Second Year Standouts: 1990 Topps Tiffany Barry Sanders

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What do you think the current 1980s football card market would look like if Topps had created Tiffany football sets to the same extent that it did for baseball?  For the uninitiated, Topps produced Tiffany baseball sets from 1984 to 1991.  Tiffany cards, while identical in design to their base Topps counterparts, were printed on white card stock, had glossy fronts, and exist in relative limited quantities (the print run tended to change from year to year).  Think of them as The Hobby’s first attempt at creating a parallel card set.  As such, Tiffany baseball cards tend to be more valuable than regular base Topps cards from 1984 to 1991.  However, to the best of my knowledge, the only year that Topps created a Tiffany football set was 1990.  Imagine the selling price for a high grade 1984 Topps Tiffany John Elway or a 1986 Topps Tiffany Jerry Rice.  Alas, it was not meant to be.

But in many respects, the fact that there is only one year of Topps Tiffany football makes today’s Second Year Standout – 1990 Topps Tiffany #352 Barry Sanders – all the more interesting and unique.  I love the front of this card.  It shows Sanders maintaining a low center of gravity as he looks for open space.  The ball sits slightly loose in his left hand.  All in all, a great action photo that brings us closer to the game.  As for the card back, the white card stock does a lot to brighten things up (the regular Topps Sanders card is shown below for comparisons sake).  While the pink color scheme isn’t the most visually appealing, full biographical data, stats, and a nice description of Barry’s 1989 rookie season work together to make for a very informative piece of cardboard.

According to PSA’s Population Report, 49 PSA 10 Topps Tiffany Barry Sanders cards are in existence.  That is a great number for a non-rookie card from 1990.  On the one hand, it shows that there is a decent amount of collector interest in this card.  At the same time, the population is low enough that it will take some work to track down a PSA 10 version of this card.  In other words, today’s Second Year Standout is a highly collectible piece that would make a fine addition to any collection.

Do you prefer Tiffany cards over regular base Topps cards?  Why or why not?

Word of the Day

halcyon – very happy and successful — used to refer to a happy and successful time in the past that is remembered as being better than today; she looks back fondly recalling the halcyon days/years of her career, when she was just out of college

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