What if I told you 1989 Topps was rare and valuable?  Would you believe me?  What if I told you a PSA 4 1989 Topps Greg Jefferies sold for $65, and that it just might have been a great deal for the buyer?  You’d probably think I was off my rocker.  I’m not talking about this card that we all know and love (though it is one of my favorites in the set!) 

1989 Topps #233 Gregg Jefferies (FUTURE STAR) | eBay

I’m talking about this …


What you see is a 1989 Topps Heads Up Test Gregg Jefferies.  Back in 1989, as far as I have researched, Topps had a special run of these created as a test – they produced 24 boxes, each with 24 packs, 1 “card” per pack and sold them in Pennsylvania.  

In 1990, they scaled it like crazy.  As far as I can tell, the only difference is one version shows 1989 on the back and the other shows 1990.  While the 1990’s are common, the 1989’s are incredibly rare, and can fetch some serious money.  A Bo Jackson in a PSA 9 sold for nearly $5,000 – heck, even a wrinkled Mike Schmidt fetched $400.  

That’s why I was very pleased to add my new favorite junk wax era oddball to my collection, in a PSA 3 slab.  It looks beautiful, and while I do see some extremely minor issues, it is par for the course with these beauties, and it is apparent that PSA grades them harshly.  I don’t typically like slabbed cards, but I must say, this thing looks incredible in the slab!

I really started collecting back in 1989 and I LOVED Topps.  We didn’t have much money, so my chase card was the 1989 Topps Jose Canseco – not the heads up test – heck, I didn’t even know they existed.  In fact, since the Internet wasn’t a think, people outside Pennsylvania probably didn’t know they existed, either.  

I remember going to a card shop one saturday afternoon with my dad, and having the 1989 Topps as the card I was targeting.  Sadly, they didn’t have it, and I had to “settle” for the 1989 Score.  Eventually, I picked up a 1989 Topps copy and cherished it.  Heck, last year I posted a parody “googly eye” copy of this card for sale for a cool $5,000 to alert people to a scam that is rampant online (you can view more here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/275643171559 )  

1989 Topps Jose Canseco Quadruple Error Misprint Card #500 Rare ebay 1/1 - Picture 1 of 1

As an adult collector who came back to the hobby after a several year hiatus, I can connect with other collectors in my same position:  we want to get the cards back from our childhood, but picking up junk wax cards doesn’t quite scratch the itch.  We want something more.  We want something special from our childhood that represents who/what we collected, but was perhaps out of reach while only being able to utilize allowance money.  

For many, that means grabbing the nicest graded copy of our childhood favorites.  Heck, a PSA 10 of certain cards from the junk wax era can catapult them from being worth a few cents raw to several hundred dollars.   That isn’t my speed personally, as I prefer nice, clean, raw copies, and spend the extra money on rarities – I guess that’s one of the reasons why I love this 1989 Topps Heads Up Test issue so much – it is perhaps Topps’ rarest issue of Canseco from my childhood – one that I didn’t even know existed.  

As a collector who now only goes for specific types of cards, I don’t typically want EVERYTHING, but I do want my collection to tell a unique story, and cover as many bases as possible.  My collection was void of anything even remotely like this, so the 1989 Topps Heads Up Test Issue fits the bill for checking that box, and is perhaps the best representation to do so.