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Thread: 80's & 90's RC (XRC) discussion

  1. #16
    Senior Member DaClyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyceoa View Post
    Regarding Pedro, which one? The 1991 Classic Green or the 1991 Upper Deck? Both were from boxed sets, IIRC.
    Al, but both were available through retail outlets.

  2. #17
    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaClyde View Post
    Al, but both were available through retail outlets.
    And Classic, were they considered a major manufacturer?
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
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  3. #18
    Senior Member DaClyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorkj View Post
    And Classic, were they considered a major manufacturer?
    Define "major". If the "rookie" had to be in a pack-issued set then, again, Classic is eliminated. But the trivia games were sold at a lot of prominent toy stores and discount retailers.

  4. #19
    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaClyde View Post
    Define "major". If the "rookie" had to be in a pack-issued set then, again, Classic is eliminated. But the trivia games were sold at a lot of prominent toy stores and discount retailers.
    My point is, classic and a lot of other releases, including minor league releases, are scoffed at now as being legit first cards. Yet the first fleer or upper deck or topps or whatever are considered the "card to have".

    So, I don't feel I can gripe too much about people liking RC logo stuff when even we can't get our stuff straight. Otherwise I think the first post draft minor league cards(or even pre-draft) would be the card to have as it really would be the first. And these are generally in shorter supply than your average late 80's-90's.

    I mentioned this above but received no replies. My feelings are not hurt...lol. I just figured none of you take my comment seriously and I'm not sure why? Cause if that is the case, how is "our rule" concerning not counting minor league releases as first true rc's any different than another collector deciding they want a card with a rc logo or the card from a player's first full season? Most would say to each their own but still, you have to have a reason...
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
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    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

  5. #20
    Senior Member DaClyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorkj View Post
    My point is, classic and a lot of other releases, including minor league releases, are scoffed at now as being legit first cards. Yet the first fleer or upper deck or topps or whatever are considered the "card to have".

    So, I don't feel I can gripe too much about people liking RC logo stuff when even we can't get our stuff straight. Otherwise I think the first post draft minor league cards(or even pre-draft) would be the card to have as it really would be the first. And these are generally in shorter supply than your average late 80's-90's.

    I mentioned this above but received no replies. My feelings are not hurt...lol. I just figured none of you take my comment seriously and I'm not sure why? Cause if that is the case, how is "our rule" concerning not counting minor league releases as first true rc's any different than another collector deciding they want a card with a rc logo or the card from a player's first full season? Most would say to each their own but still, you have to have a reason...
    Well, now that you've qualified your earlier comment about minor league cards a bit, I see where you're coming from and agree. While I wouldn't consider a minor league card a "rookie card", I think a players first card should be a lot more valued than they have been historically. There are probably less than a dozen prominent minor league cards with any significant interest over the last 40 years, and they are almost all from TCMA (except for Rickey Henderson's card from Chong). I was about to say "Unfortunately, now players often have Bowman or Leaf cards before they even have minor league cards." but as I was typing it, I don't really see why that should be unfortunate. Maybe because it somehow feels wrong for a player's first card not to be his first minor league card. I have an affinity for minor league cards and wish they were more popular.

  6. #21
    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaClyde View Post
    Well, now that you've qualified your earlier comment about minor league cards a bit, I see where you're coming from and agree. While I wouldn't consider a minor league card a "rookie card", I think a players first card should be a lot more valued than they have been historically. There are probably less than a dozen prominent minor league cards with any significant interest over the last 40 years, and they are almost all from TCMA (except for Rickey Henderson's card from Chong). I was about to say "Unfortunately, now players often have Bowman or Leaf cards before they even have minor league cards." but as I was typing it, I don't really see why that should be unfortunate. Maybe because it somehow feels wrong for a player's first card not to be his first minor league card. I have an affinity for minor league cards and wish they were more popular.
    I personally dig the Aflac stuff and USA baseball too. Or now I guess it's the Perfect Game or whatever. In any case, I think there is little love for minor league stuff since it usually does not feature a guy in his major league uniform. But they are sometimes the first card of a guy. Hell, does Will Harris even have a RC(@therion).
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by smapdi View Post
    Beckett is at the root of it all. The "RC" tag came from Beckett, and they had some pretty peculiar definitions. The RC tag was created to show the player's rookie card, obviously, but it quickly became contentious, like any time an arbitrary "authority" gets involved in common-sense cases. From a hobby-history perspective, the term "rookie card" is important and, thus, can't be left alone. And now that Beckett is completely irrelevant, many new collectors are either oblivious to these definitions or confused by them.

