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  #101  
Old 06-15-2020, 06:52 PM
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I donít know if this one was an intentional variation. Virtually zero publicity for this card until a tiny blurb in the annual Beckett stating its ďdiscoveryĒ in 1999. Ten years later! And I believe this note wasnít even added to the books until the 2002 annual.
I collected A LOT of '89 Fleer and was shocked to hear about the RJ versions over 10 years later. How did it take so long for someone to discover this? RJ was a notable rookie. To be corrected so early and only on the RJ cards is puzzling.
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  #102  
Old 06-16-2020, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jacksoncoupage View Post
I donít know if this one was an intentional variation. Virtually zero publicity for this card until a tiny blurb in the annual Beckett stating its ďdiscoveryĒ in 1999. Ten years later! And I believe this note wasnít even added to the books until the 2002 annual.

As for the why...From a production standpoint, could Randy have seen the card and complained about it post production? We know that Fleer was printing and distributing cards by mid-November 1988. Maybe earlier, but unverified, if so. We know that by mid-November the card had seen multiple cover-up attempts. Did Randy somehow see one of the few clear examples immediately upon release and object to the ad? How did he see it so quickly? Iíve never heard of a card company sending proofs to players before production. I donít believe that is a thing. Very odd but Iím doubtful that Randyís objection is the cause for it.

Whatís really surprising to me is that nobody has managed to track down someone in the know. No Fleer people on the record even sharing conjecture, questionable memories.
That might be the most frustrating part - from a collectors standpoint. The fact that no one has gone on record from Fleer about this whole thing. It isn't like they need to stay secretive or protect themselves, given they are now a defunct company.

Just weird, really.
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  #103  
Old 06-18-2020, 09:53 AM
Hatorade Hatorade is offline
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I'm sure it's been discussed - but why was only the Johnson card targeted for correction? Is there a story behind it?
The other cards in the set with Marlboro ads either show small portions of the sign or the sign in the background is out of focus. I think Fleerís biggest concern was running afoul of The Comprehensive Smoking Education Act that was implemented a couple years earlier. The ad on the RJ card is in the middle of the image, perfectly in focus with the Marlboro lettering and the Marlboro Man being almost on display.

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Originally Posted by Statfreak101 View Post
With that said - the million dollar question. Why the heck wasn't the black box/corrected version just done right away?
It seems that the method Fleer used to cover the ad for the common cards wasnít an immediate solution that was available to them. I think they wanted to at least show some due diligence and obscure the tobacco advertising as best as they could while the more permanent fix was in the works.

Was the Ripken FF immediately corrected or is anyone willing to share how long it took Fleer for the common version of that card to come out after the discovery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksoncoupage View Post
Whatís really surprising to me is that nobody has managed to track down someone in the know. No Fleer people on the record even sharing conjecture, questionable memories.
I sent an email to Ted Taylor, who was a former spokesman or VP for Fleer, a few years ago inquiring about the Marlboro variations. He replied to me with this:
ďSorry I cannot help. I joined Fleer in January, 1992. In fact I never heard
anyone speak of any variations there except the Billy Ripken. As for
pointing you in another direction I'm afraid I can't help there either.
Fleer is dead and gone and the employees are spread all over the place.Ē

I came across some info on another fleer employee from around that time period, but I canít locate it anymore. It sure would be cool to hear the true story about these cards from someone that was involved.
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  #104  
Old 06-18-2020, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatorade View Post
The other cards in the set with Marlboro ads either show small portions of the sign or the sign in the background is out of focus. I think Fleerís biggest concern was running afoul of The Comprehensive Smoking Education Act that was implemented a couple years earlier. The ad on the RJ card is in the middle of the image, perfectly in focus with the Marlboro lettering and the Marlboro Man being almost on display.



It seems that the method Fleer used to cover the ad for the common cards wasnít an immediate solution that was available to them. I think they wanted to at least show some due diligence and obscure the tobacco advertising as best as they could while the more permanent fix was in the works.

Was the Ripken FF immediately corrected or is anyone willing to share how long it took Fleer for the common version of that card to come out after the discovery?



I sent an email to Ted Taylor, who was a former spokesman or VP for Fleer, a few years ago inquiring about the Marlboro variations. He replied to me with this:
ďSorry I cannot help. I joined Fleer in January, 1992. In fact I never heard
anyone speak of any variations there except the Billy Ripken. As for
pointing you in another direction I'm afraid I can't help there either.
Fleer is dead and gone and the employees are spread all over the place.Ē

I came across some info on another fleer employee from around that time period, but I canít locate it anymore. It sure would be cool to hear the true story about these cards from someone that was involved.
That might be the best way to get some more information on this whole thing - ex Fleer employees. They should have nothing holding them back from divulging information, other than their own personal benefit and knowledge.

I know Frank Mustin, who was the grandson and involved has since passed away.
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  #105  
Old 06-18-2020, 03:08 PM
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That might be the best way to get some more information on this whole thing - ex Fleer employees. They should have nothing holding them back from divulging information, other than their own personal benefit and knowledge.

