Posted by Administrator On February - 13 - 2011

Folks who shop around on eBay for baseball-related memorabilia are probably familiar with items in the so-called Topps Vault – the on-line auction sales arm of the Topps Company.

The “Vault” originated as a way for Topps to effectively clear out old photos, negatives, proofs for sports cards, and so on, from its six decades of existence. I imagine it has been fairly popular among the collector crowd and fairly lucrative for Topp$!!!

But, we’re concerned that once all the “old stuff” has been cleared out of the Vault, Topps will find a need to create “new stuff” to stuff the Vault to keep the cash cow alive. An example of this is now available on eBay: 2011 Topps Baseball 1/1 blank backs that have been created “exclusively” for Topps Vault/eBay auctions. On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with Topps electing to manufacture a licensed MLB product and sell it in any legal manner it chooses. We have to assume these 2011 1/1’s are “licensed” because the licensing information is missing since these cards were purposely created with blank backs.

Naturally, we ask, where does it end?

The proof cards and all of the other Vault items from years past were of a truly limited variety. Former Topps executive, Sy Berger, has lamented on many occasions the decision to dump the now extremely rare and valuable 1952 Topps Baseball high number series cards in the trash to avoid a storage issue. This, of course, happened 30 years before the baseball card industry caught fire. Now, the folks at any card manufacturer are acutely aware of the potential value of any product they create; especially proofs, prototypes, samples, wrong backs, blank backs, etc. Unlike 60 years ago, there has to be strong temptation to create the prototypes knowing that there is a potentially large market out there for these “limited” editions; some of which would be best classified as printer’s scrap. Somehow, it doesn’t seem right for any licensed manufacturer to purposely create and sell cards that, in reality, should join the ’52 Topps high series in the New York City dump.


  1. Ian Jefferson says:


    My name is Ian Jefferson and I’m the son of former Major League Pitcher the late…Mr. Jesse Jefferson. I was wondering where I maybe able to locate the TOPPS Vault photos b of my father? Since he passed I have been trying to locate as many photos that I haven’t seen before to add to my trophy room in his honor. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Ian Jefferson

    • Administrator says:

      i actually recall jesse jefferson… he pitched for several teams in the 70’s and 80’s…. blue jays, orioles, angels, etc..
      ebay is the best place to watch for jesse jefferson items including topps vault photos… although, the topps vault is not currently offering and of those items….

      ebay is offering around 300 items (mostly baseball cards), but there are four team-issued or media-oriented photos for sale including a nice pic of jefferson from 1969 with the minor league miami
      and, some type of pic & negative from what looks like spring training with the orioles in the 70’s…
      good luck, Ian.

    • DocV says:


      Go on eBay right now (01-05-2017) and search for “Jesse Jefferson photo.” There are some negatives and photos of your dad listed right now. Good luck.

  2. Mac McPherson says:

    I have just purchased a 2010 Topps Platinum Blank Back 1/1 with Topps Vault Coa/paperwork. Is this for real? Or did I buy in hast & its not a true 1/1?
    Thank you for your time!
    Semper Fi,

    • Administrator says:

      Thanks for the question, Mac.
      As long as the blank back card (Hines Ward?) you purchased has a square Topps hologram sticker on the back indicating 1/1 along with a serial number that corresponds to the handwritten serial number on the Topps Vault certificate of authenticity you received, you should be fine… the card is legit.
      My concern with the 1/1s from Topps is that Topps simply has a license to print money courtesy of MLB, NFL etc…. not that the cards in question are not legitimate.

  3. Mac McPherson says:

    Oops! Hines Ward is the player!

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