Monday, September 30, 2013

1990 Upper Deck

A quick Google can yield many results 1, 2, 3, 4 5 to discussions about different error cards, set variations, printing/inking differences... In my postings on errors, I like to include the more common errors, differences that affect a good chunk of a release if not the entire set. For this week's post I'll take a look at the common errors found in 1990 Upper Deck.

There are two very common errors that affect most in this set, the first being cards that have missing hologram/foil on the back side; the second is much more rare(update 10/1/13, maybe not so much more rare, found another stack that was supposed to go with this post...), with a missing copyright on the back. From the first link above we see the cards that are missing the "Copyright 1990 Upper Deck Co. Printed in USA" run from cards #101-199, which is consistent to the cards that I found missing copyrights. I went through ~15,000 1990 Upper Deck before making this post pulling all versions of these that I could find. This is in no way indicative of all hoards of 1990 Upper Deck, just of the stock my LCS had in their backroom(most likely since 1990, hah). Of the boxes I found, one of the 5,000 count boxes had cards sorted numerically(five #1s, three #2s, four #3s, etc...), one box was sorted into four or five sets(cards #1-800), and the other had no rhyme or reason - completely random sorting(not numerical, not set, not by team/position/player...).  Here's my findings:

No copyright: 104,106,108,111,2x114,2x115,116,117,2x123,128,3x157,164,166,2x167,2x168,169,170,171,173,177,181,191,193,199(Twin!)

Missing hologram/foil: 2x411,412,413,2x414,415,416,417(Twin!),418,419(Twin!),424,425,426,431,432,434,436(Twin),439,440(Twin!),452(Twin!),453,454(Twin!),455,457,458,2x-459,460,461,493(Twin!)

So you can see why I like this search, there were several Twins found missing stuffs. It's actually how I first found out about these, card #493 caught my attempt while sorting one day. Other than the missing section there is nothing that stands these numbers apart from any other in the set. The fronts look as they are supposed to, it doesn't look like someone took an eraser to the card, they hold up to viewing them in the light... Very odd. Also odd, all of the ones that are missing the hologram/foil were cards that are in the #400-499 range. Strange times these be. Have you found any of these? Lemme know in the comments below?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Topps Retail Issues

A friend from twitter (Thanks again!) picked these up for me on a recent trip to the Twin Cities to catch a Yankees game. I thought I'd compare and contrast the set vs. 2013 Topps. These team sets are relatively cheap, and can be found at your local Target/Walmart usually for 10$.

In addition to a different numbering scheme(MIN-1, MIN-2, etc.) some photos have been known to be different, or players that weren't in the base set are known to be in this team set, so I asked if he could pick me up a set. Interesting, I didn't notice any cropping or different photos used like NightOwl did for his 2008 Dodgers set. No, I don't have a Morneau from series 2, if anyone wants to ship me one? :D.

Let's look at the retail checklist and their 2013 Topps counter-part:
MIN-1 Joe Mauer - 107 Joe Mauer - Also has a photo variation short print.

Interesting that the backs have different "code". With the retail team set ending 3828, Base with 2820, and the short print ends in 3022.

MIN-2 Justin Morneau - 575 Justin Morneau
MIN-3 Josh Willingham - 216 Josh Willingham - Also has a photo variation short print.
MIN-4 Darin Mastroianni - 528 Darin Mastroianni
MIN-5 Chris Parmelee - 446 Chris Parmelee
MIN-6 Ryan Doumit - 460 Ryan Doumit
MIN-7 Jamey Carroll - 88 Jamey Carroll
MIN-8 Brian Dozier - 596 Brian Dozier
MIN-9 Scott Diamond - 656 Scott Diamond
MIN-10 Trevor Plouffe - 629 Trevor Plouffe
MIN-11 Glen Perkins - 547 Glen Perkins
MIN-12 Vance Worley

MIN-13 Liam Hendriks - 590 Liam Hendriks
MIN-14 Pedro Florimon - 451 Pedro Florimon
MIN-15 Kevin Correia

MIN-16 Mike Pelfrey

MIN-17 Minnesota Twins/Target Field

Which leaves these without counterparts:
102 Denard Span
335 Chris Herrmann
346 Aaron Hicks
467 Brian Duensing
636 Cole De Vries
MIN-12 Vance Worley
MIN-15 Kevin Correia
MIN-16 Mike Pelfrey
MIN-17 Minnesota Twins/Target Field

Photo stream:

Finally a group shot of cards from the team set without a Series 1, or Series 2 issue.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I really did mean to get around to this, but I got sick, then distracted and lazy... so without further procrastination, here's my take on Donruss' heavy error/variation printing at it's height, from 1987-1992.

