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.