On this President’s Day I decided to cover a Presidential card that has eluded me, and at the prices it sells at I do not anticipate picking one up any time soon. The card… 1990 Topps George Bush.
In 1989 then Topps CEO Arthur Shorin presented President Bush with 100 specially made cards depicting him in his Yale uniform. Like a standard 1990 Topps baseball card the back included all of the stats from his two years he played baseball after returning to school following his discharge at the end of WWII.
It was initially announced that only 100 of these cards were made, though people have pointed out that typical Topps sheets contained 132 cards, and Bush signed one card and gave it to Shorin leaving him with 99 cards which he handed out to friends and family. In late 1990 two different shop owners in Illinois claimed to have pulled these rare cards from packs, when interviewed by People magazine both dealers had a copy of the card in hand. Topps eventually announced that an ex-employee had stolen at least 70 of the Bush cards and was selling them privately.
At this point nobody knows how many of these cards are floating around though it has been brought to the attention of collectors that the original 100 cards given to Bush in 1989 have a special glossy coating unlike other coatings while the cards that were stolen (and some which may have inadvertently been packed out) do not have this glossy coating.
Both cards are considered authentic because they were printed by Topps and only the coating is different. PSA has made the decision to add an additional line on their tag for one of the Bush cards which states “White House Issue”.
I have never even seen one of these cards, glossy or not, in person and while I would love to add this to my collection as a prominent center piece I am not a big fan of the $750+ price tag. Though if I did have the money in my pocket this is one of the cards that I would actually consider purchasing because of how unique it is.