I know Frank Mustin, who was the grandson and involved has since passed away.
I would guess it has been too long for them to remember much of anything. I know a ton of former Score employees. From the janitor to the guy running the plant and many in between. Not a one of them can remember anything from 30 years ago. To them it was just another crappy job that put food on the table.
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  #106  
Old 06-18-2020, 06:19 PM
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To them it was just another crappy job that put food on the table.
The sad but very understandable truth.
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  #107  
Old 06-19-2020, 09:41 AM
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From Hatoradeís amazing flikr collection, my nominee for rarest of the box versions. What should this strange, inverted color scheme be called? And if Iím wrong and someone has 200 of them, feel free to let me know!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rjmarl...g/40182763012/

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  #108  
Old 06-19-2020, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksoncoupage View Post
From Hatoradeís amazing flikr collection, my nominee for rarest of the box versions. What should this strange, inverted color scheme be called? And if Iím wrong and someone has 200 of them, feel free to let me know!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rjmarl...g/40182763012/

I am horrible at identifying versions from internet pictures. Since you said inverted colors I am fairly sure what version this is. I don't have 200 but I have more than one.

I will try and get up a pic of mine later today.
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  #109  
Old 06-19-2020, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksoncoupage View Post
From Hatoradeís amazing flikr collection, my nominee for rarest of the box versions. What should this strange, inverted color scheme be called? And if Iím wrong and someone has 200 of them, feel free to let me know!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rjmarl...g/40182763012/

After several attempts I got these 2 pictures. Pretty sure this is the same version as the one in the link.
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File Type: jpg rj2.jpg (77.4 KB, 369 views)
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  #110  
Old 06-19-2020, 02:39 PM
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I still have one of these also. I will post a pic when I get home.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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  #111  
Old 06-19-2020, 03:02 PM
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This is a cool one. I think this is the same version.
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  #112  
Old 06-19-2020, 05:28 PM
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Yes, those are all examples of them. I have just one among all of my box variations. And what a weird way to ďcorrectĒ or cover up the ad!
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  #113  
Old 06-24-2020, 08:18 AM
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This is a cool one. I think this is the same version.
I believe I pulled this version last night out of an early run box from a sealed case.

I will send pics when I get a chance.
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  #114  
Old 06-26-2020, 05:04 PM
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Still related to 1989 Fleer, but not as 'clear' as the RJ Marlboro here are a couple others that also have the sign in the backdrop or atleast a part of it.
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  #115  
Old 06-30-2020, 11:16 AM
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Still related to 1989 Fleer, but not as 'clear' as the RJ Marlboro here are a couple others that also have the sign in the backdrop or atleast a part of it.
Thanks for sharing - to the untrained eye, that looks to be the same background/ballpark in each card.
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  #116  
Old 07-02-2020, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksoncoupage View Post
From Hatoradeís amazing flikr collection, my nominee for rarest of the box versions. What should this strange, inverted color scheme be called? And if Iím wrong and someone has 200 of them, feel free to let me know!
We ended up calling these cards "negatives" because the way the ad appears kind of reminded us of the old photo negatives from camera film. The red one you linked is the lightly tinted form and then they become darker all the way up to the dark "black box" version from your website we referenced earlier.

After looking at the 1987 Donn Jennings Randy Johnson card I think not only did he have no problem being associated with tobacco, but maybe he has a thing for appearing next to the Marlboro ads?
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  #117  
Old 07-03-2020, 12:22 AM
jacksoncoupage jacksoncoupage is offline
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We ended up calling these cards "negatives" because the way the ad appears kind of reminded us of the old photo negatives from camera film. The red one you linked is the lightly tinted form and then they become darker all the way up to the dark "black box" version from your website we referenced earlier.

After looking at the 1987 Donn Jennings Randy Johnson card I think not only did he have no problem being associated with tobacco, but maybe he has a thing for appearing next to the Marlboro ads?
I am thinking something similar. Considering the other 1988, 1989 and 1990 Fleer cards with prominent Marlboro (and other cigarette and alcohol ads), I think there is another, yet revealed, reason for the cover-up.
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  #118  
Old 07-03-2020, 12:35 PM
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After looking at the 1987 Donn Jennings Randy Johnson card I think not only did he have no problem being associated with tobacco, but maybe he has a thing for appearing next to the Marlboro ads?
I don't think the name on the back of that jersey says 'Johnson'. The last letter looks like an 'S'.
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  #119  
Old 07-04-2020, 02:36 PM
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Glad I'm not the only one to notice that.
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  #120  
Old 07-16-2020, 04:56 PM
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Fun thread have enjoyed the read.

Related fun card (I believe) is 1989 Topps Steve Searcy, where a difference in cropping was made that obscures the Marlboro ad. Earlier versions show the ad more clearly later ones don't.

Now all the 1989 Topps Future Stars have these slight cropping variations, so it made me wonder if these differences are perhaps all tied to making a change to the Searcy card to hide the Marlboro ad. Only the Future Stars cards have these cropping differences (and they appear on different printing sheets) so it can reasonably assumed that the cropping was intentionally done for some reason.
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  #121  
Old 07-18-2020, 02:38 PM
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I don't think the name on the back of that jersey says 'Johnson'. The last letter looks like an 'S'.
I'm 99% sure is says Expos. You can see an E on the back of some other players in their Jacksonville team sets.

