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 Adam Warshaw | Home > 
Freaks and Geeks
This is a collection of printing and cutting errors.  The process of making cards has always been a complex one with many opportunities for mistakes along the way.  I have been intrigued with printing goofs since I pulled a 1971 Jim Fregosi with a blank back out of a pack when I was a boy.  They don't happen often but when they do, they are really fun.
Date(s): June 25, 2005. Album by Adam Warshaw. 1 - 136 of 136 Total. 1031 Visits.
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T201 Ed Walsh miscut.  Note that his glove is cut off on the left and showing on the right and Walsh appears to be looking at the glove. Between the glove and the player you can see the line where the cut was supposed to be made.  The back of this card is miscut too.  Since they were full bleed cards minor miscuts on T201 are common; one this bad is not.

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T205 William Bergen.  Top to bottom miscuts this severe or worse are rare as they were obvious and likely to be thrown out during quality control or by the disappointed kid who got them.

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T205 Arnold Hauser.  Side to side miscut.  The "acid test" for me for a miscut versus off-center is whether the cut is severe enough to bleed into the image itself, preferably showing the card next door too.

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T205 Scott misprint.  Kinda makes your eyes water, doesn't it?  You can learn a lot from a "good" misprint.  On this card you can see that the black ink was the last ink applied before the gold colored borders were added.  T205 used real metal in the borders, so they had to be last applied; the inks would not stick to the metallic borders.

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Nice slipped printing job on this Livingston T205.

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A HOFer deserves better treatment, no?

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T205 Sheckard.  On this card, the gold border application ended early. Could be a miscut with a Newark T205 player [there are 3] because those have partial gold borders.

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T205 Egan with wet sheet transfer from red front of another card.  When the cards were printed the sheets were stacked.  Occasionally a wet sheet was placed on top or below another sheet and the image transferred.  Here, the wet ink on the sheet beneath this one had not yet dried when this sheet was put on top of it, resulting in a "ghost" image on the card back.

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T205 Ed Konetchy reverse.  Miscut top to bottom.

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Two more T205 misprints

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T206 misprint.  This Jack Barry card was misaligned when printed, resulting in the offset image.  Again, a question of degree.  Really bad offsets are rare; mild offsets resulting in a blurry image are not.

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T206 Easterly.  Another drunken register.

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T206 Beck.  Nice miscut; you can just see the next image at the bottom.

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One of the more frequently encountered forms of T206 miscut is a card with the player's name at the top instead of the bottom.  The degree of miscut varies, from no name at the bottom to two names showing.  This Mullin card is of the latter variety.

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T206 Barbeau.  I haven't been able to figure out what the ghost is; definitely a card back in red.  I suspect that the sheet was accidentally run through the press after the front printing and not caught.

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This T206 Hoblitzell is missing the final layer of red ink.  The team name should be bright red and his skin is decidedly jaundiced.

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T206 Titus.  Miscut back and missing red ink on the front.

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Here is a comparison of the proper Titus (left) with the above card.

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T207 Byrne.  Misprinted and miscut side to side.  Man, the printer had a bad day that day; too much to drink the night before?

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T207 Ruelbach with a reverse miscut.

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T212 Obak Ostdiek miscut.  The Obak sets (there are 3) depict players in the Pacific Coast League.  For some reason relating to technique the images on these cards are extraordinarly clear and rich.  This is the only Obak miscut severe enough to show the next card over that I've ever seen.

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T212 Obak Moser back ghost.  One of the nicest Obak ghosts I've seen. One of my favorite error card categories, ghosts are highly prized by error collectors, particularly T-card ghosts.  The #38 that appears to be on his hat on the back is actually a factory-applied ink stamp.

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T212 Obak miscut and upside down back. Another wrong way sheet insertion.

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M116 Sporting Life printers scrap.  It is blank backed and missing most of the colors.

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1928 Exhibit Virgil Barnes.  I've not seen a back ghost as nice as this one in an Exhibit card before.

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W516 misprints.  I don't think I need to explain what is wrong with these strip cards.

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V61 Neilsen's Edd Roush.  This is one of the best back ghosts I've ever seen in a candy card.  A printing error is easily distinguished from a "ghost" wet sheet transfer because a misprint will be facing the correct way while a ghost will be a mirror image of the card front.

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Here is the front of the Roush card.

