Counterfeit Card Alert: 1980 TCMA Reading Phillies #22 Ryne Sandberg

Posted on 5/5/2022

Sandberg had a storied career with the Cubs, but this card submitted to CSG is pure fiction.

After debuting with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981, Ryne Sandberg was traded to the Chicago Cubs in what is now regarded as one of the most-lopsided deals in baseball history. Sandberg went on to be a 10-time All Star and 9-time Gold Glove Award winner before his playing days ended in 1997. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

The first card that Sandberg appeared on was the 1980 TCMA Reading Phillies #22, when he was a minor leaguer in the Phillies organization (which he rejoined later as a manager). High-grade examples of this card are difficult to find; one sold for $1,110 through Heritage Auctions in July 2021.

The card recently submitted to CSG
Click images to enlarge.

CSG recently received a purported example of this card. Because genuine examples have a grainy black-and-white image of Sandberg, it might not be immediately apparent whether a card is a counterfeit. The CSG team used its experience and special equipment to conduct a thorough examination of this card.

Close-ups of the counterfeit card submitted to CSG (left) and a genuine example (right)
Click images to enlarge.

Under magnification, it is clear that the card submitted to CSG is pixelated, which indicates it was printed using a different method than genuine ones. This is evident in the fuzzy halo of dots surrounding the text for Sandberg’s name on the front of the card and the information on the back. In addition, the white space on the card shouldn’t contain dots, but they can be seen under magnification on the fake.

CSG uses world-class expertise, advanced technology, innovation and operational excellence to provide sports card collectors and dealers with accurate and consistent certification services. CSG backs these determinations with the industry-leading CSG Guarantee, which adds significant confidence, liquidity and value to the hobby.

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