    Was the 1985 Topps Mark McGwire card a rookie card? It was the first time he appeared on a major-brand card, so why wouldn't it be? Well, he was not a major leaguer at that point, or even drafted, so how could it be a rookie card? Two years later, his "rookie" card appeared again. Or was it a third-year card, or second? Debates raged.

    Then there was the perception of scarcity. While the hobby was really taking off in the mid-80s, there were not yet card shops in every town, and there was no internet. Topps put out their boxed Traded sets starting in 1981 through mail-order and in the few hobby shops there were. Donruss and Fleer packs were fairly hard to find until 1988, and their box sets similarly tough (not sure if they did mail-order). So, (IMHO) in order not to hurt anyone's feelings, Beckett created the XRC see tag for cards from rookie/traded sets to indicate,"Yes, this is the guy's first card but since not everyone can just go down to the Piggly Wiggly and pull it from a pack, we're going to say it's something other than a real Rookie Card, but it's still pretty good." That's a verbatim quote from a mid-80s Beckett's glossary.

    For a while they even tracked when a player first appeared for which company. Check out a circa-1990 Beckett and you'll see marks like "FTC" showing First Topps card, etc., in case he somehow snuck into one company's cards a year before the others, and people needed to know that. Before there were multiple sets from every company, people really had to focus their energy in strange directions.

    Then there are the parallel sets. Topps Tiffany, Score Glossy, Fleer Glossy, whatever Donruss might have put out, Topps Desert Storm, etc. Beckett also arbitrarily decided that these cards would not earn the RC tag, either. Their reasoning was along the same lines of availability as R/T sets. Only 5000 copies of Tiffany? How can the average Johnny Snotnose be expected to acquire one, and thus, not have a complete Shawn Abner rookie card collection? The pain Johnny would feel by missing this unobtainable treasure would be too great to bear, drive him out of the hobby, and out of Beckett's circulation numbers. This became confusing to me, if no one else, once Topps started issuing these parallel sets in packs. By the late 80s/early-90s the hobby market had matured a bit, shops were all over the place, and even in remote locations you could find brands like Pinnacle and Upper Deck. In big towns, there were loads of card shops, even if they weren't actual, dedicated card shops. I once bought a box of 1992 Ultra from a video store.

    I also recall reading how they didn't consider parallel cards to be on the same level as base cards. This is fuzzier but there was something about it being something other than an "original" card and so not really a rookie. Maybe skip this part.

    Anyway, when Bowman Chrome came out and you could get that napalm-hot Jose Cruz Jr. card in a shiny metalicized plastic alternative to boring old paper, it was labeled an RC. So retroactively the Tiffanies and Glossies became RCs? Nope. XRCs became RCs, invalidating following-year RCs? Nope. While the marketplace at the time made it relatively easy to find 1-per-case parallels, apparently it did not make it easier to find decade-old plain paper copies printed in the millions. So the rule was extended so that cards that came in factory set form, as a parallel to a base set, were still not rookies, yet full-set parallels in packs were RC gold. The cynic in me suspects that if this weren't the case, and Bowman Chrome wasn't viewed as it's own set, and thus earn a separate listing in Beckett, rather than as a one-line multiplier in the Bowman section, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as hot as it was. And if the cards weren't really hot, why would people need to buy a Beckett to not see all those up arrows?

