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  #1  
Old 11-09-2018, 11:33 AM
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Default What is the origin of Barry Bonds Open.Day ERR?

Hello, I’m new here though I’ve already made a few major purchases on the B/S/T. I was just reading through the NNOF thread and realized that it’s basically all the world’s knowledge of that card assembled into a few pages on this board. And I’m wondering what is known about the Bonds error card: 1987 Donruss Opening Day Barry Bonds #163A ERR J.Ray?

Donruss was printing in Memphis back then?
Was there an east coast bias to this error distribution as well?
Did anyone track down the person who caught the error or made the error?
Were there letters to Beckett about this card too? What did it confirm about where in the print run the error happened?
Has anyone ever seen one get pulled or know someone who did?
How many copies of the error were ultimately made before it got caught?
How many copies are graded? How many remain raw?
How many remain out there in unopened sets?
How many sets were printed and released?
How can you (or a professional grader) distinguish between an authentic example versus a counterfeit?
There’s a collector named bobsbbcards on CU who owned multiple copies of the card in 2010. Does anyone know him or know if he still does?
Anything else known?

Eventually, I want to start a tracker thread on the card to see if I can account for as many of the graded examples as possible, at least. Thanks very much for weighing in if you can!

Alan

Last edited by RiceBondsMntna2Young; 11-09-2018 at 11:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:38 AM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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I can not answer the letters to Beckett question as I did not get there until 1990 and I'm sure any 1987 correspondence is long gone into the ether.

Rich
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2018, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post
Theres a collector named bobsbbcards on CU who owned multiple copies of the card in 2010. Does anyone know him or know if he still does?
He is here with the same name.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2018, 10:28 AM
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Bob is always lurking around in some chat board or another
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2018, 10:55 AM
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Why does there have to be an origin? The card company just screwed up and put the wrong guy on the card. Happened a thousand times. Heck, Topps swapped Hank Aaron and Willie Mays back in 1956.
Just because baseball fans knew what Barry Bonds looked like in 1987 doesn't mean some graphic designer in the layout room did.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2018, 03:24 PM
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Or it could be that card companies know error cards that involve a prospect or star drive sells. And the have for many years been creating error card and collector and speculators eat them up trying to make $$$$.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:10 PM
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LOL; this card was included in a box set, not packs. Cute though.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2018, 08:09 PM
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I remember at a Willow Grove Card show one dealer had a small stack of them 10-15(late 80s or early 90s) but no one bought them because it wasnt Barry Bonds. I always felt if it was on purpose it would have been Barry Bonds on a Johnny Ray Card for the collectibility factor. Since it was Johnny Ray on Barry Bonds Card most people passed or had little interest.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by nebboy View Post
Or it could be that card companies know error cards that involve a prospect or star drive sells. And the have for many years been creating error card and collector and speculators eat them up trying to make $$$$.
I think if it was done on purpose they would have done it with one of the hyped rookies, like someone in their Rated Rookie subset.

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  #10  
Old 11-11-2018, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post
Does anyone know him or know if he still does?
I know him, and he still does.
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2018, 08:45 AM
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Early Russian hacking experiment ?
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:21 AM
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1987 Donruss Opening Day

Barry Bonds error
A card of Barry Bonds showing the picture of his Pirates teammate Johnny Ray was corrected very early in the press run, and supposedly less than two percent of the sets have the error.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2018, 03:52 PM
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I know him, and he still does.
Lol awesome, guess @ALR-bishop and @Cliff Bowman know what they're talking about! There's still so little known about these cards, other than the scant info on baseballcardpedia pointed out by @magicpapa. Figured you'd know as much as anyone about these. Any thoughts on which PSA 10 is the finest known example? You mentioned PSA 9 was the top available grade back in 2010 and I wouldn't be surprised if several of yours did or would earn 10s upon review.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
Why does there have to be an origin? The card company just screwed up and put the wrong guy on the card. Happened a thousand times. Heck, Topps swapped Hank Aaron and Willie Mays back in 1956.
Just because baseball fans knew what Barry Bonds looked like in 1987 doesn't mean some graphic designer in the layout room did.
The graphic designer who caught - and corrected - the error probably disagrees with you. Plus, there may not be an interesting origin story to it all but what if there was? Considering the card, set, year, and player, this isn't just a run-of-the-mill error variant. Just like the NNOF isn't just a run-of-the-mill printing snafu.


