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  #101  
Old 08-03-2020, 09:52 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
Cool card. I will say whoever you quoted in your eBay listing on what happened is wrong. There is absolutely no way what they said is really what happened IMHO.
I agree about the dry ink cartridges thing. Simply not the way high production printing was done. Not even low production printing.

I do think the card is cool, and that it's probably an actual NNOF. Why the shadow of the name is there is a bit of a mystery, but I can think of a few reasons why.

The normal missing black is from a poorly made plate where part of it was obscured while it was being exposed. Sloppy work, and if someone said the platemaker was asleep I might give them that..

Adding the name to a new blue plate by mistake is possible. It's not really likely, but neither is letting a huge bit of tape or something get into the plate exposing machine. (Both are so very Topps though)

"Guys! The blue block with Frank Thomas's name doesn't have a name!"
"Ok, I made a new blue plate and fixed it"
"No! not the blue one, the black plate!"
"But you said blue.... "
"The block is blue, the name is black"

Now there should be "normal" Thomas's with the blue name showing under the black if the registration isn't right. I haven't seen one of those either. But if they messed up and "fixed" the wrong plate there should be some.
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  #102  
Old 08-04-2020, 09:45 AM
isiahfan isiahfan is offline
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Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
Cool card. I will say whoever you quoted in your eBay listing on what happened is wrong. There is absolutely no way what they said is really what happened IMHO.

Could you please be more specific because I quoted two guys basically...one ran printing for two large card companies and the other is widely regarded as the printing error expert in the industry. I am neither an expert in printing nor print errors, but trust what those guys have said.

Last edited by isiahfan; 08-04-2020 at 06:13 PM.
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  #103  
Old 08-04-2020, 09:57 AM
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The timing and positioning of posts 101 and 102 is interesting.
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  #104  
Old 08-04-2020, 11:40 AM
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And we still have yet to see indisputable proof if these were put into packs or not.

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  #105  
Old 08-04-2020, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isiahfan View Post
Could you please be more specific because I quoted two guys basically...one ran printing for two large card companies and the other is widely regarded as the printing error expert in the industry. I am neither an expert in printing or print errors, but trust what those guys have said.
I would be interested to know who is the widely regarded printing expert in the industry.

The one that really makes me shake my head is they don't even have the sheet layout or cards on a sheet correct. Those can easily be found by looking at a sheet on eBay. When you have the easiest part wrong what are the chances the hard stuff is correct.

I am no expert but I have definitely stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
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  #106  
Old 08-04-2020, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
I would be interested to know who is the widely regarded printing expert in the industry.
.
Me too. Maybe he could help explain and straighten out stuff in the variations thread and help us differentiate between variations, errors and recurring print defects. We really do need an expert in charge of this stuff.
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  #107  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:16 PM
isiahfan isiahfan is offline
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"This card would have been one of the first no name cards coming off the printing press when it occurred. This was run on an offset sheet fed press that does not use dry offset inks but wet. Somehow the printing blanket got damaged during the pressrun and stopped transferring the black ink to the card stock. But what happens is this is 4/color process which means there were 4 blankets or more that might have been used transferring all the inks and when the black blanket got damaged the black ink was still on the other blankets allowing the Frank Thomas name to be there a few more sheets before it totally disappeared. If you notice all of the missing black is consistent with all no names like the missing Topps logo in the lower right corner. You are asking how I know this, I have been in offset sheet fed printing for 43 years and worked for a printing company that printed baseball, basketball and Pokémon trading cards for 19 of those. The process has not changed hardly at all during my years in it. The card graders need a printing expert in these types of cases but think they know it all!!! I believe your card is the real deal, hope this helps your understanding of how this occurred"
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  #108  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:27 PM
isiahfan isiahfan is offline
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I've only seen one like yours before & it was in 1990 in Florida: a 1989 Topps card with a shadow name like yours and part of the wavy box with the name inside was shadowed also. Those are usually caught and only occur on one part of the 100-card sheet affected one; maybe two rows of cards. So when these errors occur the maximum that wind up on the 11 (vertical) X 10 (horizontal) sheets is 20-cards. I wouldn't doubt that an employee at the printer kept one for himself only, then it eventually made its way into the hobby.

From the 1980's- early 1990's base cards were printed with a dry ink. When the cartridge started running out a buzzer would sound. At times employees would literally fall asleep (printing was 24/7) and many sheets would print with partial black ink (always the first color to run out) as it was used more frequently on most year cards. That's what happened to your card. Most of the ink ran out on the bottom on the card affecting only the name. Since it was dry ink, it would run out on certain areas in different degrees before it ran out everywhere. Liquid ink doesn't do that. They used liquid ink exclusively since 1995. Employees were supposed to destroy every sheet affected by dry ink cartridges, but when some slipped through it was always DONE ON PURPOSE by the printer employees (paid minimum wage, so they didn't care).

