In recent months I have become extremely interested in the errors and variations from the late 80s/early 90s ever since I realized that some of those cards can be highly collectible albeit in a niche market. I have also recently discovered that PSA/DNA, in my opinion, makes more mistakes than they should and this article will tie both of those statements together.
While digging through some 1990 Topps football cards I noticed that the Andre Rison #300 Topps Super Rookie card actually pictures Clarence Weathers, not Rison. This card in particular is an uncorrected error (UER) and in most cases can be found for $1 or less. However, in searching eBay to see if any variations of the Topps card did exist, I noticed something very interesting. At one point, there were three active listings of this card with autographs obtained in-person and each is certified by PSA/DNA as being authentic. Look at the photos below (end of article) and see if you notice anything out of sorts. Clearly, the first autograph is different than the second and third one with the second two belonging to Clarence Weathers (the actual player pictured) and the first autographed Topps card is signed by Andre Rison. However, all three are labeled as being signed by Rison.
There is an obvious difference between the autographs on the three Topps cards and I am in no way saying that PSA/DNA authenticated a forged autograph. What I am saying, however, is that their labeling of the authentications is misleading and could possibly leave an uneducated collector with an unwanted purchase. PSA/DNA labeled all three as Andre Rison and I’m assuming that was done because of the player name of the card. But, the label absolutely should state that the card is an UER and that the signature affixed is actually Clarence Weathers, not Rison.
Here’s my second point to this story…..what if the PSA/DNA authenticator of the second two cards didn’t realize that the signatures were actually from Weathers? Did he/she do their due diligence in verifying the signature? Apparently not. Look at the serial numbers from PSA/DNA…they’re consecutive meaning they were authenticated (or at least labeled) one right after another. How did someone not notice that there was a difference in the signatures?
One can only hope that this is purely a labeling error by PSA/DNA, not a lack of due diligence. Either way, this could be a cool collectible for someone, especially an error and variation collector.