Card You’ve Never Seen: 2002 Topps Mark Loretta Corrected Photo

13 Sep

Several players in the 2002 Topps set were affected by odd, almost vintage-Topps style mistakes: Albert Pujols, Craig Counsell and Mark Loretta had other players’ photos appear on their cards; Craig Wilson, John Vander Wal and Timo Perez had bizarre (and unrealistic) individual feats hidden in their stats on back. And while most collectors don’t believe that Albert Pujols’ card famously depicting Placido Polonco on back was ever corrected for the base issue set (read, not-HTA or Limited Edition parallel sets), there exists scattered evidence through the years that corrected copies do exist but in extremely limited quantities. To date, I have personally only heard of two. Allegedly these cards were corrected very late in last run of factory sets.

Up until recently, Loretta’s card, picturing Curtis Leskanic on front, has been understood to be a classic Topps UER (uncorrected error), documented in the annual ‘big books’ as such but clearly that is not the case. As with the Pujols (and to a lesser degree, Craig Counsell), this correction was only a rumor for the last twenty years. Here is a look at the likely very rare and very late correction to Mark Loretta’s card:

And while not quite junk wax by most collector’s standards, it is an otherwise noteworthy addition to Topps master sets as one of the last, true, unintentional variations produced by Topps. It raises another question: how many exist out there and how many are still trapped in sealed factory sets, almost certainly fused with the cards surrounding it?

2 Responses to “Card You’ve Never Seen: 2002 Topps Mark Loretta Corrected Photo”

  1. Jeremy DeJong September 13, 2022 at 3:14 pm #

    I’m glad you pointed these errors out. Never would’ve known about the Loretta and Pujols errors. My LCS has boxes of cards sorted by teams, and I suspect they opened a complete set of 2002 Topps because there are a ton of 2002 Topps cards in each box. I’ll have to look for some of the cards you pointed out and see if I can pull corrected versions.

    • Dylan September 13, 2022 at 3:46 pm #

      They aren’t in 99% of the 2002 factory sets, just FYI. In fact, nobody knows for sure which of the many types they are found in only that HTA and Limited Edition sets are different than the base Topps cards so they can be ruled out.

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