Topps Triple Threads Baseball made it’s debut in 2006 and has been a fixture in the hobby ever since. Ask 10 collectors what they think of Triple Threads, and you’ll likely get 10 vastly different responses. Love it or hate it, Topps has carved out a niche in the hobby, offering unique memorabilia cards that for the last 13 years are much more unconventional from the standard swatches and patches that the hobby is accustom to. While it’s $200/box price tag is nothing to make fun of, Triple Threads generally doesn’t take itself too serious.
We’re far from the 2012 to 2014 glory days of Triple Threads that produced some of the funniest, clever, and most pun-filled memorabilia cards the hobby has ever seen. During that era, it appears that the creative department at Topps had free reign to do as they please, and as a result, collectors got some of the most hilarious and sometimes head scratching cards introduced into the product.
Without further ado, we present to you some of those gems that you may have missed:
The Weird Obsession with Foods:
Without context, this the context of this swatch is a bit dry, and is one of the most obscure nicknames of all time in Triple Threads. The legend goes that Mike Napoli was often ribbed by teammates because he looked like the chef that cooked food in the Detroit Tigers visiting team clubhouse. (source)
A clever play on words using Mike Moustakas‘s last name. Don’t worry if you have to audibly say it out loud a couple times, we did too!
Billy Butler‘s nickname ‘Country Breakfast’ went viral after a sports reporter aptly coined the nickname for him during a rain delayed game. The reason? Billy can apparently put away the protein! (source)
Although there does not appear to be an origin to this nickname, the back of the card reads ‘Busch Stadium is home sweet home for Stephen.’ Needless to say, Topps may have more than one foodie working for them
We had to dig real deep to figure this one out. During the 2015 season, a Seattle Mariners Stadium Give Away saw 10,000 dads receiving a Mike Zunino BBQ apron. Topps felt it was significant enough to warrant it’s own card, because let’s face it, what else do you remember from the M’s 2015 season? (source)
C.C. Sabathia claims that before becoming clean and sober of the cereal, at one point he ate a box of Captain Crunch a day. Topps felt the need to poke fun at his sugar addiction. Bad Topps, Bad. (Source)
Matt Moore. Get it yet? M&M . The idea probably looked better on paper than it did on this card.
While his perfect game was certainly sweet for Giants fans, this play on words is a ground out to short.
Stemming from his nickname, ‘Georgia Peach’. It doesn’t matter what Topps printed on the front of this card, because ANY collector would love to own a Ty Cobb bat relic!
This nickname didn’t age very well. Given to him as a child growing up the Carolinas, Josh Hamilton was known as ‘Hambone’ to friends, family and teammates. (Source)
Where are they now? “Future Aces” Edition:
With a career record of 19-26 and an ERA of 4.15, this one didn’t pan out too well for Topps. In fairness, Cingrani did look like a good starting pitcher in Cincinnati. He’s now a reliever for the Dodgers, but consider this strike 2 for Topps.
Which means this is definitely strike 3 for them as Jarrod Parker never made it back to the bigs following an injury prior to the start of the 2014 season.
That’s going to do it this time around. Be on the look out for a follow up blog in a couple of weeks that highlights even more of the lighter side of Triple Threads!
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