Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tom, I wish I knew...

On Saturday, I received a PWE from P-Town Tom with three 2017 Topps Series One cards - Billy Butler, Tyler Austin, and Gary Sanchez. In his note, Tom said that maybe I could explain why Billy Butler has a Series One card.

Tom, I honestly can't.

Butler signed with the Yankees in mid-September and had 32 plate appearances in 12 games. He is a free agent and (as of writing this) remains unsigned.

I'm not positive why his name would have come up as a player to be included as a 2017 Yankee. I know that Series One tends to be a "look back" at the the prior year, but this still doesn't make much sense. The only real reason I can think of is that he joined the Yankees too late to get a card in Update, and Topps wanted to give him one in 2017. Maybe a stretch, but that's the best I can do.

There are a few others I would have rather seen as a Yankee if we are going to select someone random, such as Ronald Torreyes or Tommy Layne, both guys who spent far more time with the Big League club than Butler.

I also can't help but notice there was no Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira farewell cards. Both guys made their retirement announcements long before Butler was a Yankee. Will they be saved for Series Two? Will they get one at all? There's over 1,000 homers between the two of them. I know Rodriguez is controversial, but it's surprising Teixeira wouldn't be given a final card. Considering that Nathan Eovaldi got a card after missing the final two months with TJ surgery going into a free agent off-season, it's a little odd not to see a guy like Teixeira in there.

Honestly, there are a lot of head-scratchers with this checklist, and Butler is right up there. I'm sure the checklist has to be finalized by a certain date, but it's still a bit odd to try and piece together. I'd assume this will be Butler's only appearance as a Yankee on cardboard, but who am I kidding? Heritage is out in three weeks, so we shall see soon enough.


  1. Yeah, there are a ton of weird inclusions on the Series 1 checklist this year. It's as if the checklist was an afterthought and an excuse to come up with parallels and inserts...but then, even the inserts are pretty lame this time around.

    I think Topps is mailing it in on Flagship. They issue it because they have to. They spend more time coming up with more high-end sets to maximize their profits. I don't begrudge them that, so long as they are putting out a good flagship. But this year, they didn't.

  2. From my research I found that of all players included in S1 that Butler was the one that changed teams the latest... sometime in September.
    I've heard the claim "S1 is a look back at the previous year" from more than a handful of people. But if that's the case, then why aren't there more sunset cards? Tex, Arod, David Ross, and Big Papi announced their retirement plans early, but I think Big Papi might be the only one who gets a card.

    1. Oh, and for what it's worth, a sunset card without complete stats really is kind of lame. So maybe it's better that some of these guys don't get one last card?

    2. Yeah, I agree. Sunset cards in Series 2 are kind of weak, if that's happening. I think Ortiz got a solid send off, even if it wasn't an official sunset card. But we knew each of these guys were retiring before Butler was a Yankee.

      I also don't love that S1 is a look back...I was just repeating the claim. I'd rather see Update come out post-WS, then let the new year focus on the game moving forward.

      One of my favorite things about collecting basketball cards as a kid was when Series 2 included draft picks and guys who switched teams. I'd love to see baseball take a similar approach.

  3. Two cards that I wished were produced - a 2014 Justin Morneau as a Pittsburgh Pirate (he played for Pgh in Sept). Also, a 1987 (or 1986 update) of George Foster as a White Sox.

  4. Topps has completely ruined the concept of a farewell card, so it's probably for the best.

  5. Tehy should have just captured that foot race he did with Brian McCann.