One of the reasons I devote so much of my free time to writing this blog is simple... I love cards. Not just the hits, not just a few athlete’s cards, I love all of them, from the monster auto/relics to the common base card. I get absorbed in the details and design of each card, front and back.
So when something a little different appears in a new pack, I tend to notice and want to find out everything I can about it. Some time ago I pulled a card that struck me as odd. It is from 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball. The insert set of 19 different Gypsy Queens. Adamina of Craiova.
To be honest, the first thing that I thought of was an Aerosmith song.
I did a little research about Gypsies in hopes of understanding some more about the card and the person behind the card, but didn’t really get anywhere. It bothered me a little, but I put it to the back of my mind, figuring something would trigger a little more understanding down the road
Then I opened a box of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter and pulled this.
The Crack the Code card with the Codemaster. His glasses seemed a little modern to me and I thought it was odd to feature the character so prominently. After getting multiple copies of the card, it was clear to me this was done to direct your attention to the clock over his shoulder. And then it struck me. The Codemaster reminded me of a card that was issued in 2010, the 206 Topps Personalities, this one in particular.
It’s Topps Art Director, Adam Gandolfo. Same glasses. Same situation where my attention is pulled more to the picture over his shoulder than the subject of the card.
This is not the first time that Topps employees have posed as fictional characters. Back in 2008 there were cards in the Allen & Ginter set called Team Orange. These mini cards featured old time baseball players with names like Sir Wagonwheel Stevens and Mittens McCluskey. They were also a key factor to the final step in the Crack the Code contest. You had to mail Topps the six players with mustaches to win. One of those players was Archibald Clinker.
Clinker is portrayed by Adam Gandolfo. So it makes sense Adam would pose for the Codemaster. It is a common thing for Artists to pose for their own drawings. Animators do it all the time, there is even speculation that the Mona Lisa is actually a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci.
Yes... she could actually be a he. Which makes me wonder...
Adamina and Adam Gandolfo
Is it possible that Adamina is actually Adam Gandolfo in drag?
Are these the many faces of Adam Gandolfo? Feels that way to me. It is also logical to deduce that the other Gypsies are Topps Employees. I know if I were at Topps, I would be the first to volunteer to be immortalized on a card. Is it possible these are a match?
Kali and Loretta Micali.
If so, most likely Adara is also Micali as they are supposed to be related.
Olga and Olga M. Vega
If all of this is correct. I bet there is a Stephanie who works at Topps who posed for Stefumari. There must be one person who posed for both Sonia and Hevalia, they both have the same dress with puffy sleeves and bandana/shawl with the pattering in the exact same place on their heads.
...the 20th gypsy? I know Checklists are subject to change, but why cut a set of fictional cards down by just one. Could Topps be setting the solution to this year’s Crack the Code across two sets? Lots of mystery surrounding these Gypsies.