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Fun thread have enjoyed the read.
Related fun card (I believe) is 1989 Topps Steve Searcy, where a difference in cropping was made that obscures the Marlboro ad. Earlier versions show the ad more clearly later ones don't.
Now all the 1989 Topps Future Stars have these slight cropping variations, so it made me wonder if these differences are perhaps all tied to making a change to the Searcy card to hide the Marlboro ad. Only the Future Stars cards have these cropping differences (and they appear on different printing sheets) so it can reasonably assumed that the cropping was intentionally done for some reason.
It sure does seem the cropping changes were done to obscure the Marlboro advertisement. I was unaware of these 1989 Topps variations. Thank you for pointing to a 2nd example and 2nd manufacturer that year that covered a tobacco ad by editing it out during production, which is another interesting clue.

We've discussed the Clear/Blue, Fish and Negative versions of these error variations a little. That leaves the Marlboro, Red, Greens and...what else??Steve posted a really cool picture of some of his Marlboro versions on another site and hopefully he'll share it here as well. Who else has some images of their other versions they would like to share?
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  #122  
Old 07-18-2020, 11:55 PM
jacksoncoupage jacksoncoupage is offline
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It sure does seem the cropping changes were done to obscure the Marlboro advertisement. I was unaware of these 1989 Topps variations. Thank you for pointing to a 2nd example and 2nd manufacturer that year that covered a tobacco ad by editing it out during production, which is another interesting clue.
I disagree with this new theory. I do believe that they made a design change because of the Future Stars type and how it fit with the photo size and uniformity of the set’s design. The Searcy is a coincidence and I’m fairly certain that other 1989 Topps (and other brands) have cards showing the cigarette signs in the background.

See also the Gregg Jefferies card on 1989 wax boxes and the multiple changes that the Sheffield went through.
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Last edited by jacksoncoupage; 07-18-2020 at 11:56 PM.
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  #123  
Old 07-19-2020, 11:21 AM
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I'm 99% sure is says Expos. You can see an E on the back of some other players in their Jacksonville team sets.



It sure does seem the cropping changes were done to obscure the Marlboro advertisement. I was unaware of these 1989 Topps variations. Thank you for pointing to a 2nd example and 2nd manufacturer that year that covered a tobacco ad by editing it out during production, which is another interesting clue.

We've discussed the Clear/Blue, Fish and Negative versions of these error variations a little. That leaves the Marlboro, Red, Greens and...what else??Steve posted a really cool picture of some of his Marlboro versions on another site and hopefully he'll share it here as well. Who else has some images of their other versions they would like to share?

Sure, Hatorade. I've always been fascinated with this Marlboro version since I was a kid and my cousin pointed it out to me. Once I came back into the hobby I've focused on examples with the most clarity of the sign (i.e., being able to clearly see each letter in the word Marlboro and the cowboy). I've found clearness to be a continuous variable though (without completely defined levels). I've never tried to draw it out but this has sort of been my way of thinking about clarity and the tint versions. Of course it gets trickier when you have green tint over red scribbling, etc. I'm not claiming this rough sketch is entirely accurate but I hope to try to add to it.

My pipe dream would be to flesh this out to categorize all of the versions and then get population counts (at least for PSA graded cards) for all of the different versions. Assuming we put some numeric clarity scale on the Y-axis, it would be great to be able to note that a card was G1 (i.e., "clearest" green tint) or R3_4 (i.e., looks like it falls between clarity 3 and 4 for a red tint version) and others would know exactly which version you are talking about. Just a few random thoughts. Steve
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  #124  
Old 07-19-2020, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatorade View Post
I'm 99% sure is says Expos. You can see an E on the back of some other players in their Jacksonville team sets.



It sure does seem the cropping changes were done to obscure the Marlboro advertisement. I was unaware of these 1989 Topps variations. Thank you for pointing to a 2nd example and 2nd manufacturer that year that covered a tobacco ad by editing it out during production, which is another interesting clue.

We've discussed the Clear/Blue, Fish and Negative versions of these error variations a little. That leaves the Marlboro, Red, Greens and...what else??Steve posted a really cool picture of some of his Marlboro versions on another site and hopefully he'll share it here as well. Who else has some images of their other versions they would like to share?

Also, during the recent downtime, I scanned some of my clearest PSA graded ("no-tint") examples using the same scanner with same scan settings. Here is that picture in case anyone is interested. All of the cards pictured except the clearest version one (i.e., N1, or "no tint" clarity 1) would fall in the N2 ("no tint" clarity 2) bin.


https://imgur.com/a/DgBH8Yh

Last edited by steve5838; 07-19-2020 at 02:50 PM.
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  #125  
Old 07-20-2020, 10:37 AM
saucywombat saucywombat is offline
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Originally Posted by steve5838 View Post
Sure, Hatorade. I've always been fascinated with this Marlboro version since I was a kid and my cousin pointed it out to me. Once I came back into the hobby I've focused on examples with the most clarity of the sign (i.e., being able to clearly see each letter in the word Marlboro and the cowboy). I've found clearness to be a continuous variable though (without completely defined levels). I've never tried to draw it out but this has sort of been my way of thinking about clarity and the tint versions. Of course it gets trickier when you have green tint over red scribbling, etc. I'm not claiming this rough sketch is entirely accurate but I hope to try to add to it.

