Wednesday, July 15, 2009

One Of My Pet Peeves About Modern Cards

One of my biggest pet peeves about collecting modern cards is the lack of effort in design and execution. Earlier in the week, I received my share of some box breaks, in which I was the recipient of all the cards belonging to the White Sox.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, one of the products was changed. I'm fine with that. It actually increased my chances of landing White Sox cards. Unfortunately, the replacement product that was busted was one that I already completed the base set for. Fortunately, there were inserts and parallels that were floating around. I found two gold cards in my stash, one of which I needed. I also found the last Ring of Honor card that I was seeking to complete the team set. I also had lots of base cards. I have a White Sox redistribution program, so I'm not worried.

I was also the lucky random winner of a double team swatch card that was pulled from SPx. I'm very happy to have it. It's one less White Sox related card off of my list. In my joy of receiving something that I never would have pulled myself, I am also reminded of why I dislike some decisions of the card companies.

The card in question features swatches of Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Edmonds. I'm certain I wouldn't be able to get this card for a steal, mainly because of the popularity of Ken Griffey Jr. I've liked Griffey since the beginning of his career. Same with Edmonds. I can remember cheering him on during his days with the Angels. Except for the times that each player was playing against the White Sox, I was rooting for both.

My pet peeve is an obvious one. One glance at the card and there is no mistaking what my pet peeve is. The card uses the logos of the last team that each player played for in 2008. Griffey with the White Sox and Edmonds with the Cubs. Both being Chicago teams, this card had great potential.

I understand the swatches of uniform can come from any time in their career. I'm perfectly fine with that. The whole point of a uniform swatch is that the player actually wore it during some type of MLB activity, whether it be a game or batting practice or some sanctioned event. My problem comes with how the team affiliation is listed and how that corresponds to the picture.

Griffey's swatch obviously comes from a Cincinnati home uniform. The striping of red completely gives that away. There were no throwback games with the White Sox involving the red uniforms of the early seventies while Griffey was on the team. The Mariners never wore anything of that nature to my knowledge. So, why is the swatch from the Reds, his picture from the Reds and his team affiliation listed as being on the White Sox? This is especially confusing in a mid-2009 product considering he now plays for the Mariners. It's enough to make your head spin!

Edmonds is a completely different animal. He is listed as being on the Cubs, which is his last team in 2008. Edmonds has not played in 2009, so it may be his last MLB team as a player. His picture is from his Cardinals days, which ended in 2007. Between the ending of his Cardinals career and the beginning of his short Cubs career, he was on the Padres for a very brief stint. I can understand why he is listed on the Cubs, as that was his last team, but why is he pictured in a uniform from two teams ago. So is the swatch from the Angels, the Cardinals, the Padres or the Cubs? It's a plain white swatch so it's a shot in the dark as to where it actually came from. Does it really matter?

There are literally thousands of pictures taken of each player on each team today, no matter how brief his appearance actually is. There is absolutely no excuse for this laziness put out by the card companies. Even if, for some odd reason, there isn't a photo available for the player on the team that he's listed, people are doing amazing work through newfangled computer programs designed to manipulate photographs. It's no secret that when done properly, this work looks more accomplished than the airbrushing done by earlier Topps releases.

I am hoping that there will be less of these hybrid monstrosities in the future. While it's fine by a player collector's standpoint (although, still not excusable), it makes it extremely difficult for the team collector. If the companies want their product to sell, why don't they put out a less confusing product? The simple solution would have been just to slap on the Reds and Cardinals logo and be done with it. Even swapping out the pictures to correctly correspond with the chosen logos would have been a decent solution. This mismatch looks like it was designed by someone who failed the matching assignment in kindergarten.

In the future, the card companies should choose a path and stick with it. This does not create a greater demand for your product. This turns away more collectors from purchasing future products. Most people who buy baseball cards want the quality and attention to detail. They are not vocal about it, if they are disappointed with a product. They just don't buy it anymore. This is why sales are skyrocketing downward. Do a little quality control and the customers will find their way back.

Still, I'm happy for having this card. I'm just glad that I didn't have to buy a hobby box to pull it.


stusigpi said...

That card made me choke on my gummi worms. When I pulled it, it just felt wrong

White Sox Cards said...

It's still a White Sox card in the loosest of terms and it features a sure fire Hall of Famer and another great player in his own right, so I'm definitely not complaining about having it. You're right, it just feels wrong. I will love it like the slightly deformed ugly stepchild that it is. :)

dinged corners said...

It seems just as hard to mismatch everything as it would be to get one thing right. Fascinating.

capewood said...

I'd be happy to have the card just because it has Griffey on it but the juxtaposition of uniforms, photos and logos would bother me too.

I sometimes think that the card companies think they are selling to addicts. It doesn't matter what they produce, we're helpless and need a fix.

I say that after at least a half dozen fruitless trips to Target and Walmart for A&G.

lonestarr said...

I think there is some rule or something about the players picture having to match the team the jersey swatch came from. Haven't heard too much complaining under normal circumstances, but it certainly did a number on that card, lol. But I like it for all the absurdly mismatched uniqueness going on in it.

Word Verification: forbone

White Sox Cards said...

I know that many jersey card featuring Carlton Fisk in a Red Sox uniform feature a jersey swatch from his White Sox days. I've even seen some that state that the uniform piece was taken from a White Sox game.

Maybe it's an unwritten rule.

The card certainly has the adsurdly mismatched uniqueness mojo vibe going for it.

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