Showing posts with label Autographs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Autographs. Show all posts

Friday, February 22, 2019

2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball | Checklist, Box Break, Inserts, Autographs, and Review

As baseball fans flock to 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball, it is another signal that spring training is in full swing. The flagship Topps product brings forth the abundant optimism and possibilities that come with the anticipation of the upcoming baseball season. A fresh design that has a slight nod to 1982 Topps makes 2019 Topps Series 1 an attractive treat for collectors.

2019 Topps Base Set / Topps

Base Set / Parallels / Checklist

The 350-card base set has Ronald Acuña Jr. in the leadoff spot, christening the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year with the coveted first card honors. The hobby box provided for this review came about 40 cards short of a complete base set.

2019 Topps 150th Anniversary Parallels / Topps
A few new twists include the 150th anniversary parallels and the hobby exclusive clear parallels for the first 100 cards. Click here for a complete set checklist.

2019 Topps Gold / Topps
Topps keeps collectors busy with a range of colored parallels that go beyond the Rainbow Foil inserts. For those wanting a serial numbered experience, 2019 Topps Series 1 delivers similarly to its 2018 predecessor.


Gold (#/2019), Vintage Stock (#/99), Independence Day (#/76), Black (#/67 - Hobby/Jumbo only), Mother's Day Pink (#/50), Father's Day Blue (#/50), Memorial Day Camo (#/25), Platinum (1/1), and Printing Plates (1/1)

2019 Topps Carlos Rodon SP Variation / Topps
In an effort to keep collectors on their toes, Topps has both SP and SSP image variations, with the latter including only retired legends. The SSP variations are difficult to track down and have made it very challenging to build a master set.

Inserts

The standout insert for 2019 Topps Series 1 is the 1984 35th anniversary set. The updated gloss finish with the white background makes today’s talent pop in the 1984 designs, while also giving Don Mattingly’s iconic rookie card a new look with different photos. Sticking with the nostalgic insert themes, the 150 Years of Professional Baseball, and Iconic Card reprints further serve to connect generations throughout the hobby.

2019 Topps 1984 35th Anniversary Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps 150 Years Insert Set / Topps
2019 Topps Inserts / Topps

Autographs / Relics

With almost 20 different autographed insert sets, Topps strives for diversity with this year’s offerings. They range from signed versions of the insert sets to highlights of the 2018 World Series Champion Red Sox, as well as 1/1 cut signatures from icons Cy Young, Roberto Clemente, Satchel Paige, Ty Cobb, and Ted Williams.

There is no shortage of relic variations many coming with serial numbered parallel versions. Topps guarantees each box will contain either relic or an autograph. The box provided for this review yielded a Miguel Cabrera Major League Material Relic.



Postgame

Opening 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball is an annual bonding experience for fans, collectors, and families alike. Digging through these baseball cards is a ritual that celebrates the hope of a new baseball season.

Friday, January 25, 2019

2018 Bowman Draft Baseball | Checklist, Autographs, Inserts, Box Break, and Review

As the new year rushes in, baseball fans are at the crossroads of anticipation and despair while they wait for spring training to commence. Bowman seeks to pump excitement into that space by debuting this year's draftees in 2018 Bowman Draft.

Collectors annually salivate at the opportunity to get their hands on the first official cards and certified autographs of the freshest talent in minor league baseball. Judging by the early positive responses to 2018 Bowman Draft, collectors are flocking to the product to get ahead of the curve on 2019's breakout prospects.

2018 Bowman Draft Base Set

The 200-card base set features the top 2018 draftees including the first overall pick Casey Mize, Alec Bohm, and Jarred Kelenic. Mixed in with the new draftees are the crop of 2017 Bowman Draft's featured players that just finished their first full minor league campaign.

2018 Bowman Draft Base Cards / Bowman

The jumbo box provided for this review yielded a complete set with an additional 25 doubles, giving collectors a valuable opportunity to familiarize themselves with every player in the 2018 Bowman Draft. In traditional Bowman fashion, both the base and chrome set have a variety of parallels, including serial numbered colored versions that will further provoke player collectors to corner the market on their favorite upstart. Click here for a complete 2018 Bowman Draft checklist.

