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Everyone does not get a trophy

I've had a couple of people request that I do this post. I hesitated, most likely because I don't like being told what to do, but also because I just haven't been paying attention.

This concerns 2017 Topps flagship and the set's jaw-dropping inability to adhere to one of its basic features for the majority of time flagship has been around.

But because I wasn't paying attention, and hadn't bought very much flagship this year, I hadn't noticed. I also don't know if this has been addressed by any other blogs (oop, here is one mention now). But onward I go, because I am at my core a base-set collector.

Last fall, Topps announced its all-star rookie team. It's been an annual tradition for decades as far as I know. The players selected for that team show up in the following year's set with a little rookie cup on the front of their card (or if they started in the '60s, a big, honking trophy).

This was the team for 2016:

C - Gary Sanchez, Yankees
1B - Tommy Joseph, Phillies
2B - Ryan Schimpf, Padres
3B - Alex Bregman, Astros
SS - Corey Seager, Dodgers
OF - Trea Turner, Nationals
OF - Nomar Mazara, Rangers
OF - Tyler Naquin, Indians
LHP - Julio Urias, Dodgers
RHP - Kenta Maeda, Dodgers
RP - Seong-Hwan Oh, Cardinals

So those are the guys we expected to display rookie trophies on their cards.

Topps' Series 1 got off to an expected start:

All of the players on the rookie All-Star team featured in Series 1 received their accompanying trophy (the Naquin shot is from his game-winning inside-the-park home run against the Blue Jays in August 2016, by the way).

Then Series 2 came along and disaster:

No cup for any of those guys.

I'm sure the players have gotten over it, but what the hell?

How do you forget something you've been doling out for decades?

This certainly isn't the first time that a Topps rookie all-star didn't feature a cup on his card. I believe it's happened several times. (Brian of Highly Subjective and Complete Arbitrary, if I remember right, documented the instances).

But those were here-and-there blips. It wasn't an entire series!

If you want trophies on those particular rookies in Series 2, almost all of them can be found with the trophies attached in Topps Chrome. Joseph, however, isn't in Chrome. So you'll have settle for the '60s-style trophy on his Heritage card.

There is no other way for me to view the absence of rookie cups on all of the Series 2 cards than a complete disregarded for one of the traditions that Topps collectors have enjoyed for many years. I, personally, don't care much, but I know many focus on those cups.

Topps, which I imagine is enjoying a windfall year, has moved on to other things, online exclusives, pumping up the latest hot rookie, memorabilia and non-sports stuff. I get that they have to focus on what people buy and what makes money.

But an error like this just looks like nobody cares. This is still the flagship brand, right?

Take it from someone in the media business who has made errors in print and been told afterward that we don't care. That's what some collectors are thinking. Even if you really do care -- and I know for a fact that there are those at Topps that do -- you'll never convince some collectors, just like I'll never convince some readers.

It reaffirms what I've thought and heard over the years: card companies aren't the keepers of the hobby's history. Collectors are.

That's what it's supposed to look like.

And I can't do MS Paint for shit.


Zippy Zappy said…
My prediction for the 2018 Topps All-Rookie Team

C - Luis Torrens
1B - Luis Torrens
2B - Luis Torrens
SS - Luis Torrens
3B - Luis Torrens
OF - Luis Torrens
OF - Luis Torrens
OF - Luis Torrens
SP - Luis Torrens
RP - Luis Torrens
Anonymous said…
I'm tempted to attribute this to Corporate America, because this is the kind of crap that goes on in Corporate America (from my own experience, anyway). Poor planning and poor communication. As someone who has a "mild" Tommy Joseph collection going, I have to say I'm pretty disappointed, especially since I can't even go the Chrome route for him.
Hackenbush said…
As an overly left-brained person it bothers me not to know why. And I'm only collecting the Cubs.
GCA said…
Seems like a combination of all these factors. Corporate suits who aren't collectors, who are young enough to have little attention span left to give after hyping rookies and every "trending" event on NOW cards and little regard to tradition and history when it slows down the "innovation". And they can't use the excuse that the trophies are behind the white smoke....
Fuji said…
Aww man. I was hoping this was an anti-cupcake nation post. Oh well... I enjoy posts on Topps rookie trophies too.
Brian said…
Yeah... I just. So disappointed in Topps. They added the cups back in on Topps Chrome. I haven't decided yet what will go in my Rookie Cup binder for the 2017 set (2016 Class). Right now I have all the series one guys in there. Do I add the rest as Chrome? Do I switch over to Heritage instead? I think I might do that...
shoeboxlegends said…
Just plain lazy, come on Topps!
AdamE said…
Somewhere in the last 9 years I learned about how they decide who got the rookie cup right here on this blog.

Congrats on 9. Sorry, I missed the anniversary post the other day.
Obviously a cost cutting measure. Next I've heard they are going to leave off the team names so a pack can stay under 3 bucks. I'm kidding.
steelehere said…
Replace Luis Torrens with Aaron Judge (and possibly Cody Bellinger) and you're idea is spot on.
steelehere said…
You hit it spot on with card manufacturers not keeping up with Hobby history. I used to work for one (many years ago) and it goes without saying that many of their employees (those in graphic design, the printing department, even product development and sales) had no collecting background prior to getting the job and thus no idea about the value of continuity with their customers (collectors).
I'm all for not every kid getting a trophy, but in this instance, that is a bummer.
jacobmrley said…
2010 Topps comes to mind, they changed the trophy, they put it on some cards and not on others and some they printed versions with and without a trophy. It was a mess.

The Topps Chrome, oddly, has the trophy on the cards in the second series. Good luck figuring out QC in Topps HQ.

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