And being stuck inside helps you ponder other ridiculous occurrences. Like the two Willy Aybars that Topps issued in 2008. The card of the former Dodger on the right is No. 654 from Series 2. The card on the left is from the Updates & Highlights set, No. UH217.
Exactly what about Aybar is Topps updating? He didn't change teams, obviously. Why would Topps issue two regular old base cards of the same guy when nothing has changed?
You'll note the difference in the backs. The Series 2 card at the top has all his minor league stats but apparently forgot his 2007 season. The bottom card excludes the minor stats and adds that Aybar did not play in 2007. Is that really worth the update, to include the forgotten '07 season?
The Aybar cards remind me of the puzzling cards of Elizardo Ramirez from the 2007 Topps set.
The card on the left is from Series 1, No. 84. The right card is No. 554 from Series 2. I had never heard of Ramirez when I pulled his Series 1 card. So imagine my surprise when he showed up again in Series 2, except with a tighter-cropped photo. The backs are the same except for the write-ups.
What the heck happened here? Did they forget that they already issued Ramirez in the first set? They couldn't possibly have run out of players to feature. They don't include enough players as it is. Do you think Ramirez phoned back home in the Dominican Republic and asked his family, "Guess who has two base cards in the Topps set? No, it's not Jeter. No not A-Rod. No not Prince Albert. It's me, Elizardo!"
The Ramirez cards of 2007 reminded me of the Scott Hattebergs from the 2006 Topps set.
The Hatteberg on the left is card No. 4 from Series 1. The card on the right is card No. 533 from Series 2. What we have here is basically an Update & Highlight card in the second series!
Hatteberg was signed by the Reds in February of 2006 after the Series 1 cards were printed. It's kind of cool that the Hatteberg card was updated, but it's odd that he was the only one who got an updated card before the U&H set actually came out.
My question is how the heck does this happen? For years, Topps issued its main set in series, often breaking it up into five or six separate series. Never did they issue a second card of a player (unless it was a special card, like a record breaker or all-star card, etc.). And Topps has been issuing update (or traded) sets each year since 1981. To my knowledge they've never before run a second card of a player in the update set who hadn't even been traded.
Is there so much going on at Topps that they're losing track of what players they have featured? Are they too busy issuing their dozen-and-a-half other sets and creating their zillions of inserts that the quality control is slipping on the flagship set? Are they too busy thinking up gimmicks that they're letting other things slide?
I wonder. This stuff never used to happen. Why is it now?