    Yet Beckett also excludes in-product parallels from the RC designation for some reason. If you buy a pack of Bowman Draft, you could potentially get three different versions of the same guy: a Bowman, a Bowman Gold, and a Bowman Chrome. Bowman would be RC, Bowman Chrome would be RC, but the Gold would not. Why? Good question. There is no answer, but it's a good question. So all those sweet refractors and x-fractors and pulsefractors and such, not RCs. Boring chrome card is RC.

    And inserts? Nope. Base cards = RC, insert cards = NoRC. 2001 Fleer Platinum Ichiro? RC. 2001 Fleer Platinum Chart Toppers Ichiro? NoRC.

    There are some weird corner cases. In baseball, there was a case where it was I think 2001 Fleer put out a factory set of glossy cards and they had some high-number rookies exclusively in it. Beckett counted those as RCs, since they were new cards even though they came in factory sets, since the whole set wasn't a parallel, just different packaging of the regular set. Can't remember the details, but it was something like that. And in 1994, in football, Jeff Blake made some noise as a rookie starting QB. He had just one card, on a Bowman's Best insert card from Stadium Club (and refractor parallel). According to Beckett's rules, not an RC. But it's right there, a 1994 Jeff Blake card. He had loads of RCs the next year, though.

    It ultimately doesn't matter, though. People call certain cards rookies because they want to. Does anyone outside the Beckett office refer to Kobe's 1996 Topps Chrome Refractor as anything other than his best rookie card? And yes, people call the 52 Topps Mantle a rookie card sometimes, because they are dopey, probably. And some people insist Mike Trout's 2011 cards are RCs while the cards from the two whole prior years are "prospect" cards, which sounds God-awful. The market shows what's really important to people. People like Mike Trout so much that his third-year base Topps card is $60. But his first-year, preferred-set autograph card is $1500. The non-Beckett-RC parallels and inserts are the ones people sell kidneys for.

    It's also curious that the "RC" tag really only applies to post-WWII cards. It's true there was no real continuity to the hobby before the war. Goudey had a good run in the 30s, even into the war years, but you don't really see the "RC" applied to Goudey cards, or T-206s. I suspect if there was a long run of cards from the same company from the teens to the war, you would. But there isn't so you don't. Imagine if there had been.

    Written jauntily. It's Friday afternoon, I just ate a whole bag of Hershey's Kisses, the largest infusion of sugar I've had in weeks, and I'm ready to get the weekend started.
    I registered for the board just so I could reply to this.

    First off, what you wrote up is brilliant and accurate and I agree with the fellow that said it should be stickied.

    My take on it is this:
    Beckett doesn't dictate what is or is not a rookie. They don't decide which cards are more important than other ones. They don't tell us what a card is worth.

    WE decide all of those things. To ME, parallels are rookies and inserts are not. The reason for this, for me, is mainly for organizational purposes. Also, I REALLY like parallels. Specifically blue or black ones. Mostly blue. So, if a player has 50 cards that Beckett labels with the RC tag and only 2 of them have blue or black parallels then I am only interested in those cards.

    I decide what is important. I decide what has value. I decide what I want to consider a rookie (at least for my Excel file and the different boxes that I have my cards in).

    Beckett is missing a lot of RC tags on cards that are obviously rookies anyway (according to their definition).

    The only thing I really like about having a specifically "defined" rookie year now is that you know which guys are going to be rookies each year. Before it was a crapshoot. If any of you collect NFL or NBA cards, you know that players have their rookie cards issued the same year that they are drafted (though even that has complications because of undrafted free agents). In baseball that doesn't always happen because the draft is HUGE and there is no possible way that all of the drafted players could have cards.

    Sorry to bump an old thread, but this has been irking me for a while and I finally found a place that addressed it.
    Last edited by hempick; 05-28-2018 at 07:44 PM.

  8. #23
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    A rookie card seems only important when it comes to reselling of cards. There was a time when the players first card was no bid deal. Lots of good players shared their first card with 1 or more other players instead of getting their own card. That is an indication right there that they meant less than an established player to the card maker who didn't bother to give each player their very own card. Obviously the set counts were important and a multiplayer card allowed for more players per set.

