I received my latest order from
On the surface, it doesn't look like anything special -- nothing more than a new base card of an aging pitcher in Scott Kazmir. But if you dig a little deeper, I'd say that this one seemingly insignificant piece of cardboard sums up almost everything that has gone haywire at Topps HQ as of late.
First off, there is absolutely no reason Scott Kazmir should be getting a card in Series 2. He didn't pitch at all in 2017 due to injury and was released by the Braves in spring training of this year (he's still unsigned). It's even more strange when you consider the fact that Kazmir never played a game for the Braves. So in other words, Topps photoshopped a guy into a uniform which he never actually wore (and not a particularly good photoshop job, to boot).
Now, I admit I wanted this card, but that's because I'm a weirdo who collects things like this. I'll be the first to acknowledge that this isn't something that should exist in the first place. Series 2 was plagued with guys who hadn't played in a single game in 2018. You know I love my sunset cards, but those should be for Series 1, if anything. Series 2 should chronicle big-league rosters as they stand at the beginning of each respective season.
There are several possibilities as to how this card came into existence at all, none of which are particularly pleasing. Perhaps, a) Topps finalized their Series 2 checklist too early to remove Kazmir. My answer to that would be to push back the set's release date so you don't have screw-ups like this. Or maybe, b) Topps knew Kazmir was in the checklist and neglected to do anything about it, which I don't think I have to explain why that's scary.
And just when you thought the madness ended there...
...we have the back of this fascinating piece.
Check out that 2017 stat line: "Did Not Player -- Injured." Wait: Did Not Player? PLAYER? If you need a proofreader, Topps, I'm open to job offers. (Only half kidding.)
From what I've seen, 2018 seems to be an especially horrid year for Topps typos. I've seen many discussed thus far, though none as egregious as the back of Brandon Marrow's (sic) Living Set card. Quality control in general seems to be way down this year, sacrificed for the need of getting the cards to the streets ASAP (and that's saying nothing about the fact that Topps still hasn't fixed the collation issues I've had in years past).
I'm not saying any of these problems are new. Of course Topps has had typos, odd player choices, etc. sprinkled throughout their sets in years past. I've just never seen it all so (im)perfectly coalesce into one card before. And it doesn't look particularly good given Topps's recent charges of laziness and apathy.
Especially when that laziness comes while you have a monopoly on the industry.