Card of the Day: 2006 Turkey Red Chris Duffy

Today’s Card of the Day is the second appearance here for Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Chris Duffy, who played for the team during the 2005-07 seasons. I was going to use Kent Tekulve, but he’s been in this series four times already, including one recent somewhat appearance. The Pirates traded Tekulve to the Philadelphia Phillies on this date in 1985, so it made sense to think about using him here. Duffy was born on this date in 1980, so he gets the Card of the Day honors instead. His first appearance was on a throwback design card from the 2006 Topps Heritage set.

Today’s featured set is the 2006 Topps Turkey Red. I’ve only looked at this brand from Topps once before. That was for the 2010 Ryan Doumit card. I’ve also only looked at the original set once before, that one being the 1911 T3 Turkey Red set, which is a popular and pricey vintage set, filled with great cards. This 2006 card has major similarities to the 2010 card, and the design definitely reminds you of the 1911 card, but there is one major difference between the old/new sets. I also went with a variation from the 2006 set, just to mix things up a little. Here’s the look at card #547 from the 2006 set, featuring Chris Duffy.

Here’s the front of the card:

This layout you see here is just like the 1911 set. You get a frame around a photo, which is artwork instead of a real picture. You get the player’s last name and the team name at the bottom. Since “Pirates” wasn’t an official name back then, you almost always saw cards go with Pittsburgh (or Pittsburg in some cases). What I really like here is that Topps went with a non-traditional background for the photo, which is something you would see in the original set. Not every player was shown with a stadium background.

The difference between this card and the Doumit linked above is the red border. You may have read Turkey Red and assumed just now that it was describing the border, but Turkey Red was a tobacco brand name. This is actually a red border variation from the set. The original cards, plus the Doumit card, all have a light gray border. You can find this Duffy card with the gray border as well, but I liked the Red/red combo, so I went with the variation.

The big difference between this and the original set is the size. The original ones are about 4x the size, plus they are much thicker. That was some good planning back then, because the available ones have held up pretty well. The one problem the originals had is that a lot of people tacked them to the wall, so you can find little tack/pin holes too.

Here’s the back of the card:

The back here has the look of the original back, but they strayed a bit from the original idea. The writing style is the same, as is some of the wording you see on back. Kudos to Topps for using the time period correct spelling of “base ball”. The 1911 versions have checklists on the back, or an ad for Turkey Reds. Obviously they aren’t going to advertise for a cigarette now (or even back in 2006), but that’s what you would get back then. The cards that most kids were collecting, were also secretly trying to hook them on tobacco. Still great cards though, despite their evil intentions!

The newer set went with a bio section instead to fill the back. Notice the last line here. It makes a mention of the 2006 season, so you can tell that these weren’t an early release set.

One thing I’ll note here is that Duffy is #547, but that doesn’t mean this is a big set. They continued the numbering from the 2005 set, which had 315 cards.

If you are interested in grabbing this card, you don’t have a lot of options on Ebay. Those limited options are also split between the red and gray versions. They didn’t seem to release the exact numbers for how tough these red cards are to find. There are tougher to find variations as well. There’s no real price difference between the gray and red (only colors available for Duffy on Ebay), other than the people who charge too much for shipping. You can get either for $2-$3, just check the shipping charges first.