Bernie Madoff on a baseball card

Topps will issue trading cards featuring the 'world's biggest hoaxes, hoodwinks and bamboozles' this summer.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Yuval Rosenberg

topps_hoaxes_madoff.03.jpg
Photos
Cards of shame
They're not your usual baseball cards. Topps Company will be issuing trading cards of confessed swindler Bernie Madoff as part of a series featuring the 'world's biggest hoaxes, hoodwinks and bamboozles,' due out early this summer. Here's a sampling.

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- "I'll trade you two Bernie Madoffs for a Derek Jeter and David Wright."

Baseball card collectors could soon be saying something along those lines as the Topps Company will be issuing a trading card of confessed swindler Bernard Madoff as part of a product due out early this summer.

The Topps 2009 Allen & Ginter release will include cards of some 260 baseball players along with cards of historic figures and "world champions" from realms outside baseball. This year's product, though, will also nod to Madoff's financial chicanery as part of a group of cards featuring the "world's biggest hoaxes, hoodwinks and bamboozles." Among the other do-badders in the subset are Charles Ponzi, The Runaway Bride, and Enron.

"These cards feature 20 perpetrators of some of the most notorious pranks, dubious claims, and outright frauds of the last 2 centuries," boasts a Topps sell-sheet for the collection.

That means collectors who open a pack of the cards at their local hobby shop could find Madoff right alongside notable sluggers like Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols. Packs of the cards will sell for $3 apiece at retailers including Target (TGT, Fortune 500) and Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500). The odds of finding a Madoff will be one in 12 packs on average.

The hoaxes subset, originally inspired by the case of 1970's skyjacker D.B. Cooper, was in the works even before the Madoff scandal hit the headlines, according to Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi. Madoff, in fact, was a late addition to the checklist, Luraschi says. "Ironically, the economy takes a dive and all these characters start washing out, like Bernie Madoff. We thought, hey, if anyone should be in this set it should be him."

The Madoff card is not the only gimmick included in the set. Topps will again be issuing so-called DNA relics, cards featuring actual hairs of historical subjects including Napoleon, King George III, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Edgar Allen Poe, George Washington, Jefferson Davis, Geronimo, Abraham Lincoln and Beethoven. But the Madoff card is the one most directly linked to current headlines.

"I think it will add some interest to the hobby in terms of non-collectors, more mainstream people getting into it just because of those cards," says Chris Olds, editor of Beckett Baseball, a publication for collectors. "They try to touch on unusual things that people would latch onto -- stuff that's out of the ordinary, especially stuff you wouldn't expect to find in a pack of baseball cards."

Some collectors on one popular trading-card blog seemed less than eager to see Madoff captured on cardboard.

"I think if I pull a Bernie Madoff card it will be getting burned or shredded," one poster noted.

Another collector noted that Madoff isn't the first infamous criminal to be featured on a trading card.

"I was pretty appalled when I found out about the Bernie Madoff card too," that blogger wrote, "but they've had Jesse James and Jack the Ripper in previous sets so I guess Bernie is the designated scumbag criminal for this year's set." To top of page

Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 60.87 -0.49 -0.80%
Bank of America Corp... 16.34 -0.03 -0.18%
Microsoft Corp 39.86 0.17 0.43%
Verizon Communicatio... 46.28 -1.15 -2.42%
Micron Technology In... 26.16 -0.09 -0.34%
Data as of Apr 24
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,501.65 0.00 0.00%
Nasdaq 4,148.34 21.37 0.52%
S&P 500 1,878.61 3.22 0.17%
Treasuries 2.69 0.00 0.07%
Data as of 5:28am ET
More Galleries
Don't give my job to Staples Hundreds of U.S. Postal Service workers protested against experimental mini post offices at Staples. Here's why some Washington, D.C. workers don't like the deal. More
Tools to make your money grow You've started saving and built a financial base. Time for a few new strategies and tools to get your money to grow even more. From real estate to IRAs, here are some tips. More
Ready to start saving? Here's how to do it right When you are just starting out or finally starting to get serious about saving, the basics will get you far. Here are more than a dozen tips that will help you lay the base for building your net worth. More
Sponsors
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.