    The early traded sets used to fix that problem by showing the player on his own card (Fernando and Raines, for example), but then it got to the point where the traded set started slipping in first cards of players who exploded after the main sets hit the market (Strawberry may have been the first on it's kind here where people had to have that traded set for his card alone). From there, it was all about how early a card maker could get a first card issued. It has become a joke and it is all about money now. Cards of players who won't play a MLB for years, if ever, are now issued and people are tripping over themselves to buy copies in hopes that the player makes it big.

    I like the idea of minor league cards, but so many of those become junk when most of the players fail to make the big club or go on to mediocre careers. You get a handful of really nice cards otherwise. I have a few key players, but have mainly just collected Dodger minor league sets because I like having early cards of players, even if they are cup of coffee guys. Still a majority are players who never make the bigs and those cards will forever be junk.

  9. #24
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    Growing up in the '80s I've always considered the first pack issued card from an MLB and MLBPA licensed manufacturer to be a RC, a la the '85 McGwire. I left the hobby around 2002 so imagine my surprise when I came back a little over a year ago and tried to sort out the mess that is a RC now, especially for those guys who had issues before the 2006 change but didn't have a RC (by current definition) till after 2006 issues.

    I'd have to research but I don't think minor league issues, at least the Stars, ProCards, team issued, etc of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, have MLBPA (since minor leaguers aren't MLBPA members) plus MLB licensing so they wouldn't qualify under the conditions I was used to when I was in the hobby before. Now it is a whole lot murkier, though minor leaguers still aren't MLBPA members I don't think. However if we want to include them as RCs then I have two of the 1989 Gastonia Rangers Star Glossy Ivan Rodriguez RCs that only have 500 copies sitting here ready to be sold.

    Honestly I think the hobby and market does a fairly good job of sorting the issue out on its own. The exception is, of course, prospect speculators (and I'm not hating on people making money here) but it astounds me the prices paid and sold for guys who may never even make the show.
    I PC Jeff Frye, Ozzie Smith, Jeff Bagwell, and Matt Holiday. Working on 2006-2018 Allen & Ginter sets
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  10. #25
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    I'm curious if you guys consider these to be rookies or not: 1983 O-Pee-Chee Tony Gwynn, 1986 Sportflics Rookies Barry Larkin, 1989 Donruss Baseball Best Sammy Sosa and 1992-93 Stadium Club Murphy Derek Jeter. Beckett says no.

  11. #26
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    The OPC Gwynn is laughable if the Topps is considered a rookie and this is not. The others are boxed sets only, but as far as I am concerned, they predate the actual "accepted" rookie issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyceoa View Post
    I'm curious if you guys consider these to be rookies or not: 1983 O-Pee-Chee Tony Gwynn, 1986 Sportflics Rookies Barry Larkin, 1989 Donruss Baseball Best Sammy Sosa and 1992-93 Stadium Club Murphy Derek Jeter. Beckett says no.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyceoa View Post
    I'm curious if you guys consider these to be rookies or not: 1983 O-Pee-Chee Tony Gwynn, 1986 Sportflics Rookies Barry Larkin, 1989 Donruss Baseball Best Sammy Sosa and 1992-93 Stadium Club Murphy Derek Jeter. Beckett says no.
    The OPC is per Beckett and always has been per Beckett, at least to the best of my memory. At least it was when I was collecting back in the '80s because the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Ozzie Smith RC was my Holy Grail of sorts.

    The Murphy Jeter is a RC too according to Beckett though that seems odd since it is from a boxed set. The logic on this one doesn't seem to hold up. The Murphy is a RC, per Beckett, and only available in factory set form yet other factory set issued 1993 Jeters like the Topps Micro, Topps Inaugural Marlins, Topps Inaugural Rockies aren't considered RCs. In each of those cases though the market seems to have corrected the issue though because all three of those issues are more valuable than the base RC from the 1993 Topps set.
    I PC Jeff Frye, Ozzie Smith, Jeff Bagwell, and Matt Holiday. Working on 2006-2018 Allen & Ginter sets
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