Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Base(ball) Oddity #26: Samples

The internet has changed the way we collect and the way that card manufacturers market their products- most of which is a good thing for the collector, distributor and the manufacturer itself. There is one aspect of this new cardboard world we live in that's quite unfortunate, and that's this: there's no longer a need to put out pre-production samples.

Throughout the 90s and into the mid-00s (the latest copies I've found date 2006), Pre-Production cards were pretty much a staple in the hobby (in one form or another). The method of distribution varied: packaged in factory sets, handed out to dealers in an oversized format or, as today's card, in three card packs at the National and SportFest Conventions.

Today, these gems are pretty much obsolete because of the ubiquitous sell sheets found in every corner of the internet. Damn you, Al Gore!!

The Klesko pictured above is a recent addition to my collection and picked up on COMC thanks to a 'cash back' incentive we received for switching cell phone carries. Saving money each month & some extra pocket change? Why- yes, please!!

Handed out at the aforementioned conventions during July and August of 1999, the 2000 Topps Pre-Production cards are similar to the regular issued cards in that they contain the same photos and copy on the backs; they do differ, however, in the border color (gold, as opposed to pewter) and the numbering on the card backs. They also do not contain the stats for the 1999 season. I do think that the company struck out its decision to use a gold border- the '98 and '99 sets featured gold borders, opening the door of confusion for the collector.

Cards in the set include:
PP1 Brady Anderson
PP2 Jason Kendall
PP3 Ryan Klesko


  1. I love these types of sample cards. I try to pick up any I come across on the cheap.

  2. Around 10 years ago, my then favorite card shop was getting ready to close up. Out of that negative, I at least was able to pick up a fair number of varied promo cards.