Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Angels and errors

As the resident color freak, my favorite card sets often hinge on color. Like many collectors, I most appreciate it when a card set features colors that match the respective teams.

I've covered this before. I like it when a set features blue for the Dodgers, not pink or gold.

Topps and Upper Deck have been fairly good about that recently, although this year's UD set is about as colorless as it could possibly be when it comes to design.

No chance of that with Topps this year. The colors are all over the place and quite bright. I like that. I like neon signs. I like girls in their summer clothes. I like colorful cards.

So, I'm quite pleased with the 2010 cards in terms of coloring. And, for the most part, the colors match with the respective team.

I did notice a bit of a difference when I was leafing through my cards yesterday. Here are the few Angels cards I have. You'll notice Topps chose a red swoosh for the Angels. Or did they?

Howie Kendrick is special.

Cards like this make me immediately recall the days of "the corrected error." I don't expect there to be a new version of this card issued with the correct-colored swoosh. But back in the '80s, card companies were issuing corrected versions of cards all over the place. Fleer issued over 30 different corrections/changes in its 1981 set.

Although there were plenty of uncorrected errors in the '80s, there seemed to be more of an effort to correct errors then. Of course, that spawned two versions of the same card and people flipped out over which version was more rare. Among many examples, you've got the reverse negative John Littlefield card ('82 Fleer) and the white-letters Keith Comstock card  ('88 Topps). A lot of these card went for big bucks (the Littlefield card still does, I believe).

That touched off an error craze among collectors. If you're old enough to have read Baseball Cards magazine when it was out in the early-to-mid '80s, you might remember the "Collector Q&A" column. It was a place for collectors to write in with questions about their cards. I liked this column because you found out about fascinating oddball sets and interesting variations, as well as answers for how to display/care for your cards, etc.

But during the error craze, the Q&A column got overrun with error questions. It was like a plague. Some examples:

-- "My 1981 Fleer card of Tim Stoddard has part of the R and D of his last name missing. Is this an error?" (it's a printing flaw).

-- "I recently bought a 1965 Topps card of Jim Katt with his name misspelled on the front as 'Kaat.' Was this ever corrected, and if it wasn't is this still a rare card?" (No, it wasn't corrected because "Kaat" is actually how you spell his name -- the thing that kills me is the person who answered the question didn't point this out).

-- "My 1982 Fleer card of Jesse Jefferson says he was born in the year '507.' Was this mistake ever corrected?" (No it wasn't. Jefferson really is 1,475 years old).

At least half of the questions seemed to be error-related. It started to frustrate me. It's understandable, because people were finding out there was money to be made off of errors. But I was reading the column for tips on my hobby. This just got in the way.

Today, collectors still notice errors. But in this current world of Intentional Errors, errors don't mean as much. That's bad and good. It's bad because I like accuracy. But it's good because at least I don't have to study every line of type on the back of my cards anymore.

Lastly, since I'm talking about Angels, here's a video with "angel" in the title:

Yes, I have finally figured out how to do this. This is big.

I am not a moron anymore.

Well, not about this anyway.


  1. congrats on the youtube thing... there's no stopping you now.

    and the funny thing is, when I see pink on a baseball card, I automatically think it's a Dodger...

  2. The color coded cards are another reason why Topps Tops Upper Deck. The 1972 set really worked for some teams. The 1985 and 1986 sets worked well. Topps recently made a comeback with the 2005 and 2008 (the dippin dots set) which worked well.

    Baseball Card magazine was at its Zenith in the early 1980s. I think the first one I bought was issue no 10. Keith Olberman articles were great. Baseball Card (magazine) went down hill around 1987 when it went monthly and then you got all those queations about variations that had to fill up space.

  3. How did you do the you tube thing? I havent been able to get it to work.

    Word verification the trouble with tribl

  4. If the only thing we had to worry about these days was the cosmetic randomness of designs and possible errors... (Wow, that was me waving an old man's cane in the general direction of the yard).

  5. Rod ~ You find the youtube video you want, then you find the embed code that is off to the right of the video (under the URL code).

    You then copy & paste the entire embed code into the body of your post, wherever you want the video to appear.

    And by copy & paste I mean "control-c" for copy and "control-v" for paste.

  6. It seems that no one cares about modern error cards. I got a 2008 Bowman card of Brian Bannister and it has a picture of Luke Hochevar on it. I went to and they don't even list it as an error.

  7. I wish they still corrected error cards. Sure that means you might have to deal with getting variations and scouring the text to see what version you have, get to scour the text to see what version you have!

    Looking through my collection a second time hunting for errors was almost like opening the packs again.

    Now they just move on to series 2.

  8. zman40: yes, noone cares about modern error cards - it's my understanding everything is printed and packed out in one run, not leaving any time for anyone to notice and correct error cards.

    I suppose with 2010 Topps, that might have changed. I don't know why the jumbos were released well after the hobby boxes. I suspect that errors may exist in hobby/retail that might have been corrected in jumbos and someone should compile a list of 2010 topps errors found in hobby/retail and see if someone ripping jumbos sees that same error or if it appears to have been corrected.