Shame on Topps.

I mean, really. First, there’s the silliness about the Jeter card, which has made finding a lone pack of 2007 Topps nearly impossible, and apparently not just where I live. The only ’07 Topps cards I’ve even seen in person were a handful of Red Sox cards given to me by the charitable (and apparently sympathetic) guys at the local card shop. I’m beginning to agree with the conspiracy theory that Topps did not just not notice until it was too late, as the company claims. How else to pump up lagging base-set sales than make everyone go crazy for what would otherwise be a 25-cent card? Frankly, if Topps wanted us to buy the line that they just didn’t notice the changes, maybe they could have been a bit more subtle — by say actually including all of President Bush’s left arm.

Second, there’s the matter of the typos. Granted, every set has typos. Some of them get corrected and turn the original error cards into collectors’ dreams (1990 Topps Frank Thomas RC, for example). In this case, though, Topps would likely spend all their newfound Jeter-spawned profit on ink and cardboard and high-gloss shiny stuff just to correct the mistakes found in this set.

For example, notice anything a tad off with the back of the Jason Varitek card above? Like, say, that the summary says he just finished his first season in the majors, despite the very obvious presence of more than one season in the majors? It’s pretty difficult to see what could have happened. The odd feat actually did happen (Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez and Varitek), and the paragraph actually uses his last name. But he clearly was not six hits away from .300 in ’06, or any other season, for that matter.

The excellent Baseball Card Blog runs down a couple more noticeable problems — for example the use of the wrong signature on Manny Ramirez’s card. The comments to that post also note another glaring error — the remarkable number of managers who finished with the same record last year and have the same career record. Of course, I have to take these claims at their word because — have I mentioned? — I can’t find a single Topps pack anywhere!!!!!

So, to recap: The Topps proofreaders remarkably failed to notice an 8-foot-tall amputated George W. Bush just over Derek Jeter’s swinging (and missing, might I add) bat, failed to realize that Jason Varitek was not a rookie, and failed to see that every manager does not in fact have the same stats as Joe Torre. They also somehow didn’t notice that Manny Ramirez suddenly developed arthritis and began scrawling his signature in crayon. (Which may actually be how he signs, for all I know — somehow there’s not a single faux-sig Ramirez card among the 46 in my collection).

The question, dear readers, is what exactly were Topps’ proofreaders proofreading? Because it sure wasn’t baseball cards.

7 comments… add one
  • That is pathetic. A few errors are funny. But wholesale sloppiness isn’t. I don’t know what the explanation for this could be: is the lousy business forcing a cutback to the proofing staff? Does all the money go into production? Could this be a production problem, not a proofing problem (ie—the wrong files were sent off to press; as an editor, i know that happens)? And what’s the deal with those weird black squares, anyway? They’re clunky, and don’t have any baseball meaning. It’s just mediocre corporate design. Boo,

    YF March 6, 2007, 8:45 am
  • Excuse me. i meant the grid of RED sqaures. At least they could have made it a diamond. There’s jus nothing playful about this year’s design. Sad. They look like they were put together at a lab on the Death Star.

    YF March 6, 2007, 9:06 am
  • Maybe it’s an inside joke among the guys at Topps. Picture some baseball geeks sitting around saying: Let’s see what wacky goofball stuff with can print on our cards and see if anyone notices.
    These misprint cards like that Jeter one may be worth something in the future.

    asdf March 6, 2007, 10:40 am
  • Considering it’s not a short print, I doubt it asdf. It might be worth $1 instead of 25 cents. But the idiots paying $300 for one on eBay are, well… idiots.
    The cards actually look better in person than they do online. The black works, even if it is hellish when you’re trying to keep your cards mint. But, yeah, the weird colored boxes should have been gotten the axe long before they even got mock-ups of the design, and I’m not sure what’s up with the boxy little face pic on the back. It’s so small as to be worthless.

    Paul SF March 6, 2007, 10:46 am
    Myers issues warning to Kim Jones??
    Mike Myers has posted fair warning to reporters who venture near his locker. A new sign above his belongings reads, “Don’t ask foolish questions,” with an image of a clown kicking a question mark.
    It was only appropriate, then, to ask Myers—excluding present company—what was the most foolish question he’d ever handled?
    ‘I gave up a home run last year, and the first question was, ‘Are you disappointed you gave up the home run?’” Myers said. ‘And it wasn’t just to me. The same reporter kept asking the question to different pitchers. Once in a while, it’s OK. But not every day.’”
    sounds like Kim Jones’s questions. lol

    BIl MD March 6, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • Looking at the Jeter/Bush card through a magnifying loup, it looks to me like the Photoshop artist at Topps tried to put Bush’s left arm behind the shoulder of the guy wearing the black cap.
    Maybe the last two sentences of the Varitek paragraph belong on someone else’s card. (I also tried to add 7 hits with or without 7 more ABs to get .300, and I couldn’t!)

    ABPW March 24, 2007, 1:09 pm
  • Oh come on. Everybody can make a mistake :D

    Robert Robertson January 5, 2008, 2:31 pm

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