Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rookie repetition

OK, all you rookie card collectors and rookie card haters out there, I have a question for you:

What would you say if I told you there is a certain rookie who has two cards this year?

No big deal. An individual rookie could have dozens of cards in any given year.

What would you say if I told you there is a certain rookie with two cards in the same set?

Still not a big deal. That's happened a number of times.

What would you say if I told you there is a certain rookie with two cards in the same set with the same photo?

OK, show me.

Here you go:

2012 Topps Heritage, card #362: Matt Dominguez, Marlins; Chris Schwinden, Mets; Joe Savery, Phillies; Brad Peacock, Athletics

2012 Topps Heritage, card #407: Matt Dominguez, Marlins; Jeremy Moore, Angels; Devin Mesoraco, Reds; Michael Taylor, Athletics

Yup, you've spotted it already.

The same Dominguez photo appears on TWO cards.

Neither of these cards is a short-print variation. It's not an error either.

Even if it was an error, you know Heritage. Most "errors" are some sort of nod to errors that appeared in the set in 1963.

So I went through my Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards and looked at all the Rookie Stars cards from that year. But there isn't one player's name that is featured on two different cards.

There are 80 different rookie players featured on these cards in the 1963 set -- talk about a set filled with rookies! (this will come into play later).

So it seems that Dominguez has two different rookie cards in this set for no apparent reason.

But it gets worse.

Dominguez appears on yet another Rookie Stars card, card #158. That would be three rookie cards for the Florida Marlin.

Still it gets worse.

Dominguez isn't a rarity in this set. In fact, there are several rookies that appear on multiple floating heads Rookies Stars cards in 2012 Heritage.

Devin Mesoraco, Michael Taylor and Brad Peacock -- who each share space with Dominguez -- appear on three different Rookie Stars cards.

So does Steve Lombardozzi. And Jared Hughes. And Dellin Betances. And others.

Adron Chambers appears on FIVE Rookie Stars cards.

Still it gets worse.

Some of these rookies who appear on multiple Rookie Stars cards also have a solo card in the set.

I'm aware of Chambers, Fedorwicz and Nate Hagadone each having solo cards plus at least one Rookie Stars card appearance. If I took even more time to scan the checklist, I'd probably find others.

So, if you are, say, a Cardinals collector, there are SIX cards of Adron Chambers to collect in this set. I know I'm not crazy about having to collect three Heritage cards of Dodgers rookie catcher Tim Fedorwicz. I can't imagine having to collect six of what's possibly the same guy with the same photo.

My guess is that Topps did this because it was trying to stay true to the 1963 set, which featured 20 different Rookie Stars cards, each with four players. And it seems Topps didn't have enough rookie guys to go around (since the cardboard definition of a rookie is a lot more precise than it was in 1963). So, not being able to think of anything else, it just duplicated players' photos.

But why also issue SOLO cards of those guys, too? There are so many players who don't get to appear in sets. That was an opportunity wasted.

That's the part that automatically makes me want to avoid this set, not that I was trying to complete it anyway.

As for the rookie card angle, I know this isn't the first Dominguez card issued (or the first of numerous players featured on the Rookie Stars cards). But can you imagine if it was? Which card would be his true rookie card?

The angst! The intrigue! The nightmarish specter of multiple Dominguez floating heads haunting your dreams!



That was a bit of ugliness I didn't expect to uncover in a set like Heritage.

Then there is this:

Brad Peacock as a National and Brad Peacock as an Athletic in the same set. (He was traded from the Nats to the A's on Dec. 23). That's got to be a goof, right?


I have no idea anymore.

Here's a checklist to calm myself down:

Soothing retro. That's better.


  1. My emotions keep vacillating wildly between "Oh GAWD, I want Heritage sooo bad, this is one of my favorite designs EVAR, oh man there's an Uggla/Chipper combo card REALLY REALLY WANT whyyyyyy did I swear off wax this year I am an IDIOT!!!!" to "Really? (bleep)in' Really? Whew, dodged a bullet this year..."

    Thank you for swinging me back in the right direction, especially since I'll be hit with temptation when I go to Target with the family later today.

  2. ...and THAT'S why homeboy was bleepin' blogger of the bleepin' year 2011.

    nice work, colombo

  3. Maybe it's a nod to the 1981 Fleer set, which was filled with errors.

  4. That sure is a lot of floating heads... good detective work Night Owl.

  5. I know I have three diffrent Rockies that have at least one floating RC and a solo card. Drew Pomeranz, Wilin Rosario, and Jordan Pacheco.

    All this AND manager Jim Tracy is snubbed by Heritage after not appearing in 2011 either. I'm not a Jim Tracy fan by any means, but if you include managers, then include them all.

    I know the checklist was supposed to be a calming presence, but why do they have check boxes for each of the four rookies on a card? Can you get one without the others? Unless that was a nod to the original set as well. If not, it makes no sense.

  6. Can you REALLY count those Rookie Stars cards as REAL rookie cards, though?

    Oh, the word "Rookie" is on each one? As is the "RC" logo? Oh.

    I don't care, I say they still don't count as honest-to-goodness rookie cards. Even though they have nothing but rookies on them, say the word "rookie" and have the Rookie Card logo on them. Nope! Not real!

  7. Great work, sir! And, I like the alliteration in the title.

  8. they did the same thing with Brett Pill -- two "rookie stars" cards and a solo card in the short prints. aargh!

  9. Quality control issues? and Topps? say it aint so, Greg, say it aint so...

  10. I knew about Chris Schwinden's three cards, and I think it's a shame he didn't get a fourth - one for each game he played in last September.

    I didn't realize it was a widespread issue. Topps certainly could have done something more productive with those checklist spots.

  11. For those who wondering, the 1963 Topps checklist did not list each player on the 4-player rookie cards individually in the checklist.

    In '63, each checklist devoted one box to the Rookie Stars cards and they were labeled "Rookie Stars 1," "Rookie Stars 2," etc. Some were labeled "Rookie Card" instead of "Rookie Stars."