Since Topps now has a monopoly on baseball cards, my collecting choices have really diminished. I no longer have the opportunity to collect sets from Upper Deck, Fleer, and Donruss (listed in reverse order of their demise).
As it was, I was only collecting Topps flagship brand for the past several years. I had given thought to collecting Heritage when it first came out, but the short prints killed that idea. The same for Gypsy Queen, although I am putting together Yankee team sets from that and Opening Day (blue numbered version). So what else could I collect?
I had been shying away from player collections due to the 1/1's etc. But I started collections for Ron Guidry and Graig Nettles back in the late 70's (yes, I'm that old). I kind of let them fall by the wayside, as my other collecting interests were keeping me busy. But now that I'm down to one set a year, I've decided to re-ignite the player collections and add two additional players, Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez. Which leads me to the title of this post.
I've been buying some recent Paul O'Neill game used and autos. I have an ebay search for his cards. The other day I noticed something interesting. Look,
2011 Tier one, now look
While looking at my search results, I just happened to notice the similarities in these cards. Upon closer inspection, it is the same picture, cropped differently for each card. Now, I know some of the older collectors know of Topps chicanery. But maybe some of the young ones don't.
So for you young'uns, look at this scan
These are the reprints that Topps issued several years ago. Pretty obvious what's going on here, jumps right out at you. 1965 and 1968, 1966 and 1969. It's kind of funny, because when I was putting this set together back in 199?, I thought I had 2 sets of the same cards. Only when I placed the cards in the 9-pocket did I realize what was going on.
Monopoly in the 60's, monopoly now. Phoning it in, it's easier than being creative.