My pipe dream would be to flesh this out to categorize all of the versions and then get population counts (at least for PSA graded cards) for all of the different versions. Assuming we put some numeric clarity scale on the Y-axis, it would be great to be able to note that a card was G1 (i.e., "clearest" green tint) or R3_4 (i.e., looks like it falls between clarity 3 and 4 for a red tint version) and others would know exactly which version you are talking about. Just a few random thoughts. Steve
This is great
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  #126  
Old 07-22-2020, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by steve5838 View Post
Sure, Hatorade. I've always been fascinated with this Marlboro version since I was a kid and my cousin pointed it out to me. Once I came back into the hobby I've focused on examples with the most clarity of the sign (i.e., being able to clearly see each letter in the word Marlboro and the cowboy). I've found clearness to be a continuous variable though (without completely defined levels). I've never tried to draw it out but this has sort of been my way of thinking about clarity and the tint versions. Of course it gets trickier when you have green tint over red scribbling, etc. I'm not claiming this rough sketch is entirely accurate but I hope to try to add to it.

My pipe dream would be to flesh this out to categorize all of the versions and then get population counts (at least for PSA graded cards) for all of the different versions. Assuming we put some numeric clarity scale on the Y-axis, it would be great to be able to note that a card was G1 (i.e., "clearest" green tint) or R3_4 (i.e., looks like it falls between clarity 3 and 4 for a red tint version) and others would know exactly which version you are talking about. Just a few random thoughts. Steve
You're really on the right track with this. One hint I can suggest is that there are at least two separate, but very similar red tint lineages. I've attached a couple images of 1 of the darker versions of each of these 2 red attempts, which would be at the bottom of each of the two red columns on your chart. Iíve also included another image of the dark blue I have for the bottom of the blue column.
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File Type: jpg 3182128E-2572-4358-8EB1-14FC4A54F7BE.jpg (16.3 KB, 233 views)
File Type: jpg CCC84083-A3DC-4C47-953C-FD6D0BE78B79.jpg (7.0 KB, 225 views)
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  #127  
Old 07-24-2020, 07:51 PM
Statfreak101 Statfreak101 is online now
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Was just thinking of this while watching the Twins/Sox game...

Has anyone ever seen a cello or rack showing a Johnson Marlboro version on top?
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  #128  
Old 07-25-2020, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatorade View Post
You're really on the right track with this. One hint I can suggest is that there are at least two separate, but very similar red tint lineages. I've attached a couple images of 1 of the darker versions of each of these 2 red attempts, which would be at the bottom of each of the two red columns on your chart. Iíve also included another image of the dark blue I have for the bottom of the blue column.

Thanks! You have many many more of the versions than I do! I wonder if it makes sense to edit the sketch, putting the clearest version on the very top (since it is highest on the clarity scale) and the completely blacked out version on the very bottom (since it is lowest on the clarity scale). All of the other versions fall between these two extremes (so those pictures would be in the middle). Then, I could replace the "no tint" label with "light red tint" (so the four columns across the x-axis would be "light red tint", "blue tint", "green tint", and "dark red tint")?
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  #129  
Old 07-26-2020, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by steve5838 View Post
Thanks! You have many many more of the versions than I do! I wonder if it makes sense to edit the sketch, putting the clearest version on the very top (since it is highest on the clarity scale) and the completely blacked out version on the very bottom (since it is lowest on the clarity scale). All of the other versions fall between these two extremes (so those pictures would be in the middle). Then, I could replace the "no tint" label with "light red tint" (so the four columns across the x-axis would be "light red tint", "blue tint", "green tint", and "dark red tint")?
You would remove the clear tint column. The top card from that column would be moved to the top of the blue column. That card and Kevin's card would be the two known copies in the clear range of the blue run and go at the top of the column. It would be very interesting to see the two card together, it's likely there is a slight discrepancy in the amount of blue tint between the two clear blue cards. Then there are 4 or 5 known mid-blue copies that would follow those two in the column and then the 1 known copy of the blue box at the bottom. That makes up all the known blue cards and highlights how rare the clear/blue run is. There are likely to be a few more blue cards that pop up and could be placed into their appropriate positions in the blue column. To add the grading element you suggested. The top grade for a clear version is tied at PSA 9, mid-blue 2 PSA 9's and of the top blue box version is currently an PSA 8.

