After going over the specifics, I'm am looking forward to next February (must add a countdown gadget to the blog soon) and getting my hands on the new cards. But in a way, I'm a bit concerned. Because for the first time in recent memory, Topps actually announced that they will shortprinting certain cards into the eponymous Topps set. While this is technically not the first time Topps has shared card numbers with certain players, the fact is that they are forewarning us that they are adding shortprinted variation cards into the Topps set. To be more specific, look below:
"So what?" you say. "Big deal!" you say. If you have not seen the preliminary checklist for 2009 Topps Series 1, let me give you a bit of a preview (and the usual warning, the checklist is subject to change):
- Card #1 is Alex Rodriguez. The next card is also numbered #1, but it's Babe Ruth.
- Card #10 is Marlins 2B Dan Uggla. Card #10 is also reserved for Rogers Hornsby.
- Card #55 is shared between SS's J. J. Hardy and Pee Wee Reese.
- Justin Morneau and Lou Gehrig share card #90.
- C. C. Sabathia and Cy Young are both listed as card #170.
- Chase Utley and Jimmie Foxx are listed as card #200.
- Miguel Tejada and Honus Wagner are paired together for card #205.
- Geovany Soto and Roy Campanella hold card #210.
- Card #215 is listed as Ian Kinsler and Jackie Robinson.
- Ryan Braun and Mel Ott share card #240.
- Grady Sizemore and Tris Speaker both lay claim to card #270.
- Greg Maddux and Walter Johnson get card #287.
- Card #290 goes to both Albert Pujols and George Sisler.
- Ichiro Suzuki and Ty Cobb both hold down card #300.
- Yankee catchers Ivan Rodriguez and Thurman Munson are listed as card #305.
- Johan Santana and Christy Mathewson share card #310.
- Finally, Miguel Cabrera and Johnny Mize get card #320.
On one hand, I do like the fact that they paired up legends and current superstars appropriately. It would be awkward if let's say they paired Pujols and Campanella or Maddux and Mize. And I'm sure that the pictures of the legends will look great with that 2009 Topps design. Maybe Topps is making the announcement after the last two years of being slammed about including these "unannounced gimmicks," the ones that the blogosphere so mercilessly slammed them for, to keep critics quiet. Who knows? So I'm excited and yet concerned. I'm sure that by the time the cards show up next year, my worries will be abated. Maybe I'm making too much of a big thing out of it. Until then, I can only speculate...
P.S. And yeah, Mickey Mantle comes back as card #7. This time though, there is no current player that gets shortprinted as a variation...YET!!! jba
P.S.2. If you saw the checklist, there are a number of TBD's (for playoff highlights, award winners, etc). I think it's safe to say that Tim Lincecum will get card #78 (NL Cy Young), Evan Longoria gets #134 (AL ROY), and Geovany Soto gets #276 (NL ROY). jba
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 12, 2008.
Stale Gum has reported that the short-printed legends cards will appear 1:6 regular packs, 1:1 HTA jumbo. That softens the blow just a bit. I just hope that this is just a one year (or one-series) thing. jba
UPDATED: Friday, February 06, 2009.
I know that a number of message boards have been linking to this site since the news of the Obama and CC Yankees SP cards came out. The checklist above was based on information taken from the original checklist. This morning, Beckett reported that Topps confirmed that there are 19 SP's inserted into series 1, and included a more accurate checklist. You may find that checklist by clicking the words "the checklist is subject to change" in the original article. jba