A decade ago, the official “rookie logo” was instilled into the baseball card world following a rule change that no longer allowed card companies to create cards of players who had yet to serve time in the Major Leagues. Topps’ rules were slightly different as they were grandfathered into the hobby and via various Bowman branded products could produce “prospect” cards. This changed the definition of a “rookie card” for many people as some saw the prospect cards as nothing more than an insert, or pre-rookie card, akin to a minor league issue. The debate over what collectors really want continues to this day.
But the Rookie Card Logo was also designed to make it easier for collectors, especially novice ones, to easily identify a real rookie card from a player’s second- or third-year card.For the most part Topps, the only company with a Major League Baseball Properties license, has done a good job using the logo when needed. However, it has been abused in the sense that the logo has basically been slapped on ever rookie player’s non-rookie cards — like subsets, inserts and checklists bearing their photo and name.
But there have been instances where the company seemingly has flat out missed the opportunity to correctly use the Logo.
In 2015, Giants utility man/third baseman, and eventual runner up for National League Rookie of the Year, Matt Duffy was added to the Topps Update Series without a Rookie Card Logo. And to make that worse, they have added the Logo to his 2016 Gypsy Queen card.
It should be noted that Panini has a license to create baseball cards through the Majoe League Players Association and uses a variation of the Rookie Logo on their cards. The 2015 Duffy cards created by Panini in fact have the Panini version of the Rookie Logo.
The reason this comes to mind today is I pulled a 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Byung-Ho Park rookie card this morning and guess what … it’s missing a logo.Park signed with the Twins in November and to date is his only Major League card.