It looks like the next two cards remaining from the clear column would be moved to the top of the current red column. The last remaining image in the old clear column would be moved to the top to start a red 2 column. You would also add 2 columns for each fish version and 1 for the negatives that we've talked about earlier. Then things get pretty interesting for the greens. There appears to me to be a minimum of 4 or 5 different green runs so it gets a little tougher for them. Fortunately, with some of the characteristic feature I mentioned earlier you can do some separating within the different versions.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:13 PM
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You would remove the clear tint column. The top card from that column would be moved to the top of the blue column. That card and Kevin's card would be the two known copies in the clear range of the blue run and go at the top of the column. It would be very interesting to see the two card together, it's likely there is a slight discrepancy in the amount of blue tint between the two clear blue cards. Then there are 4 or 5 known mid-blue copies that would follow those two in the column and then the 1 known copy of the blue box at the bottom. That makes up all the known blue cards and highlights how rare the clear/blue run is. There are likely to be a few more blue cards that pop up and could be placed into their appropriate positions in the blue column. To add the grading element you suggested. The top grade for a clear version is tied at PSA 9, mid-blue 2 PSA 9's and of the top blue box version is currently an PSA 8.

It looks like the next two cards remaining from the clear column would be moved to the top of the current red column. The last remaining image in the old clear column would be moved to the top to start a red 2 column. You would also add 2 columns for each fish version and 1 for the negatives that we've talked about earlier. Then things get pretty interesting for the greens. There appears to me to be a minimum of 4 or 5 different green runs so it gets a little tougher for them. Fortunately, with some of the characteristic feature I mentioned earlier you can do some separating within the different versions.
Why would you put the clearest version in the blue group? That scan shows less red than I have seen in other scans of the 2 known clearest versions. To me it would be the the lightest red tint.

I also have one of the blue box cards. Pretty sure I have posted a pic of it.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:03 PM
Hatorade Hatorade is offline
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Why would you put the clearest version in the blue group? That scan shows less red than I have seen in other scans of the 2 known clearest versions. To me it would be the the lightest red tint.

I also have one of the blue box cards. Pretty sure I have posted a pic of it.
That's a great question Ben. I believe your blue card is the one you posted about in this thread, correct?

https://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=218755

With your card you can read the lettering in Marlboro pretty well in the scan despite the amount of tinting over the ad. Your card was one of the 4 or 5 that will fall in the mid-blue level on Steve's chart. With the blue box version I referenced you are unable to view the Marlboro lettering in the scan of the card and appears very much like some other "box" versions, but unlike those other versions with the blue box card in hand, you can still read the letters in Marlboro. The blue box version is the 3rd image on post #41.

To follow up with your question, the lightest known red versions are the cards like the bottom three cards from the none column. As you mentioned, the "clear" card that I suggested be moved to top of the blue column has very little to no red tinting on the card and as the card does gain tinting over the ad its blue tinting and not red so it gets progressively bluer and not more red with additional tint. With the way Fleer produced the cards the clear versions go from clear to mid-blue to blue box and why I suggest that the top card in the none column and Kevin's card go atop the future blue column. This is also why I suggested the other cards in the none column be moved to the top of 2 future red columns. As these 2 red run of cards gain more tint they become darker red and become so much darker red they transition to the two other cards I included in post #41.

I also suggested that he add two columns to his chart for the fish versions. If you look at the 2 different albums of the versions of the fish on my Flickr page you'll notice that the cards are setup in similar fashion to what Steve is suggesting in his chart. The top cards have very little tinting and the cards at the bottom have so much tinting that they transition into "box" versions. The cards transitioning is not a coincidence, but how Fleer covered the error.

By making some changes to his chart I think we can highlight the different versions and how each version transitions in a lineage from light to darker. I don't have it 100% figured out at this point, but if I'm wrong I think it will come out pretty quick by trying to develop the chart further. If I'm right filling in the gaps will be fun and give us a better understanding of the errors.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:22 PM
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That's a great question Ben. I believe your blue card is the one you posted about in this thread, correct?

https://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=218755

With your card you can read the lettering in Marlboro pretty well in the scan despite the amount of tinting over the ad. Your card was one of the 4 or 5 that will fall in the mid-blue level on Steve's chart. With the blue box version I referenced you are unable to view the Marlboro lettering in the scan of the card and appears very much like some other "box" versions, but unlike those other versions with the blue box card in hand, you can still read the letters in Marlboro. The blue box version is the 3rd image on post #41.

To follow up with your question, the lightest known red versions are the cards like the bottom three cards from the none column. As you mentioned, the "clear" card that I suggested be moved to top of the blue column has very little to no red tinting on the card and as the card does gain tinting over the ad its blue tinting and not red so it gets progressively bluer and not more red with additional tint. With the way Fleer produced the cards the clear versions go from clear to mid-blue to blue box and why I suggest that the top card in the none column and Kevin's card go atop the future blue column. This is also why I suggested the other cards in the none column be moved to the top of 2 future red columns. As these 2 red run of cards gain more tint they become darker red and become so much darker red they transition to the two other cards I included in post #41.

I also suggested that he add two columns to his chart for the fish versions. If you look at the 2 different albums of the versions of the fish on my Flickr page you'll notice that the cards are setup in similar fashion to what Steve is suggesting in his chart. The top cards have very little tinting and the cards at the bottom have so much tinting that they transition into "box" versions. The cards transitioning is not a coincidence, but how Fleer covered the error.

