I am not a baseball card collector any longer and haven't been actively collecting since around 1996. However, I have kept up with baseball cards and what was being produced since then and have a pretty good working knowledge of the hobby. That being said, I am sad to see the MLB rights going to a single company for production of their products.
Being a hockey collector, this has been an issue for a few years now with Upper Decks exclusitivity rights with the NHL and NHLPA. With the vast selection of product every year in hockey, you don't have to look far to notice that the UD hologram logo is stamped on all of them. Same goes for basketball now, with Panini inking their respective name on all NBA products.
This creates two problems in my mind:
1. The product becomes bland and stale. Like many of my fellow bloggers, I enjoy a unique card design, something with flair, something different, something that makes me want to own everything in that product. UD had a few moments here and there but overall, has created a hockey product devoid of anything unique and full of staying power. With Topps already being inferior in terms of design and product layout, I only see misery for collectors in the baseball realm for the future.
2. There is no competition, therefore, no reason to live up to expectations. Without another player in the market, Topps will have carte blanche on how to produce the cards. Eisner has even said he is trying to get the kids back in the hobby, which I am all for, but at what cost? Sacrificing quality for marketability is counterproductive.
I am sure everyone has an opinion on this. A few of my fellow bloggers takes on the situation can be found below. Check them out and voice your opinions.