That Time When Alex Rodriguez Dressed Up as Nomar Garciaparra for a Baseball Card


2016 Topps Now 474 Carlos Correa Alex Rodriguez Error

By Ryan Cracknell

Update (December 7): Correct versions of the errors have been sent to collectors.

When humans are involved, mistakes are bound to happen. The hobby is riddled with error cards. You can add another one to the list. And it’s a little more glaring than a simple spelling mistake or a misplaced stat. This one has Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Correa impersonating a couple of popular Boston Red Sox players.

When 2016 Topps Now #474 was unveiled on September 19, it featured Correa and Rodriguez. It commemorated the second-year standout for the Astros joining ARod as the only shortstops to have a pair of 20-home run seasons before their 22nd birthdays. The wording on the mock-up shown on the Topps site was a little awkward but everything else seemed fine.

474 Correa, Rodriguez

Something seems to have happened along the production path. Here’s the card that’s showing up:

2016 Topps Now 474 Carlos Correa Alex Rodriguez Error

It doesn’t take a Where’s Waldo? World Champion to see that’s neither Correa or a young Rodriguez. Rather it’s Mookie Betts and Nomar Garciaparra. It looks like the images were switched up with card #483, which came along a couple days later in the print-on-demand set.

483 Betts, Garciaparra

It looks as though all of the 2016 Topps Now #474 errors are the same. We’ve reached out to Topps to see if a corrected version will be sent to those that ordered the card. We’ll provide any updates if we hear back.

Traditionally today, errors aren’t normally corrected. However, given Topps Now’s on-demand nature, it might make it easier to fix the mistake.

The closest thing to a precedent may have been a decade earlier. In 2006, Topps issued a special online-only Topps Chrome Barry Bonds card commemorating his 715th career home run, passing Babe Ruth for second all-time. The card that was originally sent had the wrong team and date listed on the back. A corrected version was sent to those who bought the card direct a short time later.

(HT to @norcalsportcard for the tip.)

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. Ben 4 October, 2016 at 22:57

    I really hate the design choice for the record-type cards. They come off less about celebrating the player who made the achievement and more like an excuse for Topps to work retired players into the set.

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