This is how SO MANY wrong back, bland back/front cards wound up in the hobby from the late 1980's to early 1990's as well. It started with Kruk Cards buying ALL these cards from Topps (hundreds of thousands of them) that they sold in 3,000-5,000 count boxes in the 2000's-2015. I have a 5,000 count box of these & a few crazy errors!
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  #109  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isiahfan View Post
"This card would have been one of the first no name cards coming off the printing press when it occurred. This was run on an offset sheet fed press that does not use dry offset inks but wet. Somehow the printing blanket got damaged during the pressrun and stopped transferring the black ink to the card stock. But what happens is this is 4/color process which means there were 4 blankets or more that might have been used transferring all the inks and when the black blanket got damaged the black ink was still on the other blankets allowing the Frank Thomas name to be there a few more sheets before it totally disappeared. If you notice all of the missing black is consistent with all no names like the missing Topps logo in the lower right corner. You are asking how I know this, I have been in offset sheet fed printing for 43 years and worked for a printing company that printed baseball, basketball and Pokémon trading cards for 19 of those. The process has not changed hardly at all during my years in it. The card graders need a printing expert in these types of cases but think they know it all!!! I believe your card is the real deal, hope this helps your understanding of how this occurred"
That is actually fairly close to what could have happened. I don't see it as being a blanket problem that caused the error. My best guess though is really really close to what this person told you. The stuff you have quoted in you listing is so silly it has to be driving any serious buyer away.

If you don't know what a blanket is I am sure I have an old one from a Hiedelberg out in the garage. I can take a pic and post it if you want.
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  #110  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:29 PM
isiahfan isiahfan is offline
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Default names removed

I've removed their names and credentials so they could not be easily identified...some conflicting info for sure...maybe even some board members....
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  #111  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:34 PM
isiahfan isiahfan is offline
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Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
That is actually fairly close to what could have happened. I don't see it as being a blanket problem that caused the error. My best guess though is really really close to what this person told you. The stuff you have quoted in you listing is so silly it has to be driving any serious buyer away.

If you don't know what a blanket is I am sure I have an old one from a Hiedelberg out in the garage. I can take a pic and post it if you want.
As stated..I know nothing about the printing process. I am curious what you keep specifically referring to in my description and why you are so confident in how the error occurred. To be honest I don't really care about how it happened...just care that one of the big 2 card grading companies will give it a NNOF (preferably) or Partial Blackless. I highly doubt my description scares away anyone..it's the lack of grading IMHO that is killing it.
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  #112  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by isiahfan View Post
As stated..I know nothing about the printing process. I am curious what you keep specifically referring to in my description and why you are so confident in how the error occurred. To be honest I don't really care about how it happened...just care that one of the big 2 card grading companies will give it a NNOF (preferably) or Partial Blackless. I highly doubt my description scares away anyone..it's the lack of grading IMHO that is killing it.
It is beyond obvious one of your experts is wrong. You quoted the wrong one in your listing.

This is what a printing blanket looks like. The streaks are rain as it and me got wet when I brought it in from the garage. I took the pic in front of my bat rack that I have posted pics of several times on this forum. That means I am not trying to act cool and pretend I know what I am talking about.

There really is no way of knowing exactly what happened but it is easy to know what did not happen.

I actually think it is 100% real if that matters.
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  #113  
Old 08-04-2020, 08:01 PM
isiahfan isiahfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
It is beyond obvious one of your experts is wrong. You quoted the wrong one in your listing.

This is what a printing blanket looks like. The streaks are rain as it and me got wet when I brought it in from the garage. I took the pic in front of my bat rack that I have posted pics of several times on this forum. That means I am not trying to act cool and pretend I know what I am talking about.

There really is no way of knowing exactly what happened but it is easy to know what did not happen.

I actually think it is 100% real if that matters.
I appreciate it....I am always happy to learn more about the process
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  #114  
Old 08-04-2020, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by isiahfan View Post
I appreciate it....I am always happy to learn more about the process
Honestly the biggest thing for me is. If I was buying a $10K card that is a only known printing error and had no printing knowledge. I would find someone that did, When they read what you have quoted they would laugh and tell the buyer to pass. JMHO

The top part of you listing is great. I also believe it had to be the first or really close to the first NNOF card printed. I could be wrong but it is my best guess.