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1927 York Caramel with a nice ghost back.

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Whoops!  The folks at Play Ball put in the sheet upside down and made this Gumpert-DiMaggio hybrid.

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1948 Leaf Warren Spahn rookie card with ghost back.  Note the reversed "B" on the hat; the image mirrors that of the stacked sheet below.

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Here is the Spahn front.

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1948 Leaf Johnny Vandermeer with front ghost.  The wet sheet was stacked on top of the sheet with this card, transferring the back image to the front.

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1948 Leaf Mickey Harris background color variation--the card should have a green background.

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1951 Bowman Cloyd Boyer with Billy Goodman back overprint.  What happened here is easy enough to figure out: the front was printed and the sheet was put into the press wrong side up and inverted for the back printing, so it got printed twice on the front and not at all on the back.

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1952 Bowman Charlie Dressen blank back

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1952 Topps Carl Erskine.  Oisk's a little off, wouldn't you say?

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1953 miscut

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1955 Topps Eddie Stanky Miscut

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1955 Red Man Tobacco Bob Grim with reversed back

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1959 Ace hurlers; joker cutters.

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1961 Topps Frank Robinson miscut

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1963 miscut

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1967 Ernie Banks miscut.  Gotta love a HOFer print freak.

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Hee hee, I love this one.  The sheet was 180 the wrong way when they ran the black ink.

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No, you do not need a new prescription for your contact lenses.

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1968 Tony Perez Miscut.

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How about this 1968 Clemente misstrike?  Need 3-D glasses to look at it.

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Nice diamond cut on this HOFer.

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Whoops, missed it by that much...1969 Topps Chico Salmon

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This is what is referred to as a "diamond cut".  Happens when the card sheet slips in the cutting machine as the cards are cut in one direction.

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1970 Topps Bill Mazeroski miscut

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Now this what I'm talkin' about!

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Not Joe's year...

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1971 Topps Syd O'Brien misstrike.

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1971 Alomar misstrike

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1971 O'Donoghue misstrike and miscut

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I love this type of 1971 error because I actually pulled one from a pack in 1971.  Hard to believe that was 40 years ago.

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Front and back aligned; the cutting went wrong.

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Thurman Munson was my favorite player when I was a kid and his 1971 card sells for big bux when it is in top condition.  I think I paid five bucks for this one and I like it even more than the high grade ones I've owned.

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A few more 1971 miscuts.

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I'm going to go ahead and guess that this was not what Topps had in mind...

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How did they send out this one? 1971 Topps Super Boog Powell blank front.

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Looks like a wet sheet back transfer. I like it!

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1973 Topps Nolan Ryan miscut.  Not the worst I've seen but I really like Ryan and this card so I figured why not get it.

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Hammerin' Hank's ugliest card and nicely miscut, 1973

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1975 Topps Tom Seaver.  Tom is terrific; Topps' QC not so much.

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1975 Topps Mini Steve Garvey; I will call him "Mini Miscut."

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Yipes, as bad as the 1975 Seaver.  With two cards in the hall of flubs, Tony Perez gets no respect.

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Then again, neither does Nolan Ryan, since Topps screwed the pooch on this 1976 too.

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Here are some wonderful 1970s Topps and 1981 Fleer goofs.  Top row: 1968 Billy Williams miscut, 1970 Topps Harmon Killebrew miscut, 1973 Topps Luis Aparicio miscut and wrong back.  2nd Row: 1971 and 1976 Topps partial print backs.  3rd row: 1971 Topps partial print backs.  Bottom row: 1981 Topps miscut back, 1981 Fleer miscut back.

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T220 Joe Coburn/Joe Gans.  Where do I begin?  The card has the wrong back and it is upside down, almost certainly because the sheet was run through the press facing the wrong way.  The borders are hand cut and not very well.  I assume that this was printers scrap that made it out the back door of the factory.

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T224/T229 Pet Cigarettes Jack Johnson.  Card from this West Coast set of 2 brands (Pet and Kopec) are extremely scarce; T229 Kopec is one of the rarest T cards, with only a few examples having come to market over the last several years.  This Jack Johnson (the key to the set) has a nice front ghost and a wrong back.  I suspect that it was in fact put out by the manufacturer and torn later by some kid.

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Back of the Johnson with wrong bio, printed upside down and off-center.

