If I had to pick one thing in the history of Topps cards that I could change it would be what Topps decided to do with card #7. Starting with 1997 and ending in 2005, Topps decided to “honor” Mickey Mantle who wore jersey number 7 throughout his illustrious career by omitting card number 7 from the set. I could understand honoring him by producing a card of him as they did in 1996 and from 2006 to present but I just think this was a bonehead decision by Topps. I guess from a marketing perspective it might persuade unknowing people to buy more Topps packs in hopes to finding card #7 to complete their set. But for me, I do not like having a gap in my set notebooks. Years from now when my son grows up, I can see how the conversation is going to go as I am showing my cards to him…
Drew: “Dad, how come you don’t have the complete set?”
Me: “Well, I do.”
Drew: “But you are missing card number 7!”
Me: “No, it is really not missing. Topps decided to honor Mickey Mantle by not producing a card”.
Drew: “That’s dumb. Why didn’t they just make a card of him or something?”
Me: “Topps probably did not have the licensing rights to do that. However, I do wish they wouldn’t have created this blank in my notebook.”
I believe that in 2006, Topps produced an insert set of missing Mantles that many collectors used to fill in the blanks of their sets. I used this set to fill in the gaps for a while and then decided not to put these inserts in my sets since they are really not part of the set. I now just have an empty space where card #7 should be. Anyone else out there regret Topps decision? I would like to hear your opinion!