Card of the Day: Michael Phelps 2003 Stadion World Stars #627

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

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:

Card of the Day: Marion Butts 1991 Fleer Stars ‘N Stripes #54

Card of the Day: 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series B – Baron Von Raschke #31

Phillies Just Minors Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

Nope.  This isn’t Bryce Harper either.  This contest is for a Joe Savery 2008 Just Minors – Just Stars Black Edition Auto #’ed/25.  He was the Phillies’ 1st round pick in the 2007 MLB draft.  Fans had high hopes for this dude, but it just didn’t amount to much.  After a short stint with the Athletics and White Sox, he announced his retirement.  The last I heard he was selling insurance in Minnesota.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, March 15, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

Q&A: Did Topps Issue Boxes Of 1992 Stadium of Stars Cards?

Question: Hi!  I came across this odd card of Larry King.  It appears to be from 1992 Topps Stadium of Stars.  Did Topps issue boxes for this set?  What can you tell me about it?

Answer: No.  Topps did not issue these in the traditional box format.  The year was 1992, and the 13th National Sports Collectors Convention was being held in Atlanta, GA.  For the first time in it’s thirteen year existence, Topps decided to setup a booth.  Used as a promotional giveaway, Topps created a 13-card set entitled Stadium of Stars.

  • Bruce Jenner
  • John Wooden
  • Joan Lunden
  • Lou Holtz
  • Chris McCarron
  • Nick Charles
  • Larry King
  • Ann Meyers
  • LeRoy Neiman
  • Wilma Rudolph
  • Bob Costas
  • Nancy Lopez
  • Jim Beckett III

The exact number of cards handed out during the show is unknown.  Every celebrity on the checklist received (500) copies to hand out at their discretion.  Two jumbo-size cards were also printed for each individual.  One was given to the celebrity, and the other was autographed.  The signed version was auctioned off, and the money went to a specific charity chosen by that celebrity.

Topps sold 5,000 uncut sheets to dealers at the show.  From time to time one of those will popup.  I believe Jim Beckett III was a late addition and/or had to be obtained differently compared to the others.  You can find his single card on the secondary market, but its not pictured on any of the promotional material like the uncut sheet.  An oversize souvenir sheet featuring these cards is suppose to be floating around too.

A complete set is worth about $30-$50.