One of the easiest ways to tell how much a card manufacturer cares about collectors is to look at the cards that they produce. For the most part, the best companies pride themselves in producing the most visually appealing cards for collectors. Cards are, after all, at their most basic level a modern form of art that chronicles America's pastime.
So what do the 2009 Topps 206 Gordon Beckham RC and the 2010 Topps Heritage Gordon Beckham say about how much Topps cares about the cards that they make?
Both cards are, individually, very good looking and capture the classic look of a well designed card. Unfortunately, they are both the same card. The fact that Topps, the "Exclusive Trading Card" of Major League Baseball, can't design two unique cards for one of the best young players in baseball for two of their retro sets shows their lack of commitment to providing collectors with the best cards in every product.
But these Beckham twins are just the tip of the Iceberg when it comes to Topps' campaign of disrespecting collectors and tarnishing their own good name built over decades. For example, take a look at 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects, a Topps product.
As you can see, staring at every collector looking at a box of 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects is a great photo of the White Sox phenom and a pile of packs graced by Gordon. Unfortunately, the one place that collectors would not find Beckham in this product was in the packs. Despite being Bowman's cover boy, not a single Beckham card was to be found in the set. Not a base card, not an insert card, not an auto, not a patch. Nothing.
Some might consider this an illegal violation of Truth in Advertising Laws. But at the least, Topps' use of Gordon Beckham in these three products shows that as the "Exclusive Trading Card" of Major League Baseball, Topps has stopped caring about the cards they make and the the collectors that drive the hobby.