By making some changes to his chart I think we can highlight the different versions and how each version transitions in a lineage from light to darker. I don't have it 100% figured out at this point, but if I'm wrong I think it will come out pretty quick by trying to develop the chart further. If I'm right filling in the gaps will be fun and give us a better understanding of the errors.
No, I have the box version like the one you posted. I will try and find it but it is exactly like the box one you posted. I don't know who owns the one in the link now. I traded it and it has been sold at least once since then.

It is great what you guys are doing. Back when I was hoarding them I always wanted to take pics and make a list for all the different versions.

EDIT: Added pic it is kinda hard t see in the pic but it definitely looks like yours in hand.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:19 AM
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No, I have the box version like the one you posted. I will try and find it but it is exactly like the box one you posted. I don't know who owns the one in the link now. I traded it and it has been sold at least once since then.

It is great what you guys are doing. Back when I was hoarding them I always wanted to take pics and make a list for all the different versions.

EDIT: Added pic it is kinda hard t see in the pic but it definitely looks like yours in hand.
The card you posted appears to me to be a negative version and not a blue box. The card you posted will have the red squiggle I mentioned in post 42 and no cards from the blue lineage have this squiggle. Would you confirm with a larger image of the front of your card?
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:29 PM
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The card you posted appears to me to be a negative version and not a blue box. The card you posted will have the red squiggle I mentioned in post 42 and no cards from the blue lineage have this squiggle. Would you confirm with a larger image of the front of your card?
I have no idea were the card is at the moment. I have a LOT of cards and they are very unorganized. That was cropped from the COMC scan from when I bought it. When I find the card I will post better pictures.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:27 PM
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Was just thinking of this while watching the Twins/Sox game...

Has anyone ever seen a cello or rack showing a Johnson Marlboro version on top?
Here are the 2 cellos weíve come across with an RJ error on the front. Iím assuming PSA will label them Completely Blacked Out whenever we send them in to get authenticated.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:38 PM
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PSA won't authenticate 1989 Fleer cellos anymore. The newer holders are too tight for those packs - FYI.

(Note: I now am seeing some of these 'new' PSA holders on eBay - so maybe they 'fit' now. )
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:48 AM
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Iíve been closely following the surge in 1989 Fleer case breaking over the last several months and a few things have become very clear RE: the Randy Johnson card:

1. All correction types/methods took place by January 1st. No 1989 dated case has turned out a non-full blacked out version.

2. Several types of corrections will come from the same case. This is very interesting to me as I previously had assumed that since Fleer had used two printing facilities for this product, that was the cause for the color tints.

But now I am convinced that Fleer had multiple presses running (perhaps at both plants) and each press had a different type of correction to the plate; for example: say they had four presses going, one would have a green mask over the sign, one a red box, etc etc. This is the only way I can explain the various versions coming out of specific day dated cases.
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Old 08-28-2020, 05:41 AM
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No, I have the box version like the one you posted. I will try and find it but it is exactly like the box one you posted. I don't know who owns the one in the link now. I traded it and it has been sold at least once since then.

It is great what you guys are doing. Back when I was hoarding them I always wanted to take pics and make a list for all the different versions.

EDIT: Added pic it is kinda hard t see in the pic but it definitely looks like yours in hand.

Ben, I believe I own the blue one you had. I bought it from David on this board. I'm pretty sure this is the one due to the small scratch over the Marlboro man. I was lucky enough to grab a second blue one on EBay earlier this year. I know Kevin also has one of the blue ones. Outside of these and the ones on Hatorade's site I haven't seen others (but always on the lookout in case more come out of the woodwork).

I'm still hoping to add to my above sketch but have been holding off for some cards to get back from PSA grading so I can scan them. If possible I want to use the same scanner and same settings so I can better differentiate the versions (as opposed to differences in scanner or photo settings).
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:45 AM
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Ben, I believe I own the blue one you had. I bought it from David on this board. I'm pretty sure this is the one due to the small scratch over the Marlboro man. I was lucky enough to grab a second blue one on EBay earlier this year. I know Kevin also has one of the blue ones. Outside of these and the ones on Hatorade's site I haven't seen others (but always on the lookout in case more come out of the woodwork).

I'm still hoping to add to my above sketch but have been holding off for some cards to get back from PSA grading so I can scan them. If possible I want to use the same scanner and same settings so I can better differentiate the versions (as opposed to differences in scanner or photo settings).
Good stuff.

I just pulled my first rack pack with a Johnson variation on top - black box, and it wasn't during the time period that we all though it "should" be.

What is Hatorade's site? Can you provide that? Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2020, 04:29 PM
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What is Hatorade's site? Can you provide that? Thanks!
Post #5 of this thread
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:25 PM
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You are absolutely right Dylan, these Johnson variations were corrected long before the Ripkens which were initially corrected around the Jan 17 time frame. I tend to think all Johnson varieties were corrected before 1989, and I opened many boxes and cases with different varieties in them, including red and green tints, box versions, etc. This also occurred with the Ripkens at times, you could get different variations in the same box/case.

