Apparently 2016 was The Year of the Colon for me, as I picked up several of Bartolo Colon's Topps NOW cards throughout the 2016 season. There are actually even a few I am missing, which seems crazy for a guy who isn't exactly a superstar.
|2016 Topps NOW # 315 - Print Run: 741|
He appeared on 6 total cards in the regular season set (46, 57, 270, 315, 360, and 396) and one Postseason card (NYM-11), for a total of 7 Topps NOW cards. Most players didn't even get one card, let alone seven, but most players aren't rotund hurlers with legendarily zany plate appearances, either. His everyman appearance and his highlight/lowlight reel make him a fan favorite of sorts, and probably perfect for multiple cards in this print-on-demand set. I've discussed before my wishy-washy internal conflict about collecting the cards of a guy who has been suspended for PED usage and sued for allegedly failing to pay child support for his mistress' children, but in the end I've allowed myself to look past that stuff and enjoy his on-field exploits. I am not too worried one way or the other about the PED case, but I do hope that he is doing right by all of his kids. The facts surrounding the child support case aren't public as far as I know, so I can't fairly judge him one way or the other. Ideally, every child would be raised in a good environment by loving parents, but most families have some kind of complications.
Although Colon is a pitcher by trade, several of his NOW cards have focused on his batting. The big one was his first home run, which really put Topps NOW on the map and sold a whopping 8,826 copies. a number that was only surpassed by the card printed for Ichiro's 3,000th hit a couple of months later. His HR card's print run is still almost 3,600 more than the 3rd place card, which features Yankees rookies Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge after hitting back-to-back home runs in their first major-league at-bats. He also got a card for drawing the first walk of his career in the same season as he hit his first home run, after a record 282 plate appearances without drawing a free pass. This one was a lot less popular than the HR card, though with only 1,120 copies printed.
|2016 Topps NOW # 396 - Print Run: 492|
This card is a little bit hokey, but by the time card #396 came around Topps knew that Bartolo Colon NOW cards were like free money for the taking. Colon had his first multi-hit game since 2002, and Topps went ahead and commemorated the event with a card. This one was a little less popular with collectors and only pulled in 492 ordered copies.
|2016 Topps NOW # 57 - Print Run: 8,826|
There are three Bartolo Colon Topps NOW cards that I do not have in my collection. The first one, 2016 Topps NOW #46, is the most rare of the bunch. It came before the popular home run card and has a print run of just 298. It is currently the most expensive of Colon's NOW cards on eBay. As far as subject matter, it highlight's Colon's 220th win, surpassing Pedro Martinez on the all-time wins list.
His other regular season card that I don't own is card #270, which shows different retro uniforms that MLB teams wore. Colon isn't the only player on the card, but he is one of the six players who have pictures on the card. He certainly didn't get onto that card for his performance, as he gave up 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 4.1 innings in a 2-6 loss to the Cubs.
He also has a postseason card, #NYM-11, which is part of the Mets' postseason team set. That was only available as part of the team set, but some internet sellers have parted out the sets into singles. The set had a print run of 392.
I don't know if I will chase down those last three cards. Card #47 is a little expensive for what it is, and the other two don't really move the needle for me as far as subject matter.