2018 Bowman Draft Parallels / Bowman

2018 Bowman Draft Inserts

Bowman taps into nostalgia with the 1998 20th anniversary inserts, fashioned with the distinct black bottom border and vertical signature on the side to force the attention to the on-card action shot. The Sterling inserts also tap into familiarity, taking a horizontal highlight of the top ten draft prospects in the set. While Bowman hits the mark with these two single-player inserts, the dual-player Franchise Futures and Recommended Viewing inserts are a bit crowded and do not give these newcomers their proper space to shine.

2018 Bowman Draft Inserts / Bowman

2018 Bowman Draft Autographs

Each jumbo box guarantees three autographs, allowing collectors a dice roll to land a low serial numbered autograph of a can't-miss prospect. With 2018 Bowman Draft offering the first official certified autographs in their franchise uniforms, these signatures have quickly become coveted commodities in the market. This box landed a Chrome autograph from Los Angeles Angels first-rounder Jordyn Adams, a Class of 2018 Brady Singer autograph #/250, and a Chrome refractor autograph of St. Louis Cardinals slugging third base prospect Nolan Gorman #/499.

2018 Bowman Draft Inserts / Bowman
As baseball fans wait with great anticipation for 2019 spring training and the new baseball cards that come with it, 2018 Bowman Draft is a satisfying treat for those looking for fresh faces until pitchers and catchers report.






Thursday, January 10, 2019

2018 Bowman's Best Baseball Review | Checklist, Autographs, and Box Break

Bowman made collectors wait until year’s end for 2018 Bowman’s Best to show that the baseball card manufacturer had one last ace up its sleeve. The high-quality chrome finished cards have a surprisingly soft finish that makes 2018 Bowman’s Best an attractive upgrade to 2017 Bowman’s Best en route to collectors’ must-have lists of the year.



2018 Bowman’s Best Base Set and Checklist


The 100-card base set consists of 70 current stars and rookies, as well as 30 top prospects. The prospects include Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Royce Lewis, Alec Bohm, and Eloy Jimenez, while the current MLB stars feature both Rookies of the Year in Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani, as well as hobby mainstays Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw. The parallels include Bowman’s Best’s signature Atomic Refractor parallels which come one per master box. Click here to view the entire checklist.


2018 Bowman’s Best Inserts


Bowman’s Best tips their cap to the 1998 design with their Best Performers inserts, which highlight a blend of prospects, emerging stars, and veterans. Bowman’s Best dedicates their minor league focus to their Early Indicators subset, while collectors will also enjoy the Neophyte Sensations and Power Producers inserts. All have Atomic Refractor and gold parallels. Highlights for this box break included a Christian Pache Early Indicators Gold parallel numbered to 50.



2018 Bowman’s Best Autographs


Bowman’s Best set high expectations by guaranteeing four autographs per master box. The extra fortunate can score coveted dual autographed cards such as those of Derek Jeter and Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout; however, a majority of the offerings is of the prospect variety. Going into the 2019 season, Bowman’s Best allows collectors to score an attractive on-card autograph of the next Rookie of the Year before their stock doubles. This review box drew two prospect autographs of Noah Naylor and Nick Schnell, a MacKenzie Gore Early Indicators autograph, and an Estevan Florial Best Performers Gold autograph numbered to 50.




2018 Bowman’s Best Wrap Up


Bowman's Best cuts through the endless filler that flood 5,000 count boxes across basements everywhere to offer a focused and condensed collecting experience. With a focus on only the top major and minor league talents, 2018 Bowman's Best is a rich journey that is worth putting money aside for a post-holiday purchase.



Saturday, December 8, 2018

2018 Topps Triple Threads Baseball Review | Box Break, Parallels, Autographs and Relics

Topps has made tremendous strides to push 2018 Topps Triple Threads Baseball to stand out more than ever before. The baseball card giant has improved the base card finish while upping the ante on the autographs and relics to polish one of their best high-end releases.

2018 Topps Triple Threads Base Card Set and Design


The two mini-box configuration of 2018 Topps Triple Threads yields 14 cards – two autographs, two relics, four parallels, and six base cards. While most collectors are going to breeze past the base cards in search of the autographs and relics, I urge those opening a box to slow down and enjoy the base cards, which are far from ordinary. Upon closer inspection, one will find a nuanced design that features a gold embossed trim and an ultra smooth finish, all creating a card that looks and feels like no other on the market.