Last edited by bnorth; 08-04-2020 at 08:26 PM.
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  #115  
Old 08-04-2020, 08:29 PM
isiahfan isiahfan is offline
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Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
Honestly the biggest thing for me is. If I was buying a $10K that is a only known printing error and had no printing knowledge. I would find someone that did, When they read what you have quoted they would laugh and tell the buyer to pass. JMHO

The top part of you listing is great. I also believe it had to be the first or really close to the first NNOF card printed. I could be wrong but it is my best guess.
I got ya...and I will change it....but I think we will agree to disagree on the influence it would have on an average buyer. I don't think most would buy it without it being slabbed (Sadly...and in many cases understandably... this is where the hobby has gone), and the few that would probably crap money and don't care. I think very few people without specific knowledge themselves would procure and take into serious consideration that of an expert as the value is directly related to the certification. Next show I go to I will get it slabbed...even if just as a regular card...and see how that affects the sale?

Last edited by isiahfan; 08-04-2020 at 08:34 PM.
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  #116  
Old 08-04-2020, 08:37 PM
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I got ya...and I will change it....but I think we will agree to disagree on the influence it would have on an average buyer. I don't think most would buy it without it being slabbed (Sadly...and in many cases understandably... this is where the hobby has gone), and the few that would probably crap money and don't care. I think very few people without specific knowledge themselves would procure and take into serious consideration that of an expert as the value is directly related to the certification. Next show I go to I will get it slabbed...even if just as a regular card...and see how that affects the sale?
I do agree with you on it being in a slab, especially if you could get it into a PSA slab.

I will PM you with a little more info.
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  #117  
Old 08-04-2020, 10:49 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
It is beyond obvious one of your experts is wrong. You quoted the wrong one in your listing.

This is what a printing blanket looks like. The streaks are rain as it and me got wet when I brought it in from the garage. I took the pic in front of my bat rack that I have posted pics of several times on this forum. That means I am not trying to act cool and pretend I know what I am talking about.

There really is no way of knowing exactly what happened but it is easy to know what did not happen.

I actually think it is 100% real if that matters.
That's what that is all right.
Ours were green.

Depending on the press, there would either be one, cleaned between colors. Or one for each color.
I don't know of a multi color press that put all four colors plus glosscoat on the same blanket. No that there are none, just that there aren't any I know of for offset lithography.
(BEP has/had a press or two that could do multi color intaglio from one plate, but that's an entirely different process, and not offset in any way. As far as I know they were never all that open about how it worked.)

Those blankets are fairly thick rubber, and Ours were fabric reinforced. They were hard to damage, especially to the extent of the missing black patch on the NNOF sheet. When they got old they would crack a bit like any other rubber then it was time to replace them. That wasn't all that often.

Since they're compressible, shallow damage will affect the print quality. But it doesn't look like that.

What does look like that is debris in the platemaking process, especially since the missing area looks like packing tape.

Dry offset printing could be a couple things, one process called that uses a rubber plate similar to typesetting. Which prints to the blanket. But it's usually used for printing onto plastic or metal.

Or it could be waterless printing, where instead of a plate that retains water so it can reject ink in the unprinted areas, the plate has silicone or other ink repelling materials. It's fairly new and I don't know the exact date, but the plates are made and used in a similar way to traditional plates.
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  #118  
Old 08-05-2020, 06:25 AM
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That's what that is all right.
Ours were green.
They come in handy around the house. Besides making perfectly centered 60s Mantles(joking) they are way better than kneeling or laying on the ground when working on stuff. That is why I have one at home, no press in the garage.
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  #119  
Old 08-05-2020, 09:37 AM
HalfNipponese HalfNipponese is offline
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Here's an article about my find and the recent pull documented on the CU forum. There's also discussion about a potential 14th card on the board.

https://www.sportscollectorsdaily.co...-junk-wax-era/
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  #120  
Old 08-05-2020, 10:12 AM
saucywombat saucywombat is offline
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Having contemplated this issue in depth and given that a lot of information is buried under the sheer size and volume of the PSA Forum thread, I have copied a 2017 post I made there regarding the source of the error in the printing process.

ITS HONESTLY VERY COMPLICATED! And not in any way a sort of a Guttenberg press sort of affair, especially at the volume that Topps was producing what is essentially cardboard packaging. If you can take the time to read all of this and the related links, its very interesting in that you will see the issues that create every type of printing error that we as collectors find on baseball cards.

If you aren't interested in reading, essentially the Thomas and related errors come from either the chemical developing of the photographic negative of the cards for the black plate or the subsequent step of chemically etching those negatives onto the physical metal plate.

The physical metal plates accept ink from the blankets. Due to the issues with the plate itself, the plate did not accept black ink from the blankets (in the areas we find the errors). The plate itself literally is worn out by the production process and must eventually be replaced. Topps would have worn out many plates during any given years production. This wearing out process explains the slight variances between the cards.

