Q&A – What Is The First Pack-Inserted Autographed Card? (Follow Up)

Have you ever heard of the 1976 Goof’s Pants Place Tulsa Oilers team set? After posting Q&A – What Is The First Pack-Inserted Autographed Card? this set was brought to my attention thanks to Breakout Cards and Chris Harris as it contains a few autographs.

In 1976 the Tulsa Oilers (Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals) released a 26-card team set which could be purchased from the team for $5. Included within that team set were two autographed cards – Satchel Paige and Paul “Daffy” Dean.

Both of these cards predate the Reggie Jackson autographed card issued by Upper Deck by 14 years.

Personally, I still consider the 1990 Upper Deck Baseball High Series Reggie Jackson Auto #’ed/2,500 the first pack-inserted autographed card. The 1976 Goof’s Pants Place Tulsa Oilers team set was a regional issue, and not made available everywhere. A hobby pack, and team set are two different things.

Sports Collectors Daily has a nice write-up about this set.

Q&A – What Is The First Pack-Inserted Autographed Card?

The Upper Deck Company shook-up the industry when they released their first set of cards in 1989. Premium card stock, anti-counterfeiting holograms, and tamper-proof packs showed collectors that Upper Deck meant business. Taking the chance on making a young rookie named Ken Griffey, Jr. card #1 in the set also paid off significantly.

In 1990 Upper Deck turned up the heat again. The 1990 Upper Deck Baseball set consists of (800) cards. It was released in two separate series – Low Series #1-700 and High Series #701-800.

Inserted within the High Series packs of 1990 Upper Deck Baseball is a 10-card Reggie Jackson Heroes set.

To make things even more interesting Upper Deck got Reggie Jackson to sign 2,500 copies of card #9. This card became the first pack-inserted autograph. I’m certain some of these are still hiding in sealed packs just waiting to be pulled.

Upon this product’s release it was unheard of to pull an autographed card out of a pack. Today with a lot of products its almost expected.

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

Mike Baker Authenticated Is A Pointless Service The Hobby Does NOT Need

In 2020 and 2021 we saw card prices shoot to the moon. And in 2022 we have seen them completely tank.

During that fun time when everything was going up in price lots of new businesses arrived on the hobby scene attempting to convince collectors that they needed them. A lot of new and naive people bought right into it too. In this hobby it is very easy to convince people you are something that you really aren’t.

One of these joke business ventures that popped up is Mike Baker Authenticated. I’ve talked about them before, but it can’t hurt to bring them up again.

Mike Baker Authenticated would love to grade your graded cards. They’re trying to create another level of scarcity for you to chase. DON’T FALL FOR IT!

For example, lets say you have two of the same cards both graded by PSA a GEM MT 10. Mike Baker Authenticated wants you to believe that if they place one of their Silver, Gold, or Black Diamond labels on one of them its going to be worth more than the card without it. This has to be one of the most pointless services ever offered to collectors. What’s next? Grading the graded, graded, graded card?

Who is Mike Baker? Mike Baker was the first grader to work for PSA. In fact, he was their first employee. He was right there when the world famous 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner was graded a PSA NM-MT 8. It was altered/trimmed, and slabbed in a PSA holder. That card shouldn’t have been graded. Knowing the publicity and money that card would bring is what didn’t stop them. On the Mike Baker Authenticated website it states “He has been a developer in the field of identifying counterfeit and altered trading cards.” What a joke!

Probstein123’s auctions was the first place I remember seeing Mike Baker Authenticated labeled slabs. Early on the COA Mike Baker Authenticated supplied with the card was down right sloppy. SGC graded cards came with PSA labeled COAs. Numerous misspellings could also be found. You could tell they were in a rush.

With card prices in free fall, grading companies are beginning to lower their fees. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the big three BGS, PSA, or SGC go under. BGS or SGC more likely. PSA has some other sources of income. HGA and CSG could also be on the chopping block.

If the grading companies are hurting right now, so is Mike Baker Authenticated. This downturn could easily put them out of business. A good thing about a tanking market is purging the hobby of bogus and unnecessary services such as Mike Baker Authenticated. If you’re attending a card show and see their little tent, just ignore it.

