By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor
Quality control ain’t what it used to be, and for one long-time dealer a surprise in that area in a recent retro purchase might pay off well.
Cicero Gamez, a dealer and collector for 20 years who is based in Delaware, found a few examples of that on some key cards from the 1980s — the 1986-87 Fleer basketball stickers — and on a few key cards.
Notably? Michael Jordan (rookie sitcker), Magic Johnson and Dominique Wilkins (also a rookie) — and each of the cards has an overprinted card back for a baseball sticker from that same year.
Each of the cards has been examined for tampering and deemed to be authentic by Beckett Grading Services and has been encapsulated for protection.
So, what was his reaction to seeing the cards?
“Surprised,” said Gamez of the cards, which were included in a collection he bought. Of course, his next step is to test the open market and see if some of those rabid Jordan collectors will pay top dollar for a potential one-of-a-kind misprint card like they have for some other graded and rare cards for MJ as of late.
Mark Anderson, the director of BGS, said misprints are actually not an uncommonly graded/authenticated area.
“We see misprinted cards come through Beckett Grading Services on a daily basis, but usually these are far more common mistakes: blank backs, blank fronts, missing foil, missing serial number, other examples missing part of the printing process,” he said. “But to see a card that mixes two different sports products onto one card is truly rare.
“In all likelihood, it is a unique piece,” Anderson said. “After all, in over 25 years it is the first example to surface.”
How much does Gamez think the Jordan might it go for?
“Not sure,” he said.
Doesn’t matter — that will be left to the interested bidders once the cards hit the open market.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.