Card of the Day: Dave Bresnahan 1987 ProCards Williamsport Bills #14

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Card of the Day: Greg Jelks 1989 ProCards Louisville Redbirds #1258

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Card of the Day: Keith Comstock 1989 ProCards Las Vegas Stars #14

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1988 ProCards Vermont Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. Still Fooling Collectors

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“The Kid” has one of the largest collecting bases in the hobby.  You get yourself a rare Ken Griffey Jr. card and the right collectors with some deep pockets, and your going to be in for a good time.  His rookies from Topps, Bowman, Donruss, and Upper Deck will always be at the core of any collection.

Before Ken Griffey Jr. had rookie cards made by the major manufacturers in 1989, he had a handful of minor league cards issued.  Some of these minor league “rookies” have more of a demand than any traditional rookie card featuring him in a Seattle Mariners uniform.  Like almost everything, it comes down to rarity and condition.

Although its not his most valuable minor league card, Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1988 ProCards Vermont Mariners #NNO is still one collectors like to own.  This was his last minor league card.  ProCards made a 27-card set for the Vermont Mariners in 1988.  That set did not contain a Griffey.  A Ken Griffey Jr. card was issued later on that year as a promotional piece.  Compared to the regular set, the Griffey card is basically the same except it has a very distinct red border and doesn’t have a card number.  The main set has a silver border.

Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1988 ProCards Vermont Mariners #NNO is one of his most affordable minor league cards.  But you still need to be careful when buying one.  Whether they were reissued a few years later or just straight up counterfeit, many non-authentic versions of this card exist.

To the untrained eye, its very easy to mistake a non-authentic card for the real thing.  Pictured above is an authentic card.  Below is a counterfeit.  Real examples have terrible centering.  Fake ones almost always have good centering.  Take a look at the text on the real card.  The words “KEN GRIFFEY OF” are printed in small bold font.  Those same words on the fake card are printed using slightly larger font that isn’t bold.  Thicker font was also used on the fake card for the words “VERMONT MARINERS”.  The space between the bottom of the real card and the words “VERMONT MARINERS” is much larger too versus the fake one.

You would think that buying one graded would help.  But that isn’t always the case.  A lot of counterfeit versions have made it passed graders like PSA.  You should be alright if you follow these tips.

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Card of the Day: Curt Schilling 1988 ProCards New Britain Red Sox #908

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Is Yours Real? What To Look For In An Authentic Greg Maddux 1986 ProCards Pittsfield Cubs Card

With all of the draft pick products on the market today, its no real surprise that minor league team issued sets aren’t in demand that much.  They still make them, and I always pick one up while attending a game.  Before collectors had products like Bowman and Bowman Chrome, minor league team sets were a huge draw.  Die-hard player collectors still chase those cheaply made minor league cards, especially if that specific player never had a “First Year” card you would find in a traditional Bowman branded set.

One of the classic cards that falls into this category includes the Greg Maddux 1986 ProCards Pittsfield Cubs minor league card.  Maddux has a large fan base and this card is the center of many people’s collection.  Examples that are in superb condition can easily sell for $1,200.00.  Counterfeiters have taken notice to this which is why the market is filled with fake versions of this card.  Luckily there is a way to determine whether the one you are looking to buy is real or fake.

Here is an example of an authentic card:

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ProCards were very cheaply manufactured, which resulted in a minor defect in the printing of his last name.  The two letter D’s in his last name are slightly cut off on the bottom.  You really need a good eye to see this.  Every authentic card has the same defect.

Here is an example of a counterfeit card:

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Not only is the font a little different, but the two letter D’s in his last name are completely in tact.  The D’s on a real one have flat bottoms, where on the fake you can see a curve.