There it is. The final hole in my 2008 Topps set, card #370 has finally been filled by Adam Dunn. This is actually Adam’s last card as a Red, and he would later appear in the update set as an Arizona Diamondback. The Reds best get in the trade? At the time, Micah Owings, who was expected to fill a fifth starter role while hitting home runs off the bench. Owings has since been released and resigned by Arizona.
Now the hope is that pitcher Dallas Buck turns into something other than a pumpkin. Otherwise the Reds got a package of nothing for one of the more consistent power hitters of our day.
But back to the set – if the hole is filled, why the almost in the title?
Because of card #661. Not a hole so much as a book end.
It wasn’t the first year Topps issued a card #661, but if I recall correctly it was the first year that they did not include a copy of it in the factory set. Instead, Johan Santana’s no-hitter card, predicting an event that never occurred, remains a short printed thorn in the side of set collectors everywhere.
I know what you are thinking. “Why not just ignore the card? The basic set is complete, right?”
And my answer is, “I have no idea why I can’t ignore it. It just doesn’t feel right.”
I’ve ignored other short prints when it comes to Topps sets- the pie in the face cards, for example, and all the other SP’s that littered the 2008 series 2 release – but there’s something about a card sequentially numbered as part of the set that bothers me. It feels incomplete without it.
Beckett’s Marketplace currently has one for $125. Too much for me. I haven’t seen one pop up on eBay in the last year or so, but I haven’t been checking everyday for it either. Topps does have one on their Diamond Giveaway site, so maybe I can pick one up there. Or in a $30 jumbo box. Because even with these short printed gimmicks, no one wants 2008 Topps.
Except for me. And that one stupid card that should never have been, #661.