I sometimes write about baseball cards, because I’ve found that lots of autograph collectors also collect sports memorabilia. I’ve talked before about how hardcore card collectors HATE when people get them autographed. They feel any ink on the card is merely ruining it. I’ve always felt that – sure, if it’s a Mickey Mantle rookie card in mint condition, perhaps the signature on it wasn’t such a great idea. If it’s a George Brett or A-Rod…I think it only enhances the card; and you’re not talking about a card worth thousands to begin with.

There are some baseball cards that will be tough to get autographed, and apparently some “fake ones” are popping up in the market place.

Topps trading card company, the biggest in the baseball business, made some baseball cards of George H. W. Bush in 1990. They show pictures of him in his Yale baseball uniform. He played first base for three years at Yale, and was the team captain. They made it to the College World Series in 1947. No word on if there’s a mini-bio or statistics on the back of the card.

Currently, eBay has an autographed Bush signed baseball card, but it's not one of the Topps cards. It's a 2008 Donruss Threads.

The Topps cards have been getting thousands of dollars each since that time, but now experts believe that many of them in circulation weren’t part of the set that were given to the President.

It’s almost the same thing I heard about the many Woodstock tickets you see in circulation. They’re usually around the $50 price range, but somebody told me that another company reproduced lots of them and they aren’t original. But I digress.

Joe Orlando, president (without his own baseball card) of Professional Sports Authenticator in Santa Ana, says that both kinds are scarce and will remain valuable cards. He had been purchasing the uncoated cards over the years not realizing this. The ones that President Bush got had a thick, clear coating on the front.

Now, the person that paid $3,367 for one in an auction last month might be bummed, if they think it’s one of the original 100 presented to Bush.

And how did all the authenticating with this card come to light? Well, former White House chief of staff, and avid card collector, John H. Sununu sent some of the 11 cards he was given by the President to Orlando to be graded. They were surprised to see they had a glossy coating. Apparently, one dealer told Orlando that a former Topps employee sold 70 of the uncoated cards after leaving the company. So it’s not like thousands of fakes are flooding the market. Upon hearing that, I immediately thought of all the bizarre and rare cards that are only in the hands of employees.

Sununu said, “There was an awfully large number of them, and I knew that nobody that George Herbert Walker Bush gave a baseball card to would sell it. You’d have to kill me to get these out of my cold hands.”

(side note: what is it about republicans always wanting you to pry things from their “cold dead hands”?)

This prompted Sununu to get suspicious, and send his cards to Orlando for grading purposes.

Now, let’s get Fleer to make a football card of President Reagan as the “Gipper.” Perhaps a basketball card with President Obama shooting hoops would be nice. Not sure what the card of Clinton would be. Perhaps him standing next to Wilt Chamberlain.

I’d just say…if the current chief of staff is given any cards by Obama, perhaps have he should have a few signed.    

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Tags: Donruss, George H.W. Bush, President Bush, Topps baseball cards, Wilt Chamberlain, Yale

Comment by Chad B on July 22, 2013 at 6:57am

 A $3,367 card is not my thing but found the article interesting. There was another baseball card with a president on it. I think they photoshopped him in the crowd.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on August 9, 2013 at 2:42pm
Good article, Josh. Thanks!
Comment by James Petersen on September 1, 2013 at 9:09am

This card of President Bush unsigned its valuable? Or are you just talking about the signed version. Because I know I have that card sitting in a box, unsigned of course.


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