There’s Nothing Special About the 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe

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Sometimes, baseball cards are weird. As much as you want to make sense of something, it can’t be done. Such is the case of the 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe.

1990 Fleer Jose Uribe

If you go on eBay right now, you’ll find dozens of them with asking prices ranging from a few dollars up to thousands. The Beckett Marketplace is a little more reasonable with copies starting at $0.35 (at least at the time this was written).

But those strange listings on eBay have been around long enough that people have started to wonder what’s up with the card.

Nothing.

At least for the card itself.

It’s a common card. The 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe isn’t a short print. It’s not an error in the vein of 1989’s Billy Ripken. And unless it happened in some sort of parallel universe that only a couple of people know about, Jose Uribe was never a star to the point where an easy-to-find, seventh-year card should be worth exponentially more than anyone else on the checklist.

There is nothing fancy about it other than the oddly mythical status that it has taken on simply for being the 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe.

Let’s say it loud and clear.

The 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe is nothing special.

But like I said, sometimes baseball cards and collecting don’t make much sense.

If someone wants to pay $5, $10 or $758,000 for a 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe, all the power to them. If it happens enough times legitimately, one could argue that’s what the card is worth.

But, in this case, it’s not.

Going by completed sales on eBay, some have actual sales indicated. Among them, the same GMA 9 encased card “moving” several times.

If you look at a lot of these “sales,” it doesn’t take much to notice strange things are afoot. There’s the same copy of the card being sold many times. Zero- and low-feedback users make up most of the bidders.

It’s safe to say that 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe baseball cards aren’t actually selling for $50. A buck or two would be understandable. All the oddities and non-mysteries surround the card have given it a life that it didn’t have back in the day.

Why someone or a small group of people chose this particular card to target? That might be the real mystery.

But if you start busting some $0.25 packs and land a 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe, know that it’s just a 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe. There’s nothing special about the card beyond that, no matter what eBay or a YouTube video title tries to tell you. And if you’re into conspiracy theories, they’re out there as well (even if they are tongue in cheek).

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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45 comments

  1. John Bateman 16 August, 2018 at 19:30

    In the late 1970s or early 1980s, a group of New York sport card collectors were selling 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards among themselves. Collector A would sell to Collector B for $100, B would sell it to C for $200, C would sell it to D for $300, D would see it back to collector A for $400. Now you ask why collector A would pay $400 for a 52 Mantle after selling it for $100. Because he had 10 of them – thus he increased the value of his collection x4. This is how the 52 Mantle became legendary.

  2. John Bateman 16 August, 2018 at 19:43

    A quick check on ebay showed at least 25 cards sold for $30. About 190 cards went for at least $5 including shipping which seems amazing. (Since I remember buying the whole 1990 set a few years ago for $8.00).

    Great Article. This is a great mystery which makes our hobby interesting.

  3. Thomas E Daubert 17 August, 2018 at 00:14

    Don’t forget about the 1989 Donruss Alex Madrid. Now that card is special, lol.

  4. JDonovan 17 August, 2018 at 01:34

    This type of manipulation is rampart in the card market. That started out as a small group of people trying to manipulate and has since become the norm. Of course the card companies are to blame as well with the artificial scarcity of parallels that drives their sales. It’s almost enough to make someone just want to walk away, but I can still see the joy of collecting behind all the other shenanigans.

  5. TheCardInvestor 17 August, 2018 at 15:33

    Is this article in response to many people asking Beckett over the years about those stupid gag listings? LOL. You guys must be sick of hearing about it to publishing this article.

  6. Mark Stillinger 21 August, 2018 at 10:32

    I recently was contacted about a collection for sale. Anyone who buys collections knows that what they say they have is not always what they actually have. Two items the seller was particularly excited and proud about were a Babe Ruth rookie card (was a reprint) and a Jose Uribe worth $747,000 (and he had an ebay listing offering one saved on his laptop to prove what it was worth. Despite a lengthy explanation from me about it not being worth more than the paper it is printed on, he still maintained that since people were “selling” it for that much it must be worth that much! Hated to dash his dreams of a big payout (actually enjoyed it a little) but this kind of thing just makes it harder for new collectors to get interested in the hobby. As someone who makes his living selling cards, I despise people who take advantage of the uninformed!

  7. Jeff 5 November, 2018 at 14:27

    This is nothing like the 1989 Fleer #628 Canseco card. According to the Beckett database this card is serial #’ed to 40 (and with a print run of 40, obviously). There are 31 listed on COMC and I don’t see any that have a serial #. Maybe the 354 of them listed on sportlots are serial #’ed. /s

    • Ryan Cracknell 5 November, 2018 at 15:15

      @Jeff – Thanks for the heads up. I’ve passed it along to the database team. I’m guessing at some point there was a glitch with it being his 40/40 highlight card and the database picked it up as something different.

