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Old 09-09-2009, 02:42 PM
JasonL's Avatar
JasonL JasonL is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: The Eastern Seaboard
Posts: 581
Default Slightly OT - 1982 Topps Blackless

Has anyone here come across information on the Blackless variation that is supposedly available from this year?
Anyone have any pics to post?
and lastly, anyone have an Ozzie Smith or Ron Cey to sell me?

I'd appreciate any and all information or references you can post.
Jason L
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:17 PM
sschauer sschauer is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 83
Default Here are the Rose Blackless

Here's description from scd

Whether through faulty
pre-production work or the
simple fact that the black ink
may have run dry during printing,
exactly half of the 1982
Topps cards can be found in a
“blackless” version. All cards
on the set’s A, B and C press
sheets can be found blackless.
On regular player’s cards the
lack of black printing is most
obvious in the absence of the
facsimile autograph on front.
The thin black pinstripe around
the player photo is also missing
on those cards. On cards in
which the position was supposed
to be printed in black, it
will be missing on these variations.
All-Star cards affected by
this error will be missing the
player’s name. It is estimated
fewer than 100 of each “blackless”
card were released. Originally
cards from the A and B
sheets were found in metro
New York, while the C cards
turned up most often in the
Midwest. Cards from the C
sheet are much scarcer than
those from the A and B sheets,
although limited collector demand
for full sets has kept prices
in relative parity.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:11 PM
onlychild's Avatar
onlychild onlychild is offline
Kevin S.
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 124

Here are some examples. I have a few more that are not scanned, some I believe are graded by PSA and labeled as "blackless." The 80's had some great and tough variations as well as tests, samples, and proofs.

Bob Fisk and "Bishop" are the experts on these. There are also several old posts on CU that go into detail.

Kevin Saucier
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:07 AM
doug.goodman doug.goodman is offline
Doug Goodman
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: On the road again...
Posts: 4,487
Default Topps Baseball 82 Blackless variation

I am working on putting together a set of these variations, at the moment, I'm about half way there. I would be interested in hearing from anybody who has an interest in pre 1993 Topps baseball variations.

Email me at

Sorry for the long post,

The following is not mine. I "borrowed" it from an ebay listing a couple of years ago. I do not know the author and apologize for posting his, what I believe to be excellent work, without giving credit. As I have worked on putting my set together, the information below all seems to be true :

For those dedicated collectors working to complete their MASTER SET of 1982 Topps BLACKLESS cards, I am including a complete CHECKLIST of all 400 different cards in a set below. To the best of my knowledge, not one single collector has yet managed to put together a complete set of all 400 cards!

In each of the BLACKLESS VARIATIONS for a specific 1982 Topps card number the black ink features present on the front of the NORMALLY PRINTED VERSION of that card number are missing or reduced to substantially nothing more than grayish wisps.

As is the case for the card covered by this auction, in each BLACKLESS VARIATION of a player's REGULAR CARD number in the 1982 Topps set, missing or substantially reduced to nothing more than grayish wisps are BOTH the FACSIMILE PLAYER'S AUTOGRAPH and the NARROW BLACK BORDERLINE present around the player's photograph on the front of the common NORMALLY PRINTED VERSION of the card number.

396 of the 792 card numbers in the 1982 Topps set exist as Blackless Variations. Four of these numbers exist as two different Blackless varieties each, making a COMPLETE SET of 82T Blackless 400 different cards. From what I have been to determine, no single collector has been able to put together all 400 cards. Published and other information indicate that ONLY ABOUT 10 TO 100 OR LESS of EACH of the 396 card numbers were produced in Blackless Variation form (with the KEN FORSCH RED-STRIP-ON-CAP version apparently being the RAREST OF ALL and THE KEY CARD in a TRULY COMPLETE BLACKLESS MASTER SET). The experience of collectors most knowledgeable about these variations (including myself) suggests that what are known as "B" and "C" Blackless cards are generally tougher-to-find (that is, SHORT PRINTS) than most of what are known as "A" Blackless. It appears likely that many "B" and "C" Blackless were issued by Topps in quantities of less than 50 each, with some probably being issued with less than 20 each. The card being offered through this auction is an "A" Blackless.

The 400 different Blackless Variations were printed by Topps on three differently coded sheets, with 132 card numbers per each letter-coded sheet. To determine the sheet from which a respective Blackless Variation comes, look for the small letter "A". "B" or "C" next to an asterisk near the bottom of the card. "A" and "B" Blackless Variations showed up in packs distributed by Topps mostly on Long Island (New York) and in New Jersey. "C" Blackless are reported to have been distributed by Topps only in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan.

When bidding on 1982 Blackless Variations, please be certain to keep in mind that the "B" and "C" Blackless were issued in significantly lower amounts than the "A" Blackless and that the market prices for "B" and "C" SHORT PRINT cards are proving to be considerably higher than for the "A" Blackless. Therefore, expect to pay substantially more for "B" and "C" Blackless. Also, it should be noted that high grade "B" and "C" Blackless are disproportionately harder to find. Apparently, for many "B" and "C" Blackless numbers, the card typically comes with major off-center, skewed cutting, and/or other grade problems. Not a single high grade card may exist for many "B" and "C" card numbers. Collectors of Blackless, especially collectors trying to complete a Blackless set, therefore should not be picky about grading. Just finding all of the cards -- in ANY condition and at ANY price -- needed to complete the 400-card Blackless set is one of the hardest things for a card collector to accomplish. In fact, so far as I have been able to determine, NOT one single collector has yet been able to put together a COMPLETE 400-CARD 1982 BLACKLESS set. And also be certain to disregard the prices for 1982 Blackless given in standard baseball card catalogs. Overall the listed prices in those catalogs are far below what Blackless -- especially the "B" and "C" short prints -- actually sell for in the marketplace.