Card of the Day: 1989 Topps Ghostbusters II – Bill Murray Is Venkman #2

Is This An Early Glimpse Of 2020/21 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Sapphire Edition?

eBay user live_to_conquer sparked collector’s interest recently upon listing what looks to be cards from 2020/21 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Sapphire Edition. Why such the interest you ask? Not only is this product not out yet, it hasn’t even been announced that Topps plans to bring it back for a second year.

Prototypes, samples, promos, cards walking out the back door, leaked early versions of a product, and down right counterfeit are all theories people have come up with for now. Take your pick.

Every card utilizes the 2021 Topps flagship design. What doesn’t look correct to me is the font used for the copyright information and serial number on the back. The copyright information looks larger than normal, and the font used for the serial number isn’t consistent to what we’re use to seeing with Topps Chrome products. Some of the listings even show cards in top loaders containing the Topps seal across the top. If they are homemade and counterfeit someone did a good job attempting to make them look authentic.

I’ve attempted to make contact with the seller to see where they obtained the cards, but I have yet to see a response. Some Blowout Cards forum users received a response simply stating “They came from Topps.” Not too much backstory there.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Topps is working on another edition of this set. 2019/20 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Sapphire Edition has been a major hit with collectors. Not only was it a limited release to Topps 582 Montgomery Club members, but rookie Erling Haaland’s popularity really took off shooting box prices to almost $2,000. Crazy to think about when a single box originally cost $80.

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.

Here Is Parkside’s 2020 Santa Claus Card

Parkside Collectibles is an interesting manufacturer that makes cards for the National Women’s Soccer League, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Major League Lacrosse, and BIG3 Basketball.

In 2019, Parkside Collectibles issued a card featuring Santa Claus on it. I’m happy to announce this tradition has continued for 2020.

During the holiday season Parkside Collectibles issues these cards along with purchases on their website, and gives them out to their followers on social media.

I’m digging the ugly sweater design, and Parkside Collectibles sticker across the top of the top loader.

2020 Futera/Onyx Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball Is Here

Futera and Onyx are at it again. For a second year in a row collectors get to enjoy their Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball set.

This week marks the release of this product. Some breakers have begun to open it, and singles have started to surface on the secondary market. Card companies collaborating on a single product certainly isn’t something you see today.

(4) packs come in every display box. Inside each pack is an autograph, relic, or autograph/relic. You can even use the empty display box as a storage container when your finished.

2020 Futera/Onyx Unique Prospects & Legends is packed with some incredible looking cards. Very ornate and fancy! They make the coolest looking gold-plated metal framed cards.

Is This Dave Kingman Baseball Card Haunted?

The 1974 Topps Baseball set is known for a lot of things. It was the first time Topps issued all of their cards in one series versus multiple series throughout the year. It also marked the first time Topps would issue their baseball cards in factory set form. Factory sets were sold exclusively through the J.C. Penny catalog. As a bonus for purchasing the set, collectors would also receive the first Traded set which featured players in their new uniforms if they had been traded that year. Key rookie cards include Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey, Sr., Bucky Dent, Frank Tanana, and Dave Parker.

Among the (660) cards, #610 is the most disturbing. Giants first baseman Dave Kingman looks as though he’s swinging his bat in front of a crowd made of ghostly hell demons. What happened to these people? Why do they look like this? What events took place during this game? Is anyone still alive? Has Dave Kingman been questioned? Was this game erased from the record books? Obviously there are more questions here than answers. But I believe this to be one of the biggest sports/hobby cover ups ever.

People who own this card have admitted to witnessing paranormal events. Storage lids popping off their boxes. Album pages flipping on their own. Bleeding top loaders. And that’s just the minor stuff.

Perhaps no story connected to this card is more shocking than that of 31 year old Kevin Clarke. After his father’s death Kevin inherited a baseball card collection. This card was in the collection, and he became obsessed with it. Over a period of time he claimed that the card would talk to him. Telling him to do horrible things. One day he gave in to the card’s demands and went on a killing spree. His victims were always found wrapped in clear plastic mimicking that of a penny sleeve. In some sick and twisted way Kevin may believe he’s helping to protect them from something much like you’ed use a penny sleeve to protect a card. Eventually he was caught and spent 2 years in a mental institution. But due to a computer glitch he ended up being released by accident. The media has given him the name “The Penny Sleeve Prowler”. To this day he remains on the loose.

Topps may have assigned this card #610, but we all know it should be #666.