Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stop the presses!

I don't know what it is about them.

For some reason, I've been obsessed with error cards during my tenure as a collector.

Even after all this time, however, I have yet to come up with a concrete explanation as to why exactly that is.

Perhaps it's because they tend to stick out in my binders.

Perhaps it's the mystery of what exactly happened during the printing process that caused the slip-up.

Perhaps it's just the fact that we don't get to celebrate mistakes all that often in life.

I just can't figure it out.

Whatever the reason, though, error cards have become a big part of my interests over the years, especially since I decided to become a full-time low-end collector a few years ago.

They're a great example of the fun that can be had in this hobby without a massive budget.

I'd much rather have an quirky error card than one of those uber-high end prospect autographs. Screw-ups are the "mojo" for me.

A staggering array of different mistakes exist in this hobby. From the profane to the downright crazy, the possibilities are endless.

Take a look at the above card of simply "Aramis" if you don't believe me. I have yet to find another card like it.

I've already chronicled a few of my personal favorite "error" categories on this blog. It doesn't get much better than the infamous "player swaps" and "reverse negatives" for me.

However, there are a few other steadfast "types" of errors that I've seen pop up from time to time in my collection.

I'm by no means an expert on these things, but I've narrowed it down to a short list of somewhat common mistakes I've found in the wonderful world of error cards.

Please join me in celebrating some of the best screw-ups in baseball card history.

To be fair, these first "error types" are fairly rare in this hobby.

Since the existence of baseball cards, card companies have done a pretty nice job of spellchecking.

Surprisingly, every single Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Carl Yastrzemski card I own has the correct spelling on the front. It took me a couple years to learn how to spell either of those monstrosities properly.

For that, I give companies the utmost amount of credit.

However, I still can't help but notice this card of "Mickey Cochran" every time I dig through my Tigers binder. The people at Swell accidentally dropped the "e" from his last name.

For better or worse, it just sticks out.

Off the top of my head, the only other one of this sort I know of is the "Don Newcomb" Pacific Legends card in my Dodgers binder.

I'm still waiting for the day when Mark Rzepczynski receives his first "error" card.

I have great faith in the spellcheckers at Topps, but something tells me it's only a matter of time.

These next ones basically go hand-in-hand with the spellcheck slip-ups.

Given the absolute massive amount of stats that go onto baseball cards each year, it's only natural for a few minor typos to arise.

Some of them can sure make for a nice little chuckle, though.

Ironically, Donruss mistakenly noted that Bobby Bonds had hit 986 career homers on the back of his '81 issue

I still have yet to find a copy of that one for my collection. The boring "corrected" version currently lies in my Cards binder.

And, despite what this card would have you believe, Hoyt Wilhelm did not lose 70 games with the O's in 1962.

I just thought I'd quell that rumor right now.

Cards like this Mike Easler aren't "errors" in the conventional sense of the word.

Most people probably wouldn't give them a second look.

However, they can be quite the headache with my organizational process.

The positions on the front of cards are important to each of my binders. Within each team, I separate each player by the listed position.

Pitchers, catchers, first baseman...all the way down to the DHs and team cards.

Upon closer inspection, you can probably see why this one presents a bit of an issue for me.

The photo Topps chose for Easler's 1984 Topps Traded issue clearly shows him sporting a first baseman's mitt, yet lists him as a DH.

In my opinion, 100 percent of DH cards should show the guy actually hitting. Or at least just show him standing around or something.

Nothing with a glove.

I've had to create a special new "policy" to accommodate for these types of slip-ups.

In short, I look at the picture over the position.

Despite the "DH" label, this Easler goes under the "first baseman" section in my Red Sox binder.

No thanks to you, Topps.

If 1995 Fleer is the "LSD set", then these are the "acid errors".

I probably wouldn't stare at this card for too long.

You might start to see spots and pass out.

I'd always been fascinated by these wacky error types. Even though I have no idea who Dick Farrell is, I've had this one in my collection for what seems like forever.

However, until recently, I had no clue as to what caused them. I knew it was some sort of printing press screw-up, but I'd never looked into it.

Apparently, this is what happens when the color separation process goes awry.

If the all the blues, reds, yellows, and whatnots aren't perfectly aligned, this is what you get.

A character from a horror movie.

Believe me, I could go on and on about these things.

Starting an error-centered theme is still on the table for future considerations on this blog.

For now, though, I'm happy to give them their moment in the spotlight every now and again. They've certainly earned it.

I'm not lying when I call them the "wonderful world of errors".

It really is.

And no matter how hi-tech or machine-based card companies get, I'm sure they'll still pop up from time to time.

I couldn't be happier.

After all, they're some of the best parts of being a low-end collector.


CaptKirk42 said...

I'm a bit of an error collector myself if you recall seeing my "Error What Error?" post on my blog

I do know that some of the "errors" from the Topps Heritage sets they are usually recreating errors from the original set they are paying homage to. Like when they have the wrong player's picture on the front, or a very bad misspelling of a player's name.

Ana Lu said...

That Heritage booze error is reproduced in other sets. But that Heritage set is the worst I saw with that error.

If you want errors you must collect all 2012 Topps S1 cards with that famous 2B/3B and other mistakes on the card back stats.

AdamE said...

I will noever try to spell my teams current catcher's name. For me his name is Salty.