Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What the Hell Happened to This Card?

At some point last year, I made the decision to collect the entire set of 2008 Topps Chrome baseball cards. I definitely agreed with Mario at Wax Heaven that this was one of the most fun sets to collect in a long time. There was something interesting in almost every pack, and as time has gone on, I have realized that the hardest part of the base set, the autographed rookies, can be obtained fairly inexpensively. As of this moment, I am one auto card away from having them all, which is actually fewer than I need for the base set. I loved the look of the Xfractors as well, and decided to have a go at them as well.

Yesterday, the second-to-last rookie autograph I needed came in the mail. When I got around to putting the Armando Galarraga card in my binder last night, I noticed something strange on the back. I'm including the next card in the set, Chin-Lung Hu, as a control sample. Can you spot the irregularity?

If you'll notice, the card number is almost invisible. If you look real hard, you can kind of see the 227. Also note that the size of the number is off a little as well. On the Hu, as on all of the other cards in the set, the number text extends outside of the borders of the circle, but here the 227 lies completely within the orange circle.

The other thing that's weird can't quite be communicated through a picture, but you can sort of make it out. When I touch the area where the number is, I can feel a small raised surface in the shape of a circle. There's actually a small transparent sticker on the back of this card. Whoever or whatever affixed the sticker didn't hit the orange circle right on the mark; rather, it is off-center a little to the left (tending toward the NW if it were a compass). If you look at the blue area to the left of the circle, you can see a crescent-shaped outline.

What happened to this card? Have you seen anything like it before? Is this some sort of production proof? I'm guessing that the Galarraga, like some of the rookies in the set, was a redemption, though that might not be the case. If you can give me any help at all, I'd appreciate it.


Anonymous said...

Topps also did that in Bowman Draft 2007 with one of the auto prospects. They had a last-minute change in the card number and added a lame sticker to cover the old number.

Grand Cards said...

It's not just you--my card has the same faded number on it. I just figured that it was a way to distinguish the rookie autographs in the base set from the rest of the set. I'm running out to work, but I'll try to check for a sticker on the back of mine later tonight. Also, the Galarraga was not a redemption--I happened to pull one out of a Target blaster, which was quite the moment for a Tigers fan.