IMO - Dave
************************************************** *********

Well first let me say that the four color printing process, a variation of gravure printing, that produces baseball cards, most commercial cardboard packaging and newspaper, is a process that an immense amount of variables play in to. A quick web search will reveal a great deal of scholarly (include complex physics) energy is devoted to perfecting the process. Think fluid dynamics, capillary actions, heat, pressure, static electricity, viscosity, paper quality, ideal chemical properties, speed of rollers, thickness or rollers, tension between rollers, etc.

It defies a short explanation so if anyone is so inclined, check out printwiki.org/Gravure
Pretty interesting

Another good site which shows common defects in the 4 color process (and basic catalog of every PD in the history of Topps) see http://www.offsetprintingtechnology....roubleshooting

Gravure printing involves at its heart the engraving of an image onto a printing plate. in the mid-19th century processes were developed to allow for the chemical etching of photographic images into metal. This allowed for the first time for photographic images to be accurately reproduced through press printing (as it was not possible to perfectly reproduce by hand on to the plate). Interestingly today it is possible to physically etch an image with digital technology which can eliminate the chemical process but not possible in 1990.

So at some point Topps photographed and developed the the "F" plate black image. This is when the most likely error occurred that produced the blackless area on the F sheet.

Undeveloped patches are a known problem in developing photographic prints, which would be loosely defined as an area of the negative that has been unaffected by processing solutions. This may have gone unnoticed and the image transferred to the plate.

Also a possibility is that a chemical process is used to etch the photographic negative into the plate. So a perfectly good image can be distorted if the chemical etching process does not go well. I think this is probably what we are looking at with the "F" plate. In this example of the process you can easily see how bubbling or streaking of the sort present on the "F" sheet are easily made during the application of the image to the roller plate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwPVKJmElbU

The image in the video is known as a "resist". Problems that occur in rotogravure printing can include the resist not being properly applied. The video above shows a simplified process (usually the resist stays adhered longer to the plate for the image to be properly transferred). The resist usually requires a more involved process for stripping it away from the plate. Sometimes the resist (or parts there of) remain adhered to the plate. This is a very plausible explanation for the errors. To me it seems clear from the type of blackless areas produced and the quantity in which they were produced point clearly to an issue created by the production of the photographic image that produced the resist or its application or removal from the black "F" plate.

Last edited by saucywombat; 08-05-2020 at 11:24 AM.
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  #121  
Old 08-05-2020, 10:33 AM
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Great post Dave, thanks for the info
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  #122  
Old 08-05-2020, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by saucywombat View Post
Having contemplated this issue in depth and given that a lot of information is buried under the sheer size and volume of the PSA Forum thread, I have copied a 2017 post I made there regarding the source of the error in the printing process.

I'm still confused by the digression into gravure printing. I agree that the cause of the error was an improperly exposed/damaged plate. As we have mentioned in the past, that is the only way the NNOF was reproduced 500-1000X and all copies are virtually identical. However, the Topps employee I spoke to told me they used offset lithography printing - ie a printing plate created from a mask of negatives (I'm following Steve's theory here that an obstruction - tape, etc- in the platemaking process prevented the black plate from being properly exposed). In gravure a cylinder is engraved with cells which carry ink - seems a lot different than offset lithography. Also, it says gravure prints hexagons, while offset lithography gives the dot design - an example of which can be found on the very distinct 1990 Topps colored borders.

Last edited by West; 08-05-2020 at 05:38 PM.
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  #123  
Old 08-05-2020, 06:40 PM
saucywombat saucywombat is offline
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I'm still confused by the digression into gravure printing. I agree that the cause of the error was an improperly exposed/damaged plate. As we have mentioned in the past, that is the only way the NNOF was reproduced 500-1000X and all copies are virtually identical. However, the Topps employee I spoke to told me they used offset lithography printing - ie a printing plate created from a mask of negatives (I'm following Steve's theory here that an obstruction - tape, etc- in the platemaking process prevented the black plate from being properly exposed). In gravure a cylinder is engraved with cells which carry ink - seems a lot different than offset lithography. Also, it says gravure prints hexagons, while offset lithography gives the dot design - an example of which can be found on the very distinct 1990 Topps colored borders.
Well I'd say the point of the post is not to demonstrate that a gravure method was used vs. offset lithography and that the references to gravure, by means of internet ready information, were the clearest way to demonstrate the idea of how printing made the leap from etched images to being able to accurately reproduce photographic images on a plate. I would trust your assertion regarding the use of offset lithography.

With either offset lithography or gravure (in 1990) a chemical process is required to transfer the image from the negative into a metal plate. Full stop.

