Leaf Trading Cards introduced a new product in 2014 called Leaf Q.

Leaf Q was a high-end, multi-sport product that cost almost $1,000/box. Each box contained (11) or (12) cards. Almost all of the cards in the box were autographed.

One of the athletes that Leaf had planned to include within this set was Tony Gwynn. Unfortunately, Tony Gwynn passed away from cancer before Leaf was able to get him to sign his cards for this product.

Leaf made the decision not to include his unsigned cards within the product. Instead they sold them on eBay shortly after his death.

Where his signature was planned to be Leaf stamped the years “1960-2014”.

These sold like hotcakes. You rarely see them resurface.

My only problem is that the words “Authentic Signature” are printed on the front. And Leaf’s autograph COA is written on the back. It wouldn’t take much for some scummy scammer to forge Tony Gwynn’s signature on one of these cards, and attempt to pass it off as the real thing. Anyone that isn’t familiar with the history of these cards could easily become a victim.

As mentioned before these cards have rarely resurfaced over the years. I’ve never seen any cards containing fake signatures, but it certainly wouldn’t take much to make it happen.