This is not a real card but it could have been, as Tom Seaver’s rookie card was issued in 1967 and Nolan Ryan’s came a year later. Ryan appeared in two games for the Mets in 1966 but military obligations limited him to just four minor league games in 1967.
Instead, Acme Reproductions made this card in 1990, using the ’67 set design and editing in the picture from Ryan’s actual rookie card.
I purchased this at a card show back in 1995 or so and paid $5 for it because I thought it was cool. On the back of the card in an invitation to purchase another “RYAN SEAVER ROOKIE CARD” for $29, along with a phone number and mailing address.
Numerous attempts to call the 201 area code number listed on the back all resulted in a fast busy signal. A quick online search for “Acme Reproductions” did not yield worthwhile results.
I checked on ebay where I found several copies of the card for sale, including one seller asking $380 for it. I guess you never know unless you ask but with several other copies available at less than one-tenth that price, I’m guessing that auction will end without a sale.
Interestingly, some ebay auctions of this card also include another Seaver/Ryan rookie card interpretation by Acme Reproductions. This one has the same boxed-window layout with individual poses of the two players, except this one has windup poses of both Seaver and Ryan, and has Ryan wearing uniform #34.
Most of Ryan’s tenure on the Mets he wore uniform #30 instead. According to the invaluable Mets By The Numbers, Ryan wore #34 during his tenure with the club in 1966. When he returned to the majors in 1967 (did not pitch), Cal Koonce was wearing #34 and Ryan switched over to #30.
This other Seaver/Ryan rookie card interpretation was a numbered edition and 10,000 copies were made.
I have no idea how many copies were made of my version and frankly I don’t care. The card spoke to me that day when I saw it on the dealer’s table and I enjoy it for what it is, not how scarce it might be.
If you enjoy this fake card, click here for an artist’s idea on how a 1967 Topps Ryan might have looked. Scroll up and down for some other fake card ideas.