Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bowman Week: Words Topps Can't Say?

When series one came out in January, Topps caught a lot of grief for not using Pete Rose's name.  Cards with the Career Chase line for most hits said the player "was XXX away from the all-time record of 4,256."  Each of the other Career Chase lines included the name of the record holder.

Topps said that the omission was dictated by MLB and they were just doing as told.

The back of Darwin Barney's Bowman card is missing two words that should be there, and I'm wondering if this was Topp's decision.

Here's the back...

...and here is a closer look at the line in question.

Do you notice two words that should be included but aren't?  How about "Gold Glove"?  Shouldn't it read "In 2012, he won the Gold Glove award as the best keystoner in the NL."

No fan call it the "award."  It's the "Gold Glove."  So why did Topps not use those words?

They've used them before...or at least they did a long time ago...

...this is from Glenn Beckert's 1969 card.

My guess for the omission...Rawlings won't let them.  In most writing today, its not the Gold Glove Award, it the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.  My thought is that Topps avoids the words now so they don't get into trouble with Rawlings. because Rawlings has a history of being cranky with the award.

Check out what happened last year. Brandon Phillips won his third Gold Glove in 2011.  He uses a Wilson mitt, so Wilson made up a special glove for him, which had some gold in the webbing.  Rawlings response?  They sued Wilson!  Rawlings claims that they have the rights to any concept that includes "gold" and "gloves".

Here's a quote from the suit Rawlings filed.

Mr. Phillips is one of Wilson's paid endorsers and is also a three-time recipient of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Prior to winning the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, Wilson manufactured and supplied Mr. Phillips with a Wilson branded baseball glove that did not include metallic gold indicia.

Not only is Mr. Phillips using the Infringing Wilson Glove in the field during games, warm-ups, and practices, but Defendant and Mr. Phillips also have promoted the very existence of the glove (and its connection to Wilson) through various channels and media.

Sounds pretty petty to me.  But probably petty enough to keep Topps from mentioning Gold Glove winners.


  1. You get my nod for Cardboard Detective Of The Year. I though about sending you some "gold" foil baseball cards as a reward, but don't want to risk getting sued by Rawlings.

  2. Could have been a space issue, not enough left in the line to fit the words with that indentation from the border coming in.

    Or maybe they meant the Fielding Bible Award? Or didn't want to slight either award so they let the fan decide whichever award comes to mind first.

    Or what you said.