Seeing the square-shouldered Johan Santana on this 1971 Topps card explains everything.

I realize now that the whole Madoff affair was just a smokescreen. The Wilpons have actually been flush with cash all along, but they were diverting funds in the service of a special project.

The project? Send the rehabilitating Santana back in time to break the no-hitter curse that befell the Mets on December 10, 1971, when they traded Nolan Ryan to the Angels for Jim Fregosi.

I’m not quite sure how Santana did it, since history shows that the trade still went through. But sweet Marty McFly, somehow the magnificent bastard pulled it off. And he got his mug plastered on a 1971 black beauty, to boot…

OK, not so much.

What we have here is a card from the 2012 Topps Archives offering. This set includes current players on an array of different designs from Topps’ past: 1954, 1971, 1980, and 1984.

Unlike the annual Topps Heritage set, the Archives line does not obsess over verisimilitude. The cardboard is flimsy, slick, and modern, and the fonts and colors are only weak approximations of the originals.

And no, you’re not seeing triple– I’ve purchased just 10 packs of this product to date, yet pulled the Warholian triptych of Santana cards you see here.

Normally I’d complain about such terrible collation, but given the events of June 1, 2012, I think I’ll let it slide…

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