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  #142  
Old 09-20-2020, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksoncoupage View Post
Iíve been closely following the surge in 1989 Fleer case breaking over the last several months and a few things have become very clear RE: the Randy Johnson card:
1. All correction types/methods took place by January 1st. No 1989 dated case has turned out a non-full blacked out version.
2. Several types of corrections will come from the same case. This is very interesting to me as I previously had assumed that since Fleer had used two printing facilities for this product, that was the cause for the color tints.
But now I am convinced that Fleer had multiple presses running (perhaps at both plants) and each press had a different type of correction to the plate; for example: say they had four presses going, one would have a green mask over the sign, one a red box, etc etc. This is the only way I can explain the various versions coming out of specific day dated cases.
This sounds pretty similar to my experience with opening packs. We havenít opened a ton but I would guess around 40-50 boxes. The cases would contain multiple different versions with maybe a couple cards being the same version or very similar. I think there are some cases though where you will pull multiple cards that are the same. I can recall several times when Iíve purchased cards in lots and every card in the lot was nearly identical. The largest lot I recall purchasing was 7 of the same cards.

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Good stuff.
I just pulled my first rack pack with a Johnson variation on top - black box, and it wasn't during the time period that we all though it "should" be.
Thatís awesome! Would you mind sharing a image of that rack pack? You are the 2nd person to mention getting an error variation past the Jan 1 89 threshold. The other person is an RJ collector that reached out to me on Facebook and mentioned that he pulled an error version of the Johnson from a box that contained the correct Ripken FF card. I have opened lots of wax boxes that contained the common version of the Johnson with the error Ripken but never the other way around but it sounds like maybe a few RJ errors may have snuck into some of the 89 cases.
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  #143  
Old 09-23-2020, 08:50 AM
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Default Versions of "Marlboro Ad on Scoreboard"

Hi everyone. Sorry it has taken so long. Over the last couple months I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to wrap my mind around the “best” way to extend my classification figure of the Randy Johnson Marlboro cards. I have over 70 of the 1989 Fleer Randy Johnson cards which I believe PSA could label as "Marlboro Ad on Scoreboard" (over 40 of these are graded by PSA or BGS). Of course there is a wide range of versions which could fall under this label. I want to preface this by saying that this was my attempt at classifying the different versions under this heading. That said, I am sure not everyone will agree with what I've put together and am equally sure that there could be better ways of doing this. Also, I am limited due to the size and scope of my collection (I have not actively collected the blackbox or fish versions). Just because I don’t show a particular version only means that I don’t have that version (not that it doesn’t exist). That said, for me, the resulting classification provides some order to help me better understand (and gives me a new way to think about) the versions I have in my collection (i.e., cards which PSA could potentially classify as "Marlboro Ad on Scoreboard"). Take it for what it is worth.

Here was my process. I scanned all 70+ of my cards and cropped the Marlboro sign. All scans were made on the same scanner with the same scanner settings. I used an Espon V600 scanner for all scans. Someone on the board posted a good set of instructions on using an Epson V600 scanner so I purchased this scanner last spring at the start of the lockdowns (to avoid any learning curve). I am very happy with it because I can get consistent lighting conditions on the Marlboro signs across the various versions. I then put all the cropped scans of the Marlboro sign into a PowerPoint slide and manually moved the 70+ photos around to try and put "like cards" in piles. I then arranged the piles into some natural order (at least to me) based on (1) tint, and (2) clarity - defined as being able to clearly read all letters in the word Marlboro. Of course, this definition of "clarity" impacts the order since there are versions with very clear letters but where you can't see the cowboy. The definition for tint was harder than it first appeared and it took me quite a bit of trial and error to come up with what I believe is a logical scale…

As I put “Marlboro signs” into piles the one thing that began to stand out to me was subtle differences in cards with the same clarity due to "vibrancy". Upon closer inspection I began to attribute this "vibrancy" to having more blue-ness or almost a blue glow around the sign. I had always assumed that "clarity" was on a continuous scale. Now, I feel that tint is on a continuous scale too. I became curious about what would happen if there were three PRIMARY COLORS of tint (i.e., GREEN, BLUE, and RED -- labeled g1, b1, and r1 in the figure). I know these are not the real primary colors but they seem to be predominant varieties of the tints so I went with them. For example, on the blue-red spectrum you get purple tint cards, on the green-blue spectrum you get the very dark GREEN, and on the green-red spectrum you get some of the more dulled out reds.

Anyway, I ran with this idea (because under this notion the card locations started to naturally fall into place) and here is what I came up with. I threw in some labels for my own record keeping (but did not label anything that I felt couldn’t be classified as “Marlboro Ad on Scoreboard”… of course you may disagree). A couple of final notes. Beyond the clearest version (n0), my favorite versions are b1 and br2. I never really understood what made br2 stand out to me over the similarly clear rg2 card. Now I believe it is due to the blue-ish tint that makes the letters almost vibrant in the br2 version. Some people may scoff at this but holding br2 and rg2 next to each other there is a clear difference and I know which version resonates with me (perhaps since my favorite color is blue??). Second, I put a yellow rectangle around the blue box version that Hatorade provided. This is the one version I do not have a copy of (so the picture is not from the same scanner/scanner settings). Beyond that one card these are all my cards and I was able to group every one of my 70+ cards into one of the piles shown in the figure. Third, I want to reiterate that my view of “clarity” is on a continuous scale. There could certainly be versions between g1 and gb2; however, for me simply knowing I have a card that is g1-gb2 is sufficient to know where it places in my mental framework of the versions.

