More than six dozen cards have now been produced in the 2016 Topps NOW program. While most of the on-demand print runs have stayed under 500 cards, those issued of more popular players and others involving teams with huge fan bases are ordered in greater numbers.
It’s no secret now that the focus is on accomplishments; everything from no-hitters to home run records and smaller milestones. The biggest seller so far—thanks to some mainstream media attention—was the card commemorating Bartolo Colon’s first career homer at age 42. It’s been well chronicled now that over 8,000 were printed and they’re still selling online for more than four times the original $9.99 price.
Topps sold over 6,000 cards in the program’s first week and that number has increased, although orders depend on the number of cards the company produces each day and the subject’s popularity.
Fans and collectors were wondering if Topps would produce a card showing Roughned Odor’s punch to Jose Bautista’s jaw. No dice. Appearing on WGN Radio’s Bill & Wendy show, Topps’ Jeff Heckman said those types of moments aren’t likely to be depicted.
“We’re really trying to highlight the good and the positive things that go on. We’re a partner of MLB and the Players’ Association and they’re really great to us. There’s a pretty good vetting process that goes on between the different people in the company and what is the appropriate and right thing. I know (the fight) captured a lot of attention but it’s not something you’d see us do on a baseball card.”
While Heckman didn’t mention it, Topps NOW images must be approved by both MLB and the MLBPA and neither is likely keen on showing anything remotely controversial, even if the audience is largely adults.
Heckman talked about the first six weeks of the Topps NOW program during that visit with WGN. You can listen to the interview here.