Topps puts Hurricane Sandy Relic into Pro Debut

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast in 2012 it caused an estimated $68 billion in damage — a total only topped by Hurricane Katrina, according to the Department of Commerce.

One of many victims of the storm was the Staten Island Yankees baseball team, the short-season A-ball squad for the New York Yankees that helped relief efforts in the area.

Why does this matter to collectors a few years later? Well, Topps has included a piece of a “Hurricane Sandy damaged dugout mat” as a Fragments of the Farm Relic in 2015 Topps Pro Debut baseball cards that arrived in hobby shops yesterday. It’s a Relic that’s unique — What’s a dugout mat, anyway? — and it’s also a reminder of the past. It’s part of a stadium Relic set that just might be one of the more-unique memorabilia releases made.

In this case, S.I. Yankees team officials chose the piece of memorabilia provided for the card since it shows a significant time in its history. Other teams chose championship flags, ticket stubs, pitching rubbers, stadium seats, mascot fur, infield dirt and backstop netting.

What do you think of the card and the set? Tell us in our poll and in the comments below.

Would you want this card?

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

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  1. Mitchell 28 May, 2015 at 11:40

    As someone whose whole area was damaged very badly by Hurricane Sandy, I’m pretty offended by this. I don’t understand why someone thought this was a good idea for a relic.

  2. Richard Deien 28 May, 2015 at 14:35

    Wow! Speechless… There very well could be the worse card set ever produced by Topps. What next Boston Marathon fragment cards? Sad…

  3. Isaac 28 May, 2015 at 18:36

    I see how one could be easily offended by this relic, and at first I thought the same. But at I realized later that this is also a tribute, a remembrance, and a historical piece of history that will make us all remember that day and to pray for the victims families.
    This is a very thoughtful relic, but I wouldn’t put it in a product to make money off of.

  4. Mike 28 May, 2015 at 19:03

    Just when I thought I’d seen it all;this.Horrible idea on Topps’ part.Sad thing is,they know people will buy them. Until people stop buying this kind of stuff,they’ll keep doing it.

  5. Jonathan W. Iwanski 29 May, 2015 at 09:12

    We all know Topps is confused as to what customers want, but how many people in the company need to okay a card set before it gets to reality? This is ridiculous. When I saw the headline, I thought it was a joke. It’s difficult to believe this is actually happening. Oh, wait, it’s Topps. Now it makes sense.

  6. David Johnson 29 May, 2015 at 12:11

    If they left off the Hurricane Sandy indication it would’ve been ok, but it’s in poor taste to add that descriptor. The mascot relic is definitely a cool piece though.

  7. Tony Chance 3 June, 2015 at 08:59

    I would have to agree that these have been done in poor taste. There are countless other unique memorabilia opportunities that do not carry the stigma of natural disaster.

    From a business perspective, you cannot argue that at some point in the planning stages, nobody at the surely vast and experienced Topps design team though “Hey, maybe this might offend someone”. These are an extremely poor idea all around, and further weakens my already shaky opinion of their company.

  8. Ken 3 June, 2015 at 22:05

    Wow, what’s next, how about a Hurricane Katrina card with a piece of the Superdome. That would be the ultimate piece of disrespect. Way to go Topps! Now I remember why I don’t buy Topps.

  9. Bill 5 June, 2015 at 22:20

    The team impacted by the storm said they wanted the piece in as a tribute. If that is the intention the people directly effected by it had then that is good enough. Everyone needs to take a step back from being offended by everything. You may not agree with their decision and it may not be the choice you would make in that situation. However, if other people, like this team, react differently, then that is their right as well. Panini put Titanic memorabilia in their product and people didn’t whine about that. The movie industry makes millions based on historic events and tragedies. Again, the team said this is how they want it. Quite frankly, once they say, we are fine with it, coming out just to say you take offense and everyone else is wrong and terrible people comes off as selfish grandstanding because now you are choosing to make the situation about yourself and not the actual tragedy.

  10. Chris 16 June, 2015 at 09:52

    If Topps should listen to their customers more…. This set is in bad taste…. Why not go all the way & make sets for Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes from around the world, etc…… Another New Low for Topps (who should now be called Bottoms)

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