Remember When CBS Made Football Cards?

CBS loves to keep reminding you of what you already know you’re watching.  If you took a shot every time they said “This is the NFL on CBS.” you’d probably pass out before they held the coin toss.  I remember Saturday Night Live making note of this back in the 90’s.  Kevin Nealon played Jim Nantz, and he kept repeating “This is the NFL on CBS.” over and over again.  “CBS proudly presents The Masters.” is another one you hear a lot.

Television stations are the last places you think about when it comes to card manufacturers.  For a very brief moment in 1989, CBS made football cards.  Now, this was not some nationally distributed product that came in a fancy box.  It was more like a 10-card set shipped in a few envelopes.

For those members of the 1989 CBS Football Announcing Team who either at one time played in the NFL or coached, received a card.  The players include: Terry Bradshaw, Dick Butkus, Irv Cross, Dan Fouts, Pat Summerall, Gary Fencik, Dan Jiggetts, John Madden, Ken Stabler, and Hank Stram.  As you can see, the cards feature an action shot of the person during their time in the NFL.  The photos were then placed on a green football field with a white yard mark.  On the back you’ll find a horizontal layout containing a head shot, biography, and stats all bordered in red.

CBS split this set up into two different releases.  Each issue has five cards.  They were sent out to various CBS representatives probably as a marketing tool.  Although they aren’t serial numbered, only about (500) sets are suppose to exist.  The price for an individual card and/or complete set can be all over the place.  It definitely is one of those oddball sets from the late 80’s.  The set’s official name is 1989 CBS Television Announcers.

How To Spot Fake 1952 Wheaties Hand-Cut Cards

“You better eat your Wheaties.” is a phrase ingrained into American culture.  Starting in the 1950s, Wheaties began to team-up with athletes.  Olympian Bob Richards was the first athlete to be featured on the front of the Wheaties box.  Since then, Bruce Jenner, Mary Lou Retton, Walter Payton, Chris Evert, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Dale Earnhardt, Brett Favre, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Michael Phelps, Mia Hamm, and Muhammad Ali have all graced the box cover.

Wheaties has issued various trading card sets with their cereal.  In 1952 they released a 60-card multi-sport set.  Card subjects range anywhere from baseball stars to professional divers.

We live in a time where anything and everything can be counterfeited.  Years ago someone forged a lot of these cards, and they made their way onto the market.  They’re still floating around.  It certainly isn’t the most expensive set in the world.  Perhaps that is why they thought they could get away with it.

Here are a few tips on what to look for in authentic/counterfeit 1952 Wheaties cards:

  • Hand-Cut – These had to be cut-off the side of the cereal box by collectors.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  They won’t be perfect.  Major condition issues.
  • Stains – Authentic examples tend to have stains on the back.  Not uncommon when you have cards included with a food product.
  • Border Color – Counterfeits usually have very bright white borders.  Authentic cards have borders which are a bit darker in color.
  • Reverse Color – The back should be completely blank, and a grey color.

Authentic front

Authentic back

How To Spot Fake 1989 Score Football Cards

Five cards come to mind when I think about 1989 Score Football – Barry Sanders #257, Troy Aikman #270, Derrick Thomas #258, Deion Sanders #246, and Thurman Thomas #211.  Do you know what each of them have in common?  All are rookie cards, and each one has been counterfeited over the years.  Specifically, Barry Sanders and Troy Aikman.

There are four key areas on these cards that can assist you in identifying a counterfeit:

  • Score logo on front
  • Red star on front
  • Black lines around the helmet on front
  • NFLPA logo on back

On counterfeit examples, fuzzy dots make up each of these parts.  You should be able to clearly read each word in the NFLPA logo.  Authentic examples have clear, crisp pictures, and the colors are solid.  Fuzzy printing has always been a common sign when it comes to counterfeit cards.  The printing methods just aren’t as superior as the manufacturers.  CLEAR = GOOD.  FUZZY = BAD.  Using a common base card from the 1989 Score Football set which isn’t worth a dime can be used as a comparison.  Special treatment wasn’t given to those five cards.  They were all printed the same way.