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Originally Posted by Rich Klein View Post
I can not answer the letters to Beckett question as I did not get there until 1990...
Thanks for the information, any little bit helps. If you ever remember the name of your predecessor, especially if he's still in the hobby? Maybe I could track him down and ask him if there's anything he remembers.

Last edited by RiceBondsMntna2Young; 11-11-2018 at 03:54 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:24 PM
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I probably don’t know any more about the card than the next guy. I remember the first raw one I ever saw at a National, and I sort of became obsessed with the sucker. I bought my first in a two-card auction lot—a PSA 9 Bonds error and (surprisingly relevant) a 1990 Frank Thomas NNOF PSA 9. I’m pretty sure the hammer price was $2,400 for the pair. After that, I bought every PSA 9 Bonds that came up for sale for around $700-$900 apiece. I owned over half the 9’s at one time (Al will call me a hoarder again).

Last edited by bobsbbcards; 11-11-2018 at 09:24 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:36 PM
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That's quite a way to get into the 80s error game. I believe you're well established in vintage on the registry, so that must've been a departure for you. What a neat way to hear about how you got started since the digital footprint for these cards begins and ends with you, at least on the message boards. I was trying to learn as much as possible about these cards in preparation for landing one for myself, which I ultimately did.

Anyways, a hoarder is exactly who I need to talk to in order to take a census on the Bonds errors. Would you be willing to show off your stash? I'd like to try to track down every PSA 9 and 10 if possible and that would be a nice dent in the project. And maybe even establish a ranking for the PSA registry since the Dmitri Young should definitely be atop the list...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsbbcards View Post
I probably don’t know any more about the card than the next guy. I remember the first raw one I ever saw at a National, and I sort of became obsessed with the sucker. I bought my first in a two-card auction lot—a PSA 9 Bonds error and (surprisingly relevant) a 1990 Frank Thomas NNOF PSA 9. I’m pretty sure the hammer price was $2,400 for the pair. After that, I bought every PSA 9 Bonds that came up for sale for around $700-$900 apiece. I owned over half the 9’s at one time (Al will call me a hoarder again).

Last edited by RiceBondsMntna2Young; 11-11-2018 at 09:38 PM.
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  #16  
Old 11-12-2018, 09:30 AM
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Having been in Bob's basement I doubt he could find where he stashed his stash. He is also the go to guy for the 1978 Topps Zest Soap set.
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:53 AM
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  #18  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post
That's quite a way to get into the 80s error game. I believe you're well established in vintage on the registry, so that must've been a departure for you.
Not really a departure, since my collection goes through 1991it was simply a departure in the graded area. My 1980-91 sets are ungraded with a few exceptions: 1980-Present HOF Rookies, 1985 Topps Mini, 1990 Donruss Aqueous Test, 1987 All-State Insurance, and 1991 Topps Desert Shield.
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  #19  
Old 11-12-2018, 02:28 PM
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Freaking. Amazing. Are any of these worthy of 10s do you think? Any worth sending back to PSA for a second look, I mean?


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Having been in Bob's basement I doubt he could find where he stashed his stash. He is also the go to guy for the 1978 Topps Zest Soap set.
Lol this comment was so over my head, I had to research it first. Thought maybe you were going with the underground bunker take like, "this guy has the most impressive set of 1982 Irish Spring reserves this side of the Mississippi." I was wrong.


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Not really a departure, since my collection goes through 1991it was simply a departure in the graded area. My 1980-91 sets are ungraded with a few exceptions: 1980-Present HOF Rookies, 1985 Topps Mini, 1990 Donruss Aqueous Test, 1987 All-State Insurance, and 1991 Topps Desert Shield.
I'm learning a little bit more every day about the oddballs and errors in this hobby. As you can see from above.
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  #20  
Old 11-12-2018, 02:49 PM
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Many of the hobby's oddest balls can be found right here
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  #21  
Old 11-12-2018, 06:13 PM
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Any worth sending back to PSA for a second look, I mean?
Nope.
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  #22  
Old 11-13-2018, 06:41 PM
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I suspect the origin went a bit like this...