My point being this is my opinion on where the error originates. It was a chemical issue that relates to the image being engraved on the plate. How the ink and/or image is then impressed or transferred to cardboard stock is not an issue.

This would correlate with the visual we have from the totality of the error area. It resembles nothing. It is an irregular fluid area, almost like you poured water on a pane of glass.

I do not understand the desire to relate all this to a piece of tape or cardboard obstruction, which the error area in no way resembles.

Perhaps it's a better narrative that more people could relate to that a careless or incompetent worker carelessly or foolishly wasn't paying attention to a piece of tape or cardboard, rather than a very esoteric discussion of offset lithography methodology and common mass production issues.

Last edited by saucywombat; 08-05-2020 at 06:41 PM.
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  #124  
Old 08-05-2020, 07:35 PM
West West is offline
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Originally Posted by saucywombat View Post
Well I'd say the point of the post is not to demonstrate that a gravure method was used vs. offset lithography and that the references to gravure, by means of internet ready information, were the clearest way to demonstrate the idea of how printing made the leap from etched images to being able to accurately reproduce photographic images on a plate. I would trust your assertion regarding the use of offset lithography.

With either offset lithography or gravure (in 1990) a chemical process is required to transfer the image from the negative into a metal plate. Full stop.

My point being this is my opinion on where the error originates. It was a chemical issue that relates to the image being engraved on the plate. How the ink and/or image is then impressed or transferred to cardboard stock is not an issue.

This would correlate with the visual we have from the totality of the error area. It resembles nothing. It is an irregular fluid area, almost like you poured water on a pane of glass.

I do not understand the desire to relate all this to a piece of tape or cardboard obstruction, which the error area in no way resembles.

Perhaps it's a better narrative that more people could relate to that a careless or incompetent worker carelessly or foolishly wasn't paying attention to a piece of tape or cardboard, rather than a very esoteric discussion of offset lithography methodology and common mass production issues.

Thank you for explaining! That makes a ton more sense. I believe your first hypothesis seems likely - "Undeveloped patches are a known problem in developing photographic prints, which would be loosely defined as an area of the negative that has been unaffected by processing solutions. This may have gone unnoticed and the image transferred to the plate."

The fact that the blackless area does resemble a fluid substance seems to point towards some kind of chemical resist with the negative as you mentioned. Considering the existence of the smaller partial blackless errors also found in the general wherabouts of NNOF packs, do you think the "chemical resist" hypothesis is still likely? I always wondered what sequence of events could produce both types of errors, and what this tells us about the causation.

We have the NNOF press run, with 14 affected cards. Two blue plate scratches run vertically down the uncut sheet, one goes down column 4, and is visible on the Nolan Ryan, Kenny Rogers, Zeile, Steve Olin, Ventura and Canale. The other goes down column 5 and can be seen on Steve Searcy, Bob Knepper, Tapani, and Assenmacher.
Another press run has small blackless areas and fainter blue plate scratches. You can only see the blue line on the Tapani and the Nolan Ryan. The blackless areas are small and located on the Biggio and Thomas (pictured below), Tapani, Morris and Lawton.
A third press run is similar but has even smaller blackless area on the Lawton.
A fourth press run has blackless areas that can only be seen on a high resolution scanner. I have examples from all four press runs if you would like to see scans.





Last edited by West; 08-05-2020 at 07:48 PM.
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  #125  
Old 08-05-2020, 10:37 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Offset lithography and gravure are entirely different processes. Gravure is more like intaglio (engraving) than lithography.

The basics of it, that the black plate wasn't made correctly is correct.

In Offset lithography the blanket doesn't put the ink on the plate, but accepts it from the plate. The plate gets it from the inking rollers.
Ink fount/inking rollers/plate/blanket/substrate.

Here's the process for making an aluminum offset lithography plate.
With a few small changes this is what was done at the shop I worked for.
Like we had the negatives and masks taped together along with the registration marks. And our plates were a different color.
Not any big difference
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr1-CCpvB74

Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXA8WkEORM8




Quote:
Originally Posted by saucywombat View Post
Having contemplated this issue in depth and given that a lot of information is buried under the sheer size and volume of the PSA Forum thread, I have copied a 2017 post I made there regarding the source of the error in the printing process.

ITS HONESTLY VERY COMPLICATED! And not in any way a sort of a Guttenberg press sort of affair, especially at the volume that Topps was producing what is essentially cardboard packaging. If you can take the time to read all of this and the related links, its very interesting in that you will see the issues that create every type of printing error that we as collectors find on baseball cards.

If you aren't interested in reading, essentially the Thomas and related errors come from either the chemical developing of the photographic negative of the cards for the black plate or the subsequent step of chemically etching those negatives onto the physical metal plate.

