Redemption cards rank near the top of things I hate in the hobby. I'm generally an upbeat, optimistic, could-always-be-worse kind of guy, but I still loathe these ugly, text-heavy pieces of cardboard. My disdain runs so deep I think "Redemptions Suck" could pop-up as a recurring antagonist in this wacky old blog-com known as Trader Crack's.
In case you didn't know already, the soon-to-be released 2008 Bowman Sterling Baseball is going to include redemptions for Patch Cards from the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Yes, the same international baseball tournament that happens in March. Yes, March is still a season away - the off-season, that is.
While I'm sure these patch cards could look pretty cool, why put them out now when there's absolutely no excitement for the tournament. It hasn't happened yet, so I have no connection to any of the events that such a card will celebrate. Heck, Team Canada has one player and a manager on their roster thus far.
The World Baseball Classic presents one of the few opportunities for unique jersey in a hobby where game-used cards featuring single-colour and pinstriped swatches are everywhere. I like oddball jerseys such as these and All-Star jersey as you can somewhat connect them to a specific event. By skipping the plain jerseys and going straight for the patches, Topps' timing to drum up interest in their WBC exclusive rights couldn't be worse. There can't be much that's going to be better but they're coming at a time when recognition is low.
So now those who get these redemptions will have to sit on them for more than three months, waiting in limbo to see who they received. By the time the postman delivers them, it's bound to be a matter of, "Oh, yeah. I forgot all about this," or "About friggin' time Topps."
Why not go for basic jersey redemptions or add to the insert set from 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights? I can't see how these redemption cards are going to lead to more sales of product. Not right now, at least. So why waste a unique opportunity three months early?