How surprised was I then, when I got this response within 24 hours:
Thank you for your inquiry.
We apologize for the inconvenience. Please accept a free box of 2009 Topps World Baseball Classic Cards with Fernando Rodney in it as compensation for out mistake. Please send your full name and address so we can mail this out to you.
We appreciate your continued support of Topps and hope you will continue to buy our products.
Well that was unexpected! My letter was pretty straightforward, I thought: You screwed up. You were lazy about it. Fix it if you can. Don't do it again. Nowhere in there was there any sort of demand to make things right or the need for compensation. I wrote back with my address and thanked them for their generosity. Topps gets a big kudos and pat on the back for their excellent customer service and quick reaction on this.
But something didn't feel quite right.
Please accept a free box of 2009 Topps World Baseball Classic Cards with Fernando Rodney in it as compensation for out mistake.Hmm...have you seen this? It's a checklist for the Topps World Baseball Classic 55-card set. Reading through it, the absence of Fernando Rodney may stick out to you. I was already acutely aware of his absence before this all came up, as I browsed it for Detroit Tigers and found only two: Miguel Cabrera and Minor-Leaguer Fu-Te Ni.
Now, I know how these checklists work, sometimes they make last minute changes and some cards get substituted in for others. So, I waited until they came.
Poor Fernando. He's not in the set. A HUGE smile came across my face, in part because I was pretty sure that he wasn't in the set when it was offered to me, but mostly because I was holding the irony of this story in my hands.
After I accused Topps of laziness and unprofessionalism for making an unforgivable mistake surrounding a Fernando Rodney card, they offered me a set of cards, which they explicitly tell me includes Fernando Rodney, which it does not. I will not call out Topps a second time, except to point out the humor in the situation. They did a very generous and unnecessary thing in sending those cards and their heart was in the right place. I don't blame laziness here, but rather a fervent desire to try to assuage my distress (or buy it off, but who's counting). Tip of the cap and all that, I remain a happy Topps customer and will continue to complete my Detroit Tigers sets though them. But now I have all of these neat WBC cards that, if I know me, will probably sit in a box unenjoyed, especially since I'm moving next week.
So, to the readers of this blog: FREE CARDS!
That's right. I've pulled out the Cabrera and Ni cards for myselft (the two Tigers), but that leaves 53 cards available to whoever wants them (actually 52--the Jeter is heading over to Sooz). If you would like some, just leave a comment on this post with whatever card(s) you want. Please feel free to take more than one but I ask that you limit yourself to cards that you actually want or could use. Pass it on to other bloggers etc and help be share the love from Topps.
UPDATE: Apparently things do change from the initial checklist. Here's the full thing, that I just made by flipping through the set, including claimants.
1 Yu Darvish--Dan (Saints of the Cheap Seats)
2 Derek Jeter--Sooz
3 Ryan Braun--Mprigge
4 Michel Enriquez
5 Phillippe Aumont--The Hamiltonian
6 Yulieski Gourriel--Punk Rock Paint
7 Shinnosuke Abe--Kei
8 Hanley Ramirez--WickedOrtega
9 Daisuke Matsuzaka--Capt. Canuck
10 Justin Erasmus
11 Frank Catalanotto--hoss man
12 Travis Blackley
13 Alex Rodriguez--Flash
14 Brian McCann--Dayf
15 Arquimedes Nieto
16 Joakim Soria--zman40
17 Justin Morneau--GCRL
18 Geovany Soto--Greg (Lake Effect Cards)
19 Alex Liddi
20 Cheng-Min Peng--RoofGod
21 Luke Hughes
22 Manuel Corpas
23 Chipper Jones--Dayf
24 Drew Naylor
25 Jimmy Rollins--Dan (The Other World)
26 Kosuke Fukudome--Greg (Lake Effect Cards)
27 Jose Reyes--David Jacobs
28 David Wright--Tanguska
29 Ichiro--hoss man
30 Carlos Lee--David Jacobs
31 Joey Votto--FanofReds
32 Jim Young Lee
33 Jonathan Sanchez
34 Lenny DiNardo--zman40
35 Miguel Cabrera--Dan (GrandCards)
36 Rick Vandenhurk--WickedOrtega
37 David Ortiz--Capt. Canuck
38 Jason Bay--Capt. Canuck
39 Dylan Lindsay--zman40
40 Chris Denorfia--FanofReds
41 Bernie Williams--Flash
42 Akinori Iwamura
43 Pedro Martinez--GCRL
44 Gift Ngoepe--Dayf
45 Chenhao Li
46 Roy Oswalt--Houston Collector
47 Dustin Pedroia--Capt. Canuck
48 Tao Bu
49 Greg Halman
50 Adrian Gonzalez--Punk Rock Paint
51 Carlos Beltran--Kei
52 Pedro Lazo
53 Jorge Cantu--WickedOrtega
54 Kenji Johjima--RoofGod
55 Fu-Te Ni--Dan (GrandCards)