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Take a closer look…1987 Bo Jackson vs. 2010 “Yo Mama” Bo

In 2010, Topps produced a special insert set called “Cards Your Mother Threw Out.” Those cards became affectionately known as “Yo Mama” cards to collectors everywhere. I loved pulling cards of older players that I watched growing up, including several Hall of Famers. One of my favorites was Bo Jackson, who didn’t make the Hall of Fame, but was one of the most entertaining athletes on the baseball diamond and the football gridiron.

But take a closer look, side-by-side, at Bo’s 1987 issue and the 2010 insert. Notice any differences?

side by side

First off, the photo quality on the reprint is downright awful. It looks like it has been printed by a low-quality laser printer. I suppose Topps no longer owns the negative? But beyond that, what are the other differences? Start in the upper left hand corner…

team logos

The team logo is different! According to Chris Creamer’s, the Royals used the logo on the left (the 1987 card) until 2001, and on the right (the 2010 insert) beginning in 2002. I have not looked at other reprints to see if their logos have been changed as well, but I imagine they have.

Now move down to the bottom left of the card…

Topps logos

The Topps logo is an iconic identifier, but in 2010 they partially covered it with the “Future Stars” banner. The original is on the right, with the circled (R), while the reprint is on the left, with no trademark or copyright symbol.

But there is a lot more going on at the bottom of the card…

photoshop that fence

The original is on top, the reprint on the bottom. Immediately one notices the slight color change in the nameplate, and the difference in the font thickness. The border is slightly different as well, with the star from the “Future Stars” extending further to the right. But look behind the “Future Stars”…notice anything missing? The bottom of the fence has been Photoshopped out of the picture! I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind that move, except to make Bo look closer to the fence than in the original.

Not only was the fence removed from the picture, the stripe on Bo’s leg is altered ever-so-slightly. Instead of curving to the right with his leg, it’s curving to the left. I found that rather odd.

I was quite surprised to see so many differences between the original and the so-called “reprint.” Do you see more? Have you noticed any of these things on other official Topps reprints?

Fun Cards Submission: First pitches (part 4)

JJ Watt Houston Texans Astros first pitch

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt threw the first pitch before the Astros’ first ever official game as an American League team. I’m still not happy about them being an American League team. At all.

Fun card submitted by Patrick.

Topps Feedback

Several are talking about Topps football cards, and the company is asking for input for upcoming releases. I don’t collect football much, but I do like to buy a few packs when the finances permit. Here are my answers to Topps’ questions…

1. What products from our previous Topps football lines would you like to see us continue or bring back?

This is going way back, but I’d love to see the 1000-yard club subset return…and not as an SP gimmick, but like the old days: 1 per pack.

2. What new products or ideas would you like to see?

Minimal. I can’t stand trying to track down cards from 50 different sets. Call me cheap, or poor, I don’t care. I want the basic, inexpensive set. And by inexpensive, I mean cheaper than your “flagship” product even.

If anything, I’d like to see a set devoted entirely to retired players, similar to the “all-time fan favorites” sets of the past. Feature some of the lesser-known regional favorites like Eddie Brown, Ickey Woods, Tim Krumrie.

3. Which 2010 NFL Rookies would you like to see us sign to autograph deals?

I don’t collect “certified” autographs inserted in packs, so I really don’t care. Plus, rookies are usually overhyped and overpriced anyway.

4. Regarding our product calendar, which releases would you like to see early in the season, late, etc?

I would like to see the base set released in its entirety just before training camp, and a small update set released near the end of the season (just berfore the playoffs, in time for Christmas).

5. Are there any NFL-related themes, anniversaries, celebrations, etc. you’d like to see featured in our 2010 products?

Super Bowl MVPs. Hall of Famers. Father-son cards.

But no gimmicks. Make them regular inserts with reasonable seed ratios.

