Well this analogy was broken over the summer when Steve over at 1975 Baseball Cards sent me a few to check out. After failing to convert my iPhone into a black light, I purchased one on Amazon for less than $10.
Since then, whenever I stumble across a 1991 Topps baseball card in my collection, I have to check to see if it's a glow back. I've actually found a bunch of Athletics... but nobody really cares about them, so I didn't bother to photograph them.
1991 Topps #333
On the other hand, I was pretty excited to find that one of my Chipper Jones rookie cards glowed in the dark:
Here's a look at the card back without the black light:
The other glow back I was pretty happy to find was this Tony Gwynn:
1991 Topps #180
It was actually sitting in my Gwynn binder the entire time. It took about 20 minutes of digging, but I eventually found a non-glow back to sit next to his cardboard counterpart:
Based on my personal findings, glow backs seem to be a little tougher to find. However these findings is based on a very small sample size, so I turn to you...
Are 1991 Topps Glow Backs truly rarer?
People on eBay seem to think so. The handful of Chipper glow backs have BIN prices in the $18 to $30 range, while his regular card can be picked up for under $3.
Even if they are rarer... I've read that Topps produced close to four million copies of each 1991 Topps baseball card. If that's true... than there are plenty of glow backs floating around our hobby to go around. And if you're a player collector like myself... it's always fun to find a variation you didn't know you had sitting in your collection.
As for discovering termites... I'm not looking forward to that day.
Happy Thursday and sayonara!