Sunday, February 28, 2010

How Gordon Beckham Illustrates That Topps Has Stopped Caring

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.

My Declaration of Card Collecting Pessimism

When in the course of collecting cards, it becomes necessary for one collector to speak out against the hobby that he has loved for his entire life, seeking to restore some of the hobby's past glory to which the Laws of Collecting and of the Hobby's History entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of collectorskind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to card collecting pessimism
I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all cards are NOT created equal, that they are only as good as they have been endowed by their creators with certain unavoidable characteristics- that among these are Photography, Design and the pursuit of Hits. - That to secure these collectors' dreams, blogs are instituted among Men, deriving their just influence from the weight of their arguments and their readers- That whenever any Form of card manufacturer or publication becomes destructive to the demands of Collectors, it is the Right of the Collector to alter or to abolish it, and to petition for better Cards and more reliable publications, laying their foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the Satisfaction and Happiness of Card Collectors. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Card Manufacturers long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that Card Collectors are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by attacking the sad realities to which we have grown depressingly accustomed. But when a long train of abuses- poor photography, ugly designs, sticker autographs, bad wax, loaded boxes on Beckett and ebay flooded with fakes- shows that the Hobby is in trouble, it is a collectors right, it is a collectors duty, to criticize such a Hobby, and to provide new Guards for its future security. - Such has been the patient sufferance of these Collectors; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their Hobby. The history of the present Card Manufacturers is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over this Hobby. To prove this, let this blog offer continue to offer Facts to a candid Hobby.
- The Pessimist Card Collector