I hope this helps move forward the discussion and interest in my favorite card.

Steve
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  #144  
Old 09-23-2020, 11:34 AM
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That's really a great layout. Thanks!
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  #145  
Old 09-23-2020, 01:31 PM
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Steve, thank you for that post. It is a pretty freaking sweet thing to read, given I am an avid 1989 Fleer collector (mainly for Johnson & Ripken).

Thanks for all your work in providing that. I would love to chat more with you at some point, if possible.
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  #146  
Old 09-25-2020, 10:36 PM
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That chart is great Steve. It provides a great comparison/contrast of some of the different lightly tinted versions. Itís a really nice showcase of the differences in similar cards with the way they are all grouped. There are a couple of interesting ways to further develop the relationship that exists between the cards by looking at other areas of the card outside of the ad while comparing the ad areas. Recurring print dots and the red squiggle are a couple of features that have correlations to certain versions. An example of this, if I see them correctly, would be that it is very likely if you shared larger images of rg2 and gr2, both of them will have the red squiggles and either or both of them will have a 4 dot. The 4 dot is in the diagonal blue line next to Randyís head in the image below. With your collection of cards you likely have 4 or 5 other cards with the 4 dot on them as well.
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  #147  
Old 09-26-2020, 09:25 AM
steve5838 steve5838 is offline
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That chart is great Steve. It provides a great comparison/contrast of some of the different lightly tinted versions. Itís a really nice showcase of the differences in similar cards with the way they are all grouped. There are a couple of interesting ways to further develop the relationship that exists between the cards by looking at other areas of the card outside of the ad while comparing the ad areas. Recurring print dots and the red squiggle are a couple of features that have correlations to certain versions. An example of this, if I see them correctly, would be that it is very likely if you shared larger images of rg2 and gr2, both of them will have the red squiggles and either or both of them will have a 4 dot. The 4 dot is in the diagonal blue line next to Randyís head in the image below. With your collection of cards you likely have 4 or 5 other cards with the 4 dot on them as well.

Thanks, everyone. It was fun putting this together.

Hatorade, that is a beautiful card. I believe that is what I labeled br2 in my figure. You have a great point about the dot in the blue bar. I just checked and I have a br2 one just like yours where the dot is in this lower vertical position. I also have br2s without any dot and some br2s with the dot in the same place horizontally but in a higher vertical position. I believe all of my rg2s and most of my gr2s also have a dot (I don't think I have any cards of the rg2 version without a dot - but of course that doesn't mean they aren't out there). I haven't seen this dot on versions n0, b1, r1, g1, gb2, rb2, br3, or br4. I don't think the dot is common on rg3 either but am not 100% sure it doesn't exist. This dot has actually been a big help to me in purchasing cards on eBay when it isn't otherwise apparent from picture quality in the listing which version you are getting. When I see a card with this dot on a relatively lighted tinted card I'm pretty sure it will be something that PSA would label "Marlboro Ad on Scoreboard".

Extrapolating from the figure, I'm really hoping there might exist a very light green (maybe even almost yellowish) tint card with no bubble and the cowboy visible. I've never seen one of these but it seems one could exist (as a more pure g1 variant).
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:05 AM
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Excellent work Steve! It's nice to see some of the varieties clearly, as they are very difficult to see in person under normal lighting conditions.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:37 PM
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That might be the most frustrating part - from a collectors standpoint. The fact that no one has gone on record from Fleer about this whole thing. It isn't like they need to stay secretive or protect themselves, given they are now a defunct company.

Just weird, really.
Awesome, awesome thread!

I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as many of you, but I've always had this thought in the back of my mind that in the case of the Ripken, the variation depended on who did the printing. I would assume (maybe wrongly) that due to the sheer volume of cards that needed to be produced, there were multiple printers doing the work for Fleer. So perhaps the clear Marlboro came from one printer and all of the printers were using the same print codes. So in theory you could have the same print codes and get different variations depending on which printer the case came from.

I'd love to hear thoughts on this.
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Old Yesterday, 09:10 AM
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Awesome, awesome thread!

I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as many of you, but I've always had this thought in the back of my mind that in the case of the Ripken, the variation depended on who did the printing. I would assume (maybe wrongly) that due to the sheer volume of cards that needed to be produced, there were multiple printers doing the work for Fleer. So perhaps the clear Marlboro came from one printer and all of the printers were using the same print codes. So in theory you could have the same print codes and get different variations depending on which printer the case came from.

I'd love to hear thoughts on this.
Reasonable thought, but I am not sure.

You are more likely to find multiple variations of the Johnson card in the same case than you are the Ripken variations. Like, if you have a sealed case that you open and the first Ripken card is a black scribble, you are 99.9% going to find only that variation of Ripken throughout the remainder of the case.

However, in the case of the Johnson card...I have opened a sealed case before and gotten multiple variations out of the same case...SOMETIMES even the same box (although rare).
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