Monday, January 14, 2008

A New Wave: Political Sports Cards

In the early 2000s, baseball card companies found it more and more acceptable to put non-sports stars in their card sets. Cards of Elvis, Malcolm X, James Dean, and many others started to pop up in sets like Topps American Pie, Allen & Ginter, and Donruss/Playoff Fans of the Game, among others.

But with an upcoming election in the U.S. this November, companies are moving towards producing political cards.

It all began with the Mike Huckabee RC auto/relic in Donruss Americana. As Huckabee's popularity increased, so did the value of his card with the highest auctions closing for over $100. And Donruss isn't worried about any flack they may take over the release:

"We have no concern over putting Huckabee in the set, he is a celebrity, a political figure and at the time we chose to put him in the set, last summer, we had no idea he'd be doing so well. We'd like to say the release of the product at the same time as the Iowa caucuses put him over the top but we can't really say that." ~ Scott Prusha director of Marketing for Donruss/Playoff

But, Topps is also joining the "political party" for 2008. While they have produced presidential sets in the past, including a card with George Washington's hair and presidential cut signatures, their newest 2008 release will be different from anything ever produced.

The 12-card insert set from Topps Series One baseball will feature six democratic and six republican presidential candidates along with a Hilary Clinton cut signature card.

Now I am just wondering where the independent candidates are in this set?

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