Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Topps thinks Levi Michael is a Ranger

One of the many fun things to do at TwinsFest is to go around and look at the plethora of trading cards and memorabilia that is for sale by the many vendors on the floor of the Metrodome. There is everything a fan could want to complete their collection and a person better make sure to have a credit card on hand for all the purchase he/she will want to make. The possibilities seem almost endless in what seems like the biggest baseball garage sale in the world.

During some of my time searching through the variety of items for sale, I came across one interesting item related to a player in the Twins farm system. Topps produces a series called Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects. In this series, Bowman tries to get the cards of the most recent draft picks and some of the younger prospects out to the public as soon as possible. One of the problems with creating this set is there are usually not any pictures of the most recent draft picks in their professional team's jersey.

The computer geeks at Topps Trading Card Company have to go to work in Photoshop to change the prep uniforms of the newest prospects. An example of this would be with one of the Twins supplemental round picks from the 2011 MLB Draft. Travis Harrison never got into a minor league game for the Twins but he already had a card that had been doctored up to look like he was already hitting home runs for the organization. (Note: This isn't the card with the issue yet).
Any time a company has to change the uniforms of multiple players there are bound to be a mistake here or there. For the Twins first round pick Levi Michael, the biggest problem came in the form of the jersey and team logo featured on his card. The Topps Company had all of the information correct about his collegiate career and his background but they had one glaring error. They list and show Levi Michael as a member of the Texas Rangers organization.
A couple of months ago, I posted a picture of another error the Topps Company made in relation to the Twins. In the edition of last season's Topps Update, an error was made on the card of Trevor Plouffe. This time it wasn't an issue with the jersey on the player; it was an issue with the player who was in the jersey. The actual player wearing the jersey was Drew Butera but it could be easy to get some players confused on a team that lost 99 games.

Topps has tried to make up for their mistake by including Plouffe in the initial release of Topps Series 1 for the 2012 season. Unless Michael makes a quick trip through the minor league system of the Twins, it might be awhile before the company can produce a different card of the young middle infielder. It will be interesting to see if the company tries to slip a card of Michael into one of their releases of Bowman later in the 2012 season.

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