The real title of this post is Ben Sells Out, Part 2.
Back in January, Topps got in touch with me about helping them checklist a set for eTopps. Needless to say, I was torn. Working for and/or with Topps has been a lifelong dream, and yet here I was, routinely poking fun at their sets and being critical of their products. Lucky for me, they had no stipulations that I had to follow for participating (like no bad-mouthing the company). I think I've kept up my part of the deal over the past seven months; I've not held back with criticism of the situation surrounding Topps, nor about any of their products I've found fault with.
It's probably no big deal, but just so everything is out in the open, I wasn't paid. Actually, that's not true. They paid me in baseball cards, which may sound dumb to most people (my girlfriend thought it did), but I found kind of fun. But enough about my involvement.
If you read SCD, you've probably seen the ads for the all-encompassing VIP tickets offered at The National in Cleveland. Part of that package are a handful of cards from this eTopps set, dubbed the Cards That Never Were. I think the ones at The Nat are going to specially stamped or something. The ones available through eTopps are like other eTopps cards. I think the biggest difference is that these cards will be in that year's original design and (hopefully) won't be plastered with the gaudy eTopps logo.
Here's the official line on the product (I didn't write this):
Introducing eTopps "Cards That Never Were"!
eTopps has gone back in history and created a classic collection of cards that never were! Each card has a unique story and all together the collection will be an instant classic. The collection will include:
* The ultimate tribute card: a 1952 Topps Joe DiMaggio!
* A stunning 1952 Topps Ted Williams and 1954 Topps Stan Musial card! Both players had exclusives with Bowman in the early 50's and as a result did not have Topps cards. Now you can own them!
* Whitey Ford left baseball to serve his country in the Korean War; as a result Whitey never had a '52 Topps card. Now you can...
* Nolan Ryan broke into the Big Leagues in '66 with the Mets, but it wasn't until '68 that Nolan got his rookie card. Now you can get his '67!
All cards will be sequentially numbered and delivered on beautiful eTopps technology. We will offer autographs on many of these cards, which will make them even more special!
The Cards That Never Were will be offered starting Monday August 6th at 1pm EST. The collection will be offered weekly and over time so please be sure to visit eTopps often!
And while Topps didn't end up going with all the guys and issues I had proposed (I still think a 1951 Bowman DiMaggio would be cool, and a 1966 card of Masanori Murakami would go over huge right about now, what with the renewed interest in all things Japanese baseball), the checklist they did decide on is pretty strong, plus there will be autographed versions available. There are 12 subjects in the set, including the ones pictured in this post.
The set doesn't officially debut until August 6th, offered through the eTopps site.