The physical metal plates accept ink from the blankets. Due to the issues with the plate itself, the plate did not accept black ink from the blankets (in the areas we find the errors). The plate itself literally is worn out by the production process and must eventually be replaced. Topps would have worn out many plates during any given years production. This wearing out process explains the slight variances between the cards.

IMO - Dave
************************************************** *********

Well first let me say that the four color printing process, a variation of gravure printing, that produces baseball cards, most commercial cardboard packaging and newspaper, is a process that an immense amount of variables play in to. A quick web search will reveal a great deal of scholarly (include complex physics) energy is devoted to perfecting the process. Think fluid dynamics, capillary actions, heat, pressure, static electricity, viscosity, paper quality, ideal chemical properties, speed of rollers, thickness or rollers, tension between rollers, etc.

It defies a short explanation so if anyone is so inclined, check out printwiki.org/Gravure
Pretty interesting

Another good site which shows common defects in the 4 color process (and basic catalog of every PD in the history of Topps) see http://www.offsetprintingtechnology....roubleshooting

Gravure printing involves at its heart the engraving of an image onto a printing plate. in the mid-19th century processes were developed to allow for the chemical etching of photographic images into metal. This allowed for the first time for photographic images to be accurately reproduced through press printing (as it was not possible to perfectly reproduce by hand on to the plate). Interestingly today it is possible to physically etch an image with digital technology which can eliminate the chemical process but not possible in 1990.

So at some point Topps photographed and developed the the "F" plate black image. This is when the most likely error occurred that produced the blackless area on the F sheet.

Undeveloped patches are a known problem in developing photographic prints, which would be loosely defined as an area of the negative that has been unaffected by processing solutions. This may have gone unnoticed and the image transferred to the plate.

Also a possibility is that a chemical process is used to etch the photographic negative into the plate. So a perfectly good image can be distorted if the chemical etching process does not go well. I think this is probably what we are looking at with the "F" plate. In this example of the process you can easily see how bubbling or streaking of the sort present on the "F" sheet are easily made during the application of the image to the roller plate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwPVKJmElbU

The image in the video is known as a "resist". Problems that occur in rotogravure printing can include the resist not being properly applied. The video above shows a simplified process (usually the resist stays adhered longer to the plate for the image to be properly transferred). The resist usually requires a more involved process for stripping it away from the plate. Sometimes the resist (or parts there of) remain adhered to the plate. This is a very plausible explanation for the errors. To me it seems clear from the type of blackless areas produced and the quantity in which they were produced point clearly to an issue created by the production of the photographic image that produced the resist or its application or removal from the black "F" plate.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:43 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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What I'm saying is that something - tape, a paper scrap, whatever that was opaque got into the machine that exposes the plate. and prevented the areas that got missed from being exposed.

Could it be that the person making the plate missed an area that big while using the developer? Possibly. Large shops, which would have been Topps or whoever they used might have had an automatic plate developer.
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Old 08-08-2020, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
What I'm saying is that something - tape, a paper scrap, whatever that was opaque got into the machine that exposes the plate. and prevented the areas that got missed from being exposed.

Could it be that the person making the plate missed an area that big while using the developer? Possibly. Large shops, which would have been Topps or whoever they used might have had an automatic plate developer.

Very informative video in your last post. I often wondered how plates were shipped and packaged. I see the plates in that video are stacked in a package of 100 or so with opaque tissue paper between them that prevents light exposure from damaging the light sensitive coating on the plates.

I've always felt that the existence of the smaller partial blackless errors holds the key to understanding the cause of the larger blackless errors. For instance, there are up to 4 variations on the Marcus Lawton error:




Tapani:







The NNOF plate blackless images of Tapani and Lawton I got from the web. I don't have copies of these cards but all the other cards pictured came from packs that also produced cards from the NNOF print run - partial blackless Frank Thomas, a blackless John Hart and Jim Acker, Nolan Ryan and Kenny Rogers blue line card, etc. Also, when Rookiewax on the CU boards first found NNOF in a case in 2009, that case also produced partial blackless variations of the Tapani and Lawto, so we know they are related. Not only that, but two of the Tapanis also bear the blue line (plate scratch) that is a signifier of the NNOF run. All cards have varying degrees of blackless. And if you look at the last couple Tapanis and Lawtons, you can see they have blackless areas that are similar but shifted down 1/2". The last images are cards I found that at first appeared normal (the error had been found, a repair had been made, new plates ordered up, and printing resumed). But on second look I found the most minute areas of missing black ink (see arrows)

So, would this evidence point more to a negative (mask) being damaged or the plate? I feel it is more likely that a series of plates were damaged or exposed. Is it possible that a series of plates that were stacked on top of each other were exposed or damaged in the same general area, with the top plate being the NNOF plate, the next plate down the partial blackless variations that I have pictured, and additional plates affected to smaller degrees. Also, we know that most printers printed all black ink one day, then a different color the next. I have found green sheet blackless errors that reside in the exact same location on the uncut sheet as orange sheet NNOF errors:




Curious what some of our printing experts think of these variations.

