Card of the Day: Reggie Jackson 1987 Fleer Update Glossy #U-49

 photo reggie87fleerupdate_zpsqowguxbn.jpg


Flashback Product of the Week: 1990 Topps Glossy Rookies Foil Test Issue

 photo griffey90toppsfoil1_zpsl44imiwk.jpg

Upper Deck set a new standard for card quality after they released their first set in 1989.  Collectors got a taste of what “premium” cards were like, and they weren’t about to turn back.  Other card companies had to figure out ways to amp-up their cards.  If not, they could’ve easily lost their fan base.  Adapt or die!

Topps wasn’t completely out of the loop when it came to making “premium” cards.  Long before Upper Deck arrived, Topps made Tiffany factory sets.  These mimicked the overall design of that year’s Topps set, but were printed on higher quality card stock.  To this day, it still amazes me what some collectors are willing to spend on a high-grade Tiffany base card of a star.  Even when its not a rookie.  But just switching to better stock for their normal sets wouldn’t be enough to compete.  It was time to bring on the foil.

1990 Topps Baseball is a poster child of the overproduction era.  Unless you’re talking about it’s Tiffany counterpart, Frank Thomas no-name rookie, or George Bush card, there isn’t much value to look for.  The base design is one of my all-time favorites though – lots of color!  While browsing through the grocery store in 1990, I bet many of you can remember spotting those 100-card bricks known as jumbo packs.  Inside each of those packs was a specially made Glossy Rookies card.  The set commemorates popular rookies from the previous season.  Most, if not all, the players have rookie cards in products from 1989.

In order to step-up their game, Topps tested some new printing techniques.  They took tons of regular Glossy Rookies and printed a foil stripe across the front.  You can find them in a variety of colors – blue, purple, green, red, silver, and gold.  The stripe can be in multiple locations as well.  One card may have it straight across the player’s face, while another could be near the bottom.  Multiple colors for each player can be found in many different positions.  Occasionally you’ll see cards with two stripes, but I’ve never seen one with two different colors.  Usually if there are two, the colors match.  If that isn’t enough, the asterisk variations carry over to these foil tests.  Every player in the Glossy Rookies set has a card with one and two asterisks on the back.  For those collectors who are obsessed with variations, this could be an endless battle when you throw everything together.  Ken Griffey, Jr. is the most popular foil test.  He’s worth about $10 to $20.

Looking back at what companies tested in order to stay relevant can be interesting.  The lessons Topps learned from this foil test issue were implemented in their Desert Shield and Stadium Club sets.

Card of the Day: Roberto Alomar 1988 Score Traded Glossy #105T

 photo robal88stgloss_zpshlrmnxjn.jpg

Flashback Product of the Week: 1983 KG Glossy

 photo jpkg83_zpsf948eabb.jpg

There are a lot of grey areas when talking about the 1983 KG Glossy set.  It’s definitely not a set that every collector is familiar with.  The set closely resembles the 1983 glossy cards Topps made available through a mail-in program.  That’s one of the reasons why some collectors believe the KG Glossy set may have been a test issue, but this has never been confirmed.  The whole set consists of 24 blank back cards that don’t even contain the player’s name.  Steve Garvey and Pete Rose each have two different cards.  The addition of the extra cards of Garvey and Rose make collectors believe they were added at a later date.

Another theory is that the 1983 KG Glossy cards were produced by a guy named Kenny Garshewicz and sold through various collector publications at the time.  If these weren’t a test issue from Topps, maybe this guy thought he could produce this unlicensed set without getting in trouble with Topps by using different photos and leaving the names off.  This is the theory I believe the most in.  I also think whoever issued this set sold it over multiple years.  Just check out this old add from Baseball Card Magazine that was printed in 1985:

 photo bbcmag83kg1_zps7effcdd2.jpg

By the looks of it, they also have a jumbo set too.

A value is hard to determine.  eBay has a bunch of cards for sale, but only a few have actually sold.  The individual cards that did sell went for under $10.00.  High graded examples seem to have large asking prices.

Card of the Day: Roger Federer 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy #G3

 photo federerelite_zps31fef6cd.jpg

Flashback Product of the Week: 1989 Fleer Glossy


Over the years, sports cards have made various cameo appearances in television and film.  Given that its the holiday season, I bet you can’t guess which Christmas movie gives us a quick look at 1989 Fleer Glossy.  If you guessed Home Alone you’d be right.  For those that guessed It’s A Wonderful Life you were a few decades off.

Remember the scene where Kevin enters his older brother’s room once everyone left?  How could you not?  The place was packed with all kinds of stuff.  In fact one site actually took the time to identify as many items as possible.  They get pretty detailed, but skip over most of the sports collectibles except the Starting Lineup figures.

Its funny how you can watch a movie again and again at different times in your life and notice various things.  The other night I was watching Home Alone on T.V. and took stock of the objects in Buzz’s room.  I couldn’t help but see the 1989 Fleer Glossy tin sitting on the top shelf.  You see it once again when everything comes crashing down.  From what you can see, it doesn’t look as if the tin is filled with the 672 cards the lid promises.  If I’m not mistaken, there is a a rubber band and a loose 1987 Fleer base card in it.  Either way, it was the first time I noticed it.

The 1989 Fleer Glossy set was the last glossy parallel issue from Fleer.  The only main difference between this set and the regular issue are the glossy card fronts.  These glossy sets from Fleer were like Tiffany ones from Topps.  The set consists of 660 base cards, 12 World Series inserts, and 66 stickers.  When I think of this product, two cards comes to mind.  The first would be the Ken Griffey, Jr glossy rookie, and the other is the infamous Billy Ripken.  By the time this set was issued, Fleer had already corrected the “Fuck Face” error.  All of the glossy Billy Ripken’s have a black box over the bat knob.

Despite being released at a time when overproduction ruled the hobby, these sets continue to sell for amounts up to $70.00.  It seems as if Buzz was into some high-end stuff.  Happy Holidays trout-sniffers 🙂