Pitchers have fun with Career Chase in 2013 Topps

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The arrival of 2013 Topps means the newest batch of Rookie Cards, stars and more to fill the cardboard annals of history.

It also means more trivia.

On the back of each and every standard card in the first series of 330 is a “Career Chase” line that notes a player’s progress in his chase of history. It’s one that in some instances shows how close players are — check Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez for example — but in others? Well, those aren’t all that close and some are downright comical.

The ironies of life in the game aren’t lost on some players, either.

Via Twitter, I showed Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle his Rookie Card and its Career Chase line that reads “With one save, Doolittle is 607 saves away from Mariano Rivera’s all-time record of 608.”

“They might as well have put ‘at four consecutive games played, he is 2,628 games behind Cal Ripken,'” replied Doolittle, the 41st overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Virginia who recently converted to pitching after a series of injuries. (Click here for a Doolittle checklist and Online Price Guide.)

After seeing some of the other chases presented for some of his other younger Oakland teammates, he also jokingly tweeted this in response: “I wonder if the Career Chase guy at Topps has a vendetta against Major Leaguers because he didn’t make his [Little League] All-Star team.”

When contacted for this story, the Career Chase guy, Topps baseball editor Colin Butler, offered this retort.

“Actually, the topps editor is a four-time Virginia Little League All-Star,” he tweeted. “Zero away from the all-time record.”

Doolittle then offered this: “Plus there’s this now which hangs in my locker for motivation. hahaha pic.twitter.com/0Pmhx7cf.”

He wasn’t the only player to react to his new cardboard. Collector Brad Ziegler, who a reliever for the Arizona Diamondbacks and also a former Oakland Athletic, saw his Career Chase line that reads “with 323 games pitched Ziegler is 929 away from Jesse Orosco’s all-time record of 1,252.”

“I got this,” he simply tweeted in response. Ziegler will be in his sixth big-league season at age 33 this summer, while Orosco pitched 24 seasons before retiring at age 46 in 2003. (Get Ziegler’s card stats here.)

Of course it’s not just the pitchers getting the reality check with their stats compared to the all-time greats.

As card No. 1 notes …  Bryce Harper is 740 home runs short of Barry Bonds.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



  1. Jason
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Be sure to check out Dylan Bundy and his zero strikeouts too.
    Only 5,714 strikeouts away from Nolan.

  2. Kyle
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Check out Yadier Molina’s it does not make any sense. ERROR

  3. Matt
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Would have been better to put these in as SP variations

  4. Nico
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like Doolittle lacks a sense of humor, as well as 607 saves.

  5. Patrick McCollough
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting tht any card that mentions the hits record does not say Pete Rose at all… Too bad…

  6. Al Warber
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    And Topps is 100% short of satisfying the winners of the 20 Gold Rush Gold Ticket holders from last season.

    Any knowledge of what’s going on here, Chris???

  7. chrisolds
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Patrick: Pete Rose is on baseball’s Ineligible List. That means he will not appear on any MLB-licensed cards.

    Al: This is not from Topps, but I have heard that Mays’ vision has become an issue — he can’t sign stickers because he can’t see them on the sheet. I’d imagine baseballs might be an issue for whatever reason now, too. If I had to guess, this is a reason the baseballs aren’t being made.

  8. Ted
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Patrick. Pete Rose admitted his guilt so whats the big deal with mentioning him as the hits leader.
    As far as I know Bonds is still the Home run leader.

  9. chrisolds
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    MLB decided it does not want Pete Rose in its licensed sets — and he hasn’t been since 1989 (save for a couple small anomalies). Topps will do what MLB wants as a licensee.

    Rose is on the Ineligible List. Bonds is not.

  10. Ted
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Chris.

  11. Posted February 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Bonds lied to Congress Roes lied to Baseball commish. he’ s more important than Congress, this thing that card companys won’t even say or print Pete Rose’s record is stupid he still owns it, a ban doesn’t erase that.

  12. Rob Braxton
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That’s frickin’ pathetic. Nice job Topps, one of your biggest blunder-headed decisions in a while.

    P.s. the application of your Career Chase idea gets a 1 out of 10, permanently.

  13. Posted February 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I understand why Topps doesn’t create cards of Pete Rose. But referencing his name on the back of the cards doesn’t seem to meet that criteria. It also isn’t consistent with baseball’s own treatment of Rose’s ban. They have banned him from (almost) all things associated with the game, but they still acknowledge his statistics. If you go to the MLB site – Pete Rose sits at the top of the hit list on their statistics page. It doesn’t say “all-time hit leader”.

    Interestingly and on a related note, Topps did insert a stamped buyback of his rookie card of his into 1963 Heritage. There was one up on eBay last year. I’d think that could get them in more trouble than putting his name on the back of someone else’s card.

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