Guy messes up and puts the wrong rookie on Bonds card.
Presses roll, cards get printed, rookies get a few sets for themselves.

a short time later
Boss - Hey X (Inset employee name)
X - Yeah?
Boss- You got the wrong picture on one of those cards, and that Bonds kid is PISSED!
X - man, tell him I'm really sorry.
Boss- Yeah, we did. Still mad, the kids a bit of a tool. Said his godfather is Mays, and if we don't change it right away heads will roll.
X - Damn, I guess I'm staying late tonight.

Card gets fixed, Barry is calmed for a while, and collectors get a pretty tough card to chase.
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  #23  
Old 12-31-2018, 10:57 PM
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I was a full time dealer back then and remember breaking 600 sets of those things. I found one Bonds error in 600 sets. But here's the thing - the set also had the regular variation too, and the regular one was in the proper sequence (sorting these sets was easy - they were always in the same order.)

So, my assumption was that it was intentional, and every so often one was added to a factory set just to create hype and spur sales - which it did.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:40 AM
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Very interesting, this was well before any error craze as well. Ive never heard this.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
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I was a full time dealer back then and remember breaking 600 sets of those things. I found one Bonds error in 600 sets. But here's the thing - the set also had the regular variation too, and the regular one was in the proper sequence (sorting these sets was easy - they were always in the same order.)

So, my assumption was that it was intentional, and every so often one was added to a factory set just to create hype and spur sales - which it did.
Mark, were both Bonds cards located properly or just the correct one? Bonds is the last card in one of the cello packs so I've always just opened that one pack and stored away the others. You telling me I need to go back and sort through all of them?

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Old 01-01-2019, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post

Thanks for the information, any little bit helps. If you ever remember the name of your predecessor, especially if he's still in the hobby? Maybe I could track him down and ask him if there's anything he remembers.
Dr. Beckett in the early years read ALL the letters as a way of keeping track of what collectors were interested in. By the time I got there, he was reading 1/2 to 1/3 in all the sports. And if he remembers, it would have been in a blurb back then. Wish I had a better answer for you,,, but that's what it is.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:19 PM
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Very interesting, this was well before any error craze as well. Ive never heard this.
Errors were pretty hot in 81-82. Fleer and Donruss had ongoing problems getting things right. Then later Fleer had what I believe were shenanigans with a pressman drawing a few pointing hands mostly on the backs. Tons of variations and they were popular for a while.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:28 PM
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Errors were pretty hot in 81-82. Fleer and Donruss had ongoing problems getting things right. Then later Fleer had what I believe were shenanigans with a pressman drawing a few pointing hands mostly on the backs. Tons of variations and they were popular for a while.
The 82 Topps set had a ton of printing errors also. I started collecting around 85/86 and errors were pretty hot then and that lasted to around 01/02. By the end of that run there was enough error sellers on eBay that they just weren't rare and cool anymore. That was my experience anyway.
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  #29  
Old 01-02-2019, 02:24 AM
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Ben:

On the 1982 printing error increase I suspect it had to do with having to print more cards and quicker with less quality control. The hobby growth was there in 1982 and more cards were being produced each year. Plus, that was really the 1st full year of competition. I do realize there were 3 major companies in 1981 but they had limited time to produce sets; 1982 was going to be their year to really challenge Topps.

The result; and this is my opinion only

Topps still had the best set with a nice design. Other than a couple of minor errors which were corrected and those printing errors; a very solid year

Fleer: A terribly produced 2nd set. Look at the Jack Clark card for example of how not to select photos. They did reduce their errors by a ton.

Donruss: A far better card stock and photos than 1981. Again the errors were more limited compared to the rush of the previous year.

White it is possible some of the 1981 errors were "planned" it tis also possible the rushed prep of the 1981 sets caused some of those errors as well.

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Old 01-05-2019, 10:48 PM
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If I remember correctly, the Barry Bonds Opening Day error was on the Johnny Ray card and not the actual Barry Bonds. I ordered 4 sets on ebay back in 2006 I believe and went through them looking at the Barry Bonds card and no error. Then i decided to check out the Johnny Ray card and one of the sets had the jackpot. Sent to PSA and got a 9. Lucky as hell.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark17 View Post
I was a full time dealer back then and remember breaking 600 sets of those things. I found one Bonds error in 600 sets. But here's the thing - the set also had the regular variation too, and the regular one was in the proper sequence (sorting these sets was easy - they were always in the same order.)