Here’s the mail, it never fails…

Last week I received packages from both Steve at White Sox Cards and Mark at Stats On The Back with some sweet Reds-ness in them. Due to several excuses (lack of padded envelopes, sick kids, weather conditions, my own pathetic laziness and procrastination), I have not gotten their packages in the mail yet, but they will be going out on Tuesday. But I wanted to go ahead and post some of the goodies they sent along…

Never heard of this guy, but a look at his b-r page shows he played a few games for the ‘Legs in 2009 before being traded to the Mariners.


A guy I have liked since the first time I saw him. I have high hopes for CD and the Reds in ’10.

I’m a little uneasy with this pairing…a good, clean HOF player (Bench) and a stinkin’ cheater (that other guy, on the right).

To be honest, I probably wouldn’t like Bench at all if he didn’t play for the Reds. But at least Bubble Fudge wasn’t as bad as PEDs (or was it?).

The Reds are celebrating on the front of this card. Maybe from a walk-off homer, maybe from a walk. Not really sure. They didn’t have a whole lot to celebrate in their sub-.500 season last year.

Some people have been giving UD some flack on this card. But hey, they’re allowed to look at each other that way. They’ve seen each other naked.

Steve also sent along a couple of cards of Ichiro, one of the non-Reds that I like.

Thanks Steve and Mark!

Anyone else who has some Reds that they want to get rid of, see my previous three posts!

Commemorative Patches

I don’t get these things. Am I supposed to feel special about pulling a card featuring a patch which “was created exclusively form 2010 Topps Baseball Series 1”? I don’t.

Chase Utley is a fine player for a fine team. But I don’t collect Utley cards, nor do I collect Phillies. I noticed on the side of the box that Johnny Bench is also featured on one of these “Commemorative Patch” cards. There may be other Reds as well, but I didn’t read the list closely. So here’s the deal…

If you have the Bench (or another Red) and you want this Utley, send me an e-mail to jasontcarter at gmail. Or if you have something else that you think I might like (I collect Reds, Griffey Jr., Kurt Stillwell, and Shawon Dunston)…make me an offer.

Oh, and there are a ton more cards available for trade listed here (2010 Topps) and here (2010 Upper Deck). I’ve received a few Reds so far, no doubles yet, but won’t turn down doubles either (I’ve got two junior Reds fans here too).

2010 Topps for trade

These were more popular with my kids, so there aren’t as many to post. But if you have some 2010 Reds that you want to trade, send me an e-mail to jasontcarter at gmail. (Cards will be crossed off as offers are accepted.)

2 Buster Posey RC (Giants) (x2)
23 Shane Victorino (Phillies)
28 Jonathan Sanchez (Giants)
30 Victor Martinez (Red Sox)
34 Michael Dunn RC (Yankees) (x2)
42 League Leaders NL RBI: Fielder, Howard, Pujols (x2)
47 Brad Penny (Giants)
49 Jorge De La Rosa (Rockies) (x2)
55 Manny Ramirez (Dodgers)
61 Skip Schumaker (Cardinals)
63 Josh Bard (Nationals)
70 Cole Hamels (Phillies)
73 League Leaders NL Wins: Wainwright, Carpenter, De La Rosa
74 Casey Blake (Dodgers)
87 Darin Erstad (Astros)
92 David Eckstein (Padres) (x2)
93 Joe Nathan (Twins)
94 Ivan Rodriguez (Rangers)
95 Carl Crawford (Rays)
96 Jon Garland (Dodgers)
105 Madison Bumgarner (Giants)
114 Chris Iannetta (Rockies)
146 Yunel Escobar (Braves)
151 Mat Gamel (Brewers)
153 Justin Duchscherer (A’s)
154 Pedro Feliz (Phillies)
159 Vernon Wells (Blue Jays)
166 Eric Byrnes (Dbacks) (x2)
173 Kendry Morales (Angels)
187 Will Venable (Padres)
188 Joe Blanton (Phillies)
218 Fernando Martinez (Mets)
222 Curtis Granderson (Tigers)
228 Chris Pettit RC (Angels) (x2)
233 League Leaders AL RBI: Teixeira, Bay, Lind
239 Juan Uribe (Giants)
244 Barry Zito (Giants)
245 Lance Berkman (Astros)
248 Jason Kendall (Brewers)
268 Juan Pierre (Dodgers) (x2)
265 Angels team card with Vlad Guerrero high-fiving a catcher and some guy obscured by the catcher and Mike Scioscia on the back (Angels)

