CSG Certifies Two High-grade Examples of the Frank Thomas 'No Name on Front' Rookie Card

Posted on 12/30/2022

Today, the most well-known error baseball card of the junk wax era is eagerly sought by collectors.

Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) recently authenticated two high-grade examples of the 1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas "No Name on Front" card. Graded CSG 8 and CSG 7.5, the cards are unsurpassed among the five in the CSG Population Report.

1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas - No Name on Front graded CSG 8.
Click images to enlarge.

After a stellar collegiate baseball career at Auburn University, first baseman Frank Thomas was selected by the Chicago White Sox as the seventh overall pick of the 1989 MLB Draft. Not long after, Thomas’ rookie cards were released in the middle of an overflooded sports card market known as the "junk wax" era. Yet, one Frank Thomas rookie card was renowned for its glaring error, and it became one of the most desirable finds of the early 1990s.

Printing anomalies on sports cards don’t always guarantee rarity or an increase in value. However, the 1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas is a different story. No Name on Front cards in the condition like the two that were just graded by CSG easily sell for thousands of dollars. Cards without the error generally sell for well under $100.

LEFT: 1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas - No Name on Front graded CSG 7.5. RIGHT: 1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas graded CSG Gem Mint 10.
Click images to enlarge.

The Frank Thomas error was part of a production sheet issue within the 1990 set of Topps baseball cards, which also created "blackless" errors on the borders of other nearby cards during the printing process. These error cards have helped sustain interest in a typically mundane mass-produced set from this era.

Frank Thomas played for four teams during his 19-year Major League Baseball career, including 16 seasons with the Chicago White Sox. Nicknamed for his size and power at the plate, “The Big Hurt” is a five-time All-Star, two-time American League MVP, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, 1997 American League batting champion and 2005 World Series champion. With his 2008 retirement, Thomas ended his MLB career with a .301 batting average, 521 home runs, 2,468 hits and 1,704 runs batted in. In 2014, Thomas earned a first-ballot induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

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