How To Spot A Fake Brett Hull 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee RC #66

Thousands of counterfeit Brett Hull 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee #66 rookie cards entered the market during the early 1990’s.  Many are still floating around deceiving collectors today.

Counterfeit examples exhibit the following characteristics:

  • The absence of a small yellow dot found on the push-pin next to Hull’s name on the front.
  • The dots around Hull’s nameplate on the front are lighter in color, especially the ones which are on his photo.
  • Ragged and broken type on the back.
  • Filling in of the center of the upper case “A” in the type next to the NHL logo on the card’s back.
  • The text on the card’s back is fatter, thicker, and tends to blend together.  Very noticeable on the O-Pee-Chee logo.

Authentic front

Authentic back

Counterfeit front

Counterfeit back

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Card of the Day: Ken Griffey Jr. 1989 Donruss Rated Rookie #33

How To Spot A Fake Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update Series RC #175

Browsing the Blowout Cards Forums attempting to get a beat on the daily hobby pulse I came across an interesting post by user CoachBruno.  Within this post are some tips for spotting a counterfeit Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update Series RC #US175.  Rookie cards of Mike Trout aren’t cheap.  Even his mass-produced base rookies.  It shouldn’t surprise you that this card of his and the accompanying parallels that go with it are being forged.  Some of these are being sold as reprints for a few dollars, while others are being used to trick unknowing collectors.  Someone recently spent $1,200 for a counterfeit Diamond Anniversary parallel of this exact card.

When buying this card online, the best place to look at is the back.  This card’s front, especially the Diamond Anniversary parallel, is easier to identify a counterfeit in person.  The counterfeits are nowhere near as shiny.

A majority of counterfeits contain these features.  Its very possible that better counterfeits exist which don’t.

Authentic – Features “ANGELS OUTFIELD” in red.  Grey trapezoid beneath the Topps logo.  Color MLBPA logo.

Counterfeit – Features “ANGELS OUTFIELD” in black.  Missing/faint trapezoid beneath the Topps logo.  Black/white MLBPA logo.

How To Spot A Fake Michael Jordan 1984-85 Star ROY #288

Michael Jordan cards have been counterfeited for decades.  His 1986-87 Fleer rookie is atop the list of most forged cards in the hobby.  Outside of that card we have a large amount of Star issued cards.  Some collectors won’t even touch Star cards of popular players such as Michael Jordan because they have been counterfeited so much.  Authentic Michael Jordan Star cards can be worth a lot of money if they’re the real deal.

Mr. Jordan has multiple cards made by Star.  His 1984-85 Star ROY #288 is one of the easiest to spot a counterfeit/reprint:

  • Border Spacing – Perfect centering is almost unheard of when it comes to this card.  Most authentic examples show little border on the right side and a fat chunk on the left.  Having this reversed and/or the card being dead-centered in many cases is a red flag of a counterfeit/reprint.
  • Coloring – On the back of the card there should be a slight color bleed along the edge of the card from the front.  The color clarity is softer and unique to original issued Star products, the counterfeits/reprints have bolder colors and out of registry text, bleeding or feathering are good terms to describe the counterfeits/reprints.

Authentic front

Authentic back

Counterfeit front

Counterfeit/reprint front

Counterfeit/reprint back

Tips For Spotting A Fake 1968 Topps Rookie Stars Card

With rookie cards of Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench, not to mention second year cards of Rod Carew and Tom Seaver, the 1968 Topps Baseball set is quite memorable.  How could collectors forget that classic burlap bag design?

The Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench cards are the most counterfeited cards from this set.  Especially the Nolan Ryan.

Here are a few tips for spotting counterfeit 1968 Topps Rookie Stars cards:

  • Front Letter Pattern – Look at the letters in the title “1968 Rookie Stars”.  The red and black should be solid.  Counterfeits usually contain print dots.
  • Reverse Coloring – The reverse should be a solid yellow color.  You don’t want to see it made up of little yellow dots.  It shouldn’t be a bright yellow.
  • Front Coloring – The color on the front should be red, not orange.  Specifically when it comes to the title “1968 Rookie Stars”.  Counterfeits and reprints tend to be darker in color.
  • Card Stock – Thicker/white-edged and glossy surfaced card stock is a definite sign of a counterfeit.