How To Spot Fake 1950 R423 Cards

Made available in 13-card strips, the 1950 R423 set certainly isn’t the first vintage set that comes to mind.  Its obscure, and can easily be overlooked.  They were most likely sold through bubblegum machines.  Card fronts feature a photoengraved picture.  Backs come in a variety of colors such as orange, red, green, blue, and purple.  Measuring only 1-5/8″ x 1-7/8″ they’re really small.  You could easily mistake them for a postage stamp.

Condition is a major issue.  It always is when cards come in a strip that needs to be pulled apart.  Examples in decent condition can command hefty asking prices.  WATCH OUT FOR COUNTERFEITS!

Below are a few tips when it comes to identifying counterfeit 1950 R423 cards:

  • Weight – Authentic examples weigh .05 grams.  Counterfeits weigh .15 grams and are much thicker.
  • Card stock – Authentic cards are printed on off-white stock which can be slick looking.  Counterfeits tend to have bright white stock.
  • Perforations – Authentic cards will have perforations on the left or right or both the left and right depending on which part of the strip they came from.  Most counterfeits don’t have perforations at all.  You don’t want to see smooth edges all around.
  • “Rind Effect” – Images on the card fronts are made up of tiny ink dots.  On authentic cards this “rind effect” print pattern can be seen on these photoengraved cards.  Counterfeits do not have this feature.
  • Measurements – Authentic examples should measure 1-5/8″ x 1-7/8″.

Counterfeit on left

Counterfeit on left

Key Rookie Cards of Apollo 11’s Crew

Within 66 years we went from the Wright brothers first flight to landing on the moon.  That’s some incredible innovation right there.  Did you know a couple of relics from the Wright brothers flyer were aboard Apollo 11 and made it to the surface of the moon?  Relics like that would make an excellent addition to Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions cards.  It probably won’t happen though as those relics are safely kept on display at the Smithsonian.  I wonder what cards containing pieces of the Wright brothers plane would sell for on the secondary market?  Its safe to say quite a bit considering how big of an event in history that is.  The relics aren’t very big either, so very few cards could be made.

On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  2019 marks the 50th anniversary of this historic event.  Many men and women played important parts in order for that mission to be a success.  Three key individuals from the Apollo 11 mission are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.  When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveled down to the lunar surface, Michael Collins remained in the Command Module “Columbia”.

Thousands, if not millions of years from now the Apollo 11 mission will continued to be talked about.  Its the first time mankind stepped onto a surface not of this Earth.  Truly an astonishing achievement.

Thanks to Topps, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins each have rookie cards.  These cards can be found in the 1969 Topps Man on the Moon set.  Its important to note that this set was reissued in 1970.  The 1969 set consists of (55) cards.  The 1970 reissue has the same (55) cards plus an additional (45) cards bringing the total to (99) cards.  Telling the difference between the 1969 and 1970 set is fairly easy.  All of the cards from the 1970 reissue set are numbered “1 of 99”, “2 of 99”, “3 of 99”, etc…  Whereas the original 1969 set has them numbered “1A”, “2A”, “3A”, etc…

Complete sets in exceptional condition will require some deep pockets.  In general though singles can be obtained for a relatively low price.

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 Fake 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips Baseball Cards

Sports cards popup everywhere.  You can find them in packages of underwear, socks, and various food products.  Its been this way since the dawn of time.

In 1954, salty snack lovers received a surprise inside their Dan-Dee potato chip containers.  Waiting for them inside was a baseball card.  The entire 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips set only consists of (29) cards.  Phil Rizzuto, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Gil Hodges, and Monte Irvin all highlight the set.  There are even a few Short Prints – Walker Cooper and Paul Smith.  But by far the dominant card collectors want the most is Mickey Mantle.

Given that they were packaged directly next to the chips without any protection is one of the main reasons as to why a majority of them have damage.  Its very common to find them with grease stains, creases, and rounded corners.  Finding ones in nice condition is difficult to do.

A good number of reprints and counterfeits have entered the market.  Remember these tips:

  • On the front of the card, locate the black box which contains the player’s name.  That box should be solid black with very small speckles of white.  Dots with circles around them is a big red flag.
  • Dan-Dee cards were printed on very thin, flimsy card stock.  You can easily shine a light through one.  On reprints and counterfeits the light will not shine through so easily.
  • Original Dan-Dee cards have a waxy coating, and almost always have some type of grease stain.
  • Reprints and counterfeits tend to be in much better condition, and have darker colors.  Very white borders too.

Authentic

Reprint