Back in my days of collecting we didn’t just put cards away to protect them from any damage. We held them, traded them, and spent days putting them in and out of Top Loader pages. By the end of the month, our cards looked like hell and we were fine because it was just a hobby. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work today. These days collectors are snatching up cases of product, not a pack here or there and when a good player is pulled, off it goes to Texas to be forever encapsulated in plastic and given a grade based on appearance, centering, and autograph quality.
Here’s the thing: Topps Tribute is a $250 box on eBay and online, probably a lot more in hobby shops. That’s a lot of money for just six cards with the potential of three of those autographs being scratched, smudged, faded, or whatever the case may be. On the Blowout Cards forum, arguably the most visited card forum on the internet, the rage is building among collectors. The same goes for Twitter, where the majority of today’s collectors have migrated to. What’s scary about this situation is that today is the first day of the product, meaning there’s a lot more to come.
So what does Topps do in this case, if anything? Do they sit by and ignore the collectors who spent small fortunes on smeared Ugueth Urbina autographs or spend big money replacing the damaged cards? Perhaps they will put out a press release if the situation intensifies but as we all know, baseball card collectors are just a step above “The Comic Book Guy” so don’t expect this to go away any time soon. It’s time for Topps to step up to the plate because right now Panini America and Donruss are looking for any leverage possible to get in the MLB door.