272 Jair Jurrjens (Braves)
281 Braden Looper (Brewers)
286 Javier Vazquez (Braves)
304 Adam LaRoche (Braves)
308 Robinzon Diaz (Pirates)
311 Jose Valverde (Astros)
315 Scott Kazmir (Angels)
317 Ryan Doumit (Pirates)
321 Pat Burrell (Rays)

Peak Performance
PP-35 Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
PP-44 Roy Hallady (Blue Jays)

Turkey Red
TR20 CC Sabathia (Yankees)
TR35 Stephen Drew (Diamondbacks)

Topps Town
TTT4 Adrian Gonzalez (Padres)
TTT5 Evan Longoria (Rays)
TTT9 Roy Halladay (Blue Jays)
TTT10 Tim Lincecum (Giants)
TTT12 Miguel Tejada (Astros)
TTT15 Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
FCTTT16 Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox)
TTT18 Vladimir Guerrero (Angels)
TTT19 Justin Upton (Diamondbacks)
FCTTT22 Andrew McCutchen (Pirates)
TTT25 Manny Ramirez (Dodgers)

See also my list of 2010 Upper Deck cards for trade!

2010 Baseball Cards have arrived!

For me, the new year doesn’t truly start until the new baseball cards hit the shelves. I’ve said a million times that I’m not going to buy packs, but when they’re new…it’s hard to resist. So tonight at Walmart, I went to see if they had the Topps cards yet…and they did. AND they had Upper Deck. Now I haven’t seen any images around the web of the new UD cards, so I had no idea what to expect. And I’m writing this post before looking at other blogs just to keep my opinion as uninfluenced by others as possible. So without further rambling…on to the cards.

I’m not posting every card here, but rather just the Reds and a couple of other favorites.

The front of the card is good, if not great. This design has really grown on me over the past several months. The only change I would make on the front of this card is to make the photo a teensy bit smaller so you can see Homer’s entire right hand. But that’s a very minor thing. The reverse side is also cool, and the stats are readable.

I don’t like the new RC logo. I thought I did at first, but now that I’m holding a card in my hand, it just looks out of place. I do believe it’s better than the previous logo, but I still don’t like it. Turn the card over, and you see “Rookie Card” also printed under the player’s position. That I do like…at least for now.

What luck…three Reds in one jumbo pack. I’m a happy man, especially since one of those was from an insert set and features a Hall of Famer. I’m not a huge fan of Johnny Bench, but he did play for the Reds…so I have to like him a little.

Those who have followed this blog for very long know that I’m a huge Griffey fan. I won’t spend insane amounts of money on his autographs or jerseys, but I love the base cards. This is a great card showing that sweet swing of The Kid. On the reverse, even with 21 years of stats, they are still readable. And wow…look at that…630 home runs. Can he hang around for 31 more?

Ichiro is another of my favorite non-Reds players. I’ve been a fan of the man ever since he came from Japan. The back of his card even makes reference to his pre-MLB career in Japan: “most (hits) professionally by a Japanese-born player (3,308).”

These cards are fantastic. This particular one won’t stay in my collection for long, but I wanted to post it because of the back. I want to say a big thank you to Topps for including not only the current team leader and the 2009 leader, but the all-time team leader for the stats on these team cards. It’s a great way to say, “Hey, baseball has been around for a while and there are a lot of older players that you need to know about.” Hopefully this will spur younger collectors on to research some of these older players, like Ed Walsh and Billy Pierce.

