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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stay Classy, San Diego

This little tidbit comes from the fantastic Brill Report (Bob really needs to just rename it The Fantastic) via Chris Harris' Stale Gum. In case you haven't had enough of cut out rookies, jailbird chrome cards and squirrelly ideas for trading cards, Upper Deck has taken the extreme short print "error" card and goes one step further. They have actually insulted a superstar on their card!

People breaking cases of the brand new SP Authentic set are finding a fun card among the Lettermen auto cards, Chirography autos, big-ass hunk o' cardboard pack searcher deterrent inexplicably only inserted in half the packs and worthless base cards. They are also finding a "rare" "error" "card" of Alex Rodriguez with his name slightly misspelled. A-Rod is now Ex-Rod. How wacky!

The card not only has the misspelled name, but in place of the SP logo there is the logo of an MLB team. Not the Yankees' logo, mind you, but one of the other teams in MLB with a rather lofty payroll. Oh yeah, can you say Red Sox?

Actually I've seen 4 different variations on the Ex-Rod theme, it comes in Sox, Angels, Dodgers and Mets varieties. Those are the only teams so far at least, but I'm not holding my breath for a Pirates or Royals variety. The cards aren't selling incredibly well, any buy-it-now listings with three digits in the price seem to go unsold. Have we finally reached the point of saturation for Phony-baloney "rare" cards? Did Upper Deck do this on purpose in an attempt to kill off another one of Topps' go-to gimmicks?

My problem with this isn't with the fact that another bogus rarity is out on the market. If people like chasing the next Honus Wagner cards, then God bless 'em. My problem is with how amateurish the attempt is. Seriously, it looks like the kind of sophomoric crap I'd make. Yeah, I get it. They "accidentally" left the Al Riguez off the name because of a printer's error, the quality control manager's dog died the day before and a freak hailstorm prevented them from pulling all the error cards in time. Fine, that's entirely plausible. I suppose they also stamped them with foil logos of other teams so they would know which cards to pull. I can hear the conversation on the factory line now... Hey, that A-Rod card has a Red Sox logo on it, that can't be right! There's one with a Mets logo! Quick! Pull those cards! I'll pull them right after I finish eating this delicious rueben sandwich. Mmmmm... hot corned beef, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on toasted rye... Oh Noes! The ex-Rod cards all got shipped!

Here's the deal, I can make fake cards with A-Rod wearing Kelly Leak's uniform and Tanner's freakishly large hat with no fear of retribution because there is no chance in hell I will ever meet Alex. The closest I will ever get to him without ending up with a restraining order is in the stands at Turner Field. Upper Deck, however, will at some point in the future go to this man begging for some autographs. Who knows, maybe Scott Boras orchestrated the whole thing to get his client even more pub (lord knows Alex is being neglected in the press) but Rodriguez has certainly not been shy about showing his displeasure with baseball card companies in the past. Ask Topps why their "rookie card" (finger quotin' Margo is going to kick my ass for this post) of A-Rod is in their 1999 set. All I'm saying is while this stunt might promote a product that quite frankly doesn't need promoting and sell an extra case or two, I wouldn't want to have an outstanding redemption of a Upper Deck Alex Rodriguez autograph card right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

seems the card company was preparing for A-Rod to leave the Yankees in prev offseason (thus "Ex" Rod and other team logos).