Home Trading Cards & Memorabilia Forum

My theory regarding a new variation for the '89 Fleer Randy Johnson Marlboro card

I've been working on this for about four years and have gotten to the point where I'm convinced my theory is correct but I need more eyes out there and, frankly, more help.

Pick up any "Ad Completely Blacked Out" (ACBO) and you will find two black dots between Johnson's first name and last name, shown here:

These periods showed up exactly when Fleer finally corrected the Johnson card to ACBO. They don't exist on any version of "Ad Partially Obscured" or "Marlboro Sign Visible." This is far from unusual. It seems like every time Donruss went in to correct one of their early E&Vs in 1990, they ended up creating multiple more E&Vs in the process.

So what's the big deal?

I've been convinced that Johnsons printed right around the transition into ACBO might have a slip up or two. There could be an ACBO without the black periods or there could be an APO with the periods on them. Obviously, not as fun and exciting as most E&Vs that get talked about but if they prove to be true we're talking about an added level of rarity to a card that already has many levels of rarity to begin with.

So why now?

I located a copy of a Johnson APO that actually has the periods except they're white. I have to imagine this is some sort of mistake or just a natural printing process when something large scale gets changed -- there are varying degrees of accuracy as to what is intended to take place in the correction.

So I'm asking the board for help. We're (the collective we) are looking for either an Ad Completely Blacked Out with either no periods on it or periods that deviate from the above or we're looking for an Ad Partially Obscured with the black periods (or any deviation of the black periods).

Any help would be enormously appreciated. I've looked at thousands of Johnson Marlboros and I think I'm getting burned out.

I'm also more than welcome to any new theories or suggestions. Thanks for reading this far!

Arthur

Comments

  • If you gotta use a 10x zoom and a thermal lens, its probably not going to stick with the overall hobby.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,133 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 16, 2023 6:59AM

    Isn't this card already a disaster?

    PSA grades regular cards as glossies and apparently recognizes more than one version on the real glossies (ad completely blacked out is supposedly the only way the glossy Randy Johnson cards were produced?).

    I picked up a Randy Johnson and saw at least 2 that were advertised as glossy cards that had the yellow back (regular card) and a few more with no scans of the back included in the listing. ALL were labeled "Fleer Glossy" by PSA.

    Now you want to add more variations because of a couple of miniscule print dots?

    I am not a huge fan of error cards, but when the printer "fixes" or changes/edits the information on a card, that would constitute a variation to me.

    If you have fun looking for this kind of thing, great, but unless it's a significant issue (Frank Thomas NNOF), I doubt you're going to get the majority of the people in the hobby to go along with this particular "variation".

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can understand that point of view. Sort of fits in with the lot of posts we get with "is this fisheye an error worth $1MM?"

    The periods can be seen with the naked eye on an eBay scan, no tools necessary, but your point is valid.

    My main interest is determining the chronology of the errors. If we can determine a clear development of the periods then we'll know when they started to wrap up the correcting and we could find out which versions they used toward the end and that could help us reverse engineer which versions led to which.

    It's also a much more reliable way to determine a corrected version than the "no space next to his head."

    But I think it's obvious that I'm the only one that cares about this :smile: so I won't keep bumping this thread.

    Arthur

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,133 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nothing wrong with a good discussion on the topic.
    It's good to hear all opinions.
    I was going to mention the 1974 #400 Harmon Killebrew card. There were some that had several print spots in dark back ground, I had one where one of the dots was between his legs and below, looking like he was..........well, you know.
    I was going to call it the p00ping error😁.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Arthur,

    For what it is worth, a few years back I went on a personal mission to understand the timeline of 1989 Fleer error corrections based on factory sealed case codes. At one point I had 20 sealed cases with codes that ranged from 83432 - 90162. For those unfamiliar, the first digit is the year of printing and the next three digits are the day of the year the case was printed. The fifth digit is the factory that produced it.

    I believe the very first cases were printed close to Thanksgiving, which puts the first off the line cases around 83282. The oldest I have seen for sale was 83362. I can confirm that the Jeff Treadway “target” error was already corrected with the first two weeks of printing, since none of my cases contained that error. The Randy Johnson full ad was not partially corrected until three weeks into production around case code 83482 and then it moved to the red and green tint versions. The full blackout was then inserted by case code 83552, which was about one week after the tint variations. The Ripken was not corrected until early in 1989 around case code 90142, which was the second week of January.

    Hope this helps your cause.

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jordangretzkyfan said:
    Arthur,

    For what it is worth, a few years back I went on a personal mission to understand the timeline of 1989 Fleer error corrections based on factory sealed case codes. At one point I had 20 sealed cases with codes that ranged from 83432 - 90162. For those unfamiliar, the first digit is the year of printing and the next three digits are the day of the year the case was printed. The fifth digit is the factory that produced it.

    I believe the very first cases were printed close to Thanksgiving, which puts the first off the line cases around 83282. The oldest I have seen for sale was 83362. I can confirm that the Jeff Treadway “target” error was already corrected with the first two weeks of printing, since none of my cases contained that error. The Randy Johnson full ad was not partially corrected until three weeks into production around case code 83482 and then it moved to the red and green tint versions. The full blackout was then inserted by case code 83552, which was about one week after the tint variations. The Ripken was not corrected until early in 1989 around case code 90142, which was the second week of January.