So, my assumption was that it was intentional, and every so often one was added to a factory set just to create hype and spur sales - which it did.
I find this really hard to believe, probably in large part because I really don't want it to be true. However, if it was intentional, that would be really major news. But I mean, why would Donruss target a lukewarm prospect like Bonds, probably not even a top 10 rookie in the hobby at the time, to put on an error card? How would that goose sales?

There would have had to be hype over the card at the time the set was first released, presumably in spring of 1987. If Bonds fizzled out as a player, there wouldn't be any reason to chase the card by the time the collecting world became widely aware of the error. It could only have been a hot card a few years into Bonds' career, I would think.

@Mark17 Do you remember what year you busted 600? Did you bust to create inventory or because you were chasing the error? Do you remember how long after the set was released that it became the set with a lottery ticket inside?

I want to track down a few more folks who pulled the error themselves to corroborate this experience. It could've been a fluke. @dariushou's recollection suggests maybe it was.

I'm also curious about @HasselhoffsCheeseburger's question: are #162 and #163 found in different "stacks?"


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Dr. Beckett in the early years read ALL the letters as a way of keeping track of what collectors were interested in. By the time I got there, he was reading 1/2 to 1/3 in all the sports. And if he remembers, it would have been in a blurb back then. Wish I had a better answer for you,,, but that's what it is.
Thanks for that. I'd like to try and track down the first issue in which the card was noted in the price guide, as well as when when it was first mentioned in an article. Does anyone happen to have the entire run of 1987-1989 back issues handy?
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
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If I remember correctly, the Barry Bonds Opening Day error was on the Johnny Ray card and not the actual Barry Bonds. I ordered 4 sets on ebay back in 2006 I believe and went through them looking at the Barry Bonds card and no error. Then i decided to check out the Johnny Ray card and one of the sets had the jackpot. Sent to PSA and got a 9. Lucky as hell.
Well now I have to go back and check all of my Opening Day sets. I would only open the Bonds brick and only check the Bonds card. Wish me luck.

Arthur
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:12 AM
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:26 AM
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I don't want to give anyone false hope. It was a while ago. I remember looking for the card and not finding it and going back and looking at the "other" card and finding it. I could have it reversed where i saw the non-error Johnny Ray card and thought damn i did't hit it and then going back and seeing the Bonds card with Johnny Ray on it. I 100% remember though that I had to go back a 2nd time and look at the "other" card and found it. I was pretty pumped as i went from a damn to wholly cow.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:21 AM
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Here's hoping I don't get stuck with a partially cow.

Arthur
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  #36  
Old 01-08-2019, 12:40 PM
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The Johnny Ray is in the same brick as Bonds so that made it a little easier. As you can imagine, I went oh-fer.

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  #37  
Old 01-13-2019, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post
@Mark17 Do you remember what year you busted 600? Did you bust to create inventory or because you were chasing the error? Do you remember how long after the set was released that it became the set with a lottery ticket inside?

I want to track down a few more folks who pulled the error themselves to corroborate this experience. It could've been a fluke. @dariushou's recollection suggests maybe it was.

I'm also curious about @HasselhoffsCheeseburger's question: are #162 and #163 found in different "stacks?"

Thanks for that. I'd like to try and track down the first issue in which the card was noted in the price guide, as well as when when it was first mentioned in an article. Does anyone happen to have the entire run of 1987-1989 back issues handy?
It was in 1987 or 1988 I believe. My memory of it isn't the greatest because it was just another case break of what, as I recall, was a fairly unpopular set at the time. I'm pretty sure I got them very cheap. Unlike the 1987 Topps set, which was my main product (I must've broken over 500 vending cases of that stuff in 1987, not to mention all the 1987 "miswraps" and cut cases I broke in 1988,) the Opening Day set didn't include a lot of the popular rookies. I believe there were 15 factory sets per case, so 40 cases, and they were in some kind of plastic display box. Does that sound right? Anyway I knew about the variation and was keeping my eyes open for it. Like I said, the normal Barry Bonds card was also in that set, and it was in its normal sequence. Reading other peoples' posts, though, I can't say whether the correct Johnny Ray card was also present, since that would've been a common to me, and not worth sorting out. Maybe the error I found was there in place of the normal Ray card, making it an honest error.

So... either that card was randomly tossed in a set here and there to salt the mine, so to speak, or, perhaps more likely, it was actually a Johnny Ray error - and we in the hobby have always called it a Barry Bonds error because, well, Bonds is, and was, much more valuable (and a rookie card.)

