Printing Plates, 1/1s: Confusion & Suspicion
To me, printing plates are a new thing and as far as I know, they didn’t exist as hits/inserts back in the day of collecting. When I first learned about them, I saw them just as highly sought after items along with relics and autographs. In fact, since they are 1/1, I thought that made them that much more rare and had to get my hands on some. However, since then, my views have changed on printing plates. When I bought my first couple of plates, I realized that they weren’t good looking cards. Aesthetics is one important aspect of collecting in this hobby for me. Why would I want a card that is in monochrome colors and backwards and is probably dirty due to its excessive usage as a printing plate? The #’d 1 of 1 is a gimmick to promote its rarity.
I’ve learned that now, but that still doesn’t stop me from looking at plates of Lincecum on eBay. Afterall, I am trying to collect anything and everything that is associated with his cards. A month or two ago, I came upon an auction on eBay that was selling a 1/1 Tim Lincecum 2008 Moments & Milestones printing plate that was yellow in color. The seller was bigboydsportscards3 based out of West Chester, Ohio. Now I thought nothing of it and I think I might have even bid on it, but the closing price of around $60 was way out of my price range. Flash forward to a couple of days ago. This very same card sold again?? Now you probably can’t see the original listing because it’s too old and was removed from completed listings, but you can see the one completed on Sept 17. I also swear I’ve seen this same yellow card sell once before, but I can’t confirm that. Very fishy to me.
Second, this very same seller sells that same card, but in magenta print, completed on Sept 10. Not only this, but he also just listed another Moments & Milestones Lincecum plate that will end on Sept 22. First of all, how did this guy get all of these plates…AND they’re all of the same player. Even if he busts cases of this stuff, the odds of that happening are huge. It would be in the hundreds of thousands to obtain all the plates of one player from one set. Can someone explain how this is happening or am I just being paranoid?
Thirdly, and this is the fishiest of them all since you can actually see this happening right now. Today, this seller just posted two more Lincecum plates from Topps Chrome 2008. They are both numbered TCHC15 and are BOTH CYAN printing plates, apparently #’d 1 of 1. How can this be the same card? Was this a mistake because he posted the same card twice or are there really two? You can see them HERE1 and also HERE2. Plate cards would be great to add to my collection if I get them at a bargain price, but looking at these and the suspcion behind how this seller got his hands on so many plates makes me wonder what underlying scam these auctions might have. I asked Ross over at Sports Cards Info and he thought it checked out, but I would like some second opinions. Please discuss.