    Hope this helps your cause.

    This is excellent, thank you very much. Sounds like you did the same thing I did with '90 Donruss.

    Arthur

  • Nice find on the dots. I had never noticed this before. The earliest case codes I've seen before are 83222.

  • jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 17, 2023 12:43PM

    Nice. Code 83322 would correspond with Saturday, November 18, 1988. That is the oldest code I have heard of thanks to your post. That would for sure have the Randy Johnson Marlboro error, and maybe even the Treadway target error.

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jordangretzkyfan said:
    Nice. Code 83322 would correspond with Saturday, November 18, 1989. That is the oldest code I have heard of thanks to your post. That would for sure have the Randy Johnson Marlboro error, and maybe even the Treadway target error.

    Just to prevent confusion, he meant 1988.

    Arthur

  • PorkinsPorkins Posts: 604 ✭✭✭

    Arthur,

    I’ve nothing to add, but just wanted to let you know that you aren’t just shouting into the void. I’ve always enjoyed your posts pertaining to this era here and on BO. This was my collecting heyday, and there’s something comforting knowing if I ever have any possible question when I’m ripping my 57th box of ‘90 Donruss, I know someone who will be able to answer it. Keep doing what you’re doing, I (and others, I’m sure) will be listening intriguingly.

    Scott

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the kind words, Scott. The research is my favorite part of collecting so the heyday of errors & variations being my childhood collecting days makes for some fun escapism. If it helps anyone at any point that would be great. But it's a labor of love so I'm sure I'll be working on '90 Donruss the rest of my life (that kind of sounds like a version of hell for many of you, I know). :smile:

    I think '90 Fleer is ripe to be discovered for anyone out there looking for their own passion project from that period.

    Arthur

  • I also am entertained with your posts Arthur. If this type of information was centralized in a database for all cards, like a Wikipedia, then it would become the holy grail for new collectors and it would help determine exactly how rare an error/defect actually is versus the claim of a 1:1 for a 90s Donruss loaded with fisheyes.

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For a long time, BBCPedia was that centralized database. I contributed a lot of nuggets and context to the site but they made a switch so that you basically need to be the lead coder for Facebook in order to figure out how to add information to a page. That was years ago and I haven't been able to add anything since.

    But there are all sorts of interesting factoids there. Like the 1990 Fleer Soaring Stars? The one where it's impossible to get a Griffey in 10? Fleer made about 5 different cellos that year and they're only available in product code 00417.

    Arthur

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not sure if anyone is aware of this but PSA changed the way they label this card. I sent 3 of these in with my last order and they labeled them "partially", which is bullcrap. When I sent these in 5 or 6 years ago they labeled marlboro ad showing. I was not happy about it. I have a 10 I graded myself that looks identical to the 3 I sent in.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, the pop report is a mess. I think there's only like three confirmed Ad Showing examples known to exist, everything else is a degree of Ad Partially Obscured.

    They also graded non-Glossy versions as Glossy versions so now people think there are ad showings in the glossy set, which there are not.

    It would be nice if we could get some of the blatantly different examples notated by PSA -- red tint, green tint, green scribble, blue dots, etc.

    Arthur

  • olb31olb31 Posts: 2,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ReggieCleveland said:
    Yeah, the pop report is a mess. I think there's only like three confirmed Ad Showing examples known to exist, everything else is a degree of Ad Partially Obscured.

    They also graded non-Glossy versions as Glossy versions so now people think there are ad showings in the glossy set, which there are not.

    It would be nice if we could get some of the blatantly different examples notated by PSA -- red tint, green tint, green scribble, blue dots, etc.

    Arthur

    100% agree. I have a decent rookie gold auto card from 1998 and they would never set up the pop report to reflect the Blue, Silver and Gold version. Told me they didn't even know it existed. It's an Adrian Beltre 1998 Bowman Gold auto PSA 10. Probably his best card. It sits in the pop report as other.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
  • @ReggieCleveland said:
    I located a copy of a Johnson APO that actually has the periods except they're white.

    Arthur

    If you provide an image of the version you located with the whites dots I’ll go through our cards to see if we have any. There’s definitely a method to the way Fleer produced the different variations and the changes they did to make the final common corrected version.

    All the different error versions have the same black scratch that looks like a small hair on the bottom left of each of the cards. I was told that this points to them all sharing an original image for the black plate. It seems the black dots you noticed allude to all the common versions also sharing an original image for the black plate that was updated to cover the Marlboro ad.

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2023 1:15AM

  • woodstock2woodstock2 Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    @Hatorade said:

    @ReggieCleveland said:
    I located a copy of a Johnson APO that actually has the periods except they're white.

    Arthur

    If you provide an image of the version you located with the whites dots I’ll go through our cards to see if we have any. There’s definitely a method to the way Fleer produced the different variations and the changes they did to make the final common corrected version.

    All the different error versions have the same black scratch that looks like a small hair on the bottom left of each of the cards. I was told that this points to them all sharing an original image for the black plate. It seems the black dots you noticed allude to all the common versions also sharing an original image for the black plate that was updated to cover the Marlboro ad.

    This is great insight. Thank you for sharing it!

Sign In or Register to comment.