Friday, May 15, 2009

Card Spotlight: 5-15-09

1991 Topps Desert Shield #166 - Harold Baines

Yes, this is another Harold Baines card. But this is no ordinary Harold Baines card. This parallel of the 1991 Topps set was produced specifically for overseas troops. The actual number of cards produced by Topps is unknown, but it is a generally accepted fact that Topps made enough cards to produce 6,800 complete sets.

In the pursuit of these cards, one can find many fakes, especially of star players or key rookies. I've heard many ways to spot a true card, but the most common used method is to check out the bottom of the shield logo. If it appears to have a rounded or almost flat bottom, the card should be authentic. The fakes usually have a pointed bottom.

What makes this card rarer than the estimated print run is the fact that these cards were given out only to soldiers overseas. Many of the cards were destroyed from the elements, the lack of care by soldiers who were not baseball card fans, and other assorted maladies. The reality of it all is that baseball cards were not the number one priority of a soldier during these operations. Baseball cards were probably not even the 3,428th priority.

The Baines card is especially sharp with this foil printed parallel. The palm tree goes well with the greens and yellows of the card. It almost feels like it should be a Spring Training card. I won this card in an auction last week for 99 cents plus shipping. Not a bad price for a piece of Topps history.

Many of the cards from this set can be had for a dollar or two. Beware going for the higher stars though. There are many unscrupulous sellers out there. A little knowledge can be the difference between a happy purchase and the bitterness of defeat.

1 comment:

unclemoe said...

Hey! I remember those Desert Shield cards. Nice.

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