1987 was a good year for me. The Twins won the Series in a memorable home team takes all seven gamer, oh and almost 26 years to the date of this post(9/27), I was born. But enough about me, let's focus on a company that printed cardboard in my current city, Grand Prairie, Texas. With their '87 lineup, Donruss put out a drab black and yellow design with a set that included key rookies of Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, and a non-RC rookie for Mark McGwire. A relative cheap 660 card set with mostly commons sans those few key rookies, the first few cards were Diamond Kings as had become custom, followed by their Rated Rookie subset, then a slew of commons. Each pack came with a Roberto Clemente "Value Added®" puzzle piece, another staple of early Donruss releases. The only set wide varying condition regards the factory set vs. retail. The backs of cards from retail packs face one direction while factory sets face another. 

1988 Donruss' design continued their bland run with blue and black checkerboard, or orange and black for the 'Baseball's Best' line. The Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies and puzzle pieces(Musial) all return for another year. A very weak set with the only notable rookie being Roberto Alomar, and even then my holy book lists the card for only 1$... I've yet to confirm this for the full set, but it seems Donruss decided to have the hi-jinks on the front with the position of the blue space on the borders on different corners. 

Which brings us to 1989 Donruss, the holy grail of wtf-ery. The usual subsets returned, this time puzzle pieces of Warren Spahn circulated in wax packs, with Griffey Jr., and Randy Johnson being the prospects to chase.
Here's where it gets interesting, each regular base card has a back with * denotes led league and a back with * denotes led league *. Notice the second asterisk. Whether this was intentional or not, neither version is particularly rare, but something to chase for set and team collectors. However the fun doesn't stop there in 1989, in addition to this, each denotes version has on the back either Leaf INC., or Leaf INC without the period. Yes, they're really that pedantic. You might be best served opening these in a new tab, however where you're looking is right next to the thick black bar in the top-right.

Dig out a magnifying glass and you'll see either Leaf INC, or Leaf INC. with period, as well as the single/double asterisk around denotes. The rest of these years focus on the INC./INC variations, because with the slight exception of 1991, these were the only set wide editions that vary.

1990 brought Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies, and Carl Yastrzemski puzzles. The only notable rookie was Juan Gonzalez at 1$, although they would increase the set to 715 cards -  their most yet, and first change since going to 660 in 1982. The design is a boring red with a spattering of black dots along the side. Each base card has the INC/INC. edition, as well each all-star subset card had backs with differing text "Recent Major League Performance" like regular base cards, or the intended "All-Star Performance".

1991 was another good year for me, with the Twins epic defeat of the Braves, another home team takes all World Series, and the first time a worst-to-pennant winner team would play...both teams! Donruss' release this year was a busy lined and speckle-like "paint streak" border with the usual name, team logo positioning. Another weak lineup year for rooks, this one highlighted by Chuck Knoblauch...and not much else. Willie Stargell got the puzzle treatment in a set that bumped it's total to 770. In addition to the trending INC/INC. versions, cards with the period present have two different border designs. Released in two series, the design changes background from blue to green between halves and is nothing of note oddity wise. As a side note, 1991 Leaf used Harmon Killebrew(Twinkie!) as their in wax puzzle! You'll have to trust that I flipped these, but as you can see there's a different pattern on the third Hrbek, and two INC.(with period) cards.

1992 brought about '89-esque tomfoolery in that Donruss not only continued the INC/INC. versions, but also brought this into their Leaf set which had just been resurrected only a few years prior. A much nicer white and blue design graced the fronts of this cheap 784 card set, Donruss also upped it's card stock, put out puzzle pieces for Rod Carew(Twinkie!) and put watermark counterfeit "proof" logos into the back design. Looking back who would have wanted to copy these? Lol. Two Indians from that filthy 90s Indians mini-dynasty feature as rooks, Jim Thome, and Kenny Lofton. Unless you think Todd Van Poppel is still the next big thing?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Last post on 91 UDs...I swear

So I over covered this, but I figured I should detail what numbers had variants in the box of ~2,000 I searched. I only found three types(90 MLB, 90-91 NHL, 92 MLB), with 92 being the most rare. That said here's the breakdown:

90 MLB: 2x98, 100, 2x102, 4x103, 3x104, 105, 106, 107, 114, 3x116, 2x117, 120, 121, 122, 124, 126, 128, 2x129, 4x130, 3x131, 137, 138, 148, 2x149, 2x150, 153, 159, 2x168, 169, 2x173, 176, 2x178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 3x184, 185, 2x186, 189, 2x190, 2x191, 2x193, 194, 199, 305, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 316, 318, 321, 322, 327, 329, 331, 333, 348, 359, 368, 369, 370, 379, 395, 398, 399, 516, 529, 2x541, 549, 549, 3x558, 559, 2x560, 562, 590, 595, 596.

