Let's start by explaining. Nolan Ryan has (4) rookie cards that all look similar but are NOT the same. First, there is his 1968 Topps base rookie. Second, there is his 1968 Topps Milton Bradley variation from the Milton Bradley game Win-a-Card. Third, there is the Canadian version by O-PEE-CHEE. And last but not least, the most rare of the four cards, his Venezuela Topps. The Four Horsemen is when you have all 4 cards in your collection.
As some of you may or may not know we are taking the Four Horsemen quest to another level at SlabSlayer.com We have captured 3 of the 4 horses. (See Below)
We call it, "The Three-Quarter Horse - D/A"
And did you notice? They are all dual autographed, hence the D/A, which makes our quest even that more of a challenge. We have been in contact with the founders at www.nolanryanfourhorsemen.com and they have told us that NONE of the Venezuela Topps Nolan Ryan & Jerry Koosman Rookie Cards are Autographed. They have seen all of the "39" that they claim to exist. We will show below that pop reports point to there being more than 39 in slabs. Were some cracked and resubmitted which alters the pop reports?
If you take a look at our current collection (above) you will see our Base Topps is a PSA 5 grade on the card only. The signatures are not graded; however, they are PSA/DNA certified. We love that these signatures seem to be captured separately and by an avid collector just seeking the players out either at a game or sent to their home. These were not signed together at a card show from what we can tell. This adds to our love of this card (shown below with autographs in ball point pen)
So, our challenge here is to capture a low grade or raw Venezuela. If we acquire a graded card do we crack it and try to get it signed and then regraded? Can we get just the slab signed? Does it ruin a piece of history to have the actual card written on? These are questions to ponder when we get our hands on one.
Let's take a look the pop reports of the top 3 graders on the Venezuela Topps from 1968.
Pop reports are as of 2023-01-02
First, the PSA pop report:
Highest graded for PSA is a 5.5+ (33 graded total) - Authentic only shows a total of (7) examples
Second, SGC pop report:
Their highest grade is a 4 with 5 listed as authentic only. (11 total grades)
Third, Beckett pop report:
(2) Cards on their pop report with a 3.0 and a 4.0
This makes for a tiny list of graded cards that we hope have potential sellers holding a card. (45) cards and we are unsure of how many have been cracked and regraded. We also don't know of how many are currently still Raw out in the market. Paying for a counterfeit is our biggest fear, but raw would be ideal if we plan to work on getting it signed by both players. We have all seen fake PSA slabs out there on top of just fake raw cards.
Here are some photos we found of graded cards on the web. As we find more, we will add them to the blog.
This 5.5 is the highest PSA grade (POP 1)
We offered $5,000 for this card below on 1/1/2023 and we were turned down.
Let's take a look at a couple backs, and point out what to look for:
For the Venezuela cards, you have to look for this text on the back bottom right. HECHO EN VENEZUELA - C. A. LITOVEN
Below is from the PSA 5.5 (highest grade in their pop report)
Here is the back of a PSA 1.5 Fair copy with the typical glue marks. This was sold in late 2023.
If you or someone you know has this card and would consider selling it, please contact us at: SlabSlayer.firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading and keep Slaying those Slabs!