Thursday, October 25, 2012

Erorr? What Error?

Back in the day when I got some of my first 1974 Topps Baseball cards one of the ones I pulled was the Jesus Alou "No Position" Error Card. It is still one of my fave cards from that set. In the late seventies I soon became aware through the first few price guides that it was an error that Topps eventually had corrected. In general (contrary to popular belief that an error or misprinted card MUST be more than an error free card) error cards are no more valuable than their corrected counterparts. There might be some exceptions, but usually if they do fetch more money it isn't too much more. Sometimes uncorrected error cards fetch high values because of the fact that they were never corrected, but that is not the norm.

Anyway as I said back in 1974 I pulled this card:
1974 Topps Baseball 654a Jesus Alou - Athletics
No Position Error Variation (Front)

I think it took me a few months (or maybe a year or two) to realize it was an actual wide-spread error and not just a one card fluke (thanks again to some of the early baseball card price guides of the late 70s - early eighties). It also took me some time to notice that there was a mistake there, hey I was a kid at the time. I think the error variation is rarer than the fixed corrected version but for years I ran into the problem of not being able to find the corrected version. As with many of my older card needs I put getting the corrected variation off almost completely. A few months back I had searched and saw the error version, but not the corrected one. Then after checking a few other times found it and put it into my shopping cart and I finally checked out. I had been sitting on my shopping cart for quite sometime for some of the cards.

So Now I also have this card:
1974 Topps Baseball 654b Jesus Alou - Athletics
Outfield Position Corrected Variation (Front)

The back of both variations is the exact same. I scanned the corrected variation because it appeared to be a darker bolder readable print than my error variation. It is really six of one half-a-dozen of the other. If I had played with the brightness on the saved image it would still be the same difference.

1974 Topps Baseball 654 Jesus Alou - Athletics
Both Variations (Back)

There is also of course the O-Pee-Chee "No Position" Error variation. Which I understand OPC never corrected (but Topps did? There's a switch). The O-Pee-Chee variation of cards are normally rarer than the Topps versions anyway because they normally didn't print as many and most of them never left Canada.

1974 O-Pee-Chee Baseball 654 Jesus Alou - Athletics
Uncorrected Error (Front and Back)

As you can see the OPC front is identical to the Topps which is par for the course. Also par for the course is the back being a bit different. In this case they changed the hard to read black text on a dark green background to easier to read black text on a yellow/gold background. Plus being Canadian they had to add the French translations of stuff. The added French text with the cartoon makes the cartoon smaller.

The sportlots seller that I got this OPC card from I also got some other Jesus Alou cards: 1970 OPC, 1971 Topps, and 1973 OPC I will probably make a post about that trio of cards some day, but not in the immediate future.


  1. When I was a kid I almost never caught errors ... or airbrushing ... or anything really.

    I was pretty dumb.

    1. I only really caught airbrushing back then on the obvious "neon" colored hats or more often on football cards with blank helmets, even then I didn't know it was something intentional. For the football helmets I just attributed it to training camp or scrimmage photos. "gee I guess they don't put the decals on the helmets till the season starts, or don't bother painting up the practice helmets"

  2. a little bit of white-out, they could all be error cards!!