Minnesota Twins Collection

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Topps Factory Set Rookie Bonus Cards

I found the above Jason Kubel card at the Valley West Card Show earlier in March. Although it was priced at 75 cents, the dealer gave it to me free with the load of Torii Hunter and Topps Heritage SP's I bought.

A few thoughts:

* The Jason Kubel card is labeled as a Rookie Card. Kubel had his first cards produced in 2003, so here is a Rookie Card three years later. Of course, 2006 was the first year the MLBPA began applying a Rookie Card rule for baseball cards. While I do think the Rookie Card rule is a great idea in the long run, it brought a lot of confusion that first year.

* Technically, Jason Kubel was a rookie in 2006. He made his Major League debut in 2004 with a small number of at bats to remain under the rookie requirement and missed all of 2005 because of knee surgery. It still puzzles me to this day why Gardenhire would use Kubel to pinch hit in the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera with runners on in the 2004 ALDS.

* I first saw the design of this card in 2006 Topps Chrome. A card was sent to me by a fellow team collector and I thought at the time that I had missed the base version.

* While I cannot possibly collect all of the Twins cards from every year, I, at least, try to get every base Topps card. It hadn't occurred to me, until I got this card, that the Factory Set Rookie Bonus cards would be great additions to the Twins collection. The Factory Set Rookie Bonus cards are only found inserted into Topps factory sets, thought not all bonus cards are in every Topps set. Some of the cards are inserted in the Hobby factory set, others are inserted in the Retail factory set, and yet others are inserted in the Holiday set. If you are a Topps completist, good luck getting these cards if you don't want to buy and open three different factory sets.

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