Card of the Day: 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights Tony Armas

Today’s Card of the Day comes from a set that we haven’t looked at here yet. It’s also a player who hasn’t been featured in this series yet. Tony Armas Jr in part of a select group in Pittsburgh Pirates history. They have had 26 groups of relatives throughout their history. When you break down that even more, you find out that he’s one of six father-son combos in team history. His father played for the 1976 Pirates, while Tony Jr played for the 2007 Pirates.

This 2007 Topps set is an interesting offering. Instead of the boxed Traded sets that we saw in the 1980s into the 90s from Topps, the 2007 set was called Updates and Highlights. They were no longer sold in boxes. That was stopped years earlier. These were sold in packs. Those early traded sets had 132 cards. This set had 330 cards. It was released in October, and it included numerous subsets. The usual Traded/Rookies cards were joined by Highlights, All-Stars, Classic Combos, Home Run Derby and something called Gimmicks, which was an awful idea from the start. At the head of this set was card #UH1, featuring Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tony Armas Jr, who had already played his final game for the Pirates by the time people were getting these cards.

Here’s the front of the card:

If you went to Ebay and you didn’t know any better, you would think these these cards didn’t list the team name or the player name on the front. You can’t see anything there in those little thumbnails for the card. I like the design idea for this set, but whoever thought that they should make the writing on the front of the card next to impossible to read needs to be smacked with a rolled up newspaper on the nose and told “No! Bad!”.

Doesn’t this picture look like Armas should have a ball is his hand? What’s that all about? I like the photo though. Nice quality, possibly an action shot from Spring Training. I believed the Pirates tried to save on costs that year by using invisible baseballs. They also required fans to throw baseballs back into play…which was odd when multiple people claimed to have the invisiball.

Remember those jerseys with the red and orange down the side? They looked so good from the front with the all black look and that logo. Then the sides looked like that for no reason…where’s my rolled up newspaper?

That facsimile autograph is something else. It looks like it says more than Tony Armas on the card. Current players can’t be bothered to write more than two letters, this guy is adding letters.

Here’s the back of the card:

I like the back of these cards. You can read the name, which usually isn’t a big deal, but we saw the front of this card. They included the Pirates logo. Excellent job. The stats section looks fine, the bios section looks cool with the infield dirt background. They continued the black border look. Then there’s the second picture of the player. Why would they include a tiny picture that is already on the front, while leaving all of that room for nothing? So close to be a strong offering….so close.

If you’re interested in getting this card, there are about ten on Ebay right now, and you shouldn’t pay more than $2 delivered. There are some chase/variation cards here. One has red writing for the top section on the back. It’s the same price. Another has a gold border for the front. It can be had for under $3 delivered. There are plenty of other options from this set, some of them very rare, just none currently on Ebay.