Skip to main content

Awesome night card, pt. 218


I don't miss Upper Deck.

There, I said it.

I just don't. Maybe it's because I grew up on Topps, long before Upper Deck came to be. Maybe it's because I'm not all that interested in modern cards anymore (I passed up the card aisle again today) and "competition" isn't as urgent a need to me as it once was. Whatever the reason, I don't miss them.

But that doesn't mean I don't suffer, along with every other card collector, because Upper Deck isn't making MLB-approved cards anymore. Upper Deck's innovation and especially its photography is missing from today's cards.

And then there are other things that went by the wayside when Upper Deck's agreement with MLB died in 2010.

One of the most notable was the fact that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters didn't appear on baseball cards anymore.

As you know, the currently disabled Wieters signed an exclusive deal with Razor back in 2008. I wrote about that once before. Upper Deck paid Razor to receive permission to put Wieters on their cards in 2009. Then when Upper Deck lost its deal with MLB, future cards of Wieters disappeared. He still apparently hasn't signed a deal with Topps, and either Topps doesn't care about pursuing him or what they're offering isn't to Wieters' liking.

But I think Wieters is on Topps' mind.

Because I sat in disbelief this morning when I saw this:


That is a 5x7 "card" in the style of 1955 Topps that Topps is issuing in five-card wax packs per team (I don't think all of the teams are represented).

When The Five Tool Collector displayed his pack on his blog today I couldn't believe the sight of Wieters. At last! Topps and Wieters and Scott Boras have come to their senses and we can look forward to seeing cards of Wieters in future Topps products!

But not so fast.

After I babbled some on Twitter, Ryan Cracknell informed me that these 5x7 "cards" are actually "prints." They're called prints right on the wax wrapper. The prints are blank-backed and there are larger versions of them that are being sold by Topps online (just as the 5x7 prints are being sold online) with the purpose -- I guess -- of collectors framing them and hanging them on their wall.

But the 5x7 prints have the look and feel of cards. They're printed on Heritage stock. So, that leads me to believe that a lot of collectors are going to consider them cards.

And that this will be Wieters' first "card" for Topps -- short-printed to /99.

Using the term "print" seems like a legal dance that Topps is doing to get around not signing him to a trading card deal.

Whatever. Seems like a card to me. A short-printed card. Sold only online.

Upper Deck, where are you?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Night Card Binder candidate: Vladimir Guerrero, 2008 Upper Deck team checklist, #351
Does it make the binder?: Yes. I was concerned because this fantastic card is also #351. But I'll need that one for my future attempt to collect the 1976 SSPC set.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I was going to write more or less the same thing about Wieters, but you said everything I wanted to say plus you have a greater audience, so you've therefore spared me the trouble. Thanks!

I wonder if Ichiro will show up on a "print" next, if he hasn't already.

Aside from the general concept of "It's always good to have options", the main thing I miss about UD is the player selection. They were more likely to include the back-of-the-rotation guy, the backup catcher, the utility infielder or the middle reliever.
Commishbob said…
#1... I really liked Upper Deck back in the day but in the sense that, like you I don't care much for current cards, I guess I don't miss them either.

#2.. I'm don't understand how Topps can market a Weiters 'print' but not a Weiters 'card'. They'd surely have to have him under **some** sort of contract to use him on this 'print, or do they?.
Do they have an open ended agreement with MLB to use any player on items other than cards? Do they have some sort of contract with Weiters for items like this but it has a "no card" clause?
I just don't get it.
night owl said…
If I had interest in/knowledge of legal matters, I might have an answer for you, but I don't. But I'm willing to bet it's legal semantics.

Paul Lesko from the Cardboard Connection site is the legal card guru there. I'm sure he'd have an answer.
steelehere said…
I bet one of three things is going on.
#1 Topps has a MLB and MLBPA license to produce and sell photographs.
#2 Matt Wieters agreed to a deal with Topps.
#3 Topps might be getting the rights for Matt Wieters through a licensing agreement with Photofile, as they have the MLB right to sell licensed photographs. Photofile does the reverse to get the rights to make 8x10's of Michael Jordan by paying licensing fees to Upper Deck (which is why Upper Deck's logo is on MJ photos Photofile sells) since he opted out of the NBA's blanket agreement years ago.
hiflew said…
I really dislike the fact that the Dodgers get prints of luminaries such as Chris Gwynn, Dave Goltz, Ricky Horton, and Tim Leary, but the Rockies (and the other 3 90s expansion teams) are left out completely. I realize it isn't your fault (or even the Dodgers fault), but you have the sounding board so there we go.

As far as the Wieters saga goes, Wieters also had an eTopps card a few years back. I don't know how Topps maneuvered around the contract then, but it is probably the same thing now.

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.


I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…