2018 Topps Triple Threads / Topps

2018 Topps Triple Threads Parallels


While one is busy admiring the fancy base card designs, 2018 Topps Triple Threads fashions colored parallels in the same mold. These cards are named after precious jewels, only serving to further the set's premium motif. Lucky collectors will feast on Amethyst (#/299), Emerald (#/259), Amber( #/199), Gold (#/99), Onyx (#/50), Sapphire (#/25), and Ruby (#1/1) toned parallels. The box provided for this review drew the following parallels as displayed below.

2018 Topps Triple Threads Parallels / Topps

2018 Topps Triple Threads Autographs and Relics


With a price tag of $200 per box, collectors opening 2018 Topps Triple Threads have good reason to anticipate the intricate relic and autographed cards. Just as Topps paid great attention to the set’s base cards, each master box’s four major hits are styled in a manner that commands a premium in both price and attention. This box's hits would surely excite Chicago Cubs fans, with a Ben Zobrist autographed relic, and an Anthony Rizzo jumbo relic card. Most fans would be quite content pulling those hits from any Topps product; however, those were only half of the excitement.


We were also treated to a two-toned Chris Sale “Locked In” jersey relic card, and the saving the best for last, we pulled a redemption card for a triple-autographed relic of Cleveland Indians Jim Thome, Corey Kluber, and Francisco Lindor.




2018 Topps Triple Threads Assessment


Topps Triple Threads comes right in time for a holiday treat. Topps’ adjustments to the card design and stock show that they are not willing to rest on the product’s premium hits to enhance the collecting experience. Whether it is for yourself or a special collector in your life, adding a box of 2018 Topps Triple Threads Baseball to your shopping list will deliver a thrill for the winter months.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

2018 Topps High Tek Baseball Review | Patterns, Box Break, Variations & More

Topps trots out the major league version of their acetate card series with 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball. The box highlights the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani, who is also the cover boy for 2018 Topps Update Baseball, and 2018 Topps Chrome Baseball. Capitalizing on his international appeal, Topps takes a large bet on his star driving interest towards the set’s futuristic design.

2018 Topps High Tek Baseball / Topps

2018 Topps High Tek Base Card Variations


Each box contains 40 cards, giving collectors one oversized pack to devour. High Tek’s signature has been its base card designs, each created in eight increasingly hard-to-find patterns. Topps has added to the chaos by creating separate designs for the American and National Leagues. Below are the four major patterns of the set with examples for both leagues.

Pattern 1 (10 Per Pack)
Pattern 2 (8 Per Pack)

Pattern 3 (6 Per Pack)
Pattern 4 (4 Per Pack)


2018 Topps High Tek Parallels


Topps brings color to the acetate designs with their parallel inserts. Topps' vivid palette makes the designs pop in an attractive way that plays in 2018 Topps High Tek's favor. Player collectors will have their hands full with 18 different variations to track down. The box provided for this review delivered five Rainbow Foil Parallels, ranging from the rarer Red (#/10) to the more common Blue (#/150). The amounts for each parallel card are listed below.

Rainbow Foil Parallels: Blue #/150, Green #/99, Black #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.
Magma Diffractor Parallels: Green #/99, Black #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.
Orbit Diffractor Parallels: Black #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.
Galactic Diffractor Parallels: Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.

2018 Topps High Tek Parallels / Topps

2018 Topps High Tek Autographs


Topps makes hefty promises with two on-card autographs in each box. There is a smooth blend of prospects, current and retired stars, and Hall of Famers available as signers for 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball. Staying in tune with the base card set, the autographs also come in six different numbered parallels. The box provided for this review yielded a Dwight Gooden base autograph and a blue Keon Broxton autographed (#/75).
2018 Topps High Tek Autographs / Topps
Opening a box of 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball is a wild rollercoaster ride, as it is an exciting, but confusing journey to figure out each variation’s place within the set. The lack of a readily available guide without the internet is a source of frustration, hence why you're here.

After sorting through the 40-card aftermath, I was left with little direction on what to do next. Pursue a set that you are miles away from? Track down a rainbow of your favorite player? At $100 per box, neither option seems palatable.

While the on-card autographs were a plus, collectors will have to weigh the time and energy needed to pursue 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball this off-season.