I got a few other cards in the pack, including a couple other inserts, but none that I plan to keep. After I let my kids pick through them, I’ll post a list of what I have left and they will be available for trade.

And on to the Upper Deck. In case you were not aware…

Seems like they are kind of proud of that, no? Only two Reds out of the 36-card pack, and not really any others I plan on hanging on to. But I want to post those two Reds and my thoughts on the Upper Deck design.

In short, I like them. Not love…but I haven’t really loved an Upper Deck release since, well maybe never. 1989 is the benchmark, and in my mind they have never come close to achieving the beauty of that set since.

The front is cool with two photos. I still don’t like full-bleed, and probably never will. The player names are in foil (which I HATE…but everyone does it, including Topps), but the team name city and position are in white print.

The back of the cards are upside-down (a beef I had with other card companies way back in the 1980s…just do it the way Topps does it! Don’t rock the boat), but I like what’s printed there. The photo is in color, the stats lines are in a readable print, and there is a little bio blurb on the left side underneath the card number and UD logo. Nothing too fancy, but not too boring either.

As with the Topps, I’m going to let the kids go through them and pick a few of these for their collections, then I will post the rest for trade.

2010 Topps cards at Redsfest

Not official 2010 Topps cards, but I didn’t make ’em. These are special editions printed just for the Redsfest in Cincinnati. Feel free to use the images, but please give some credit if you do!

I’ll be honest, I’m not crazy about the 2010 design. Yes, it’s better than the late 90s/early 00s, but it’s not as good (in my opinion) as 2009. I’m sure the backs will be different with complete stats, but I like the inclusion of a photo of the player (if that carries over to the official release). What are your thoughts?

2009 Redsfest!

Tonight my son and I went to the 2009 Redsfest, and we had a blast! We came away with autographs of Mario Soto, Leo Cardenas, Jim O’Toole, Chris Dickerson, Joey Votto, and Tom Browning. We also had fun visiting the different booths set up by the Reds Hall of Fame and other local organizations. Check out some of the photos below…

It’s no secret that Mario Soto is one of my favorite players of all-time, and he was the first table we hit at 4:00 when the doors opened. Joshua was armed with a 1986 Donruss card that he wanted signed…

…and I decided I wanted to get my 1986 Texas Gold card signed…

The next booth we hit was the Reds Hall of Fame, where Leo Cardenas and Jim O’Toole were signing…

Also hanging out in the Reds Hall of Fame area were some guys dressed kinda funny…

These guys actually play games by 1800s rules during the summer. We are planning to attend a game or two in 2010 (I didn’t find out about them until late 2009). Check out for more information.

Chris Dickerson was in the “kids only” line at 5:15, but we didn’t bring any Dickerson cards with us.

Luckily, he was one of the special cards printed up by Topps just for the Redsfest, so Joshua got him to sign this limited edition card for him…

We got a whole set of these cards. I thought it was cool that they used the 2010 Topps design this year. Last year they used the 2008 design. I’ll post the rest from this year soon.

At 6:15 they had a special introduction at the main stage introducing several of the players, past and present, that were appearing at the Redsfest this year. Especially cool was the introduction of the 1990 World Series team, including now-Cubs manager Lou Piniella, Eric Davis, Barry Larkin and others. I’m uploading these introductions to Youtube and I will post them to the blog later.

Then it was time to wait…and wait…..and wait…….for Joey Votto. He was scheduled to sign at 8:15. We got in line around 7:00, and just barely got through in time.

(Joshua’s card)

(My card)

After we got our Votto sigs, we spied Tom Browning off in a corner signing some stuff. So we ventured over there and snagged a couple from Mr. Perfect…

(Joshua’s card)

(My card)

I thought it was cool of Browning to take time to sign these things even though it wasn’t his “official” time to do autographs. He was very friendly to everyone who asked as well.

The 2009 Redsfest was a lot of fun, and I look forward to going again next year!

Check out omgReds’ report on the event!

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