Topps clarifies Chrome USA Baseball redemption mistake

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Collectors ripping into boxes of 2011 Topps Chrome baseball cards arriving today may find a redemption card for a set of USA Baseball cards.

That ain’t happening, according to Topps, as the company announced Wednesday that there was a mistake with the redemptions and previously announced sales materials.

Instead, the redemptions are good for a single pack of USA cards containing as many as six members of the 22-player squad.

Redemptions can be found in standard Chrome form as well as Refractors and the following colored Refractors — Blue, Gold, Atomic, Red, SuperFractor (1/1) and Printing Plates.

Collectors who find USA Baseball autographs in boxes will also receive a second signature as the amateurs’ autographs are bonus cards.

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

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  1. @Jaypers413 7 September, 2011 at 15:09

    Curious to see if Topps provides any sort of compensation to the owners of these cards. A Blue Ref redemption sold for $325 last night on the secondary market.

  2. charles faires 7 September, 2011 at 15:23

    way to go topps, sounds like the old bait and switch, i can see making a mistake with the redemption cards them self, but to make a mistake about the announced sale and the redemption cards, come on topps, don’t you think we get enough of this BS. do you think we are really that stupid, this seems to be happening with some of there other product, cards that state patches and have jersey swatches, cards that they let buyers think are bat cards and then inform us that they are seat relics. topps is either very non QC, about there products, or they have imbraced the slight of hand mentality “I just saying” you guys decide

  3. Trevor Small 7 September, 2011 at 17:27

    Another epic screwup by topps! Sucks for whoever bought the redemption cards on the secondary market thinking they would receive 20 auto’d cards. Topps, if you are reading this, stop misleading those that keep your company afloat!!!!!!

    From mod: My bad. I was wrong.

  4. tom waldron 7 September, 2011 at 21:52

    Ha ha ha told you so so…..this is what happens when there is no competition and as far as I can see this is the Upper Deck platform.Actually I could see a class action problem this seems indemick. Quite Frankly if it was a car dealership it would be FRAUD. I’m wondering out loud here but frankly what can you believe from Topps I wonder about those certified bat relics jerseys hopefully it wasn’t what was left on the cutting room floor. jus saying

  5. Kaf adfafsf 7 September, 2011 at 22:49

    Topps just doesn’t give a crap. You all are going to buy it no matter what. Ha Ha sorry we
    goofed, on to the next product. I wish beckett would grow a pair and blast them!

  6. Richard 8 September, 2011 at 00:18

    I have to wonder if Topps can be held libel for this.
    The redemption card says specifically SET.
    Now whether or not someone will sue is a good question, given the costs.
    That said, I remember when Topps screwed up with the 1992 Topps contest
    cards. They made it too easy to cheat and win. Someone turned in a ton of
    them and Topps sent back ones stamped “Winner”.
    He sued stating the cards did not say they would be different from the one a
    box version, and won. Topps sent HIM gold cards w/o the winner imprint.

    Of course later on they released Factory sets and completely ensured that they
    would be worthless, but that’s another issue.

  7. chrisolds 8 September, 2011 at 09:09

    Not that “Kaf” will return, but the simplest reply is this: What would you expect a “blast” story to say that’s based on known fact that is not presented here?

  8. Drew 8 September, 2011 at 09:41

    Why would you expect Olds to write a “blast” story when Beckett and Topps and almost every other company are in this together? BTW who does the pricing for your guide? Because they have bumped their heads…..What do they price?, the first card that hits ebay from a set and thats it? “Book Price” is GARBAGE.

    Beckett is a joke, need I mention the wonderful job they did when BGS graded the superfractor Strasburg? A disgrace to the hobby. Oh, and the loaded boxes they get sent to “preview” the new products….Anybody remember the boxes of 07 Exquisite and National Treasures they were sent a few years back?? C’mon now

  9. chrisolds 8 September, 2011 at 09:43

    That’s a rather short-sighted comment, there.

    What else is there to say? I think Topps’ error — or intentional change if it is one — speaks for itself.

  10. Kaf adfafsf 8 September, 2011 at 11:33

    Beckett NEVER says whats wrong with the hobby, there is so much, even if you just talked
    about the MAJOR topps screw ups over the past year. It really gets old that topps can’t
    even come out with these statements on their own, they just lob a note tied to a rock over
    the wall and someone from beckett grabs it and posts it on their website! I love how it’s just
    the facts when its a screw up, but positive opinion when its anything else. Topps still operates their customer service with one phone number where you get some lady on that doesn’t know anything. They have no email to a live person just some etopps email. Why doesn’t beckett
    take a stand and call out topps on these fumbles? Did you ever think that pressure to produce what was actually on the sell sheets, and the need to eliminate redemptions, could come from beckett, there are still people who read your mag. I know you need topps for ad dollars, but cmon, how can you sit there and ignore all this with a straight face?

  11. chrisolds 8 September, 2011 at 13:24

    To say that means you have read every word of every story both online and in print.

    If you had, you wouldn’t be able to say that. When Tribute arrived with a LOT of problems a couple of years ago, it warranted items in print and online (Here’s one: Problems with Topps Chrome, for example, have been firmly discussed in reviews and Readers Write, for example.

    Is Topps deciding to give up fewer “bonus” cards for a redemption a “blast ’em” topic? I don’t think so. Disappointing? Sure. And I think the grief Topps will take on this one says plenty when it’s a self-inflicted wound that didn’t need to happen.