Last edited by West; 08-08-2020 at 06:35 PM.
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  #128  
Old 08-08-2020, 06:11 PM
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Your pictures aren't showing up.
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  #129  
Old 08-08-2020, 06:33 PM
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Fixed, I think. I was trying to do it through Google Photos but linking photos through a message board doesn't work.
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  #130  
Old 09-07-2020, 08:18 PM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-Topps-...4AAOSwblBfQbVa

looks like a pack is for sale from a 1990 printing error box...if anyone here buys it, please share the findings.

Last edited by hockeyhockey; 09-07-2020 at 08:19 PM.
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  #131  
Old 09-07-2020, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyhockey View Post
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-Topps-...4AAOSwblBfQbVa

looks like a pack is for sale from a 1990 printing error box...if anyone here buys it, please share the findings.

If everybody wants to chip in, I will buy this and open it on live stream.
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  #132  
Old 09-08-2020, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowpopper View Post
If everybody wants to chip in, I will buy this and open it on live stream.
$50 a person, 15 cards = $750. should cover the tax and shipping.

i'm in if 13 others jump in too.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyhockey View Post
$50 a person, 15 cards = $750. should cover the tax and shipping.

i'm in if 13 others jump in too.
Sounds reasonable. Let's see who else wants in. I'll do it 100%.
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  #134  
Old 09-10-2020, 09:34 PM
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I found one of the partial missing ink Frank Thomas cards in my collection last year. Unfortunately I have no clue where I got it. What kind of value do these partials have?
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File Type: jpg thomas2.jpg (74.0 KB, 145 views)
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  #135  
Old 09-11-2020, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slidekellyslide View Post
I found one of the partial missing ink Frank Thomas cards in my collection last year. Unfortunately I have no clue where I got it. What kind of value do these partials have?
Those are becoming exceedingly hard to find. That is not a junk card

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  #136  
Old 09-11-2020, 12:28 PM
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Interesting card Dan. If the illustration above about how the defect occurred on the known affected cards is correct ( similar to illustration in CU. thread) would this be a transition error or a separate defect altogether ?

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 09-11-2020 at 01:30 PM.
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  #137  
Old 09-11-2020, 01:05 PM
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I'd say it's a different error altogether, since all of the black borders are visible on the outer border. So it's really independent of the original issue.
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  #138  
Old 09-11-2020, 01:31 PM
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Agree John. Maybe one of print experts can chime in
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  #139  
Old 09-11-2020, 10:26 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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I'd have to compare to be more sure of a couple things, but
Short answer
It's a different error from a different black plate

Longer answer
If the obstruction on the original error plate was something like tape, It's possible the tape wasn't completely removed, and a small remnant was still there to obscure the replacement plate.
More likely if all the missing border bits fit inside the NNOF missing black area.
Far less likely if any of the missing bits are outside that area.

So it could be a follow on partial correction, or a totally different issue.
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Old 09-12-2020, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
I'd have to compare to be more sure of a couple things, but
Short answer
It's a different error from a different black plate

Longer answer
If the obstruction on the original error plate was something like tape, It's possible the tape wasn't completely removed, and a small remnant was still there to obscure the replacement plate.
More likely if all the missing border bits fit inside the NNOF missing black area.
Far less likely if any of the missing bits are outside that area.

So it could be a follow on partial correction, or a totally different issue.

It is directly related to the NNOF as these were found in the only known case to have NNOF by CU member Rookiewax in 2009. These Thomas partial blackless are from the same print run as the other partial missing black cards (Lawton, Tapani) I have scans of in my post 12 posts back from 8/8/20. I have all the cards from this press run if you guys want scans. Morris and Biggio are also affected.
Additionally, the partially affected Tapani has the same blue plate scratch as the fully affected Tapani from the NNOF press run, just slightly more faded. You can see it in the scan, it is in the exact same location on his face (runs vertically from the “E” in Kevin up through his nose then through the top border).



Last edited by West; 09-12-2020 at 06:33 PM.
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  #141  
Old 09-12-2020, 04:52 PM
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If it is a transition misprint how did it occur ?
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  #142  
Old 09-12-2020, 05:03 PM
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Yeah, correlation does not imply causation, as I learned in science. They could be an interim printing stage, but they're much more likely to be a replacement of the printing plates with their own flaws, IMO. Which those were then further corrected.

