Update, March 3, 2014: I have posted an update and correction to the information on the Kendrick card below.
Featured Cards: 2013 Topps #71(b), Kyle Kendrick (“error” variation); 2009 Topps Heritage 1960 Cut Signatures #HCS-RA, Richie Ashburn
When Topps released its 2013 Update Series, it included what might be the ugliest, stupidest, and downright most insulting baseball card ever: the Kyle Kendricks “error” variation. I’ve collected all the Phillies veteran and photo variations issued by Topps since they started issuing them, but this particular error gimmick is beyond the pale. I cannot even begin to comprehend why anyone would think this was a great idea for a card — has any major card company ever issued a card in error that was so badly cropped that the player’s face wasn’t in it? No, it’s never happened, and it never will happen because it takes so many layers of incompetency that such a card company would’ve already filed for bankruptcy before being able issue such an atrocity. Yet, because it’s so short-printed, every copy that’s shown up on eBay has sold for $60 or more. The fact that I have no desire to add it to my collection says an awful lot, because I’m just about as OCD as team collectors come.
Yet, the disgust I feel towards Topps for this card pales in comparison to the animosity I harbor as a result of the Ashburn relic-cut autograph card that Topps produced for Heritage in 2009. It was bad enough that Topps found an incredibly rare, (supposedly) game-worn Ashburn Phillies uniform and cut it to pieces (which ended up in a number of other inserts over the following years), but they added insult to injury by including it on a card that they designate him as member of the Cubs. Yes, I understand that the 1960 Topps set, which 2009 Topps Heritage recycled, included Ashburn as a Cub. However, when you’re producing a 1/1 card of arguably the most beloved figure in Philadelphia sports history and that card includes both a cut autograph and a fragment of one his Phillies uniforms, you come up with a reason to make damn sure that the card designates him as a member of the Phillies.
It’s crap like these two cards that offset all the joy I get out of cards like the John Kruk & Carlos Ruiz dual autograph card I wrote about yesterday.
(Note: Both card images retrieved from eBay auctions.)