Friday, March 10, 2017

Something I Just Noticed

In all the excitement around my hot hand with 2017 Heritage, I missed something. I make no bones about my distaste for most things Topps - I'm no fan of the exclusive licensing with MLB because I think it makes Topps lazy. I've pointed out easily correctable problems in the past to support this. However, in my excitement, I gave Topps too much slack. I found something that makes no sense.

Below is the base card (a short print) of Aroldis Chapman:

In the card, Chapman is featured in a Yankees uniform, very clearly from 2016. No problem there. But let's take a look at the Chapman Chrome card:

What? Why the heck is he in a Cubs uniform? I spent some time thinking and came to the conclusion that the Chrome cards most likely require more time to manufacture. This could have meant that the card design had to be submitted before Chapman re-signed with the Yanks (December 6th, if I'm not mistaken). That still seems like more than enough time to get him in the proper uniform, but I'm willing to give Topps the benefit of the doubt.

Until I saw this:

This is the mini parallel for Chapman, printing on normal stock, just smaller. Again, Chapman is sporting a Cubs uni, rather than the pinstripes of New York. So what in the actual hell gives?

My guess: Topps is trying to milk the Cubs' World Series championship for all it's worth. They want to feature him Cubbies blue to sell more cards. I mean, there is no other explanation, is there?

I guess my last question is this: why didn't Topps just feature him in a Cubs uniform on the base card also and wait until High Number came out to put him in pinstripes? That's their normal procedure, so what gives?


  1. Yeah it would make more Ames to just feature him as a yankee in the high number set

  2. Chapman in a Spring Training uniform. Probably the first appearance of a FL/AZ patch on a card in Topps history.

  3. Is it possible it is a planned variation? Topps seems to love them lately, and different teams would make a nice, easy variation too.

  4. This is nothing entirely new; Heritage sets in the past have had players photoshopped in the base set but not photoshopped in the various parallels. This is the first time I've seen an entirely different photo, but in this case there was no reason to photoshop Chapman into a Yankees uniform when he recently wore one.

    A year ago I featured a similar situation with the 2014 Heritage Curtis Granderson (Mets) and the black border parallel (Yankees) - you have to scroll about halfway through the post to see this pair of cards:

  5. Jayson Heyward had a Cubs card and Cardinals card in last year's Heritage set. It was the exact same photo, but one was photo shopped. Topps... they drive me batty.

  6. Weird, Ian Desmond is a Rockie on the Base card and a Ranger on the Chrome, same photo, just photoshopped on the base.

  7. Yeah, Heritage does this a lot (although usually with the same image). Last year Zach Greinke was a Diamondback in the base set but a Dodger in the chrome set.

  8. It's the timing of when the cards are due to the printer. The chrome and parallels have to be there much sooner than the base cards. There is essentially a late form that goes out for the base to get free agent signings and offseason trades. So Topps tries to capture it when they can.