2007 Topps Turkey Red

What I pulled--

Inserts and Parallels:
Chrome (#ed to 1999) - Juan Pierre, Micah Owings, Carols Gomez, Jose Reyes, BRandon Wood, Ken Griffey Jr.
Chrome Refractor (#ed to 999) - Joe Mauer, Chien-Ming Wang, Magglio Ordonez
Black Chrome Refractor - Troy Tulowitzki (#98/99)
Turkey Red Back - Alex Rodriguez
Presidents - George Washington, James K. Polk
A-Rod Road to 500 - 315
Cabinet Card Boxtopper - Michael Young

Relic Cards and Autographs:
Relics - C.C. Sabathia white jersey, Jon Garland gray pants
Chrome Autograph - Rich Hill

Some people are averse to change. But when change is good, everyone is happy.

Topps Turkey Red is back for its third iteration and, after hearing a little grumbling last year from some
critics, Topps has made some alterations to the product. And guess what? They all work.

Gone are the multi-color parallels, with chrome parallels (along with refractors) taking their place. Gone is
the "live set" concept, with numbering picking up from where the previous set left off. Instead, we get a nice,
set o
f under 200 cards (including multiple Mickey Mantle cards) that can be almost completed with just one

The most important addition is the work of legendary sports portraitist Dick Perez, who has lent his
handiwork to 61 of the cards, and his autograph to many of the boxtoppers. More positives? The new
frame is classy. The pebbled card-front is back, lending a feeling of uniqueness to the set. Every U.S.
President also has a card, although some people might be disappointed by pulling a George W. Bush
card if your political views lie opposite to his.

Bells and whistles? Well, I beat the odds by pulling three hits - two relics and an autograph. The player
selection on the relics is nothing special (Jon Garland?), but there are some pretty sweet autographs on
the list, and the new card layout contains a box to house the autograph stickers, which I hope becomes a
standard operating feature when products must carry a sticker auto. The oversized boxtoppers are back as
well after the experiment with last year's "blankets".

Last year, I voiced a concern that this product wasn't necessary, given its release on the heels of Allen & Ginter. That concern
is back, and I wonder if Topps would be more successful with both products by separating the releases a bit (maybe one in
the spring, one in the late summer). There certainly is room for both, though.

It really is rare for a product to improve with changes after being successful at the outset. That is what has happened here,
though. And since I gave last year's Turkey Red an A-, I see no reason to raise the grade this year.................