30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Backdoor Bonds

Out of sight.  Out of mind.  That's how I feel about the distinguished parallels known as "superfractors".  Do I enjoy seeing them pop up on blogs every now and then?  Of course.  As Mario over at Wax Heaven recently stated... "Superfractor-mania has been running wild for over a decade now."  But personally, I've never really paid much attention to them in regards to my own collections.  I don't open enough packs to have a shot of pulling one and the bottom line is I'd never be able to afford one of any of the guys I collect.

But there's a first for everythingLast month, I watched a video on YouTube which motivated me to go out and pick up this Barry Bonds superfractor:

2005 Topps Chrome Update 

Doesn't it look pretty?  It's the first time I've ever actually held a superfractorOne problem.  It's not your stereotypical pack-pulled superfractor with a 1/1 serial number stamped on it.  This isn't even a one-of-a-kind card.

Topps printed the word "superfractor" on the back of the card:

But they made at least four copies of this card.  One of them is the one you see in this post.  The other belongs to the YouTuber in the video.  The third one belongs to another Bonds collector who told the YouTuber about these cards.  And there was one more on the Bonds website where I purchased this card, which has since sold.

The question is how many copies of each superfractor are actually printed?  And how did these make their way into our hobby?  Unless there's a Topps executive out there with inside information who actually reads this blog, I'm sure we'll never know the answers to these questions.

The bottom line is I forked over $149 (+ $9.02 shipping) to get my hands on one of these signed cards.  This is hands down the most expensive Bonds autograph I've purchased.  I don't anticipate spending this much for his signature ever again.  But don't get the wrong idea.  This is not a buyer's remorse situation.  It may not be a one-of-a-kind collectible, but it's still a nice addition to my Barry Bonds PC.

Plus it came with this fancy COA from Barry Bonds... so you know it's cool.

Okay... here's your question of the day:

Do you own a superfractor?

What are you thoughts on backdoor cardboard?

I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. No, at least not any like that for sure. I have some 1/1's but not sure what they are other than the printing plate or two I have. I have no idea what backdoor cardboard is or means. I have over 700 Bonds cards, and pretty sure I didn't spend anything NET on the whole lot. Heck, I was paid to take his RC's 86's & 87's (of course I didn't need them), but not going to say no to free for the about 500 of my PC cards either. I couldn't see myself paying more than a quarter for any card of Bonds. Well....if I seen a 1/1 for a few bucks I'd do that. LOL, what can I say....I collect the guy (just don't nor did I ever like him).

  2. I do not believe I own a Superfractor. I would know if I did, right? I'm sorry to be ignorant, but I don't know what a backdoor card is...

    1. I don't own a superfractor, either. I've only recently acquired a few 1/1s.

      A backdoor card means a card that is printed by Topps (or some other manufacture) but not put in a pack or otherwise sold to the public. Instead it is taken home by an executive or employee of the company to keep or to sell on the secondary market. I suppose I don't really have a problem with it as long as it's not something that you'd feel you need to have a complete set.

  3. I own one! A Ty Hensley. Not sure if I’ll ever get another.

  4. I have pulled a few 1/1's from Panini products, but Panini 1/1's are oddly common-- Even a Drew Brees 1/1 only sold for $20.

    My son pulled a Star Wars Chrome Luke Skywalker Superfractor last summer that we still possess.

    Congrats on the Bonds!

  5. I briefly owned a 1/1 Superfractor, of a Diamondbacks prospect that never made it above A ball. Bought it on eBay and sold it for a loss when he got popped for PEDs. I doubt I'll ever own another one.

  6. I haven't collected new cards in so long that I don't even know what a Super Refractor card is. Something to do with "refracting", which I don't know the meaning of?

    Cool Bond auto though, especially if there are only 4 of them out there!

  7. I've heard the term "superfractor" before, but I don't think I've ever seen one (nor would I recognize one, aside from the word printed on the back). Not a bad-lookin' card, though!

  8. Don't own a superfractor (and have little desire to considering how much they go for) and the whole "backdoor" thing has always seemed kinda shady to me.

  9. I only want one - any random player from 2013 Chrome, just to have an example of one, and an example of every parallel from that set. But I don't really ever try to track one down very often.

    I do actively try to pick up Platinum 1/1 from 2013 Update though, have 3 so far.

  10. johnnys trading spot - i'm a fan of bonds the player, more than bonds the human being. he provided a lot of entertainment for bay area baseball fans for a long, long time... which is why i started chasing his cardboard. as for "backdoor cardboard", i should have defined it in my post. it's just cards that were leaked into the hobby by employees or the printing company... instead of the traditional means of being inserted into packs

    peter k steinberg - brett alan covered it with his definition. bottom line a card that was released to collectors outside of the traditional means of opening packs or buying them directly from the company online. in this case, someone at topps probably gave bonds the excess cards and then he released them on his website.

    brett alan - thank you for the definition. i should have included it in my original post

    the lost collector - nice a ny yankee superfractor. that'd be a nice addition to anyone's collection... but it's obviously found the perfect home

    base card hero - wow. congratulations to your son. that's a pretty cool card to own. as for 1/1's, yeah, i've picked up a few hall of fame printing plates on comc for under $7. it's kind of crazy when you think about it

    chris - sorry to hear that you sold it for a loss. maybe you'll hit the lottery and pull one eventually

    sean - a refractor is a parallel that topps created back in the 90's that's super shiny (refracts light?). and a superfractor is their version of a 1 of 1 parallel.

    gregory - personally... i think a regular refractor looks much better. but i'm the guy who prefers them over atomic refractors. in the case of this bonds, i just liked it because it's unique and only a few of us own a copy

    nick - yeah, i think there are a lot of backdoored cards from the 90's and 2000's when card companies like fleer and donruss went out of business. it's definitely shady... but they're a part of the hobby for sure

    basesetcalling - wow. congratulations on landing 3 platinum 1 of 1's from 2013 update. best of luck in eventually landing a superfractor

  11. Do not own, nor am I interested in superfractors. All that 1/1, parallel, and shiny stuff I ignore lest it piss me off.

    Backdoor cards are interesting to me from a printing point of view. I have some foilless cards that are pretty awesome in how they show what was printed before the foil went down. eg in 1992 Topps Gold foilless there are no nameplates and it's just a photo with a border. There's also a guy selling progressive proof sets of 1970s cards that show 10 different steps of printing the card. I don't like them as something rare, I like them for what they can teach us about how the cards were made.

    1. nick vossbrink - i'd love to see these 1992 topps foilless and 70's proof sets. like you said to learn from it.

    2. Those 1992 Topps cards look really cool. Kind of like a 90's version of Topps Archives Snapshots.