  8. K Brooks 4 May, 2019 at 04:39

    It’s weird kinda like the companies that give short prints and parallels and all that. You go down to these low low numbers and someone says I have a one of one babe Ruth and then the next guy goes yeah I got a one of one Ruth last year! Just because it was a different year it’s still the Same player and the same kind of relic. Like if it was really the rarity that they say it is the one card from that one year for that one player should be it right? One of one means only one guy should have it. That’s why the original 1998 game jerseys that came out were the only relics that I saw as a rarity because they put so much behind it and then they had a story to let you know ok this is Jordan’s Jersey from the playoffs game xx and we divided it into 23 swatches and there are 23 cards and half are signed and half aren’t. That’s why to this very day you can still see them fetch a pretty penny on the secondary market because they have something behind them. Today they just cut up a Jersey for anyone and then they say here’s a relic. No! That’s just a thrown together card to make money off of and the year after it’s printed and the new edition for the new year releases no one will be even thinking about those cards. It’s ridiculous really.

  9. Stephen 29 July, 2019 at 01:02

    Jokes on you guys!!! The card is a sp and ERROR card wrong BIRTHDAY !!!!! Goodbye cases and cases not find one!!!!! Watch guys doing on the internet 24 cases maybe one card!!!

  10. Ben 8 August, 2019 at 17:58

    @Ryan Cracknell
    Ain’t no way Fleer printed all of those millions of cards in one day. Even God needed 6 days to make the universe.

  11. Jason Doney 11 September, 2019 at 01:39

    Yes all of his cards have that very same birthday and the Alex Madrid jr is not a lone over half of Donruss cards that year have the same *Errors* or *error by Leaf inc. Or is it Leaf by Donruss co. Inc Either way half my old 1990 Donruss has 2 asterisk. Just traded my 1990 Donruss set for a 1990 Donruss set with 4 asterisk so now 4x value of .25 cents x1000 per Asterisk = what you had before Alex Madrid Jr. Played in his first MLB Allstar Game. Ebay Sellers please stop flooding the market with garbage and reprints.

  12. Jimmy 17 October, 2019 at 20:21

    Jose Uribe has face value for that certain that Beckett doesn’t want you to know…

    1. Short print
    2. His birthdate error…

  13. Chris 4 November, 2019 at 12:18

    Still not as crazy as the 1989 Score Paul Gibson. How someone could tell that a blurry figure in the background was….um……making adjustments……and the fact an “corrected” version with the glove airbrushed out is just insane.

    I do remember seeing the “Dirty Version” of the Paul Gibson card selling at a show for $20.

  14. Jimmy 17 November, 2019 at 22:33

    All of them have same birthday well that’s a screwed up. Look up in Wikipedia it tells his age more honestly it’s not match to the card. That’s my point. It’s a birthdate errors. If the 1955 Lincoln penny have a double die errors then it has a face value. Same concept here other penny has the same error as this too so all other have the same birthdate well they are lucky to have those for an investment. Your comment is INVALID !!!! First. Short print. And then people talk about birthdate they feel cheap for discuss about short print and not to mentioned about birthdate that’s unprofessional. Now you said all have the same birthdate .. is that all you have ? Do you actually think this is your best sentence ? I don’t think so… it has a sentimental value for that card and many cards too. Sorry to say…. one more thing it was a short print for tenth of a second because of ink.

    • Ryan Cracknell 18 November, 2019 at 02:10

      @Jimmy – His birthday may be wrong, but it’s wrong on all of the millions of copies of the card. That doesn’t automatically make it a valuable card. A lot of sets out there have small typos and errors that are never fixed. This is far from the only uncorrected error out there (for reference, here’s a very quick search of the database that shows nearly 6,000 for UERs that were cataloged through the 1990s: https://www.beckett.com/search/?term=uer). It also doesn’t make it a short print. It’s not.

      If you want to spend lots of money on the card because it has sentimental value to you, that’s your choice. But at the same time I think it’s important that collectors know that there’s not really anything special about the card other than the fact that it has caused some confusion over the past couple of years.

  15. Robert L Ribble 10 December, 2019 at 04:34

    You know if you look at a lot of Jose Uribe cards you will find that there is more than just the one card with the wrong Birthday, and what i have found is unless it is corrected it isn’t worth two squirts of duck poop…..

  16. Chris 15 December, 2019 at 00:20

    The card goes for $700,000+ sometimes because it was the card chosen as part of a money laundering scheme. Like really. Do some research… lol

    • Ryan Cracknell 16 December, 2019 at 12:14

      @Chris – The article where this started reads satirically and is all about speculation. A second article took that part of the original article and speculated more. While the satire isn’t as obvious there, it’s not rooted in fact. I can’t pretend to be an expert in money laundering but you don’t normally shout from the rooftops about breaking the law or leaving an open trail of records like buying from eBay.

