30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, July 22, 2019

Upside Down, You're Turning Me

Rise and shine.  It's early Monday morning... and there are only four days left of summer school.  I'm so stoked that my summer vacation is just around the corner.  Especially since I've been busy at home too.  In between a couple of flea markets and a few rounds of golf, I've been spending at least one or two hours each day cleaning out my office and sorting cards.

While organizing my 80's binder, I stumbled across this rookie card of Lee Smith:

1982 Fleer #603

What a fantastic looking rookie card.  I realize that this card's design isn't going to win a ton of popularity contests, but it does have a well-cropped photograph of the newly inducted hall of fame reliever.

I noticed that I didn't have his Topps or Donruss rookie cards in the binder, so I headed over to COMC to see if either were in the same league as his Fleer card.  I quickly discovered they weren't.

I also noticed that there are two different versions of Smith's Fleer rookie card.  The one sitting inside of my binder is the error versionCan you spot the error?

If you look at the Cubs' logo in the upper righthand corner, you'll notice that the "UBS" is upside down.

I started digging through my rookie card box to see if I had a corrected version.  I did:

Here's a look at both card backs side by side:

When I first started collecting cards back in the early 80's, error cards with variations were super popular.  I remember flipping through my 1981 Fleer set and my pocket price guides to see if I owned the rarer versions.  The following year, the card to own was the reverse negative version of the John Littlefield.  The card still sells for over $50 on eBay.

Unfortunately... neither of these Smith cards fetch big money.  Based on COMC prices, the corrected version is worth more, which goes hand in hand with my personal data.  I own 8 copies of this rookie cardFive are error versions and three are corrected.

Well that's it for today.  Lee's rookie card might be the inspiration of this blog post, but Diana Ross was the inspiration for this blog's title:

Congratulations to all of the Smith, Rivera, Martinez, Mussina, Baines, and Halladay fans out there!  Have a great week.

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. I have this one somewhere In my fragmented collection.There must be more of the error cards floating around then the corrected version.

  2. Never knew about the error. Not sure if I have a copy of either. I just watched Lee's speech. Very nice. Good story about Billy Williams. What a happy looking guy! Sure glad he chose to go in as a Cub and not a Cardinal.

    1. Since you sparked my curiosity I checked. I found sixteen copies, all corrected. I won't say how I have that many. It's a little embarrassing at this juncture.

  3. Love the title of this post and of course, the post itself. I wasn't aware of this error and now I gotta see if I have it and the corrected version.

  4. Interesting. I never knew that about the Lee Smith rookie card having an upside down version. I thought this was going to be a Stranger Things season 3 review based on the title.

  5. Crazy. It was the Wild West back in the early 80s with the quality of the products. Makes for some fun collecting!