Unfortunately PSA has mislabeled as "BLACKLESS" many examples of the very common, black-feature-including versions of a number of 1982 Topps cards. Someone at PSA apparently goofed big time. Even more unfortunate is that a number of these PSA-mislabeled almost worthless cards are showing up in auctions on eBay by other sellers as being "BLACKLESS" at prices no knowledgeable collector would pay for what actually are just PSA-mislabeled very common cards.

Even now, as I prepare this auction for placement on eBay, I see that another seller has up for bid auctions for five PSA-mislabeled as "BLACKLESS" but in reality are the very common black-feature-including versions. Do a SEARCH on eBay and see this for yourself. These PSA-mislabeled 1982 Topps cards which are NOT "BLACKLESS" include: #81 JIM PALMER PSA 9, #781 PETE ROSE PSA 9, #339 SCHMIDT PSA 10, #101 SCHMIDT PSA 9. and #781 PETE ROSE PSA 9. Those cards are a mixture of IN ACTION and ALL STAR cards. Please check the scans in those auctions for yourself: you'll quickly see how each of the IN ACTION cards in those auctions contain the BLACK INK feature of the narrow borderline around the player's photograph and how the SCHMIDT ALL STAR card contains this narrow borderline AND the name "MIKE SCHMIDT" print-lettered in BLACK on the bottom of the card! Those cards are OBVIOUSLY NOT "BLACKLESS".

Anyone who understands what a TRUE Blackless Variation looks like will quickly recognize that the cards which is being offered in those other auctions are in fact the COMMON REGULAR VERSION and NOT the VERY RARE BLACKLESS VARIATION. To be an authentic Blackless Variation a card MUST be missing or have reduced to almost nothing all of the BLACK INK features on the front of the card. On each of the IN ACTION cards, the VERY NARROW BLACK BORDERLINE around the player's photograph is PRESENT in the COMMON NORMALLY PRINTED VERSION, but this BORDERLINE is missing or reduced to substantially no more than a grayish wisp in the BLACKLESS VARIATION. And BOTH the BORDERLINE and the PRINTED-LETTER NAME of the player are missing in all BLACKLESS VARIATIONS of the ALL STAR cards.

PSA goofed big time! Be careful that you do not become one of the victims of that PSA goof!


(I am not posting the list due to it's length, email me and I will send it to you)
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:55 AM
onlychild's Avatar
onlychild onlychild is offline
Kevin S.
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 124

If I remember correctly, the two names mentioned above have a complete or completed the blackless set. The ebay copy you posted could have been made by one of them...not sure?

Here is an article I wrote in 2005 about the Bob Fisk collection, he specializes in variation sets. His collection is truly he is an awesome guy. Joe Orlando deleted my name from this and all my other SMR published articles when my website went up. I also got banned from "everything PSA." I talked my way back into membership but he refused to credit my name on the articles (bummer).

Along with vintage, I also enjoy collecting pre-1991 variations. Typically not completing sets but a nice sampling. I do have a complete graded 66 card set of the 1984 Topps encased proofs. These especially tough because they only came in single sheet form, needless to say many are found off centered. GAI was the only company who would grade them at the time. Thankfully my cutting skills paid off and the set has an 8.8 GPA.

Since that set came out so good, I eventually found two others and divided them as well. Barring a few cards that were creased or stained when the sheet arrived, those also came out great and are currently raw in a binder. I turned down $700 for a raw Ryan.

When found in singles, HOF's usually sell for $50 on up, a few error cards about $150 and commons around $10.

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Old 09-12-2009, 10:35 AM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 8,938
Default Topps 1982 Blackless and Variations

I collect Topps variations and printing errors with all my sets, 51 to present. I, like Bob, have a blackless "set" of 396. I do not have the 4 "variations" of the basic print defects that make up the "base" set. I have seen them on scans. The only one I specifically remember is the Ken Forsch card which has a stray red dot on his cap.

The only person I know who has the 4 variations is the same person who authored the description in the prior post. He used to sell on ebay under the name zenithium. He may still sell blackless and other variations, but most recently had been selling stuff through another seller. You may be able to contact him under the name zenitium through ebay. If so, I have found Fred to be very generous with his knowledge of blackless specifically and variations in general. He tended to collect uncatalogged variations in the hopes they would be recognized later. On Blackless and the 80 Topps yellows he did pretty well. Also the 84 Encased cards. In a recent contact with Fred it is my understanding his blackless set is not complete, but he does still have what he believes are the 4 variations

Bob and I bought most of our blackless from 5 guys, 2 in NY ( As and Bs) and 2 from Michigan ( Cs). Can not remember where the 5th guy was located. The cards did appear in packs, and there was apparently an unopened cello with a blackless card on top on ebay recently

It is hard to complete the set in complete blackless, partly because some cards are hard to locate ( Stanley and Morris come to mind), and in some cases the cards actually have grey or light grey signatures where the black ink had not completely run out....more variations !

After completeing my Topps sets I gravitated to variations, catalogged and uncatalogged,. Be happy to compare notes with anyone who has a similar interest...blackless or otherwise

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 09-12-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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