  17. Jon 18 December, 2019 at 10:41

    I think the greatest mystery of all, is just what the hell was going through Dennis Cook’s head when he shot the photo on the back of his 93 Upper Deck card. We may never know.

  18. Shawn wilcox 28 February, 2020 at 00:41

    I have a question maybe someone can answer, i have a Vladimir guerrero error card 2002 opening day topps card, not a rookie but its like the frank thomas where his name is missing, i pulled 2 from the same pack, it was actually under thr first vlad card, so it was stuck together, but pulled apart with ease, is this worth anything??

  19. Jeff Steele 29 February, 2020 at 16:39

    I have an 87 Donruss Jose Uribe card with 1960 listed for the birth year. And I also have an 88 Donruss with Jose Uribe with 1960 listed for the birth year. Jose Uribe was born January 21, 1959 . Does anybody know anything about these cards or what there worth

  20. Jeff Steele 29 February, 2020 at 16:58

    But I do know that not all Jose Uribe cards have the wrong birthdate because I also have an 87 Topps. Jose Uribe with the correct birthdate on it Jan. 21 1959

    • Ryan Cracknell 2 March, 2020 at 01:48

      @Jeff – No matter what the birthday actually is, it’s the same on all of his 1990 Fleer cards. It doesn’t make any sort of difference.

  21. RamdomUser 25 April, 2020 at 05:47

    Ryan, how many computers have you punched while replying to these people in the comments? Good Lord.

  22. Jose Gonzalez 29 October, 2020 at 10:47

    So to recap everything, I’m the only person who owns a birth date error card showing 1960 for uribe, and if I list it for sale on ebay, I could probably fetch an easy 700k … man I sure am lucky!!
    So this was about a man who changed his last name. Next article, can we please discuss the man who now goes by the first name “Oil Can” and the hilarity of seeing it actually written on the Donruss 89 card?

  23. Adam Arriaga 8 November, 2020 at 21:16

    The Jose Uribe Fleer card is rare in Gem10. There may have been 1 million printed they just don’t exist anymore not in the quality and quantity they once did, the cards were cheaply made and virtually worthless back in the 90’s , I searched my collection and I only found 3 examples, I owned a card shop back then. The best Uribe card I have has a ding in the lower right corner, it’s worthless. The one perfect card is out there and if it is a graded card it will go for the amount the buyer is willing to pay. To put together a set that is Gem 10. The saving grace for the Uribe fiasco is it made me go through my collection card by card I uncovered 100’s of Jordans , 100’s of Shaq’s, 100’s of N.Ryan’s, 100’s of Griffey Jr.’s , 100’s of Jeters. Thank you ? ❤️ Uribe

    • Ryan Cracknell 9 November, 2020 at 14:24

      Just because they’re not printing 1990 Fleer anymore (which goes for everything in the product, not just one card), doesn’t make the Uribe unique. It’s a baseball card urban legend that has taken on some weird meaning because people started saying it should have a weird meaning. Just like any card, people can pay whatever they like. But the Uribe has no variations and it’s not rare.

  24. Russell 27 January, 2021 at 23:25

    Ok, so I have a miss cut 90 Fleer Urbide, I see one listing on eBay for a miss cut card but mine is off even more then that listing, and suggestions? Should I get it graded? It looks mint to me. I see several graded cards have brought about $150 on eBay lately. Oh the one kid it card listed now is asking $1999. Thanks

  25. Troy Kelm 20 March, 2021 at 22:42

    What about the Jose Uribe wrong birthday cards??, I’ve seen prices be very high on those and yes, it is a printing error, but any other information you can provide would be great!?, I currently have 2 of those…..

    • Ryan Cracknell 22 March, 2021 at 15:59

      @Troy – No matter whether the birthday is correct or not, all of his cards have the same date printed.

  26. Kevin B Bane 4 April, 2021 at 06:40

    We should star buying Uribe cards is what Ryan Cracknell is trying to say , its just as if he is telling us in a very subtle way. Thanks man! I read you loud and clear.

  27. Steve Miller 6 April, 2021 at 11:25

    Oddly enough , every one of you failed to mention that it is an error card that they are asking these prices for. Uribe was born Jan 21, 1959 the error card has his birth date Jan 21, 1960. Thats why the asking price is so high. Weather or not that error condones that asking price or not is the question.

    • Ryan Cracknell 6 April, 2021 at 12:25

      @Steve – Every card has the same birthdate, just every card has him wearing eyeblack, sunglasses flipped up, playing the field, etc. The point is, there’s no special version or variation of this card that warrants any sort of special notation. In the history of mainstream baseball cards, there are hundreds if not thousands of uncorrected errors.

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