The Beckett Blog

Could Stephen Strasburg be included in 2010 Topps Triple Threads? by Chris Olds

Topps‘ preview information for the always popular Triple Threads arrived late last week and there’s plenty to be found among the set’s high-end offerings.

But there’s also plenty not yet revealed about the product that will arrive in late August.

Perhaps we can take a look at the checklist and offer a few thoughts which starts and ends with one question …

Will Stephen Strasburg be included?
It’s just a matter of time before the No. 1 pick’s humiliation of minor league batters ends — in two Triple-A starts he’s struck out 13 and allowed just one hit in 12 innings — and most target for him as an early June arrival in Washington. While he’s not yet eligible to appear on anything but Bowman cards, the second he is eligible for anything else — rookie redemptions and every other product — you can expect that he will be on checklists faster than one of his 103-mph fastballs.

Topps should be able to get their golden child into the set — sticker autographs have probably already been signed and I’d bet at least one game-used jersey from spring training has been acquired — on RCs in the Rookies & Rising Stars Autograph Relic checklist.

That checklist presently includes 14 players listed as “to be determined,” so there’s plenty of flexibility right now.

Already on there are Jason Heyward, Austin Jackson, Ike Davis, Starlin Castro and Mike Leake, so you can bet that Topps’ exclusive deal with Strasburg will ensure he’s there (if he can be), particularly  if those other notable 2010 players are, too.

A Strasburg autographed Relic makes all that money people are paying for his Bowman autographs seem a little excessive, doesn’t it?

There’s one other TBD on the preliminary checklist that screams “Strasburg” — and it’s the TBD on the Rookies & Rising Stars Autographs Pairs checklist. It’s merely a six-card set that already has the likes of Heyward and Tommy Hanson paired along with other youngsters. The only question here would be who might Topps pair Strasburg with …

There are no guarantees there, but Topps would be foolish to not include him.

Going batty
There are a pair of small game-used bat checklists in the product — 15 Bat Nameplate cards and 10 Bat Knob cards — and some of the names are big. They’re not Strasburg big — they’re bigger.

Nameplates? Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro, Ryan Howard and how about Babe Ruth?

For the knobs, there are Pujols, Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, Ichiro, Frank Robinson, Ty Cobb, Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig.

Whew. There’s some serious firepower there in a segment of the hobby that’s quite small. (Read about knob cards in a past recent issue of Beckett Baseball, issue No. 49).

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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I’ve never even seen a bat knob card before, let alone owned one, but if I ever come across one, I’m definitely putting it in the ol’ P.C.

As for Strasburg, if Topps knows what’s good for them, they’ll put him in Triple Threads… with him in there, that stuff’ll fly off hobby shelves so fast it will be like the first shopping day after Thanksgiving.

Comment by Andrew Meeusen

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