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The official BMB Error Variation discussion and reference thread!
02-21-2008, 11:58 AM
Post: #71
The official BMB Error & Variation discussion and reference thread!
radarblip Wrote:The ERROR situation within Baseball cards, or any printed cards for that matter, has never really been addressed seriously. This causes some problems with people knowing what exactly is an Error and its circumstances for being.

Lets take the INC/INC. situation. To my way of thinking, these are separate plates and were used for separate/additional print runs for whatever reason. If an entire run is of either variation, then it would be a "Minor error" and if printed in large quantities. then it would be a "Common error". Lol, I'm not really sure which is the proper way to address the initials anyway, so, which is the error? If both are accepted forms of the abbreviation, then neither is an error.

Taking this a little farther, if both print runs were the same (say 10k just for giggles), then there would be no premium for either card. However, if the difference was something like 1Million compared to 10k, now there exists a disparity of significance causing a premium card.

For years the Hobby has seen errors this way, If it hasn't been corrected, then it isn't an error. Kind of silly when you think about it. Of course a card with the wrong picture on it is an error even when all the cards printed are/were the same. But that does not mean there will be a premium set for this card. If we use dollar value to determine the existence of an error, then that is a little short sighted.

Lets look at the most common misuse of the ERROR application, that being "Printer's Waste". These are offered as: missing back/front, color omissions. Unless they are marked in some way "test", "proof" ect., then they are simple printer's waste and were meant to be destroyed or at least not issued. A lot of this material is supplied by dumpster divers or employees just back-dooring the waste. If this material ends up in the final issued product, them it has to be looked at differently. In recent times this is being done purposely by companies to spur sales but does that make them any less of an error?

My first thought is that to be a legitimate error it has to be issued to the general collection public in the form of packs/boxes.

Post on!

This is definitely an important topic to address. But like the posters that followed this said, it's mainly a thread to exchange information amongst ourselves that isn't found within the standard catalogs or readily available to most. Here are my thought on it though:

As far as the definition of "error" goes when it comes to baseball cards, I am very liberal about it. I think that most people who've collected for the last 20 years or so have a bad taste in their mouth at the very mention of the word. Or at least are ready to disqualify a card as an error due to the late 80's - early 90's profit/hysteria.

For me, it's plain and simple. If a mistake is made on a card, it is an error, just like on the field. Now there are many degrees to this. An error such the 1981 Nettles or 1985 Donruss Seaver etc is what I would call a "legit error" or for fun let's say a "Class A" error. This is something that was most-likely due to poor proofing, rush-jobs or in some cases lack of source material (some other examples would include all of 1981 Donruss, 1988 Fleer errors, 1991 Topps errors).

A "Class B" error card is something unintentional due to a printing mistake on a large enough level to satisfy a large percentage of master set collectors but not so much of a percentage to be valued the same as it's common counterpart. The 1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF is the best example of this. This is a card that is simply missing a chunk of it's black ink process. Other examples would be the 1958 Topps Pancho Herrer(a), 1966 Topps Bob Heffner, 1967 Topps Darrell Brandon, 1984 Topps Jim Palmer #750 , 1979 Topps Roger Metzger. There are many, many cards like this out there obviously due to mass-production factor where it's inevitable that things will get on the plates or negative to cause aberrations. Much of this isn't recognized within the mainstream collecting community (looking at you Beckett) due to the fact that it hardly affects "big names" not because it is any less rare.

And last a "Class C" error would be something like a commonly found in the hobby but not often through the proper channels error. How many 1987 Topps Spike Owen w/ Barry Bonds RC backs do you see each week when you search "Error*" on ebay? Dozens. That card is an error card. There is no doubt about it in my mind, but yes, it carries less weight. One of the reasons for this is that it happened every year in large enough quantities that most player collectors' need for them has been satisfied (Kruk cards often lists entire sets of 1987-1989 wrongbacks and blankbacks. Fairfield Co. has packages of "50 Errors for $2.99" hanging at Targets). Same thing goes for cards missing foil, printed upside down, no gloss(most of the time), offset-colors, missing jersey piece, etc. Of course they are all "errors" in the true definition of the word, but just low-down on the totem pole.

If the 2007 SP "Ex-Rod" card was say Travis Hafner's card being found with "vis ner" on front and you posted on the board "that your card came this way, does anyone else have one etc" you'd be told up-and-down that it was a "worthless printing mistake and there's no additonal value to it" but say after a few weeks a couple other guys post asking about it (from different regions), most likely no one will really bat an eye but there could be something here still - what if UD printed 400-500 of these like this? Then does it become more than a printing mistake and actually get labeled an error? To me it would but it's irrelevant. Because it's Hafner and not Arod, you won't see a Beckett investigation into it. You won't get people asking questions at their shops and trying to figure it out the way eveyone did 20 years ago, writing to magazines and the such.

(And by the way, I get that EX ROD was a publicity thing....)

And finally, the publicity errors. The 07 Jeter, 06 Alex Gordons, the Guiliani, the 2007 Ellsbury, the Asterisk card. These are fine in my opinion. They generate interest in the hobby as well as in variations (to a lesser degree). But they are NOT errors by any means. This also brings into question the 1990 class of unconfirmed "publicity errors" 1990 Donruss Nolan Ryans, 1990 Upper Deck Ben McDonald, 1990 Score Ryne Sandberg (and I have my own theory about the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF that didn't show up in the market until 1993). Should these be retconned into "variations"? Do they deserve to be called errors just as much as the 2007 Topps Jeter does? Currently I think not but if I have to choose my error battles, this isn't one of them.

And the term "variation" fits much nicer for all of this. It's an umbrella word that is safer among collectors and is definitely a lot less-loaded. Any card that is available in more than one variety is a "variation" of that number so I've tried to address everything in this thread as so.

At this time I do think this thread is the appropriate area to discuss (and get answers on) error cards too. Although this thread's primary function is to be a reference source for the many player collectors and set builders on the boards, I also envisioned it as the place where the person new to the boards has a burning question regarding what they think may be an error to go to first. It would seem to be much more convenient than 30 different threads answering 20 different error/variations related questions. And I would love to keep this the place where new discoveries are shared, especially since I "discover" new errors and variations all the time.

I hope this helps shape this thread and answers some of the concerns posted above!
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Messages In This Thread
The official BMB Error & Variation discussion and reference thread! - The BGS & PSA9 Collector, ThoseBackPages - 02-19-2008, 12:07 PM
The official BMB Error & Variation discussion and reference thread! - 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken Collector - 02-19-2008, 02:58 PM
The official BMB Error & Variation discussion and reference thread! - jacksoncoupage - 02-21-2008 11:58 AM
The official BMB Error & Variation discussion and reference thread! - Therion (The Sanguinary Strosfan) - 06-05-2008, 06:54 AM

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