In other words, Donruss didn't get the picture wrong - they got the player's name wrong.

As far as why/how an error/variation of a common guy can help sales, I recall the "C"raig Nettles 1981 Fleer going for $8.00 back then, and Fleer had a Littlefield error that went for some dough the next year. Relative scarcity was the key to creating an error card frenzy, and the Ray/Bonds OD card is definitely scarce.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:45 AM
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glynparson glynparson is offline
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I was a full time dealer back then and remember breaking 600 sets of those things. I found one Bonds error in 600 sets. But here's the thing - the set also had the regular variation too, and the regular one was in the proper sequence (sorting these sets was easy - they were always in the same order.)

So, my assumption was that it was intentional, and every so often one was added to a factory set just to create hype and spur sales - which it did.
Every error I have owned about 5-6 i don't remember came from someone who pulled from a set not one person i talked to pulled both versions. Not sure how you got lucky. they were in extremely early cases this was caught almost instantly. Bonds also was nowhere near the big prospect at the time. They would have clearly picked someone else if this was intentional and done with an upcoming prospect. Ah the internet everything is a conspiracy.

Last edited by glynparson; 01-16-2019 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:09 AM
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Every error I have owned about 5-6 i don't remember came from someone who pulled from a set not one person i talked to pulled both versions. Not sure how you got lucky. they were in extremely early cases this was caught almost instantly. Bonds also was nowhere near the big prospect at the time. They would have clearly picked someone else if this was intentional and done with an upcoming prospect. Ah the internet everything is a conspiracy.
Hi Glyn, simple answer. He just misremembered.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:34 PM
Mark17 Mark17 is offline
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Originally Posted by glynparson View Post
Every error I have owned about 5-6 i don't remember came from someone who pulled from a set not one person i talked to pulled both versions. Not sure how you got lucky. they were in extremely early cases this was caught almost instantly. Bonds also was nowhere near the big prospect at the time. They would have clearly picked someone else if this was intentional and done with an upcoming prospect. Ah the internet everything is a conspiracy.
Not saying anything was intentional. Frankly, Bonds was a highly touted rookie, the son of a Major League player, he had speed and power, was the God-son of Willie Mays, etc. A Bonds error or variation would have been far more valuable than a Johnny Ray error which is what this card apparently is, based on my and other peoples' experiences.

I do not recall if there was a corrected Ray card in the set that included my error. I suspect not, after reading all the posts in this thread. I know there was a corrected Bonds as he was one of the cards I was pulling on that break.

It was a cheap basically garbage set when I bought my cases. I pulled the stars and rookies, like Bonds, all the Twins and Tigers because the Twins sets were sold to Shinders (a local magazine/baseball card shop chain in Mpls.) and I had a couple buyers who always wanted my Tigers team sets. But what made the break work was that I was also helping Larry Grossman (Hygrade) by putting together 25-card packs of stars (minor non-premium guys like Winfield, Molitor, Fisk, and so on.) I basically got 2 cents each on all those. Plus Larry was taking all my commons at about half a cent per card. Add to that, the fact it was a simple break with all cards in sequence so I could do them all myself fairly quickly, and it was mildly profitable; definitely worthwhile.

In the end I had exactly 600 Bonds cards (6 100-card lots.)

Sorting that way, shuffling past the commons to the next pull card, I did not notice or care if the corrected Johnny Ray card was there or not. Same with any other common. Again, based on the comments here, the error Ray was probably in place of what should've been a corrected Ray.

What always made me wonder, though, is why there was only one in 600 sets. And I was definitely looking for it. I could see having 39 cases with none and then one case with 15 errors, or something like that, but how did just one error card set end up in that case? As has been pointed out, one would think the error, once caught, would no longer be made.

One other thing I remember - that was the smelliest set I ever broke, to the point where after a few hours, I actually felt a bit ill. Whether it was the smell of fresh ink or the plastic I'm not sure, but it was really an awful smell. Always made me think my cases may have been from a recent print run.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:01 PM
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Interesting details, Mark, thanks. Do you remember how you first heard about the error? Was it Beckett, another dealer, a vendor, a customer, or somewhere/one else? Was it common knowledge by the time you found out about it or still very "inside baseball" within the hobby at that time?


