Presidential Rarity Unveiled
Back in 1990, during the main years of overproduction known as the “Junk Wax” era, Topps began printing a top secret baseball card meant only for the most important man in America. This project had a print run of only 100 cards, something completely unheard of in the sports cards industry at the time. Furthermore, a recent discovery has shown that Topps printed two versions of this card, one featuring regular card stock from 1990 Topps and the other, a glossy version, almost as if it had a laminate on the front. Both versions were never meant to be seen by the public, as the glossy version was presented personally to George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States and the other one was left behind at Topps’ factory.
It has been confirmed that Bush Sr. received 100 copies of the 1990 Topps Glossy card, which he personally handed out to family, close friends, and members of his White House staff. Apart from those 100 glossy Bush cards, a few of the regular stock 1990 Topps George Bush cards “made it out the factory”, which is industry language for “were stolen”. These stolen cards have shown up in auctions and other secondary markets a very small handful of times over the past thirty years.
In late 1990, a woman walked into Who’s On First Baseball Cards and sold off a collection of cards which somehow contained the non-glossy Bush Sr. baseball card. She ended up selling it for a dime but returned armed with a lawyer once she realized the potential of the card’s value. In a shocking turn of events and once news broke out over the legal battle between the woman and the card shop owners, a Topps Company representative commented to People Magazine that the LCS was in possession of stolen property.
Sadly, I was not able to find out how the story was resolved. This case broke long before the Internet was readily available and it appears that People Magazine never followed up, either. One thing is for sure, by 1991, the LCS that Topps outed as thieves, closed for business and its owners have seemingly fallen off the face of the Earth. It’s not like I haven’t looked. I’ve actually combed through hundreds of pages of legal documents, personal records, and more and even have a few of my loyal Twitter followers who live in the same town as the LCS following up on leads. It would be amazing to get an official update from the LCS owners three decades after it all went down but it may be impossible.
As for the extremely rare 1990 Topps George Bush card, its staggering power and popularity among high-end collectors only grows stronger. In 2019, a glossy version sold on eBay for a whopping $25,695. This is one card that has in the past been found in 1990 Topps commons. That’s why no matter how tedious and dull it can get, you have to look through every single card for sale at garage sales and thrift shops.
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