Love or Loathe: Oddball Triple Threads cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If there’s one thing that can get some collectors wound up, it’s perhaps something meant to be fun — something distinctly out of the ordinary — that’s inserted into packs of sports cards often as bonuses and also as, well, a joke.

The three unusual American History Relics coming out of 2011 Topps Triple Threads are no different. Why? They’re cards of Pecos Bill, John Henry and Leif Ericson — three either fictional or highly mythologized characters from U.S. history. Clearly, the Relics found in these cards are just as mythical as the tales of their stars, but they just might offer something different to those few who often find them — cash. These types of gag cards in products such as Allen & Ginter have sold relatively well, which is probably why they exist here, too.

Tell us what you think. Take the poll and leave a comment below if you’re so inclined …

Love 'em or loathe 'em: Oddball Triple Threads cards

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  1. Rob 3 October, 2011 at 14:11

    Mark Sapir said on Cardboard Connection Radio last Friday that they needed to rethink including these cards in high-end products. He also never suggested that they were bonuses and from the comments seen on message boards these cards replaced legitimate hits in at least one circumstance that I am aware. They might have a place in products like AG but certainly not in Triple Threads

  2. Andrew Meeusen 3 October, 2011 at 15:16

    I love oddball stuff to begin with. The weirder the better. And if it’s unique, that’s the best! So I’m totally cool with them slipping in a few strange cards, as long as it doesn’t detract from the rest or from the set itself. Allen & Ginter is done well in that respect in the base set, but when all people want to hunt is weird relics (Jack LaLanne film strips or Peter Gammons tie pieces), then it takes something away from the set itself and hurts all us low-budget collectors.

  3. chrisolds 3 October, 2011 at 15:27

    My Marvin Miller tie card and LaLanne film card are classics!

    I really don’t think it hurts here — maybe the feelings of some. But if they’re a hardcore money-minded collector odds are that the oddball card is better than the typical low-end one — so they’re still ahead.

  4. nathan crandell 3 October, 2011 at 17:48

    I definitely think that the three random inserts are a neat thing in threads. They didnt go overboard with it thankfully, because threads are a high-end product. However, if i had the $500 to burn I would buy the card off of ebay, in a heart beat.

  5. Kevin 4 October, 2011 at 08:55

    I don’t get the selection of guys. Two are American folk legends and one is a real guy that came to what is now North America long before there was an America. I would have gone with Johnny Appleseed over Leif.

    I agree with Chris, it doesn’t hurt anyone. I don’t like the card because it is funny looking, but it doesn’t make me angry or anything.

  6. Richard 4 October, 2011 at 15:33

    I’m suddenly reminded of all the other memorabilia cards with the same COA.
    I thought it was kind of cute to have some of the fairy tale cards before, but
    this is beyond silly to be guaranteeing the authenticity of an item that is known
    to be created by Topps.

    Calling it “Topps Certified American History Triple Relic Card” is frankly, obscene.
    It’s a genuine fake. Topps is starting to have all of the legitimacy of score board,
    which is a very, very bad thing for the hobby.

  7. John 4 October, 2011 at 16:17

    I think there were only 2 of these kind of cards in Triple Threads last year since a local collector I know owns 3 of the 5 Molly Pitcher and 3 of the 5 Betsy Ross cards.

  8. chrisolds 4 October, 2011 at 17:16

    These “other” cards have been done before — there’s no doubt about that. I think you can firmly put me in the camp of if I found one, I’d get rid of it for as much as I could get.

  9. Ben Roberts 4 October, 2011 at 21:26

    I sure hope these are super short printed at least and don’t count as one of your “hits” if you bust a box. And someone needs to tell Topps how ugly every card they make with word swatches looks. Coyote, Rookie, etc… Seriously? Six round or square swatches would look way better, and what would be wrong with one big swatch? Hey Topps, end the ridiculous “word swatches” – they suck.

  10. tom walkdron 5 October, 2011 at 08:04

    Ahhh agian Topps take the cash and runs for the bank. Too many times Topps knows that instead of “GENUINE RELIC/JERSEY/SWATCHES AND WHO KNOWS WHAT” they can do this without any problems. Someone will buy it and to those who are putting hard earned dollars for a favorite player or Hof player it’s too bad so sad. Really in 1 year who cares about a gimmick it has a very short shelf life in reality.However a “true swatch of your favorite player may last a lifetime. FAAKE IS FAKE even if it says GENUINE IMITATION.
    Looks like Topps must have run out of real Jerseys guess this is what you get with an EXCLUSIVE liscence.just saying

  11. chrisolds 5 October, 2011 at 12:22

    But they love the cash they’ll get … don’t forget that part (37 percent of the vote as of this writing).

  12. Chris Harris 5 October, 2011 at 14:23

    There’s no guarantee that in the long-run these cards will be worth a fraction of what they’re selling for now, and your use of the phrase “but I’m cashing in if I find one” is a red herring.

  13. James B. Anama 5 October, 2011 at 14:30

    And look, 24% love them (as of 3:28 pm CST on Wednesday, October 5, 2011).

    That 24% of a REALLY SMALL SAMPLE of people who are a part of this REALLY LARGE HOBBY is all Topps needs to justify the products they created.

    Add me to the “I Love It” category, even though I do not plan on opening this product.


    JayBee Anama

  14. chrisolds 5 October, 2011 at 16:39

    There are no guarantees that in the long-run any cards will be worth a fraction of what they’re selling for now. While you may call it a red herring, I think it’s a viable option as a collector reaction.

    Are you saying you wouldn’t try to get whatever amount for it that you could if you pulled one? Would you send it back to Topps and request something different? Would you destroy it out of protest?

  15. Kevin 6 October, 2011 at 09:25

    The more I look at this card the more it bothers me. Not the concept, or the fact they made it or anything. The crazy snake skin looking relic combined with the weird dude staring out at me makes me uncomftorable.

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