Everybody makes mistakes, and every once in a while those mistakes are captured on cardboard. When there is a card error for an unknown player hardly anyone notices, but when it happens to the greatest basketball player of all time, people notice.
I’ve been trying to find out just how many Michael Jordan error cards have been printed. Despite my best efforts, its still not exactly clear how many MJ error cards are out there, but to my knowledge there are at least three that are well known and documented. There certainly could be others, but until I hear otherwise, I’m only going to stick to the three I know.
Below I’ll point out the mistakes on the three well known and well documented Jordan error cards as well as highlighting the prices of ungraded cards listed on eBay and any recent PSA sales. So lets check out some Jordan error cards.
1992-93 Upper Deck In Your Face #453
The first error card on this list features an absolutely stunning shot of Jordan going up for a dunk. The card in the image below is the 1992-93 Upper Deck In Your Face Michael Jordan card (#453).
The error on this one is difficult to spot, but its in the gold foil in the upper right of the card. If you zoom in, you’ll see the two years printed on this error card show 1985 and 1990, which is incorrect. The correct years for Jordan were 1987 and 1988.
To Upper Deck’s credit, they caught this error and fixed it. What this means, is that there are both error cards and non error cards floating around out there. Below is the image of the corrected card.
You may be wondering, how did this error happen? Its actually a pretty easy problem to solve when looking at the list of graded cards on PSA’s website. As you can see on the screen shot below, it was a simple swapping error with Dominique Wilkins, who also has an error card and a corrected card out in the market.
Finding an ungraded copy of the Jordan In Your Face error card is a challenge, as many collectors know about this card and quickly snatch it up if they see one selling on eBay. However, I’ve seen this ungraded error card sell in a range of $50-$75, which to me sounds like a steal if you find one that could receive a strong grade.
This GEM Mint PSA 10 Jordan error card is a $1,000+ card, and has sold for as much as $2,875 back in February, 2021. The PSA 9s have been selling in the $250-$350 range.
The non-error card is no where near as valuable. The PSA 10 corrected card sells in a broad range of $200-$350. The PSA 9 has recently sold for as low as $43, but it looks to typically sell in the $50-$100 range.
1995-96 Skybox Premium #15
This Jordan error card is probably the easiest one to miss on this short list, but you don’t necessarily have to be a true stat maniac to catch this one. The front of this card, as you can see, is absolutely fine. In fact, I love the design of this card and since its a very affordable ungraded card, I grabbed a great looking copy off eBay for under $5.
The error for this card is found on the back, and if you think you know your Jordan stats, I challenge you to find it before you scroll down.
The error is there, but its very minor. Its nearly impossible to know this off the top of your head, but the error is in the blocks column. They didn’t get any of the years wrong, but look at that career block total!
There aren’t too many guards that I know of who can get more than 3-times more blocks than steals. The number they meant was 697 after 10 seasons, but someone fat fingered the total and an extra 2 slipped in.
Now you might be wondering who holds the record for most career blocks in the NBA. In case you were, let me save you a google search.
There have only been 5 players to record 3,000 or more blocks in their career, and those players were Tim Duncan (3,020), Mark Eaton (3,064), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (3,189), Dikembe Mutombo (3,289), and the block king is Hackeem Olajuawon with 3,830 career blocks. I hope that helps put the incorrect Jordan block total into perspective.
The ungraded prices for this card, like I said earlier, are dirt cheap, and you should be able to find a copy for around $5-$10. However, the GEM Mint PSA 10 copies have been climbing in value in 2021. There have only been two PSA 10 sales in 2021, but the first sold on January 30th for $475, and the most recent sale took place on February 18 and sold for $888.
1993-94 Topps #23
This one is special, because the razor-sharp editing team at Topps managed to let not just one, but two errors slip past them and make it onto this Jordan card. On the front of the card is a slight error, listing Jordan as a forward, even though he has always been listed as a shooting guard. A fairly minor error, all things considered, and at least they didn’t list him as a center.
The more egregious error is only visible when you flip to the back of the card. Before getting to the error, I do want to point out that I love the fact that this card is #23 in the set. I can’t explain it, but I love basketball card sets that give Jordan the #1 card in the set, or line it up so that he has the 23rd card in the set, and Topps made that happen, which is pretty cool.
Lets talk about the second error on this card, which is Jordan’s incorrect birth date. If Topps had only messed up the year, month, or day this error may have easily slipped passed most people and been labeled as ‘just’ a solo error card. However, all aspects of Jordan’s birthday were off, and off by quite a bit.
Many Michael Jordan fans likely know that Jordan was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 17, 1963. Its hard to imagine for those of us who grew up watching Jordan, but he will be celebrating his 59th birthday in less than a year… I feel old!
However, according to this Topps card, Jordan just recently celebrated his 53rd birthday. Or, to put it another way, if the April 3, 1968 birthday from this Topps card were correct, than he would have been just 16 years old when he first stepped on the court in his 1984 debut with the Bulls.
Naturally, I was compelled to search for NBA players born on April 3, 1968. According to a 2019 Hoops Hype article I found, not a single player that has played in the NBA was born on that date, which makes the error even more mysterious. I learned that Pervis Ellison was born on that date but a year earlier, while LaBradford Smith also shares that birthday, but was born the year after. So as far as I can tell, not a single NBA player was born on that date. Very strange.
I like to believe that perhaps it was an editor’s last day and they hated their job, so as a parting “F You” to their boss, they inserted their own birthday in place of Jordan’s. If that’s the case, then its pretty darn hilarious. But who knows, maybe it was just one totally random error that will live on as a mystery.
Also interesting to point out with this card is that PSA does not label this card an error card, while they do label the other two cards on this list as error cards. I find that to be very strange, especially since this is the most erroneous Jordan basketball card I’ve ever seen. Maybe they will start labeling this as an error card when they get back to business… someone please give them a heads up.
Since this is just a base card, it is a very easy card to pick up and add to your Jordan collection, and I recently just purchased one. You should be able to get this one for under $5. At the moment, this card doesn’t command crazy high prices for graded copies, even on the highest end. The recent sales prices for PSA 10s have been holding steady around $200. The PSA 9s have typically been selling in the $80-$100 range, but the most recent PSA 9 did sell for $170 in early April.
If you have a couple of copies of this card, it may be worth your while to send the best copies in to be graded. You’ll pretty much break even if you get any 8s, but getting a 9 or a 10 will make your $20 grading expense well worth it. Out of the 235 total graded population for this card, 122 have received a grade of PSA 9, while 42 received GEM Mint PSA 10 status.
And that does it for this short list of true Jordan error cards. If you know of any others, please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to add to this list and do some research about the error and highlight the value of the card.