Crazy, record-setting auctions aside, the reality of Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg's impact on the hobby now has a more subtle footnote.
Topps literally made Strasburg's RC-tagged base card for Series 2 as he was throwing his first pitches on June 8. They then anointed it #661 and dropped into the mix for unlocking via the Million Card Giveaway promotion.
In the blink of a Strasburg fastball, Topps expanded Series 2 with a card that, to this point, has not been declared a short print ... at least to my knowledge.
We're still breaking down a Series 2 case, which prompted plenty of eBay searches to see how master sets, plan-old base sets and other cards have fared since it went live just before Memorial Day. How'd you like to have been someone to spend $100+ on a master set and now realize you're a card short?
With our adventure breaking an Upper Deck 2009 Series 2 case last year, a similar thing happened. UD tossed in a handful of SP rookie cards that, while clearly known about, did push the set above the 1,000-card mark. The difference in response on eBay to a complete set of 1,000 versus one with all the SPs was about $25.
None of those guys were Strasburg. Still, if you stopped at #1000, are you satisfied that you've met completion?
When our Topps 2 case is finished and sorted, we'll be able to put together at least one set of Series 1 and 2 combined, and probably at least a pair of Series 2 sets.
Without Strasburg's #661, will anyone care?
Checklist Chasing is written by Dan Campana, a media consultant, former newspaper reporter and longtime collector living in the Chicago suburbs with a sports-minded 5-year-old and an understanding wife.