This 1998 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Roberto Alomar was purchased on January 5, 2017 and it arrived on February 9, 2017. After 17 different tick marks on the tracking record, it finally arrived. It was stuck somewhere for 30 days. I had to report this as missing twice to the Post Office. Only after the second attempt was the tracking record updated. I’m glad I finally received this card because I’ve been itching to blog about it for a while.
While I’m putting this in the Errors category, this isn’t technically an error; it’s a replacement. However, this isn’t a typical replacement card commonly procured via an attempt to replace a damaged card. This was an actual pack pulled replacement. The replacement process happened during the manufacturing and development phase of production. The foil text color on typical 1998 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection parallels is blue. In contrast, the foil color on typical 1998 Flair Showcase Masterpiece parallels is purple. This particular example of the 1998 Flair Showcase Row 1 Legacy Collection Roberto Alomar has a combination of blue and purple foil text color. The Legacy Collection logo is printed in standard blue foil text while Alomar and the Flair Showcase logo is printed in purple foil text. It’s kinda hard to see in this scan but if you click on it, it’ll pop out in your browser window and you should be able to see it more clearly.
Here’s the backstory on how these combo-text color examples entered market:
A few sheets of 1998 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection parallels were backdoored. A run of Row 0 parallels have surfaced featuring unique serial numbers but marketed as promos on secondary market. Because those sheets were missing from the total required to print the the full run of Legacy Collections, Flair used Masterpiece sheets and stamped them with the Legacy Collection logos and respective serial numbers. These are quite a bit more rare than the standard issued full blue foil text Legacy Collection examples. This Alomar is the first one I’ve ever seen on the open market but there’s believed to be between 6 and 7 examples of each card in the Row 1 set that feature the combo-color foil text.
To give you an idea of how to distinguish between the two different types of Row 0 examples, the pack issued and the aftermarket, the following scan is provided for assistance. Here is a visual reference of the two different Row 0 Legacy Collections for comparison:
Here are the specific differences between the two versions:
Left: This is the correct pack issued version. It features the script with the players name above the stats box. The serial number is on the left side of the card and the “of” between the numerator and denominator features an “O” (the letter O) in the word.
Right: This is the backdoored aftermarket printed example. The script with the players name above the stats box is missing. The serial number is printed along the bottom edge of the card and the “of” between the numerator and denominator features a “0” (the number zero) in the word.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
The following image features a side-by-side front and back comparison between the intended release and the replacement release of 1998 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 1 parallels. Notice how the back of the replacement version is actually a modified version of a standard back for a Row 0 as shown above. If you take a closer look, you’ll see that the line on the upper left back corner of the replacement version that indicates the row states it as Row 1, not Row 0. This leads me to believe that more of the Row 1 sheets were backdoored than Row 0 sheets. But if that were the case, why do we only see aftermarket stamped cards for Row 0 and not Row 1? This is somewhat peculiar. The replacement card is an authentic piece. You can tell because the “of” between the numerator and denominator features an “O” (the letter O) in the word and not a zero as shown on the aftermarket examples.
My Row 1 replacement Roberto Alomar features the Row 0 back but in the following video, you’ll notice a Row 1 replacement Tony Clark with the intended Row 1 back. My assumption still hold here with regard to lack of required amount of Row 1 backs.
Beckett Media brings us the following video featuring one excellent and insanely impressive collection of Flair Showcase cards. I highly recommend a complete viewing but if you’re pressed for time, these combo-color text variations are discussed at 11:43.