Topps Chrome is a set I generally have little use for… Most of the cards are just shiny parallels of cards I already have.
…But I did go looking on COMC for Topps Chrome cards which are NOT shiny parallels. Every card in this post has a photo that differs from the Topps Series 1, Series 2 or Update equivalent.
The flagshipped 2012 Topps card of Jose Reyes shows him in a photoshopped Marlins uniform, having just made a throw to first.
This 2012 Tsuyoshi Wada card doesn’t have a flagship Topps equivalent. He signed a two-year contract with the Orioles, appeared in a few sets like Heritage and A&G but then had Tommy John surgery that May and never actually pitched for the O’s. I’m guessing he had been slated for Series Two or Update.
Wada pitched for the Cubs in 2014 and 2015, and I think I saw that he’s going back to Japan for 2016.
Marco Scutaro is well-represented in products based on the 2010 Topps design.
Along with this Chrome card, his Series One card shows him with the Blue Jays, crouching in the infield… His Opening Day card features the same photo, but photoshopped into a Red Sox uniform… And his Update card shows him against the backdrop of the Fenway scoreboard, about to throw out a runner.
This 2011 Pedro Strop seems to be his only appearance on a baseball card that year. Despite the Rookie Card designation, his actual rookie card is 2010 Upper Deck.
Later in the 2011 season, Strop would be traded to the Orioles, and after a couple of years he would be traded to the Cubs along with some guy named Jake Arrieta.
I got this 2015 Carlos Rodon to fill a spot in my Current Roster Binders.
His 2015 Update card shows a horizontal action shot.
Christian Walker’s 2015 Topps card shows him waiting for a pitch. This card shares a photo with his 2015 Archives card…
…and if I’d realized the duplicated photo before I bought this card, I would’ve just chased down the Archives card and let this Chrome card slide. Oh, well.
Eric Young, Jr. has his eye on the ball, but it’s hard to tell whether he’s about to come up with the ball or let it get past him.
His Series One card is also horizontal and equally ambiguous… He’s sliding into home, but you can’t tell whether he’s safe.
Back in 2013, Xavier Avery was traded to the Mariners for Mike Morse… In a classic “lose-lose” deal for both the O’s and the M’s. Avery, who has one of the best names in baseball, recently signed a minor league contract with the Orioles.
His 2012 Topps Update card shows him running down the baseline.
Jose Reyes’ “standard issue” 2011 Topps card is a horizontal shot which shows him running the bases with three blurry Phillies in the background. For whatever reason, they went with a less-interesting vertical shot for Chrome.
Brian Matusz’s 2010 Chrome card is no better or worse than his Update card, just a different angle and a different point in his pitching motion.
Ruben Tejada’s Series Two card shows him at the end of his swing.
Hey, I never promised they’d be exciting cards, just different.