Saturday, November 6, 2010
Props to Topps
It's refreshing that every once in a while Topps gets it right! And on this rookie debut card of Starlin Castro, they seem to have nailed it. Let me explain...
In 2008 Upper Deck released Documentary. The concept was great: Issue a card for every one of a team's 162 games, with each card telling the story of the game. But Upper Deck failed miserably going from concept to product. The cards featured pictures on the front that weren't from the game the card documented. Often a player on the card didn't even play in the game. It was Flopumentary. I wrote more about it here.
This card from the 2010 Update Series was issued to mark Starlin Castro's MLB debut on May 7. It was a remarkable start for Castro as he blasted a three run homer in his first at bat and drove in a rookie debut record six runs.
And the picture on the card is from the actual game! The Cubs played the Reds in Cincinnati that day and there is plenty of red in the dugout and stands. Plus, the dugouts in Great American Ballpark have a rack just like the one in the picture. I can pretty definitively say that the picture was taken in Cincinnati.
After some further digging around the internet, it seems as if the picture on the card is an AP photo that was used in newspapers around the country on May 8.
That is Castro's home run swing. Look here and here and you'll see the same picture.
I don't think I've ever seen a Topps card with a wire service photo before (other than some World Series action shots). Too bad Upper Deck didn't do the same thing for Flopumentary.
Nicely done, Topps!