Friday, August 28, 2009

2001 Topps Opening Day Stickers

Topps issued their first Baseball team logo sticker set in 2001 when they inserted team logo stickers in packs of their 2001 Opening Day set.

The nice thing about this set is that it includes all 30 teams (something Fleer never was able to do since they stopped producing stickers before the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays joined the league). The one exception is that the set was done before the Expos moved to Washington, DC to become the Nationals, so unfortunately there is not a sticker set that has all 30 teams as they exist today (Topps - are you listening?)

Here is a look at the complete set:

Given how long Topps has been producing Baseball cards, its interesting that it wasn't until 2001 that they finally issued team stickers.

Prior to this release, Topps had issued team logos on stamps in 1962:

and on rub-offs in 1966:

The only Baseball team sticker release Topps had done prior to 2001 was a test issue called Action Emblems that hadn't even included team logos in 1973/1974:

The above image comes courtesy of great The Topps Archive blog which provides very interesting insight into this test issue. These were done at a time when Topps was having issues with MLB's licensing fees and trying to see if they could market products without logos. The interesting thing about this release is that the design is nearly identical to the 1973-74 Basketball Stickers:

While the idea of team stickers without team logos never caught on (for obvious reasons), at least the design was able to be put to good use. Its just too bad Topps wasn't able to do a set similar to the Basketball set for Baseball at the time which actually used team logos and could have been done as inserts.

I guess Topps really didn't see Fleer as much of a threat at the time with their cloth logo stickers since Topps could have inserted Baseball stickers in their products as a way to discourage kids from buying Fleer packs. If kids could get stickers of their favorite teams along with cards of their favorite players in the same Topps pack, why would kids even consider buying the Fleer stickers. Perhaps the agreement Fleer had with MLB Properties gave them exclusive rights to issue team logo stickers so Topps might not have been able to do this even if they had wanted to.

1 comment:

toppcat said...

Jon-quite right on the Basketball version of Topps Action Emblems. I believe there was an OPC issue in a similar vein as well. Keep up the good work!