90-91 NHL: 312, 314, 318, 320, 322, 339, 369, 381, 382, 623, 628, 630, 631, 639, 648, 650, 2x652, 658, 660, 667, 669, 671, 678, 2x681, 2x682, 2x683, 684, 691, 692, 693, 695, 695, 697, 699, 700.

92 MLB: 191

Some interesting notes:

There doesn't seem to be much overlap in numbering. I find this odd, I expected there to be many shared numbers, but it's almost as if each hundred block(100-199, 200-299, etc) are in their own group. All teams are represented, some more than others. The first number is 1990 MLB, second number is 1990-1991 NHL, the Twins and the Rangers were the only two teams with a 1992 MLB logo.

American League(1990 division alignments):

Baltimore 0/2
Boston 6/5
Cleveland 1/13
Detroit 3/7
Milwaukee 1/3
New York 3/1
Toronto 1/4
Oakland 0/5
Minnesota 2/3/1
Texas 2/3/1
Seattle 0/7
California 3/3
Chicago 2/1
Kansas City 3/2

National League(1990 division alignments):

Chicago 1/4
Montreal 2/5
New York 0/1
Philadelphia 0/2
Pittsburgh 1/7
St. Louis 2/7
Atlanta 1/1
Cincinnati 2/4
Houston 2/4
Los Angeles 0/9
San Diego 1/2
San Francisco 1/3

Checklists 1/1

For a prior run down on these errors, see the previous few posts! Also, if anyone wants a particular card, let me know in the comments. Next week's focus, Donruss/Leaf errors!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

91 UD Hologram Identification Guide

The normal '91 Upper Deck has the company name repeated several times horizontally, and if viewed from a different angle, '91's. This is the most common and easiest to spot. The others when viewed look smudged, and this is the best indicator you have a variant. 1990's design was the most common, and again the photo is blurry, but it features a repeated pattern of baseball's(which you can kind of make out the stitches and ball shape) and if viewed at a different angle, a very tiny pattern of '90's. This was the most common, and the easiest to differentiate. Upper Deck's 1990-91 Hockey features another pattern of '90's(however bigger and more noticeable than 1990 baseball) and crossed hockey sticks. It is also the second most common design that I found. 1992's design is the next most distinct, with a diamond shape and '1992' visible, however as the previous post stated, this was one of the rarest, I only found two in roughly 10,000 cards that I sorted.  The rarest of them all was the Comic Ball 1 design, and I'm not even positive it's not just an error edition of the NHL release. In all the cards I checked, I only found one! ...and a Twins card at that! Score....err Upper Deck.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

1991 UD Hologram errors

For whatever reason, 1991 Upper Deck's base set came with several different holograms on the back of the cards. Ranging from the standard 1991 Upper Deck hologram, to the previous year's 1990 Upper Deck containing a repeated pattern of baseballs, very oddly 1990-1991 Upper Deck NHL's design with "90" and crossed hockey sticks, as well as 1992 Upper Deck's design. I'm not sure where each of these come from, I would hazard a guess that they're obviously from different print runs, but why would they make these errors? Chase $$$? Confuse collectors? Strange times were the 90's...

I recently broke down ~10,000 cards from the set that were thrown in 5,000 ct. boxes by my LCS, and pulled all of the Twins. Here's my breakdown of what I found:

Make of that what you will, but I find this kind of rarity breakdown cool. There is also apparently some with the Comic Ball 1 hologram, but I didn't see any of these in what I went through. Also, I wasn't looking but I did find a Rangers card with the 1992 hologram, #191 and a 1990-1991 NHL hologram for #666(spooky...). These are all from 1991 Upper Deck, with photos below.

75 regular 1991 UD designed hologram cards.
23 1990 MLB UD designed hologram cards(1x#167, 2x#170, 3x#360,  1x#377, 8x#501, 3x#503, 4x#505, 1x#659).
16 1990-1991 NHL UD designed hologram cards(8x#360, 5x#377, 2x#659, 1x#698).
1 1992 UD designed hologram card(1x#490).

Poor picture, but this is 1990 Upper Deck. Baseball's that rotate back and forth are most prominent, but I think I see a '90 also.

1991 Upper Deck regular(left), 1992 Upper Deck regular(right). Very odd that this would come out on a set released the year prior, no?
This is 1990-1991 Upper Deck NHL edition. Repeated pattern of smaller '90' in the background, with hockey sticks crossed.

Editing to add, I found one among my dupes, that doesn't match any of these, and seems to match the Comic Ball Series 1 hologram! This one almost looks like the 1990-1991 Upper Deck NHL design, but the '90' in the hologram is much bigger(in person anyway...).