I was at Target for non-card-buying purposes, but on the way out I have to stop by the card aisle… It’s non-negotiable, y’know?
It took me just a handful of packs and a blaster to get over Topps Update, so there were no interesting wax packs to be bought. I went to look at the 100-card repacks… I didn’t feel the desire to buy one, but I always look to see if there’s anything interesting on top.
And it turned out there was something interesting on top… This 2010 Topps Chrome card of now-former-Met Isaac Benjamin “Ike” Davis:
…and it doesn’t matter that he’s in Oakland now, “I Like Ike” still applies.
The thing is, the photo used on this Topps Chrome card didn’t look familiar, so I bought the repack on the chance that I might be adding to my Mets collection.
Later on in the day, when I had a chance, I went and looked at the regular 2010 Topps Ike Davis and saw…
…Yep, it’s different, which means that the Chrome Ike is a variation-of-sorts to add to my Mets collection! Yay!
That got me curious and I started researching as to whether there were any other 2010 Chrome Mets which were different from the flagship… and then 2010 Chrome Orioles… and then 2009 Chrome Mets and Orioles… and 2008…. then forward to 2011… 2012… 2013… 2014… and I’m looking at 2014 chrome Mets and saying “Oh, look, the Granderson is different! And the Rafael Montero!” …And then I realized it was after Midnight and I needed to get to bed. The next morning after the alarm went off I fell back asleep for 45 minutes and then had to rush around in order to minimize how late I was for work.
Which is a roundabout way of getting to this: What is it about these “Chrome Variations” that gets me all fanboy?
For the most part, Topps Chrome is a shiny parallel of regular Topps, and in-and-of-themselves neither “shiny” nor “parallel” do anything for me. The only packs of Chrome I’ve ever opened were out of repacks, and once I figured out if there was anything worth selling on COMC, the rest were given away to kids the following Halloween. For me, it’s clearly more about the variation than about the Chrome… But then why did I stay up late making Chrome wantlists when I don’t give a second thought to keeping track of the shortprinted variations in the flagship?
I suppose the key word there is “shortprinted”. If I happen to pull a variation out of a pack, more often than not it’s eventually going back out of my house because it’s worth much more to others than it is to me. But a Chrome Variation… something which I can get in a repack or buy cheap on COMC or theoretically find in a quarter box on those rare occasions where I have access to a quarter box… Well, sign me up for that!
And maybe there’s something in there for Topps’ marketing department to learn… but probably not.
For the record, here are the 2009 – 2014 Topps Chrome Mets and Orioles I found which are different from the Series 1 / Series 2 / Update… Mets first, then Orioles; if a year isn’t listed, it’s because there aren’t any different cards I could find for that team.
2010 Chrome Mets which are different
55 Jason Bay
184 Ike Davis
200 Jenrry Mejia
201 Ruben Tejada
217 Hisanori Takahashi (no non-chrome Topps card)
2011 Chrome Mets which are different
58 Jason Bay
189 Mike Nickeas
2012 Chrome Mets which are different
192 Kirk Nieuwenhuis
195 Jordany Valespin
2013 Chrome Mets which are different
180 Zack Wheeler
2014 Chrome Mets which are different
9 Curtis Granderson
59 Rafael Montero
2009 Chrome Orioles which are different
198 David Hernandez
203 Koji Uehara
231 Nolan Reimold
2010 Chrome Orioles which are different
52 Miguel Tejada
210 Brian Matusz
213 Jake Arrieta
2011 Chrome Orioles which are different
216 Zach Britton
2012 Chrome Orioles which are different
185 Tsuyoshi Wada (no non-chrome Topps card)
189 Xavier Avery
2014 Chrome Orioles which are different
160 Nelson Cruz
Let me know if you have any additions or corrections, and I will update this post. Tomorrow I’ll follow up on the two cards which exist only in “ChromeLand”.