Q&A – Where Does This Barry Bonds Card Come From?

Question: Where does this Barry Bonds card come from? The design looks like 1997 Topps Baseball, but the photo and card number are different. Please help!

Answer: Cool find. Throughout the 90’s Topps would issue Pre-Production cards promoting that year’s newest card designs. Your Barry Bonds card is one of those cards. Topps issued them to promote the 1997 Topps Baseball design. Various outlets that Topps dealt with received them.

Nine cards (#PP1-#PP9) make up the 1997 Topps Baseball Pre-Production set.

  • Frank Thomas #PP1
  • Brady Anderson #PP2
  • Barry Bonds #PP3
  • Eric Young #PP4
  • Ricky Bottalico #PP5
  • Royce Clayton #PP6
  • Tom Goodwin #PP7
  • Craig Biggio #PP8
  • Ellis Burks #PP9

Each card in the Pre-Production set utilizes the same photo that went on to be used in the main base set EXCEPT for Barry Bonds. The Barry Bonds Pre-Production card and base set card have two different images making it a bit more desirable.

What Does An Authentic 1988 Cal League Ken Griffey Jr. San Bernardino Spirit #34 Baseball Card Look Like?

A massive wave of new people entered the hobby over the last few years. Things that might be common knowledge for veteran collectors may not be so common for all of the newbies. Scammers are just waiting to take advantage of these naive new collectors. So many fraudsters have been exposed so far this year with many more on the way.

I recently watched someone spend over $100 on a handful of unlicensed/fake 1988 Cal League Ken Griffey Jr. San Bernardino Spirit #34 baseball cards. Its sad that this still happens.

Reinforcing the fundamentals of this hobby can’t hurt. Especially with all of the new people. Below is what you should be looking for if you’re in the market for an authentic 1988 Cal League Ken Griffey Jr. San Bernardino Spirit #34.

Authentic front
Authentic back

In the early 90’s an unlicensed version of this card began to surface. The overall layout and design is similar to the authentic version, but the dead giveaway is the different photo. As you can see there are two unlicensed cards floating around. Both utilize the same photo, but the text and placement of the text are a little different. The card number on the second example is a bit fatter as well. You never see these unlicensed fakes graded by PSA, BGS, or SGC because they aren’t authentic. The secondary market has been filled with them for years. You’ll notice they are always cheaper when compared to the authentic version. Its funny to see that one was pictured on a bobblehead in 2019.

Unlicensed front
Unlicensed back
Unlicensed front
Unlicensed back

Q&A – Does Donald Trump Have A Rookie Card?

Question: Hi!  I’m looking for a gag gift for my friend.  Could you tell me if Donald Trump has a rookie card?  Thanks.

Answer: Love him or hate him.  Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States.  One thing is for certain.  His presidency will be studied, investigated, and talked about long after he’s out of the White House.  Will that talk be good or bad?  That’s totally up to you and your political views.

Yes.  Donald Trump does have a rookie card.  During the late 80s and early 90s, Eclipse Comics issued a handful of non-fiction, non-sports related card sets.  These sets cover all kinds of subjects like the Savings and Loan crisis, Iran-Contra scandal, AIDS, and the Kennedy Assassination.

In 1989, Eclipse Comics released a set titled Rotten to the Core.  This 36-card set covers the best and worst of New York City’s politics.  Card #26 is of Donald Trump.  Its widely accepted as his rookie card.  The card’s back goes into lots of details about his dealings at the time.  Quite the entertaining read.

Raw copies sell for $20.  Gem Mint 10s have reached $100.

Does Chris Coste Smile?

I met Chris Coste about a year and a half ago in Williamsport at a Phillies dinner and he seemed like a really nice guy when I got him to sign one of my bats.  Doing a quick eBay search for his cards, you’ll quickly find that he doesn’t have a ton of stuff to collect.  Coste is one of the few players that his actual rookie card has the “rookie” logo on it.  He has no first year prospect cards from Bowman or Bowman Chrome.  Looking at the handful of cards he does have, you’ll see a disturbing trend – he barely smiles.  Maybe he doesn’t like having his picture taken or maybe he just needs a hug.  Either way, a good portion of his cards has him looking like he’s in desperate need of a bran muffin 🙂  Go Phillies!

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Q & A – What does TCMA stand for?

Question: Hello, I’ve been asked what does TCMA stand for? I used to know but forgot! Thanx. John B.

Answer: John,TCMA stands for Tom Collier and Michael Aronstein.  It’s an anagram for the company’s two owners.  They made a lot of minor league cards.  Thanks.