And We’re Back: Trims and Fakes

November 16, 2010 at 4:11 PM 3 comments

Things have been fairly busy for me lately, but I’ve finally found the time to make a new post.  A few eBay gems to share:

1981-82 O-Pee-Chee #1 - Ray Bourque

This 1981-82 OPC Bourque was acquired off of eBay several years ago, but only did I recently notice the slight slant inwards of the card on the right hand side.  The edges are a little rough as you can see from the scan, but this doesn’t seem like an uncommon element in OPC cards of the 1980s.  In comparing the size of this card when stacked directly on top of more modern, evenly cut cards, it is a little smaller.  I only paid $12 for it, and it’s still one of my favourite cards in my collection.

1985-86 O-Pee-Chee #29 - Steve Yzerman

This 1985-86 OPC Yzerman exhibits the same dimensional oddities as the Bourque.  On both sides you can really see slanting and the edges are quite rough.  I’ve compared both the Bourque and Yzerman to other copies of cards from the era, and in the case of the Yzerman, another copy of the same exact card.  Many of the cards I own from the early-mid 80s exhibit slight sizing quirks.  I know OPC’s quality control was never the greatest in the 1980s, but it makes me wonder.  If anyone can help identify evidence of these being trims, I think they’d be doing a great service to the collecting community.  It seems to me to be a fairly common problem on vintage cards, and though I snagged this at a very reasonable $7, it would be a shame to figure out that the Bourque and Yzerman are trims.  Nonetheless, they remain favourites in my personal collection.

2001 Bowman Heritage #352 - Ichiro Suzuki

This 2001 Bowman Heritage Ichiro is another story.  I acquired this card off eBay several years ago, but only recently compared it to the Pujols from the same set.  I should have noticed this earlier, but the Ichiro shows several signs of being a fake:

1. The front is much glossier than the Pujols
2. The faded out Bowman Heritage logo on the front
3. Dimensions are slightly smaller overall
4. An examination of the edges shows a clear layering of the white photo stock over the brown cardboard stock
5. The darker stock on the back
6. “Bowman HERITACE”

2001 Bowman HERITACE #352 - Ichiro Suzuki Fake RC

This card, to me is the saddest thing in the world.  Ichiro is one of my favourite players, and I only discovered that it was a fake after examining it against the Pujols several years after the fact.  I’m fairly certain that the Pujols is legitimate, but the Ichiro is most definitely a fraud.  It is extremely disconcerting that our hobby is filled with sharks that will stoop to this level to make a few bucks.  This discovery also makes me very weary of buying on eBay now and I can’t help but feel that the online marketplace has been tainted by the opportunity for scam artists to sell cards that would be, upon physical inspection, quite easy to spot as fakes.  All it takes is one unscrupulous seller to ruin the experience for everyone.  That being said, in retrospect, I’m glad it was the Ichiro and not the Pujols that turned out to be fake.  On the positive side, the Ichiro makes an interesting piece of conversation…

If anyone has anything to weigh in on or can provide insight into fakes and trims (esp. the OPCs above), I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say!  Pipe up!  Until next time, happy and safe collecting and may all your finds be honest and legitimate.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Great Mail Day! A Fine Way to Spend New Year’s Eve: WJC 2010

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shane  |  November 16, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    I hear people rag on graded cards all the time, and I agree with many of their arguments. That being said, when I buy a pre-1975 baseball or hockey card of a big name player I do graded only, and this is why. Until recently I never had a decent local hobby shop, so eBay was the source of nearly all my card purchases, and certainly of all my vintage cards. I was always leery of counterfeits and just felt more comfortable with a graded copy so I wouldn’t have that nagging thought in the back of my mind. Plus the resale value is much greater if I ever get sick of the hobby some day and want to sell off some of my collection.

    With more recent cards like the ones in this post though I guess it’s just something we have to be aware of as collectors. It’s a shame that there are rotten people out there creating these fakes.

  • 2. 1967ers  |  November 16, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Your Yzerman just looks like a diamond cut to me. OPC quality control was kind of up and down, but ’85-86 was one of the worst seasons I can recall.

  • 3. 1967ers  |  November 16, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    There are some consistent sizing oddities out there. I’ve had three ’67 Topps Frank Mahovlich cards and all have been cut short the exact same amount. I’ve had three Larry Hillmans from the same set and they’ve all been tall. No idea why.

    I don’t recall a lot of off-sized ’81-82s, though. Shame. That was maybe my favourite set to bust.


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