Monday, May 19, 2008

Card That Makes You Go...WHAT??! of the Week: 2006 Topps Wal-Mart David Ortiz #WM46

(The "WHAT??!" means, "What was Topps thinking???" I'll try, on a weekly basis to post a card that just for any reason looks questionable. The reasons could be huge, they may be small. It may look like I'm nitpicking. But nobody that I have seen has questioned it before, so I'll take a shot at it.)

David Ortiz's 2006 Topps Walmart #WM46. What could possibly be wrong with this card???

Above is a card of David Ortiz from the 2006 Topps Wal-Mart insert set. In what was the first year of retailer exclusive insert sets (this card could only be found in packs and blaster boxes of 2006 Topps Series II sold at Wal-Mart stores), this set consisted of 54 cards utilizing Topps' catalog of designs (from 1952-2005) with pictures of current and former players.

Take a good look at this card. The design used was from 1997 Topps. It pictures "Big Papi" in a Red Sox uniform. The Red Sox logo is on the bottom left, and the Topps logo and Ortiz's is printed in gold foil. But there is something wrong with this card. What is it?

No, it's not because there is a space missing between his first and last name (that's how the player's names were printed on all regular player's cards).

No, it's not because Ortiz is pictured in a Red Sox uniform (he was with the Twins minor league system in 1997).

No, it's not because the entire card was covered in gloss (the 1997 cards had glossy pictures, but the "frame" had a dry matte finish to it).

Give up?

It's because in 1997 Topps, all American League player cards had red "frames" surrounding the and all National League players had green "frames."

1997 Topps Mark Grace #37. National League cards in Green.

1997 Topps Mark Langston #128. American League Cards in Red.

Now there are other cards from this set that make me wonder, "what was Topps thinking when they put this together?" like the Tom Seaver card that used the 1995 Topps design (why that picture) or the Ryne Sandberg card that did a horrible job of finding the right font for the team name from the 1984 design (that's another matter for another day). Unless you know your Topps designs, you wouldn't even notice it. But for those who do know, "WHAT WAS TOPPS THINKING??!"


JayBee Anama

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