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T229 Pet Cigarettes Jim Flynn.  Nice misaligned image floating above him.

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T218 Joe Jeannette front ghost.  Look at the edges closely.

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T218 Jim Jeffries fighting pose.  Jeffries was heavyweight champion for several years and is highly collectible.

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Here is the back of the card with a wet sheet ghost showing his arm and fist at the Hassan label.

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Decalco Litho Co. Jack Dempsey.  Another strip card error from the 1920s.  Missed by a mile.

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E76 American Caramel Jack O'Brien miscut back.  The front of the card is fine.

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E76 George Gardner back miscut.  Interesting how at least some of these were aligned on the sheet top to top; look at the prior miscut, which is top to bottom aligned.

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Interesting E76 error where somehow a print pass for one color shifted over to another card.  Tells you that not all of the blue was printed in one pass.

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Missed the blue ink pass for the lettering here; further proof that not all the blue was in one pass.

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1948 Leaf Ceferino Garcia.  Miscut and misprint.  Leaf's quality control was abysmal and falls into 4 main categories:  (1) Offcentered cards and blurry cards from slight print misalignments are common, (2) Cards missing the back printing are rare, (3) reversed sheet cards (where the front was printed on an upside down sheet, resulting in backs that don't match the fronts) also are known but rare, and (4) missing ink cards are very rare.  This Garcia is missing the blue ink.

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Here is what the Garcia is supposed to look like.

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Lower left corner shows La Motta and Tunney missing red ink.  See next two pics for their proper cards.

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Bob Montgomery white background

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1948 Leaf Jake La Motta normal printing.

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1948 Leaf Jake La Motta/Jack Dempsey wrong front

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1948 Leaf Gene Tunney normal printing.

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1948 Leaf Jim Corbett missing the blue ink.

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1948 Leaf Max Schmeling.  Someone at the printer had a bad day.  Not a lot around this badly misaligned; I guess there was some quality control.

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four eyes!

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1948 Leaf Jackie Fields/Max Baer scrap.  The card was partially printed at 180 degrees from normal, hence the rotated image. Interestingly, whenever a Fields wrong back is found, the card back is Baer.  What this tells you is that Baer and Fields are on corresponding opposite sides of the sheet.  Baer in fact is the far left card in the third row (of 7 rows of 7 cards) and Fields is the far right card in the fifth row.  This card and the next two likely came from the same sheet feeding mistake.

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1948 Leaf Al Hostak/Jack Sharkey printing error.  This one, the pressman fed the sheet into the press upside down for the red and blue inks.  Hostak is the third card from the right in the fourth row; Sharkey is the third card from the left in that row.

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Mickey Walker/Henry Armstrong rotated print.  Another one that made it into the press flipped 180 degrees. Walker is the third card from the right in the 6th row; Armstrong is the third card from the left on the second row.

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The next four 1948 Leaf cards illustrate what happens when the pressman accidentally prints a sheet with one side facing the wrong way.  If the cards are cut correctly for the backs, you get miscut wrong fronts.  If cut for the fronts, you get miscut wrong backs.

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So why are miscut front wrong-backed cards so much harder to find than cards with properly aligned fronts and wrong, miscut backs?

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Probably because the printers aligned the cards face up to cut.  So, the odds are that a miscut front with a nicely centered wrong back was not only fed into the press facing the wrong way, it was then cut with the card back facing up in the stack, hence aligned for the back, not the front.

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Another wrong front 1948 Leaf.

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A nicely miscut Sugar Ray Robinson

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Blank back Bettina

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A miscut 1951 Ringside Barney Ross

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1951 Ringside Walcott miscut.

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1951 Ringside Marcel Cerdan miscut. Sacre bleu!

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Hee, hee, I love this misprinted 1951 Ringside.

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The Golden Boy makes for a golden misprinted 1951 Ringside card.

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1956 Topps Jim Doran miscut

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1959 Topps.  Some nice football miscuts here.

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1961 Fleer George Blanda with a Dave Smith back.

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1962 Fleer miscuts.  And yes, they line up perfectly.

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The next three images are some sweet 1968 Topps miscuts.  Talk about a mess!

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1954-55 Topps Bill Quackenbush miscut.  Properly centered card of Bill Gadsby on the right for comparison

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1971-72 Bob Rule.  Uh, his position is supposed to be at the bottom, guys.

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