Friday, July 11, 2008

The Logo Creep

Today, I want to talk about something that has been bugging me for the few years its been around. It is probably the worst marketing campaign ever conceived by this industry, and it makes me pissed every time I see it. The Rookie Card Logo was conceived by Upper Deck to make sure that joe collectors know exactly which card is the rookie card for that player. I say it was conceived by Upper Deck because Bowman is the end all and be all of RC cards, and no smart marketing exec would come up with a gimmick to try to limit the exposure of their biggest product. It just doesn’t make sense. Im guessing they posed it as a group venture with everyone in the industry, but in the end, its pretty obvious that they were just trying to save their own asses from being blown out of the baseball card market worse than they already were.

So, now, instead of having that logo as an ugly beacon of freshness for new cards of a certain player, we are instead left with a blinding reminder of why gimmicks never work. The reason being that by the time a guy makes the 40 man roster and becomes eligible for cards, he has already had 2-3 years of other products under his belt. Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Sterling, Elite Extra Edition, and many others have made the RC card logo as irrelevant as a Mike Huckabee for president campaign sign. The other comic problem with this whole thing is that the logo will be affixed to the card every year until he loses his RC eligibility, or another whole fucking year or two. That means, by the time he is actually getting cards without the logo, he is coming up on a long goddamned time in the industry. Funny shit.

Lets look at Delmon Young, the once favorite son of the hobby, and rookie card logo extraordinaire. His first card was in 2003 Bowman Chrome Draft. That card was hot for the longest time because he was as close to a sure thing as you could get. Fast forward to 2007, where his cards ARE STILL DISPLAYING THE LOGO, a full four years after his first card. Its fucking ludicrious to think this logo actually means anything other than this idea sucks harder than a fucking wet vac.

Probably the most horrific thing that makes the most difference in a card, is that this logo is big, bright, and fugly. It ruins the cards it graces, because the colors have never matched with anything, and it is so prominently featured that you cant ingnore it. Who decided this thing should be BRIGHT FUCKING GOLD? Honestly people, make it fucking gray, or even better, clear.

Besides the fact that its purpose is completely moot due to the sheer number of sets produced each year, it is still creeping into other sports as well. I was shocked to see a stupid ass logo on Bowman football and topps football. See, the difference is that in football, rookies play, so you don’t need a fucking logo. Goddamn you topps, stop ruining your shit!

The reason I brought this up now is mainly due to Razor Poker's signing of some baseball prospects until they hit the majors, discussed earlier. For the first time ever, the RC card logo may make a fucking difference for an American player, and that scares the fucking shit out of me. When Topps and UD came up with the slogan, "You arent a rookie until we say you are!", I laughed because there was no way that this was true. Now, its kind of a gray area with certain prospects.

Personally, I don’t believe in the whole "true rookie" bullshit anyways. Many Joe Collectors say that when it comes to RC you have to go by Becketts definition. Fuck that. My serial numbered parallel base auto is just as much a rookie card as your bullshit base card. I don’t care what the beckett jizz moppers (thanks reader Alex) say. If its an insert set, fine, ill let you win. Buuuuuuut if it’s a parallel of the same goddamn card as the base RC, its still that person's fucking rookie card. Don’t give me the bullshit about "it’s a parallel of the Base RC, so its not a True RC" you douche, its still the same fucking card with the same fucking picture. Plus, I swear, if you even mention the letters XRC together, ill fucking kill you. All first year cards are going into the Rookie Card labled top loader.

Regardless of what people actually think of the Razor bullshit, we can all agree that the logo is brutal and should be wiped from our memories. I would hope that in the coming years, we don’t come down to an "official 2nd year card" logo for the idiots that cant google when a guy first played. Fucking god this is getting bad.


  1. I don't have a problem with the rookie logo.
    I think there are occasions when it is ridiculous, like Delmon Young having 4 yrs. of rookie cards, but ther are other times when it is handy and convenient.

  2. I Thought it was handy and convenient too. That is until now. I just assumed that if it was stamped "rookie card" it was...I don't know...A FUCKING ROOKIE CARD! Apparently this just means that it may be a rookie, it may not be. You still have to go and look through lists and whatnot to find out if it really is, which makes them the same as every other card. So what the hell is the point?

    Damn, I used to be happy when I pulled one of those cards with that little logo.

  3. d the logo itself doesn't bother me, since it's not that obtrusive. That said, I think the execution leaves a LOT to be desired.

    It also didn't come from UD, rather it was mandated from MLB itself, as they wanted to make it easier for collectors to identify a true RC. Unfortunately though, the definitions of a true RC are somewhat fuzzy at best.

    Because of the inherent differences between the MLB draft and other sports drafts, and also the longer amount of time it takes for prospects to make it to the big dance, it makes the logo pretty much a joke.

    IF MLB were a bit more strict as to who could appear on a card in an officially licensed MLB set, the logo would make much more sense. Personally I would make it such that a player could not appear on a card PERIOD until they appeared on the official roster, be that in April or September. Prior to their first appearance in a game, they wouldn't be eligible to have a Major League Baseball card. Period. Cards issued during their first calendar year of play would be designated RCs with a logo, but any cards appearing after the start of the next season could not have the logo.

    So for example, say Joe Scrub gets called up in September for the Dodgers, he wouldn't have been able to have a card until September, and his RCs would be the cards produced between September of this year and April of Next Year.

    I too cannot believe that they're using that logo for players who have cards previous to this year.

  4. Oh yeah, to me the NBA does Prospects right, they cannot appear on an NBA licensed card until they're drafted. Period. End of story. Sure the true RCs will be from the previous year's products with redemptions, but really is that so much of a big deal? There's what two sets with an NBA rookie redemption program?

    The NFL does a good job too. Baseball and Hockey, not so much, but then I think that has more to do with their respective minor league situations.

  5. I know the logo was mandated by MLB, but cmon, it had to have come from somewhere. Hmm, maybe UD does have black ops.

  6. The rules came from the Major League Baseball player's association, not Major League Baseball.

    My most common guess for the RC card logo is to build up interest in current product [that the MLBPA is licensing for Topps/Upper Deck to produce], in the case someone has an Albert Pujols, Ichiro or Ryan Braun like season.

    Heck, even some of the rookies like Jay Bruce, Chris Davis, et al would generate interest in current product, if somehow the MLBPA can get people to understand that 2008 cards of these players will be their rookie cards.

    How profitable would it be to know the sets released in 2008, don't have any pull with beginning, seasoned and joe collectors, because the hot rookies withing the MLB season have rookie/first-year cards in 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 sets.

    The MLBPA had to do something, in order to protect/promote their bottom line.

  7. Perfect example of this garbage is one of my favs:
    Adam Lind-RC=2004 Bowman Chrome
    Adam Lind(topps&UD Rookie)= 2007
    It's kind of annoying in a small way.