So last week I wrote about some Bowman Red cards that were showing up on eBay, unnumbered and completely out of the blue. For non-collectors out there, these cards were supposed to be unique, one-of-a-kind finds, and were stamped as such, with a 1/1 stamp. The disclosure that there were more out there without this stamp, rendering the originals not so unique and opening up the door to scammers who might stamp the duplicate cards, was disconcerting, but seeing an opportunity to get some truly unique collectibles, I bought the Nationals that I could find, and posted about it.
Well, yesterday, reader/collector Donovan commented, saying that these cards appeared to have been pulled from some uncut sheets that were provided to distributors from an unknown source. Was it Topps themselves, or did an employee take them via backdoor? We may never know, but here are the pictures he provided:
Well, Donovan and I conversed by email, and he provided some more information he’d been able to glean from message board postings. Let’s start with his collection of Ronnie Belliard reds. You can see here that he has the original 1/1, and snatched up a bunch of the reds to keep them out of the hands of scammers.
Note the 1/1 gold stamp on the “legit” Belliard.
But he also included sheets of other cards that could still be open to this sort of treatment, such as a sheet of Superfractors, also supposed to be 1/1, posted by a Topps employee:
And some Bowman Red Chrome:
Now this all begs the question…if these are supposed to be unique collectibles, why are there uncut sheets of them floating around? Where did these come from? And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the numbering on these Alexi Casillas:
So the question is, Topps, what is going on here? It seems like there’s more than just run-of-the-mill scammers here, as Gellman’s ongoing epic with the 2007 Rookie Premiere Autos. There are plenty of other examples of this stuff going on out there, and he provided a virtual laundry list:
2009 Bowman Sterling Football Red 1/1 were given to distributors as full sheets. Without sticker or Jersey. Cut up and many were sold on ebay around Jan/2010. Another collector recalled seeing the same with the 2008 cards.
Baseball- 2009 Bowman Red 1/1 (unnumbered), 2006 Bowman Gold Refractors (unnumbered), 2006 Sterling Black and Gold Refractors (unnumbered), 2007 Bowman Chrome Tim Lincecum Refractor Auto. Theory is that the auto was added after being “backdoored”. Unsure if sticker is legit or lifted from other cards and finally there is not 100% proof these were even backdoored at all.
2008 Bowman Chrome (Topps bought these back from ebay) Never was made clear if they were illegally obtained or lost in mail to Topps and legally purchased.
So I just want to know…what is going on here? And does anyone else have any more information to contribute that might put all this in the correct light?