The MLB “corporation” helmed by Bud Selig has signed an exclusive deal with the Topps trading card company making them the official baseball card of Major League Baseball.
What this means is that Topps is now the only company that has the right to use MLB and team trademarks on their cards. So while Upper Deck may have deals with the players’ union, which give them likeness rights, they won’t be able to print cards of say Derek Jeter swinging away against Josh Beckett. Instead what you’ll probably get now are cards of Albert Pujols eating a hotdog, Pablo Sandoval riding the ferris wheel, and “Born Again” Josh Hamilton licking whip cream off drunk women in shady bars.
Michael Eisner who turned Disney into a worldwide entertainment behemoth and responsible for this cockblocking move says this was done all for the kids.
“This is redirecting the entire category toward kids,” said Eisner, who acquired the company in 2007. “Topps has been making cards for 60 years, the last 30 in a nonexclusive world that has caused confusion to the kid who walks into a Wal-Mart or a hobby store. It’s also been difficult to promote cards as unique and original.”
In other words, baseball cards is only fun and lucrative when one company monopolizes and controls the entire market.