Topps released the checklist for 2018 Topps Update recently and one big name is missing from that checklist. But, that name was also missing from the midseason release of Topps Series 2 and the preseason release of Topps Series 1. You may have already figured out which player that was by the title of this article, but that doesn’t make this any easier…there will be no 2018 Topps flagship card for Madison Bumgarner.
While this may not be a big deal to many since the topic at hand is merely a base card, this will surely upset the completists and set collectors out there as Madison has been a dominant pitcher in recent years. The 2018 baseball season is coming to an end and Topps has produced several trading card sets this year that could have featured Bumgarner but none did. That’s right, Topps has not produced one card of Bumgarner for the season and Update was the final chance for collectors to get their hands on that flagship MadBum card. In the end, that opportunity came and went with the release of the Topps Update checklist yesterday.
Between the three series of the flagship Topps set, a 1,000-card checklist exists. As many collectors already know, those 1,000 cards do not feature 1,000 different players. Without verifying the numbers, my guess is roughly 50-60% of those 1,000 cards feature different players, with the other 40-50% being a repeat of sorts as pictures and moments from various events during the season are used on cards later in the series. For example, cards showcasing moments from the Home Run Derby are usually included in the Update series and those players typically have already been included in the flagship set.
Had Bumgarner cards from other 2018 Topps products existed, one could attribute his omission from the flagship set to a simple error or just being overlooked for fresh faces. But, it would be hard to fathom a company forgetting about or choosing to exclude a member of three World Series champion teams and someone that struck out between 191-251 batters for six consecutive seasons.
After doing a little research, no clear answer could be found as to why Bumgarner is not part of any 2018 Topps set. One can assume that the situation MAY similar to when Barry Bonds opted out of the MLBPA licensing agreement in 2003, but no evidence has surfaced to confirm such a scenario.
The lack of MadBum cards in 2018 Topps products will leave a gap in many collections whether they’re player, team , or set collectors. Let’s hope that 2018 is an anomaly and doesn’t become the norm.
Until we know more, take a look at Madison’s previous Topps flagship releases.
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