PSA Is Grading Fake 1983 Topps ’52 Mantle Reprints

PSA couldn’t tell the difference between a rookie and a cookie if their life depended on it.

Blowout Forums user superdan49 recently discovered that PSA has graded numerous counterfeit examples of the 1983 Topps ’52 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 Reprint card.

According to superdan49 some of the red flags to look for in a counterfeit example include perfect centering, bright white card stock, and the #311 appearing in the lower left corner on the back.

I highly suggest that you check out the link above to read the full breakdown of superdan49’s report. The origin of these counterfeits is unknown. Whoever made them realized their mistakes, and began to make better looking counterfeits. Some have been found with the #311 in the correct location.

The 1983 Topps ’52 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 Reprint card is one of Mantle’s most desirable reprint cards a collector can own. This specific set has a slightly glossy finish with a print run of around 10,000 copies per card. Cards came packaged in fancy blue boxes just like Topps Tiffany sets.

PSA can deactivate the card’s certification number from their database if they feel its not authentic. But it won’t take the card out of circulation.

When PSA deactivates a certification number from their database it would be nice if a marketplace such as eBay could get notified. If that certification number gets deactivated and it shows up on eBay the seller and/or current high bidder should be alerted.

FAKE
FAKE
AUTHENTIC
AUTHENTIC

Fake Willie Mays 1997 Topps Auto Card Gets PSA’s OK

One of the rarest cards you could pull from a pack of 1997 Topps Series One Baseball is a Willie Mays Commemorative Reprints Autograph.

These cards are notorious for being faked. Blowout forums user superdan49 spotted a fake example up for sale on eBay that has the PSA/DNA seal of approval.

Not only is the autograph fake, but the card is too.

An article written in 2019 goes into much of the details on what to look for when it comes to identifying fake examples of these cards.

Once you know what to look for the difference between a fake card and authentic one is quite easy to spot. That signature and “Certified Autograph Issue” stamp on the fake have some major issues. PSA should have caught this right away.

On the plus side upon hearing about this mistake PSA has deactivated this fake card (69287393) from their database. Unfortunately this doesn’t take the card out of circulation, but it should give you another reason to check the PSA serial number on any card before shelling out your cash.

When PSA deactivates a serial number from their database it would be nice if a marketplace such as eBay could get notified. If that serial number gets deactivated and it shows up on eBay the seller and/or current high bidder should be alerted. As of this writing the fake card below is still up for sale.

FAKE
AUTHENTIC

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.

SGC Grades Fake Derek Jeter 1994 Signature Rookies Auto

Blowout Forums user superdan49 recently discovered that SGC graded a fake Derek Jeter 1994 Signature Rookies Auto.

According to the fake card’s SGC certification #7701181 it was graded in September 2022.

Comparing the fake card to an authentic example you can clearly see the major differences in the signature.

As of this writing the fake card is up for sale on eBay with bids.

This isn’t the first time one of the major grading companies has let a fake card slip past them. It has happened many times before. Not too long ago BGS graded a fake 1990 Topps Frank Thomas No Name On Front Error.

Fake
Authentic

How To Spot A Fake Ludwell Denny 1990 Pro Set #338 Promo

The odds of you finding this card out in the wild are about as good as the Phillies calling me up asking if I’d like to play first base. Its not likely to happen.

As I mentioned in my 2021 Leaf Pro Set College Football Blaster Box Break, Ludwell Denny founded Pro Set in 1988. Between 1988 and 1994 Pro Set issued card products for the NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, and PGA Tour. Their parody “Flopps” promo set was about as close as they got to making MLB cards. Outside of sports they made a variety of entertainment products as well. Pro Set went bankrupt after 1994. In February 2021 it was announced that Leaf Trading Cards had acquired the Pro Set trademark, and quickly began using it on their products.

Mr. Denny had a card of himself printed in 1990. Don’t bother ripping through old packs hoping to find it. They were used as promotional handouts. Almost like a business card. Although an official print run was never released, supposedly one sheet amounting to (90) cards was made. How many were actually handed out is a number we will never know.

Pro Set was notorious for their errors, misprints, corrections, short prints, variations, etc… Sometimes I think they did this on purpose just to keep collectors on their toes.

The Ludwell Denny promo card is one die-hard Pro Set collectors would love to add to their collection. I’ve only seen one show up for sale, and it has been on eBay for years with an incredibly high asking price.

No authentic alternate versions of this card are known to exist. No errors, misprints, corrections, short prints, and/or variations. What you see is what you get. However, there are counterfeits floating around.

