Friday, October 18, 2019

Topps Carelessness Creates Collecting Dilemma

In looking at the cards that just came out in the Topps Update series, I found that there is a new Jim Palmer card to add to my player collection - or so I thought.  When I took a look at the picture of the card, I realized it wasn't Jim Palmer on the card:

Instead of Jim Palmer, we get a picture of Mike Boddicker. 

Really Topps?  I appreciate you trying to find a new picture rather than recycling the same few shots over and over again, but this is ridiculous.  Is there no quality control process to check to make sure the pictures are of the correct players, especially for a series recognizing a player's greatest season?

This isn't some minor league prospect we are talking about.  Jim Palmer is a Hall of Famer, and appears in a number of Topps sets each year, so you should have an idea of what he looks like.  His # 22 is retired by the Orioles, and Boddicker's uniform clearly shows a 5.   How this got missed is beyond me.

So here is my dilemma - should I even bother with adding this card to my Palmer collection?  It obviously isn't him.  If this were the only card, I'd probably say yes, just as a curiosity.  However, as with almost every Topps card these days, there are the dreaded parallels.  I see there are gold and blue parallels already listed on ebay, and I'm sure there are black, green, red, and 150th variations as well.

Since I do try to pick up the parallels (the unfortunate curse of being a completist), I find myself not even wanting this card, because then I've essentially committed myself to gathering up the parallels to go with it.   I've got the 150th Anniversary Greatest Players card of Palmer (and all of the parallels except red), but if I then put this card in the Jim Palmer binder, it will seem odd that 1) IT ISN'T EVEN HIM! and 2) unlike the other cards where I have the parallels, this one will look odd by itself.

I find myself disliking the card because of the fact that Topps obviously doesn't give a flip about producing quality cards.  When you don't have any competition, why bother to try hard.

So I'd like to ask the player collectors out there - if one of the players you collect ended up with a card picturing someone else, would you still feel it needs to go in your collection?  And if you also chase the parallels, would you try to track those down as well?


Commishbob said...

Absolutely no excuse for letting that one through.

The Shlabotnik Report said...

For the record, I'm more of a "player accumulator" than a player collector. I enjoy acquiring cards of certain players, but I don't generally chase cards too hard.

As someone who is trying to make my collection somewhat smaller and much less disorganized, I will say that if it doesn't bring you joy in some way, it doesn't belong in your collection. Just because a card company says it's Jim Palmer doesn't mean you have to have it, in much the same way that a variation which is numbered like it's part of the set isn't really part of the set.

Here's another way of looking at it: If Topps put out an insert set where they put the name of HOFers on generic drawings of players - think of the vintage s Ed-U-Cards baseball game - would you collect the Jim Palmer from that set?

night owl said...

I'd add it because it's a novelty, but if it annoys you every time you see it maybe you should get rid of it.

I don't understand how they make that mistake these days because all they're doing is getting on Getty Images and finding a photo and you do that by searching for "Jim Palmer". Perhaps it was a photo of Boddicker that mentioned Jim Palmer in the caption and nobody knew any better? Weird.

night owl said...

I'd add it because it's a novelty, but if it annoys you every time you look at it maybe it's time to get rid of it.

I don't understand how they make that mistake these days. All Topps does to get photos is visit Getty Images, and to find a photo of Jim Palmer on that site you have to search for "Jim Palmer". Maybe the photo of Boddicker mentioned Jim Palmer in the caption and nobody knew any better? Weird.

Jim from Downingtown said...

In Topps' defense (ha! I never thought I would EVER say that) he does look somewhat like Jim Palmer.

Not nearly as egregious as the 1966 Dick Ellsworth snafu.

Fuji said...

If Topps replaced Tony Gwynn with Bip Roberts on a card, I'd still collect it since the card has Gwynn's name on it. I wouldn't go out of my way to chase it down... but if it fell in my lap, I'd hold onto it and probably write a post on it at some point.

gregory said...

If I were a Jim Palmer collector back in the 1970s or '80s I might have added it to my collection, because it would have been one of the only Palmer cards issued anywhere. But in this day and age I'd have no problem leaving that card (and all its parallels) alone.

GCA said...

Ack! I put that one on my list for my Palmer PC too. Maybe I won't bother. It does look like him at first glance though.