I stumbled across this insert set a couple of weeks ago and had to jump on it. "Cards that Never Were"-type reprints are some of my favorite non-mainstream cards. Lets try to forget the fact that A-Rod himself is still recovering from the "Most Hated Man in Baseball" award for a moment. A couple of years ago before A-Rod was forced to take a year off from the sport, I'm sure many people wondered why Topps waited until 1998 to produce A-Rod's rookie card.
He was the #1 Draft Pick in 1993 and should've made the Topps Traded set if not the 1994 set for sure. Since he began playing in the majors by June 1994, he should have had a 1995, 1996, and 1997 card as well. Actually, A-Rod does have a card for 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997. These cards are nearly perfect replications of what his cards might have looked like each year. To me, these cards are part of those sets and will be inserted into my set binders accordingly. The numbering for these 4 cards is #ARI1-ARI4 and the copyright year of 2005 is also included on the back in fine print.
Once again, I wish Topps would go back and reprint a few more "Cards that Never Were" for other players like Mariano Rivera for 1996, 1995, and either a 1990 Traded or 1991 base card.