Featured Card: 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #73-6, Scott Rolen
2,848: that’s how many different Phillies cards (counting all parallels and inserts) were available in 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones. Depending on how you choose to count, there are either 11 or 695 base Phillies cards in this set, and they are all serial numbered to just 150 (parallels are serial numbered to either 25, 10 or just 1). I know this because I just finished creating entries for each of them in my Phillies Database. The number just boggles my mind. How the hell did this set get greenlighted? I cannot imagine that there’s any team or player collector out there who looked forward to the challenge of putting together any sort of meaningful set out of this issue. Hell, I know I’m not looking forward to assembling some sort of coherent team set out of this mess.
For those unfamiliar with this monstrosity (quite possibly the ugliest demon ever spawned in the name of issuing parallels), the reason for the ridiculously huge discrepancy as to how many cards make up a base Phillies set has to do with the nature of Moments & Milestones. Each card number celebrates an achievement by a player. Now, let’s take card #73, celebrating Scott Rolen’s 1997 Rookie of the Year campaign, as an example of what Topps does next. Topps issued 21 different versions of that card to commemorate each of his home runs that year. Actually, the cards aren’t really that different — all they did is change the number on the front of the card. Still, as a team set or player collector, do you content yourself with just getting one of the 21 or do you want one of each? It gets more out of hand when you consider some players, like Ryan Howard, received multiple cards. The set then becomes an exercise in unadulterated sadism on Topps’s part when you encounter cards such as #85, which commemorates each of Jim Thome’s career home runs through that season. It’s almost as if Topps was very purposefully shoving red-hot pokers into the eyes of anyone attempting to maintain comprehensive team or player collections.
I don’t know yet whether there’s another set in existence that so callously makes parallels more important than the set itself. Regardless, the individuals responsible for the idea, execution and marketing of 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones all deserve a special circle in hell. I don’t know what the punishment would entail, but at the moment I’m leaning towards having those individuals chew 30-year-old sticks of gum from leftover packs of 1981 Donruss. If anyone has a better punishment in mind, please let me know.
Current database progress: 15,370 items; last set information entered: 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones