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Baseball Collecting "Dark Ages"

Barry Larkin Collection 859: 1991 Topps - #400 - Desert Shield

Barry Larkin
Year:  1991
Brand:  Topps
Parallel:  Desert Shield
Card number:  400

The 1991 Topps Desert Shield parallel set is probably one of the more popular parallel sets from the early 1990s (when parallels started in earnest).  Unfortunately for collectors, figuring out whether or not you have an authentic parallel is difficult - the regular Topps base cards and the Desert Shield parallels only differed by the stamp (a stamp that is all-to-easy to recreate and then forge).  According to Beckett, there was only an estimate 6,313 Desert Shield sets produced - with each service member serving in the Middle East at the time given a single 15-card pack.

Barry Larkin has two base cards in the 1991 Topps set which means there are two different Desert Shield parallels that I need to track down.  As of this moment, the only one I own is the card you see above (and I'm assuming my copy is authentic though I guess I can't be sure of that without getting it graded).  Maybe someday I'll scrounge up the necessary dough to acquire Larkin's regular Desert Shield base card - but for now at least, having this one rather rare parallel will have to suffice!


  1. I've apparently been living under a rock, I had no idea there were counterfeit desert shield cards. I have one and I guess I need to check. I just looked at a video on how to tell the difference. Boy people have a lot of time on their hands!

  2. I have a few Desert Shield cards. It's a shame that I'll never really know if they're authentic or not. But in my mind... I like to think they are.

  3. Most service members didn't get a pack. The majority of the packs ended up in the hands of card shop owners. Even then, there were folks who weren't going to be leaving money on the table by just giving the packs away for free.


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