The differences drastically stick out when an authentic card is placed side-by-side with a counterfeit one.

Characteristics of a counterfeit card include dark coloring on both the front and back.

The font is completely different where it says “Ludwell Denny Head Coach Giants” on the front. Turning the card over you can see the font used for “Ludwell Denny Head Coach” is also quite different. The font used for the card number isn’t correct either.

Counterfeits use a dot instead of a dash to separate the words “Coach” and “Giants” on the front.

Numerous misspellings and grammatical errors totally pollute the description on the back of the counterfeit.

On the back of a counterfeit the words “National Football League Players Association” surround the football image near the bottom. Authentic examples do not have this wording.

Authentic front
Authentic back
Counterfeit front
Counterfeit back

I Lost $3,500,000 On Fake Pokémon Cards

Bad day for Meelypops and BBCE. BBCE will no longer be authenticating Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh cases.

How To Spot A Fake 1985 Star Gatorade Slam Dunk Michael Jordan #7

Fans who attended the 1985 All-Star Weekend Banquet in Indianapolis received a 9-card set of Star basketball cards featuring the Gatorade logo on them. It’s official name is the 1985 Star Gatorade Slam Dunk set. The set includes Checklist #1, Larry Nance #2, Terence Stansbury #3, Clyde Drexler #4, Julius Erving #5, Darrell Griffith #6, Michael Jordan #7, Dominique Wilkins #8, and Orlando Woolridge #9.

Technically there are (10) cards in this set. Terence Stansbury was a late substitute for Charles Barkley. Both cards were produced, but the Barkley card wasn’t released along with the others. Eventually the Barkley card leaked out, and collectors saw it surface on the secondary market.

Star cards are notorious for being counterfeited. That especially goes for Star cards of Michael Jordan. I can’t stress how many counterfeit Michael Jordan Star cards there are floating around. You can easily find them on eBay.

Counterfeit examples of the Michael Jordan 1985 Star Gatorade Slam Dunk card are all over the place. Some people advertise them as authentic, while others do the whole “reprint” or “RP” thing. People use the word “reprint” or the letters “RP” on their listings in an attempt to fool you into thinking that specific card came from a manufacturer like Star. Places like eBay don’t know how or just don’t care enough to learn how to distinguish between the two. The people making these homemade cards are fully aware that passing them off as the real thing could come back to haunt them. Calling them reprints might not bring in the same amount of money, but it still allows them to move their hoard of counterfeits. Its a horribly abused wording loophole.

When placed side-by-side the difference between an authentic example and counterfeit can easily be seen. One of the biggest red flags of a counterfeit is the lack of a line going through the letter “N” in “JORDAN” on the front. I’ve never seen an authentic version without this printing defect. Most counterfeits forget to include this element. Overall photo blurriness, and incorrect coloring can be other signs of a counterfeit.

Flipping the card over you’ll see more red flags. Counterfeit backs tend to have thicker/bold font. In some cases the font is a completely different color especially in Jordan’s bio. Its not uncommon for the text in Jordan’s bio to be broken too on a counterfeit.

If capable, compare the Jordan with another (less expensive) card from the same set. The printing techniques should be similar. Star did not print Michael Jordan’s card any differently.

Counterfeit front

Authentic front

Counterfeit back

Counterfeit back

Authentic back

This Fake LeBron James 2003-04 Topps Rookie Card Is Everywhere

Let me be clear. This is not the only counterfeit/unauthorized reprint of a LeBron James 2003-04 Topps #221 rookie card. Doing a quick search on eBay will result in countless examples. But the card I’m referring to in this post seems to be the one that surfaces the most often. When a player becomes as popular as King James its common for these types of cards to popup.

You can clearly see the coloring on the counterfeit/unauthorized reprint is much darker. And it just isn’t certain areas either. Everything on it is darker when compared to the authentic card. Both the front and back.

Inspecting the front you’ll notice that the font isn’t quite correct. It looks a bit thinner. Within the nameplate “LeBRON JAMES” sits lower too. On the authentic example there is some space between his name and the bottom of the nameplate.

In my opinion the biggest signs that the card is a counterfeit/unauthorized reprint can be found on the back. Overall the counterfeit/unauthorized reprint has a grainy tone to it. This specifically can be seen on the reverse side in the grey areas. On authentic examples these grey areas are smooth.

Two distinct white marks are a trademark red flag to this specific counterfeit/unauthorized reprint. Both are located on the back. One can be found above and slightly to the left of the Cavaliers logo. The other is directly beneath the letter “L” in “SCHOOL”.