Add: I recall someone saying that Topps likely had 7 printing presses, with each needing a set of plates. Not sure how true that is, but this could show that one set of plates had one set of errors (regular NNOF and other blackless partial border/background cards), then a different set of plates had these errors you're spotting (two gaps Frank Thomas, Tapani gap).
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Last edited by swarmee; 09-12-2020 at 05:06 PM.
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  #143  
Old 09-12-2020, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
Yeah, correlation does not imply causation, as I learned in science. They could be an interim printing stage, but they're much more likely to be a replacement of the printing plates with their own flaws, IMO. Which those were then further corrected.

Add: I recall someone saying that Topps likely had 7 printing presses, with each needing a set of plates. Not sure how true that is, but this could show that one set of plates had one set of errors (regular NNOF and other blackless partial border/background cards), then a different set of plates had these errors you're spotting (two gaps Frank Thomas, Tapani gap).
I think you misunderstood my post. I fully agree with you - these smaller errors were not “caused” by the NNOF. But they are closely related. By that I mean it is 99% certain that these errors were subsequent or simultaneously printed alongside the NNOF at the factory. There is almost no other way they end up next to each other in packs of the same case when you consider the sheer volume of Topps printing back then.

I believe it is possible there were a series of bad plates or negatives in sequence as I posited above in my post on 8/8. Would love to hear other ideas/theories.
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  #144  
Old 09-12-2020, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post

Add: I recall someone saying that Topps likely had 7 printing presses, with each needing a set of plates. Not sure how true that is, but this could show that one set of plates had one set of errors (regular NNOF and other blackless partial border/background cards), then a different set of plates had these errors you're spotting (two gaps Frank Thomas, Tapani gap).
That was me, in this and several other threads about Topps production. That info came from a former pressman at Quebecor who was interviewed by SCD. It was 6 presses. I believe your theory there is correct. The question is was it a bad negative/mask, or an improperly exposed or damaged plate? We may never know, but I always thought the affected cards with minor gaps/border breaks might hold some evidence of causation.
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  #145  
Old 09-12-2020, 10:35 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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On both the Tapani and Thomas partial black missing the missing area is completely inside the area missing from the NNOF sheet cards.

I really believe this points at a piece of opaque tape being in the plate exposing machine. When it was removed, a few remnants were still on the glass and messed up a second plate.
I suspect on the next black plate made.
It doesn't surprise me that the guy who missed a big piece of tape would miss remnants when he tore that big piece of tape off the glass.
The plate maker at the place I worked would have caught hell for letting either of those go to the pressroom.
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  #146  
Old 09-23-2020, 06:37 AM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-Topps-...oAAOSwiZpfVnjq

anyone familiar with these codes on the box? i recall someone on here saying that number tells you when the boxes were made and on what shift, and other stuff.
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  #147  
Old 09-23-2020, 07:20 AM
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It says it's a vending case. I don't remember any NNOFs coming from Vending, only very early wax packs, and I guess rack packs sent to military bases overseas.
So it's really inappropriate of the seller to put "Frank Thomas NNOF" in the subject line.
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  #148  
Old 09-23-2020, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyhockey View Post
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-Topps-...oAAOSwiZpfVnjq

anyone familiar with these codes on the box? i recall someone on here saying that number tells you when the boxes were made and on what shift, and other stuff.
951-90 is the product code for vending case. "130101" visible on the far right of the box in the first picture. That is the serial number (that would also be found on the bill of lading) indicating it was shipped to a buyer on March 1, 1990 by the first shift of that day.

Cases were stamped as the order was filled for shipping, by the shipping department. Not at the printers or after the cards went into the packs and cases. Based on what I have seen so far, I do not believe the serial numbers will be useful for finding the NNOF. This is not the same situation as the '89 Fleer Billy Ripken FF.
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  #149  
Old 09-23-2020, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West View Post
951-90 is the product code for vending case. "130101" visible on the far right of the box in the first picture. That is the serial number (that would also be found on the bill of lading) indicating it was shipped to a buyer on March 1, 1990 by the first shift of that day.

Cases were stamped as the order was filled for shipping, by the shipping department. Not at the printers or after the cards went into the packs and cases. Based on what I have seen so far, I do not believe the serial numbers will be useful for finding the NNOF. This is not the same situation as the '89 Fleer Billy Ripken FF.
thanks for the info. as john said, not very cool to label it the way the seller did. but people do what they do i guess.
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  #150  
Old 09-29-2020, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyhockey View Post
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-Topps-...4AAOSwblBfQbVa

looks like a pack is for sale from a 1990 printing error box...if anyone here buys it, please share the findings.
There were two for sale. I just bought one. If anyone is interested in a live stream opening let me know.
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