Topps taking gum out of cards


SAN JOSE, Calif. -- If you're a sentimentalist, chew on this: Baseball cards aren't going to be bubble-gum cards anymore.

A spokesman for Topps, which has been selling cards packaged with gum since 1952, confirmed yesterday that the company has decided to remove the gum from its sports card products.

"The decision was a tough one," Timm Boyle said. "Many people think of gum when they think of Topps. They have fond memories of that distinctive smell that came with opening Topps cards."

But as the collectibles industry boomed in the 1980s and card purchases became part of investment portfolios, the presence of gum was criticized because of the stains that could render a valuable card virtually worthless.

Topps' best-known product besides cards is Bazooka gum.

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