Friday, August 17, 2012
The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 43: 1988 Topps #18 Al Leiter/Steve George ERR
Yesterday, I confessed my love for "error" cards on this blog.
More specifically, I showcased some of my favorite from the "player swap" department, arguably the most intriguing of all error cards in existence.
Whenever the "player swap" topic is discussed, there's one card that always deserves a mention.
If memory serves me right, it's the card that introduced me to the magnificent world of error cards.
As you might be able to tell from some of the wear on this one, the card has been in my hands for a while.
Many card collectors know that the player pictured on the front of this card isn't Al Leiter, who would go on to throw a no-hitter and start Game 7 of the 1997 World Series long after his Yankee days were over. (Although Leiter would finish his career as a Bronx Bomber in '05.)
It's actually former Yankees farmhand Steve George, who never threw a pitch in the big leagues. In fact, George threw his last professional pitch in 1987 with the Yankees' AAA club in Columbus.
Talk about two careers that went in opposite directions.
I wasn't around during the overproduction era "boom", but I assume that this was one of those "must-have" cards back in the day. I'd bet copies of this card traded hands for a couple bucks a piece at card shows.
These days, it's a card that you could probably find in tons of dime boxes across the country. (Although I'm not altogether sure where my copy came from.)
That's a good thing, though. Error cards are just one of the many factors in my love for dime boxes.
This card also represents another important factor in the "land of errors".
The corrected version.
From what I've seen, "corrected" error cards are few and far between in this hobby.
I'm sure it's costly for card companies to manufacture a whole bunch of new pieces of cardboard, so most just keep the mistake out on the market.
However, Topps chose to issue a corrected version of Leiter's rookie card, one that actually features a photo of the then-aspiring young hurler.
Funny thing is, I almost never see the correct copy get any type of publicity. Until I found it in a dime box a year ago, I don't think I'd ever seen a copy of Leiter's actual Topps rookie in-person.
All in all, it's still a nice card of Leiter. I especially love the throwback "Future Stars" logo on it. But in this case, my preference lies towards the mistake. I'll take the error version.
I'll take it every time.