1982 Rod Carew “Non-Parallels” (Not To Be Confused With Nonpareils)

Tony of the Off-Hiatus Baseball blog brought up today’s subject in a comment on one of my “Doppelganger” posts. I wasn’t going to write about it, thinking “Well, everybody knows about this”… but then I remembered that many of you weren’t collecting in 1982… Hell, a lot of you just *weren’t* in 1982.

And so…

Back in the wild and lawless days of the early 1980’s, when it was still a huge novelty to have more than one baseball card manufacturer, a photographer sold the same photo of Rod Carew to both Topps and Fleer. Whether it was an oversight or someone trying to pull a fast one, the result was that both Topps and Fleer issued Rod Carew cards with the same photo.

At the time, I subscribed to a hobby publication (given the year, I’m thinking Baseball Hobby News) and I’m pretty sure that the reporting of the day was that both of the card companies were not at all happy about this… not that this would be hard to imagine anyway.

To be clear, neither of these is a variation or a corrected error. They were both part of the full run of each set, so they’re not any more rare than the other cards in the set… unless someone has decided to buy up a bunch and sit on them, but given the prices I’m seeing on COMC and eBay, I’m thinking that’s not the case.

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