1997 Topps was the first year in which Topps confused a lot of collectors. Topps decided to honor Mickey Mantle, not by producing a card of him, but by omitting card #7 from its flagship set. That’s right, for those collectors who were trying to put together a set and for those who didn’t know, card #7 simply did not exist. I will never understand why Topps chose to honor The Mick in this way but in my opinion this was simply ridiculous. Topps continued to do this until 2006. In 2006, Topps decided to produced inserts of Mickey Mantle designed after each missing year (1997-2005) to fill in the gaps that they caused with their decision to omit #7. Some collectors liked these and put them in their yearly Topps sets. I did not mainly because the backs of the cards were numbered MM1997, MM1998, etc. Had they numbered them #7, I probably would have. I thought that the reason Topps produced the insert cards was a response to the backlash from all of the collectors out there who did not like the idea of omitting card #7. In fact, from 2006-2012, Topps did produce a card #7 of Mickey Mantle. I believe that the reason why they did this was because they had the rights to produce Mickey Mantle cards during this time period. However, in 2013, guess what Topps has decided to do? They decided once again to omit card #7 again! Really Topps? It’s like déjà vu all over again!
What I would like to see Topps do in some form or fashion is to create a small set of cards to serve as fillers for all collectors who want to make their sets complete with zero gaps. If they would do this, I would like to see the checklist include these numbers:
1953 Topps: 253-261-267-268-271-275
1955 Topps: 175-186-203-209
1958 Topps: 145
1997 Topps: 7
1998 Topps: 7
1999 Topps: 7
2000 Topps: 7
2001 Topps: 7
2002 Topps: 7
2003 Topps: 7
2004 Topps: 7
2005 Topps: 7
2013 Topps: 7
Am I missing any? I know there was a 2006 #297 Alex Gordon so I did not include that since they are available. They could hand out these 21 card packs to hobby stores to help promote Topps set collectors.
Well, do you like my idea? I know that Topps has produced “Cards That Never Were” before at the National Card Convention for a few years but they are just not the same as the originals. Most of them have a glossy finish to them and don't look or feel very vintage to me.
By the way, I have a title for my insert set – “Cards That Should Have Been!” :0)