Another area to look at is the foil used on the front. With authentic examples this foil shines and reflects light. Counterfeit/unauthorized reprints may look as if they have foil in the picture, but most will not reflect light like the authentic ones do. That’s because its not actual foil. Its just a scan of the real foil. This can be difficult to determine just by looking at a picture online. Having the card in-hand would make it much easier.

Counterfeit/unauthorized reprint front

Counterfeit/unauthorized reprint back

Authentic front

Authentic back

People use the word “reprint” or the letters “RP” on their listings in an attempt to fool you into thinking that specific card came from a manufacturer like Topps. Places like eBay don’t know how or just don’t care enough to learn how to distinguish between the two. The people making these homemade cards are fully aware that passing them off as the real thing could come back to haunt them. Calling them reprints might not bring in the same amount of money, but it still allows them to move their hoard of counterfeits. Its a horribly abused wording loophole.

I’ve seen a lot of people get taken advantage of with this counterfeit/unauthorized reprint. There are a bunch more like it floating around. Many even share some of the same characteristics. When you have headline after headline advertising the latest million dollar card sale it doesn’t take much for people to blindly jump in and starting buying cards they know very little about. Buy smart. Do some research before pulling the trigger.

How To Spot A Fake Jim Kelly 1984 Topps USFL Rookie Card #36

Wouldn’t it be fun to see new cards made that pay tribute to the USFL? I truly believe collectors would like to pull autographs of Steve Young in an LA Express uniform. Tell them to dig up one of Reggie White’s Memphis Showboats uniforms, cut it up, and place some swatches into a few cards. The list goes on and on. I’m not 100% sure how all the licensing works though when it comes to using team names and logos from a defunct league.

During it’s short lifespan, Topps issued two USFL sets. The first arriving in 1984, and the second in 1985. No packs. Each were issued in factory set form, and in much smaller quantities compared to their NFL counterpart. Hall of Famers such as Steve Young, Reggie White, and Jim Kelly made their cardboard debut in USFL uniforms. Their USFL rookies are in much higher demand compared to their first NFL licensed cards.

Lets get one thing straight. Topps has never issued any kind of USFL reprint. The 1985 set was the last USFL product they issued. Between you and me the word “Reprint” is being used way too loosely nowadays. An authentic “Reprint” originates from the card its modeled after original manufacturer. A homemade card doesn’t count as a reprint. That’s considered a counterfeit. People use the word “reprint” or the letters “RP” on their listings in an attempt to fool you into thinking that specific card came from a manufacturer like Topps. Places like eBay don’t know how or just don’t care enough to learn how to distinguish between the two. The people making these homemade cards are fully aware that passing them off as the real deal could come back to bite them. Calling them reprints might not bring in the same amount of money, but it still allows them to move their hoard of counterfeits. Its a horribly abused wording loophole.

Below are some tips for spotting a counterfeit Jim Kelly 1984 Topps USFL #36 Rookie Card. FYI – Most of these tips also apply to 1984 Topps USFL rookies of Steve Young, Reggie White, and Herschel Walker.

  • Centering – Authentic cards from the 1984 Topps USFL set are notorious for having bad centering. Most counterfeits have excellent centering because they want the card to look as good as possible. Its possible to find an authentic example with nice centering, but its just something to keep an eye out for.
  • Corners – Counterfeits tend to have perfect corners. The factory set boxes authentic cards come packaged in are made of flimsy cardboard. This makes it very easy for the corners to sustain damage.
  • Back Surface – With the pink/red back its common for authentic examples to have chipping (white areas) showing. The back is quite condition sensitive. Counterfeits tend to be too good looking.
  • Contrast – As you can see below the coloring on the counterfeit is much brighter compared to the authentic example.
  • Trademark/Copyright logos – On the front of the card you’ll see two “TM” logos. One is located next to the letter “L” in “USFL”. The other is next to the profile view of the helmet. Located on the bottom of the back are the USFL and Topps copyright logos. On counterfeit examples these trademark and copyright logos are blurry. Of all the things to look for when it comes to spotting a counterfeit blurry trademark/copyright logos is the first thing to watch for.

If capable, use a less expensive card from the set (one that nobody would bother to counterfeit) and place it side-by-side with the one you are thinking about picking-up. The characteristics between the two should be similar. Topps used the same printing techniques for that less expensive card as they did for the rest of the set.

Counterfeit front

Counterfeit back

Authentic front

Authentic back

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