Thursday, September 16, 2010

The original error card

When I jumped back into collecting just over a year ago, I came back into the hobby with the idea that error cards were still valuable. I remember opening up a box of Topps 2009 Series one and excitedly pulling a "Sharon" Martis rookie card. I knew this spelling was incorrect, and wrote a few other bloggers to see if I had a valuable "error" card (I know I know). What I got was basically polite responses that it was just basically shotty work by Topps and no more valuable than any other base card. Rats.

But back in 1909, error cards were still all the rage, and during the 1909-1911 T206 print run, this little beauty was produced... 1909-1911 T206 Sherry Magee....or in this instance Magie. This particular card is amazingly rare, and is often compared to the famous Honus Wagner card in terms of scarcity. Since the error was caught early on in the print run, only 55 of these cards have ever been graded (compared to the 25 of Honus). A recent sale of a PSA 3.5 Mag(ie) sold for over $18000.00!

And it happened again!

As I was logging in some minis to my spreadsheet (excuse me while I push my glasses up the bridge of my nose) I realized that I had two 2010 Tristar Obak Sherry Magee's in the collection. Dups! No dups allowed!

but upon further inspection...

Ahh! The wily cleverness of Obak continues to impress. It turns out that one of the minis is a circle variation, is a tip of the cap to the famous misspelling of the famous card shown above. Very good, Obak, very good indeed.

I am interested in learning about some of the more famous error cards in history. I am overly versed in the Fleer Billy Ripken card, but would love to hear from you all on some others that you know of or have pulled in your day.

Can you top a 2009 Sharon Martis?


  1. I've always liked the 1990 Donruss Bonus MVP's John Smoltz card, which says John Smoltz but has a picture of Tom Glavine. I remember thinking it must have been worth a zillion dollars as a kid, since it was an early card of a great pitcher with an error that made it feature an early photo of another great pitcher. I still have one today in my collection!

    You can see it here, along with the Ripken and 8 other errors:
    Kind of a cool list - I had never heard of the Barry Bonds/Johnny Ray 87 Donruss Error Card before.

  2. Anyone who ever collected 1981 Donruss or 1982 Fleer has about 50 error cards in their collection without even trying. Both sets are full of errors, although only some of them were corrected.

  3. I loved error cards, and I, too, mistakenly thought they'd be my key to early retirement. Or a flying car.

    The Frank Thomas "No Name On Front" 1990 Topps card is pretty cool, though I've never owned one. I think it has something to do with the blank ink being omitted, and thus not printing his name.

    There was also a Juan Gonzalez reverse negative RC from '90 Donruss that used to be worth a lot, although "a lot" is relative. I think it booked for $5 or so, but considering that's what an entire box of '90 Donruss costs it's not too shabby.

  4. Isn't it weird, the circle of coincidences. I send you some random minis from who knows what, and it happens to show you that you've got a cool little variation mini on your hands!

  5. This error card remained a mystery for a hundred years!

  6. I have the 90' Donruss Juan Gonzalez reverse negative error card as well as the correction. That is a pretty sick error card, and one of my favorites.

    One that I recently learned about was also in the same set as the Ripken error card. It's the 89' Fleer Randy Johnson. The error card has in the background an advertisement for Marlboro Cigarettes. Once discovered it was covered up with a blackout. Sounds like it was a tough year for Fleer!