Set Type: Primary
Sticker dimensions: Approximately 113⁄16” x 2⅝”
Additional information/14,000 Phillies Commentary: It seems to me that Topps managed to place itself in a no-win situation with this year’s sticker set. In 2012, the Chase Utley sticker was available both in sticker packs and as part of a six-sticker perforated sheet included inside the sticker album book. This was probably a compromise necessitated by Topps’ desire to provide a few stickers with the purchase of the album and the failure of how they attempted to do so in 2011 — they used a removable sticky strip to adhere a pack of stickers to the album. Unfortunately, the pack was also rather easy to steal. The compromise they came up with last year meant that the six stickers included with the album were essentially double prints, and those who collected stickers and placed them in the book were likely to acquire duplicates from future pack purchases.
This year, Cole Hamels’s sticker was also included only as part of the perforated sheet of stickers included inside the sticker album. This solves the problem of unnecessary duplicates for those who use the stickers as intended, but it screws over collectors such as myself who are interested in keeping the stickers with their backing and acquiring complete team sets from dealers. Furthermore, since his sticker is only available in perforated form, getting one with four clean, sharp edges is next to impossible (using a paper-cutter might help, but I know from experience that the perforation marks are still somewhat visible even when you use one). I understand Topps’ desire to provide a starter pack with the purchase of the album, but they have actually hit upon a solution that probably annoys/angers/inconveniences most of the market interested in this particular set.
Please tell me again why Topps deserved to have its MLB-sanctioned monopoly renewed through 2020.
Cole Hamels (available only with purchase of sticker album)
Phillies Logo (shares backing with Pirates Logo, sticker #308)