Saturday, November 10, 2018

2018 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Review - Why 2018 Topps Heritage Minors is right on time for the offseason

Now that the MLB postseason is finished and hot stove discussions are in full swing, fans are looking towards the top prospects honing their skills in the Arizona Fall League and the various winter leagues throughout the Caribbean for their baseball fix. Topps has saved their classy 2018 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball set to coincide with baseball’s fall shift from now to next.

2018 Topps Heritage Minors / Topps

2018 Topps Heritage Minors Base Set and Parallels

Set in the design of its 2018 Topps Major League Heritage counterpart, 2018 Topps Heritage Minor League provides tomorrow’s stars with the big league stage that they have been waiting for. The 220-card base set features 20 short-prints, as well All-Star and League Leaders subsets.

2018 Topps Heritage Minors / Topps
Topps hits all of the major talents in the MLB pipeline in the base set, featuring the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Royce Lewis, Estevan Florial, and yes, even Tim Tebow. For those looking to corner the market on their favorite up-and-comer, colored serial numbered parallels run aplenty, and a new twist for 2018 Topps Heritage Minors is the inclusion of one three-card glossy card pack per box.

2018 Topps Heritage Minors Parallels / Topps

2018 Topps Heritage Minors Inserts

The inserts are where 2018 Topps Heritage Minors starts to percolate. The 1969 Deckle Edge inserts cast the prime performers in vintage black and white shots, and limited edition color parallels even further spice up the design. The 1969 Collectors Cards inserts capture the quick and dirty about the next 20 minor league stars that you need to follow. Each box also contains two chances to win a one-day contract with the Richmond Flying Squirrels that includes your own Topps Pro Debut baseball card.

2018 Topps Heritage Minors Inserts / Topps


2018 Topps Heritage Minors Autographs and Relics

Each box guarantees one relic card and one autographed card. The Real One autographs are the most common, and as with the base set, there are colored serial numbered parallels of each. Collectors with a luckier hand can score signed base image variations numbered to 50, autographed deckle edge inserts, and signed 1969 Mint Coin relics.

2018 Topps Heritage Minors Brendan McKay Autograph / Topps
The box Topps provided for this review uncovered a Brendan McKay Real One autograph, and a Justus Sheffield Clubhouse Collection relic. McKay, the Tampa Bay Rays 2017 first-round selection, is following Shohei Ohtani’s footsteps as a two-way threat on the mound and at the plate.

2018 Topps Heritage Minors Justus Sheffield Relic / Topps
This year’s Topps Heritage Minors is an enjoyable break due to the exciting future stars, the sleek insert sets, and the guarantee of both an autograph and a relic from next season’s coveted prospects. With boxes of 2018 Topps Heritage Minors under $50, now is a great time to get familiar with the next wave of MLB talent.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition Box Break and Review

2018 Topps Archives Signatures Series Retired Player Edition Baseball offers fans the opportunity to score a guaranteed autograph from a potent lineup that includes over 30 Hall of Famers. Each box contains one encased serial numbered autographed baseball card with the Topps 2018 postseason logo.

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition / Topps
Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, and Tom Seaver lead the list of signers for 2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition. In addition to the 77 different retired player Topps recruited for this year’s release, there are also 38 special autographs from deceased legends such as Ted Williams, Pee Wee Reese, and Don Drysdale.

In the video below, we reveal the autograph that came in the review box that Topps provided.



This box delivered an encased Andres Galarraga 1993 Topps autograph, highlighting his lone season with the St. Louis Cardinals. While Galarraga is going to need a ticket to get into the Hall of Fame, the “Big Cat” enjoyed an esteemed career that included five All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves, and the 1993 National League batting title.

With current retail prices below $40, this guaranteed hit product is an attractive fit for collectors looking to get their hands on some Hall of Fame ink. Click here to get your chance to crack open a box of 2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition Baseball.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

2018 Bowman Chrome Baseball Review - Do two star crossed rookies have what it takes to push 2018 Bowman Chrome to the top?

With the regular season wrapped up, fans are looking towards the 2018 Bowman Chrome Baseball release for their favorite stars and Rookie of the Year candidates on their chromium-embossed cards. The boxes feature the ROY frontrunners Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani, drawing in collectors with the hope of scoring limited edition autographs and parallels of the cream of 2018’s rookie class.

