Saturday, June 11, 2011


No, not that Tiffany.  Tiffany baseball cards.  You know those weird glossy cards that Topps put out between 1984 and 1991?  

Well, I found some mixed in with a pile of 1988 and 1989 Topps cards that I was prepping for the bonfire.  Upon initial review, there is really no difference between these cards and their regular counterparts.  But where they stand out is with the high gloss finish to the fronts and the brightly colored backs.  At first, you may think they are from the Traded sets as those generally have a shade or two brighter back than the base set.  But these don't have the "T" designation after the number and they are the same photos on the fronts.  

Topps released the Tiffany cards as a "super" premium set for the collector that was able to fork out an arm and a leg for a set.  They were only packaged for sale by hobby dealers in a full set, not as a wax box or rack pack like the regular cards.  The sets themselves were limited by over production era standards to anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 sets, not serial numbered.  The 1991 set is believed to be the lowest print run set at the 5,000 mark.  

Since they seem to be scarce, you can generally find these selling for quite a bit more than their base set counterparts.  For example, a 1986 Topps Traded Will Clark rookie went for between $.50 and $5.00 on Ebay while the same card in the Tiffany version went for over $50.00.  

I'm not saying I pulled anything $50 worthy here, it's just interesting to get to see these in person.  As a childhood collector, neither myself or any of my friends could afford a Tiffany version of any of these cards.  I remember seeing singles at card shows back in the late 80s/early 90s with price tags on them upward of a few hundred dollars.  What kid can fork out that kind of cabbage?  None that I know, that's for sure. 

So here's a few from the garage that have been rescued from their eminent doom.

1989 Jose Canseco

1988 Jose Canseco

1989 Wade Boggs

1989 Paul Molitor

1989 Will Clark

1988 Will Clark

1988 Ryne Sandberg

1988 Don Mattingly

On the scans of a few of them you can notice that they look to be a little brighter than their regular release brethren.  Scanner doesn't pick up shiny very well so you don't get the gloss.  Instead of the gray cardboard like the base set, these are printed on a white card stock that is a little thinner, which makes the colors pop a little more.  Notice the backs where you can see the color of the cards is much brighter than what you would normally find on an 1989 or 1988 set, especially the 1989s.  If you believe everything they print on the internet like I do, apparently these were printed in Ireland instead of Pennsylvania. 

I didn't find any other years of these yet, but now that I know they are out there, I will be more careful before sending these late 80s nightmares off to Hades where they belong.

PS.  Did you click on that album cover up top?  Go ahead.  Try it.


  1. No! Don't! Why burn cards when there are some people who need them! No, seriously!

  2. Weren't the Tiffany cards printed on O-Pee-Chee card stock? Or was that just the Traded sets?