    Do you understand all of the variables that go into making products? See our videos from the NSCC Topps collector Q&A to hear them talk about what can go wrong.

  12. Drew 8 September, 2011 at 13:32

    Sorry Kevin, but that is what is wrong with a lot of people. I used to enjoy Beckett. You cant just “simply ignore” something that you think is wrong. I dont know where you are from I’m from the good ole U.S. of A., and here we speak our minds to things we think should be done differently. And Olds, sorry you kinda got put in the middle of all this, one thing I do enjoy is your ripping retail series.


  13. chrisolds 8 September, 2011 at 13:34

    Those many variables — athletes not signing on time, for example — change lots of things. Do you think Topps is going to re-print its Ginter boxes done in advance to remove the Howard mock when he didn’t sign? Of course not … Is it going to delay a product a few months for one guy? Not likely.

  14. Ben 8 September, 2011 at 14:24

    Interesting. I can see how one would be outraged over this. Especially if they are spending hundreds of dollars on redemption cards. But I also see how this could have been a screw up.

    It’s a lose-lose situation.

    Collector’s lose because they aren’t exactly getting what they thought.

    Topps loses because this is yet another problem with one of their products.

    As for the coverage in Beckett … What are you people really expecting? Seriously?

    Topps has confronted the issue, they have apologized, they are honoring the redemption cards in some fashion.

    If this were to be presented in a newspaper format, the only thing that’d be missing is a litany of consumer comments and a few paragraphs presenting the list of recent screw ups by the company.

    If you’re expecting some massive expose’ on Topps, keep dreaming.

  15. chrisolds 8 September, 2011 at 14:55

    I’d love a hobby exposé or two. However, there would have to be wrongdoing, intentional deception, and proof of it all … on the record from reputable sources on something truly big in scope and ultra-important. Too often in the hobby there are a lot of blanket statements and hyperbole from some and doubletalk and/or silence from other — often on topics that can be rather meaningless in the big picture, or merely a pet peeve of someone.

  16. James 8 September, 2011 at 15:44

    Topps makes everything. If you collect cards, you buy a topps product. There needs to be competition!! I miss upper deck!!

  17. danny 8 September, 2011 at 16:34

    lets see

    in 2008 topps screw ups
    1 2008 moment milestones ….. ooppps where release to many red and blue black and vase rookies …. instead of 1 1/1 for each rookie number it was more like 20! they never release offical numbers
    2. 2008 bowman chrome red bordered refractors have more like a print run of 10 instead of 5 ….how many cards have the same numbering

    2009 topps tribute seat

    topps still claim that strasburg a&g mini’s are not short printed
    2011 bowman “bait n switch” platinum
    2011 gypsy queens ….oooooooppppppppps we only put one auto in a box

  18. chrisolds 8 September, 2011 at 17:01

    There’s a statement on every pack that says the company has only authorized the production of what it says was made — essentially saying mistakes can happen. (They tell the printer how much to print — said printer can screw up … )

    Tribute was mentioned above.

    Strasburg was covered, too — they denied it, but we all feel otherwise.

    Platinum’s checklist changes were dramatic — but it’s happened before. I contacted them with questions about whether they have a strategy or would intentionally change a checklist if orders were low, giving them a chance to explain the process or this example. Topps declined to respond. I suspect it’s because, no matter what they say it would be met with the same type of un-pleasable replies seen here. (No matter what they say, people aren’t going to be pleased.)

    The ball was dropped on GQ — however, you can mail your box panel in and get your missing autograph. They didn’t HAVE to do that. Frankly, they could have not bothered to note that the USA redemptions were wrong or going to be changed and just sent packs in place of sets — but they did tell us. Again, disappointing — but they could have done worse.

    None of those examples are any more outrageous than the next company’s screw-ups. They all have had them — and other companies have had much worse mistakes than any of these. They know when they screw up — because you tell them or you stop buying the products. Their bottom line gets listened to.

  19. Nathan Jefferies 9 September, 2011 at 19:33

    Clarify? How about a collosal kick in the butt to collectors, some of whom are buying up the autographed redemption sets for hundreds of dollars. Topps can kiss those collectors goodbye from ever touching another box of their cards.

  20. Shelf 17 September, 2011 at 10:14

    all I know is the USA redemption cards were not on the advertising, they are a bonus. Looking back at the last 10 years or so, how many USA guys made it big. Quite a few!!! This addition was awesome. The players on the squad are awesome as well. Can’t wait to buy more redemption cards. The prices they are going for are a steal.

  21. steve schmidt 23 September, 2011 at 07:01

    so…what do you get exactly? I have bought a redemption for a “set” of usa collegiate auto gold /50 and still have no clue as to what i will recieve. is it for a pack of 6 usa gold autographed cards or just 6 non-auto gold cards?

  22. americo decesare 26 October, 2011 at 05:36

    this is a big rip off i called topps and complained they offered me a couple of packs of cards i told them i will pursue the matter if it isnt taken care of i redeemed my usa team set of gold refractors and was told i will be getting a pack instead of a set im really pissed and might talk to a lawyer im sick of these big companies ******* all over the little people they could care less about us who support them. im really upset spent way too much money on topps cards no more learned a tough lesson let them go under im boycotting topps cards.

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