2018 Bowman Chrome / Bowman
Each master box contains two six-pack mini-boxes, guaranteeing that at least two autographs and one shimmer refractor parallel will be uncovered in the 12-pack journey. Those who indulge in 2018 Bowman Chrome will also find themselves about a quarter of the way towards the completion of the 100-card base and prospect sets.

2018 Bowman Chrome Base Stars and Prospects / Bowman
Bowman entices collectors with their autograph selection, offering an opportunity to snag signatures of top prospects such as Estevan Florial, Luis Urias, and Enyel De Los Santos. Rookie autographs include the aforementioned Acuña Jr. and Ohtani, as well as Gleyber Torres. For those with a lucky hand, even Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, and Russell Wilson (yes, the Pro Bowl quarterback) are among the extensive list of signers for this year’s edition.

The box provided for this review drew two prospect autographs. One of Minnesota Twins outfield prospect Akil Baddoo, and a refractor autograph of Boston Red Sox pitcher Travis Lakins, numbered to 499.

2018 Bowman Chrome Autographs / Bowman
While this box did not yield an autograph nor a base card of the two cover boys (Acuña Jr. and Ohtani), it did turn out some attractive colored limited edition parallels that are sure to capture collector’s eyes. This master box a green parallel numbered to 99 of Chicago Cubs prospect Aramis Ademan, a purple shimmer refractor of Pavin Smith, and a base refractor of Cardinals mainstay Paul DeJong.
2018 Bowman Chrome Parallels and Refractors / Bowman
Bowman keeps consumers on their toes with a variety of insert sets, highlighting different facets of minor league stardom. Arizona Fall League stars have their own set, while the Peaks of Potential set features the next wave of top prospects. Another nifty touch by Bowman for 2018 Chrome is the return of the Sterling inserts, which were a favorite in the earlier 2018 Bowman release.

2018 Bowman Chrome AFL and Sterling Inserts / Bowman
2018 Bowman Chrome Peaks of Potential Inserts / Bowman
As the postseason is in full bloom, 2018 Bowman Chrome gently reminds collectors that while the big league stars are writing the history books right in front of us, there is another talent pipeline ready to create their own record setting paths. You can get on that next train to MLB stardom right now by digging into your own box of 2018 Bowman Chrome Baseball.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018 Bowman High Tek Box Break | Review, Patterns, Autographs & More

The sophomore season is one for making adjustments, and Bowman has done just that with 2018 Bowman High Tek Baseball. Following up last year’s debut, Bowman has upgraded the design of the multi-patterned acetate cards for a more palatable user experience.

2018 Bowman High Tek / Bowman
The series focuses on top rookie and prospects, keeping in stride with Bowman’s reputation for highlighting the next wave of talent in the baseball pipeline. Each box contains ten cards, four of which are on-card autographs, an appealing proposal for those in search of adding to their prospect stash.
2018 Bowman High Tek Patterns / Bowman
One thing that sets 2018 Bowman High Tek apart from its more traditional trading card counterparts, are its ten, that’s right, ten different base card parallel variations. (Click here for detailed guide of each pattern.) Compared to last year’s release, Bowman increased the size of the player’s name and team in a way that further accents the photo and make the player easily identifiable. While the box provided for this review did not yield any of the rare patterns, it did feature a Jake Burger Orange Magma Diffractor numbered to 25.

2018 Bowman High Tek Serial Numbered Parallels and Inserts / Bowman
The tipping point for Bowman High Tek is the four guaranteed autographs in each box. This year’s signers list is strong, featuring over 45 different prospects, including Ronald Acuña Jr., Gleyber Torres, Rhys Hoskins, and Royce Lewis. Noticeably absent is Washington Nationals upstart Juan Soto; however, with an abundance of top tier talent, fans are rather likely to catch at least one rising star, if not more.



Cincinnati Reds power prospect Ibandel Isabel (pictured with the Dodgers) and Chicago Cubs pitching phenom Adbert Alzolay led the way for the four autographs in this box. Aside from Isabel’s penmanship, the other three players who signed cards for this box could use a lesson in cursive, as their signatures amounted to undecipherable scribbles, a seemingly growing trend in the minor league ranks.
2018 Bowman High Tek Autographs / Bowman
With boxes settling in under $100, collectors are primed to take a chance at the four autographs 2018 Bowman High Tek offers, with any of the rare base card patterns serving as the icing on top of an already heavily layered cake. Click here to get a hold of a box of 2018 Bowman High Tek.