Well, for the first time, we hit a stumper with our 1997 Topps Mint Challenge. We are no further along than we were when we began that discussion a few weeks ago. We still do not know if this was a furtive test issue, an accidental slippage into packs of a few cards or even just a mistake which got out. I suppose we’ll continue to consider this a hobby mystery and hope that someday the full checklist for that set, along with an answer of how they were released is solved.
Our new challenge is slightly different as we know the checklist and some of the facts but we are not sure of how many cards have this variation. The set we are referring to is 1994 Collectors Choice baseball and the subset is Future Foundations which ran from cards #641-670. When I was at Beckett, our erstwhile Baseball Price Guide Editor, Grant Sandground, either discovered or was clued into these variations and notated the Beckett Database with this information. Ever since then, the hobby has been attempting to sort out if only a few cards were affected by this or the entire subset.
What is the variation in question? Well, the first letter in the informational blurb is either in white or in silver and while Beckett lists these cards as affecting the whole subset we have slightly different information from Charles Hodder, one of the ace verifiers at COMC.com. I work closely with both Charles as well as Jade Aspiras when they need assistance with various cards and sets. Charles was nice enough to prepare his findings based on what COMC has received over the years and this is presented.
See the illustration below:
Here’s what has been observed so far:
*641 – Alan Benes – White Letter only
*642 – Johnny Damon – White Letter only. I will say from checking the Beckett informational blurb Grant noted a Johnny Damon was verified there so this does exist with the Silver lettering.
643 – Brad Fulmer – Both White and Silver
*644 – Derek Jeter – White Letter only. With with the amount of cards which have been sent in, there should have been a Silver letter found but I suppose you never know.
645 – Derek Lee – Both White and Silver
646 – Alex Ochoa – Both White and Silver
647 – Alex Rodriguez – Both White and Silver
*648 – Jose Silva – White Letter only
*649 – Terrell Wade – White Letter only
650 – Preston Wilson – Both White and Silver
Cards numbered 651-670 are seemingly not part of the issue and likely needing removed for the “White Letter Variation” checklist.
Your challenge is to verify the existence of the Silver Parallels where we do not have a record of one in the list above and send scans to me at [email protected]. Please do send scans so we can verify.
Good luck. The winner of this contest will be awarded a significant amount of COMC history points.
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