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Not saying anything was intentional. Frankly, Bonds was a highly touted rookie, the son of a Major League player, he had speed and power, was the God-son of Willie Mays, etc.
Your recollection was that he was highly touted out the gate? I was only a 7yo back then but I don't remember Bonds having even top 10 buzz. I was in the SF Bay Area so that certainly had some effect but he wasn't even on the radar and his dad used to be a star on the SF Giants.


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A Bonds error or variation would have been far more valuable than a Johnny Ray error which is what this card apparently is, based on my and other peoples' experiences.
This seems a lot more plausible to me than any intent by Donruss to make an error, which was a theory you floated earlier. Wouldn't it be something if the two most valuable error cards of the 80s turned out to be a case of a printing defect in the case of NNOF and a card that was really a Johnny Ray error masquerading as a Bonds error in the case of Opening Day.


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Originally Posted by Mark17 View Post
I do not recall if there was a corrected Ray card in the set that included my error. I suspect not, after reading all the posts in this thread. I know there was a corrected Bonds as he was one of the cards I was pulling on that break...Sorting that way, shuffling past the commons to the next pull card, I did not notice or care if the corrected Johnny Ray card was there or not. Same with any other common. Again, based on the comments here, the error Ray was probably in place of what should've been a corrected Ray.
I've seen nothing yet outside of your very vivid recollection to suggest that that's what happened since @dariushou appeared to be 50/50 as to whether it was mean to be a Ray or Bonds card. That you ended up with an even 600 of correct Bonds cards definitely nudges us in the other direction, but is it possible you counted the error as one of the 600?


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Originally Posted by Mark17 View Post
What always made me wonder, though, is why there was only one in 600 sets. And I was definitely looking for it. I could see having 39 cases with none and then one case with 15 errors, or something like that, but how did just one error card set end up in that case? As has been pointed out, one would think the error, once caught, would no longer be made.
We don't really know how Donruss collated their sets as they were placed into cases, nor do we know how they collated their cards as they were put into sets. I have wondered if we're going to hear about hot cases the way there appeared to be for the NNOF.

Last edited by RiceBondsMntna2Young; 01-20-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:51 PM
Mark17 Mark17 is offline
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Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post
Interesting details, Mark, thanks. Do you remember how you first heard about the error? Was it Beckett, another dealer, a vendor, a customer, or somewhere/one else? Was it common knowledge by the time you found out about it or still very "inside baseball" within the hobby at that time?
I was a full time card dealer from the early 1980s through about 1991 (when I started working with/for Brent Lee... and then the 1994 strike killed my business dead and made virtually worthless my remaining inventory.) Carson Ritchey was my partner from 1981-1988 and he was very well connected in southern California, and I was personal friends with the Barnings who published Baseball Hobby News. Any news of a scarcity travelled like lightning. But I don't recall because it wasn't huge news at the time - just something to be aware of.


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Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post
Your recollection was that he was highly touted out the gate? I was only a 7yo back then but I don't remember Bonds having even top 10 buzz. I was in the SF Bay Area so that certainly had some effect but he wasn't even on the radar and his dad used to be a star on the SF Giants.
Each year from 1985-1990 I made an initial order with Topps, usually 300 vending cases, and then I pre-sold cards beginning in November, with the understanding cards would be shipped in April or May after being sorted. We didn't know for sure which rookies would be in the set so sometimes we had to issue refunds. I recall setting the pre-buy price on Bonds somewhere between 40 and 75 cents. Bo Jackson was 1.50, Joyner and Canseco 2.00 each, McGwire 15 cents (that was the bargain as it turned out, though not a true rookie card) and so on. Point is, Bonds was a well above average prospect in November, 1986.


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Originally Posted by RiceBondsMntna2Young View Post
This seems a lot more plausible to me than any intent by Donruss to make an error, which was a theory you floated earlier. Wouldn't it be something if the two most valuable error cards of the 80s turned out to be a case of a printing defect in the case of NNOF and a card that was really a Johnny Ray error masquerading as a Bonds error in the case of Opening Day.
Yes I was wrong to say it was likely intentional. Until this conversation started I had always thought of the error as a Bonds card and couldn't explain how they could put 2 Bonds cards - the correct one and the error - in the same set. I figured they just tossed the second, error, one in there as a bonus. Now I believe it was likely an honest mistake and it was there in place of a correct Ray card. Why I only found one though, from 40 factory sealed set cases, still seems odd.
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