Monday, July 18, 2011

When is a sparkle not a sparkle? The Curious Case of Domonic Brown and his 2011 Topps Baseball Series 2 Card.

This is a card that is causing some confusion.
It is card number 271 from 2011 Topps Baseball Series 2, Domonic Brown.  Look for this card on eBay and in most cases the listing will be for Brown’s sparkle card.  But is it actually sparkle card? 

As you know, cards on eBay are often incorrectly listed as SPs even when they are just regular base cards.  We covered all of the listing mistakes on eBay for 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball cards.  With the aftermarket demand and premium being paid for these sparkle cards, its important to know how to spot these cards.  So let’s take a close up look at the “sparkle” on Domonic Brown’s helmet.
At first glance that does look like a sparkle, but then again so do all of these.

 I haven’t just repeated the same photo three times over.  All three of those cards are in my possession.  But that doesn’t prove anything.  There is a very small chance I just got extremely lucky and pulled three sparkle cards.  But let me show you one card I have that I know for sure is a sparkle.
The top Mark Reynolds card is the regular base card and the bottom one is the short print sparkle variation.  Here is the sparkle up close.
This sparkle is very sharp, almost unnatural, as if someone placed it there, which is the point.  It is very different from the Domonic Brown sparkle. 

Both Mark Reynolds cards are numbered 378 and nearly identical on the back.   There is one tiny but crucial difference. Once again the base card is on top and the sparkle card is on the bottom.

The difference is located on the lower right of the cards.  Notice there is a code number.  Here they are up close.



The last two digits of the base card code are 01 and 29 for the sparkle card.   You’ll find these codes on every card in the series.  Every base card will end in 01, 02 or 03 and every sparkle card will end in 29.

Here is the back of the Domonic Brown card.
Here is a close up of the code.
So this card is a base card.   But in the future, what happens if there is no picture of the back of the card and the seller won’t tell you what the code is on the back of the card?   The simple answer is look at the other parallels of the card.   Here are some for Domonic Brown.
Diamond Anniversary

The "sparkle" is on both of them.  As of right now, sparkle cards do not exist in parallel form.  So it’s safe to say that a sparkle parallel of card number 271, Domonic Brown, in 2011 Topps Baseball Series 2 does not exist.

Keep checking here for a complete list of 2011 Topps Baseball Series 2 Sparkle cards.   We hope to have it up soon.

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