Okay, I know what you're thinking. "This card is from Topps Finest. You don't collect Topps Finest. Why do you care? What are YOU thinking??!"
Well, you're right, it's a Topps Finest card that I'm not planning on getting any time soon, so it doesn't matter to me one way or another. But, this is worthy of a What??! because I don't understand the mindset of the creative types at the Topps Company some times.
This year's Topps Finest product had it's own rookie redemption program. And the cards look really nice. So if you have your complete set of Finest, let me first say, "Good on you!" and you should consider getting these cards as a good addition to your complete set.
As announced this morning, card number 10 in the Topps Finest Rookie Redemption program is Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson. Hanson, as of August 27, 2009, is 9-2 with a 3.12 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 86 innings. Serious contender for rookie of the year so far. Anyway, if Topps couldn't make this deal any better, this card is also autographed!!! And you're probably thinking, "Hey, this is awesome! An autograph card in this set." Then you look at the checklist with the first nine cards:
#1 Matt LaPorta
#2 Tommy Hanson
#3 Andrew Bailey
#4 Julio Borbon
#5 Colby Rasmus
#6 Kyle Blanks
#7 Neftali Feliz
#8 Nolan Reimold
#9 Rick Porcello
Wait...Hanson's also card number 2 here.
Did I fail to mention that the first nine cards are not autographed? That means Hanson will have two cards, one regular, and one autographed card within the same set. That will make people holding the number 10 card really happy, and those holding the number two card pretty miffed, don't you think? Now the "value" of card #2 has dropped because #10 now is perceptually worth more.
Could they not find another player to put in this set, and have his cards autographed? They couldn't get another player to include here? I have to believe that Topps plans with enough lead time that they HAD to know that they would use Hanson as the auto subject, couldn't they have picked another player for card 2?
Set collectors are not going to care much about this situation. They just know that the final prize is going to be bit more expensive than the first nine. But if they are intent on completing this set, nothing will stand in their way of doing so. But for player collectors, and for those trying to sell unused redemptions, or those who are trading with someone who relies on "value," you have to wonder...
Topps, what were you thinking??!