The 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU represents a turning point in hobby history. It’s the first of its kind in the now routine pack-issued autographs category. Despite its print run of 2500, which was tiny at the time, it remains popular in the current market. For this article, we’re going to cover how to identify authentic examples of this forever famous card.
When encountering the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU, flip it over and have a look at the shape of the hologram on the back.
- Authentic examples of the non-AU header card have circle-shaped holograms
- Authentic examples of the AU header card have diamond-shaped holograms
If you find a signed and serial numbered example of the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU and the hologram on the back is circle shaped, the autograph and serial number on the front are both fake.
There are two versions of the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU:
A. This version contains Reggie Jackson’s autograph, and corresponding serial number hand-written on the card.
This is the most common example and makes up 2475 (99%) of the 2500 autographed examples of the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU. In the current market, collectors can usually get their hands on one of these for under $200.
Related article: 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU/2500… and romance
The Inscription & Serial Numbers
B. This version contains Reggie Jackson’s autograph, corresponding serial number, and “Mr. October” inscription hand-written on the card.
Version B is extremely rare because Reggie Jackson only included the “Mr. October” inscription on examples with numerators in the serial numbers ending in 00. With a print run of 2500, that leaves us with just 25 examples (1%) of the total 2500 that contain the inscription. In the current market, authentic inscribed examples can bring over $500.
To be thorough, here are the numerators in the serial numbers on the examples that contain the inscription:
100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2400, and 2500.
One visitor sent us the following images. This example contains the correct hologram shape but lacks the serial number, which puts it in the replacement category. Something like this would’ve been kept on hand by Upper Deck until a fulfillment request was made. This replacement went unfulfilled but we see it here because someone pulled it from the factory.
Examples to Avoid:
Given the notoriety of the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU, encountering skullduggery associated with this card isn’t uncommon. To avoid getting ripped off, carefully check the hologram style, autograph, serial number, and inscription. Here are some examples to avoid:
Inscription on Wrong Serial Numbered example
If you find an authentic example of the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU with the “Mr. October” inscription and the numerator portion of the serial number doesn’t match any of those 25 numbers, the inscription is fake.
The following example sold on eBay on August 25, 2019 with 28 bids at $560. The numerator in the serial number on this example doesn’t end in 00. Someone got hosed.
Here are some others that have surfaced over the years:
These “Mr. October” inscriptions have been written on many authentic examples of the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU that don’t have the right serial numbers with the specific intention of misleading buyers to drive up sale values. If you’re looking to add one of the elusive inscribed versions, look for examples with numerator portions of the serial numbers ending in 00.
Signature w/ Serial Number on Base example
The autograph and serial number on the following card are very likely forgeries. Reggie Jackson doesn’t sign his name like this.
While on eBay in mid April of 2021, I discovered an example of the non-AU header card (circular hologram on back) with an autograph and serial number. Two thoughts came to mind when I saw this listing:
- Due to the circular hologram on the back, this could only be an In Person (IP) signature (if authentic)
- If it is an IP signature, the existence of a serial number makes the authenticity of the signature highly suspect
Side note: When I discovered this listing, I shared it in a couple Facebook Groups. Within minutes the listing was pulled, which is itself, very questionable. Be careful.
This card requires attention. To be sure you’re buying an authentic example of the pack-issued 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU, check the hologram style, autograph, serial number, and inscription. Cross check them with the information provided here to confirm the authenticity of the card.
To see the current eBay auctions for the 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson AU, click here.
I’m curious where the info on the “Mr October” addition came from for the 1990 Reggie Jackson Upper Deck Heroes autograph card. I bought one of these with a number that doesn’t match the ones you listed. The card itself is graded but the auto wasn’t. Shouldnt BGS have caught something like this?? The info in your article doesn’t appear to be common knowledge though and may not even be for grading companies. I definately appreciate the write up but am just curious where you got the info from.
Thanks for the comment. Coincidentally, that information is chronicled in the Beckett database. Like most companies, BGS is run by people so mistakes happen.
I’ve been doing research on this because I came across a card with autograph and diamond sticker in the back but no serial number on the front. Not sure if I can reach out to Upper Deck to confirm is this is authentic auto
If you’d be willing to share an image of your card, I’d love to see it. You can send it over via our Contact Us page.
I sent over image of the card. Let know what you think
Thanks for sending over the images. What you have appears to be an unfulfilled replacement. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, just search “Replacements” here on this site to find a blog post covering this type of card.
Thanks for writing this article, this is a wonderful card and I don’t know why it doesn’t get much more love in the hobby.
I’d like to know what your source or proof is for only cards numbered ending in 00 are the only “true” Mr. October cards. Has Upper Deck ever released anything on this?? I ask because I’ve seen 5 of these cards now and all of them have the serial #’s divisible by 25 (3 of which are graded – 2 by Beckett, one by PSA), and a couple others (660, 573, and I heard a rumor that 44 was also signed this way). And your statement that the cards are fake seems to be based just on your claim that the cards serial numbers don’t end in “00”. The cards you claim to be fake, did an expert exam the cards to see if the Mr. October signature was added after the fact (which I think would be very easy for an expert to determine) or is this just your opinion based on your assumption.
Would love to see what other information you have on this. By the way I purchased 20 boxes of series 2 last year (from different sellers) and pulled two Reggie’s (#873 & #1148) out of those over a weekend. It was a thrill to say the least.
Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, I don’t have a direct source from Upper Deck about the “Mr. October” variations but can remember learning about these back in 1990 when they came out from conversations with reputable dealers. If I had more information, it would’ve already been included in this article as supporting evidence. A few things: Grading companies are run by humans and humans are imperfect, which is why some cards that shouldn’t be authenticated pass through sometimes. Not every grader is an expert and knowledge on very specific issues such as this one is exceedingly rare. Also, Jackson wouldn’t have added the Mr. October inscription randomly anyway because it was a special addition, hence the 00 method; something like this would’ve been planned. I also wouldn’t believe the rumor about 44 having the inscription because it would throw off the number of examples with an inscription from 25 to 26. Since this cards is serial numbered to 2500, it would make sense to keep the inscription assigned to just 25 examples – 2500 cards, 25 inscriptions. Even if I saw 44 and it had the inscription, I’d believe it was added after it was pulled. With that in mind, random serial numbers with the inscription wouldn’t have been issued with the inscription initially; they would’ve been added after the cards were pulled making them fake (or aftermarket) inscriptions as my article covers. All that said, you’re free to believe/buy whatever you want. Congrats on pulling two Jackson AUs from 20 boxes; that’s pretty awesome!