As you can see the coloring has a lot to do with identifying a counterfeit.  It can’t hurt to have a common on hand to compare it to.  Special treatment wasn’t given to Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench during the printing process.

Authentic front

Authentic back

Counterfeit front

Counterfeit back

Counterfeit front

Counterfeit back

Celeb Rookie: Keanu Reeves

Nolan Ryan and Jerry Koosman.  Johnny Bench and Ron Tompkins.  Steve Carlton and Fritz Ackley.  Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter?  Sports stars aren’t the only people on the planet who can have rookie cards.  Celebrities and fictional characters can have them as well.  They don’t always get the same amount of attention though compared to their sports counterparts.

2019 sure has been the year of Keanu Reeves.  John Wick 3, Toy Story 4, Bill & Ted Face the Music wrapped filming, and a fourth Matrix movie being announced are just some of the highlights he’s had this year.  As popular as he is in Hollywood, I know its only a matter of time until we see him enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Figuring out the right character for him to play is all that’s needed.  We’ve already seen him play DC’s John Constantine.  I’m sure there is another comic book character he’d be great at portraying.

The first movie that I watched him in is 1994’s Speed.  Great film!  Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, and Dennis Hopper round out the main cast.  Don’t let that bus go under 50 M.P.H.!

Interested in knowing where you can find this Hollywood titan’s rookie card?  You’ll need to go back to 1991.  Pro Set’s Bill & Ted’s Most Atypical Movie Cards is where it will be.  This 100-card set features scenes from the film Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  Its a movie about two slackers who need to travel through time collecting historical figures for their high school history class.  Keanu Reeves, who plays Ted “Theodore” Logan, is featured on many of the cards.  #1 shows Keanu Reeves and co-star Alex Winter blasting into space atop their time traveling phone booth.  I consider this to be Reeves’ true rookie card.  The same image was used for the movie poster.

You can easily pick this card up for next to nothing.  Sealed boxes are readily available.  A case containing (20) boxes will run under $50.  Mass overproduction is an understatement.

How To Spot A Fake Pete Rose 1963 Topps Rookie Stars #537

Have you ever wondered what the first well-known card to be counterfeited is?  If so, the answer is the 1963 Topps Rookie Stars #537 card.  It contains rookies of Pedro Gonzalez, Ken McMullen, Al Weis, and most notably Pete Rose.  The inclusion of Pete Rose is the real value driver here.

In the earlier 1980’s, a wave of counterfeit Pete Rose rookie cards found their way into the market.  A large chunk of these counterfeits were confiscated, stamped “COUNTERFEIT ORIGINAL REPRINT” on the reverse, and found their way back into circulation.  It became such a big deal that some people actually seek the counterfeits just because they make an interesting conversation piece.  These counterfeits were so well-made if the individual pulling the scam would’ve sold them at multiple card shows instead of dumping them all at one spot there is a good chance they might have gotten away with it.

Its important to note that not every counterfeit Pete Rose rookie card will have this stamp.  Lots of non-stamped counterfeits are still out there attempting to fool uneducated buyers.

Here are some tips for spotting a counterfeit Pete Rose 1963 Topps Rookie Stars #537 card:

  • Black Line (Outside Hat) – Many counterfeits contain a thin black line around the outside of Pete Rose’s white hat.  Authentic examples do NOT have this line.
  • Missing Black Line (Cincinnati logo) – Its difficult to see, but on an authentic example there is a black line around the Cincinnati logo on Rose’s hat.  Counterfeits tend to be missing this item.
  • Thin Card Stock – Counterfeits tend to be printed on much thinner card stock compared to the real thing.  While looking at the card’s reverse, hold it up to the light.  If you’re able to see the four circles on the other side it certainly is a counterfeit.  You wouldn’t be able to see through the card if it was authentic.
  • Red Tint – On some counterfeits the faces can have a red tint.
  • Light Colored Back – The back on a counterfeit usually has a lighter tone versus an authentic card.
  • Pixelated Heads – Upon close inspection you’ll notice the player’s heads are quite pixelated on a counterfeit.  A genuine example won’t have this.
  • Perfect Centering – Not that there aren’t authentic examples with good centering, they’re just difficult to find.
  • Lack of Frontal Upper Edge Wear – The upper portion of the card on the front has a blue color that reaches the edge.  That part of the card is notorious for chipping.

Authentic front:

Authentic back:

Counterfeit front:

Counterfeit back: