Showing posts with label Baseball Cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baseball Cards. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2019 Bowman Baseball | Checklist, Autographs, Chrome Prospects, Review, and Box Break

Wander Franco. His 2019 Bowman baseball card has quickly become the face of this year’s product, with the 18-year-old Tampa Bay Rays shortstop prospect dominating the collecting realms of social media. As his chrome autographs and serial numbered parallels continue to pop up in collector’s feeds, 2019 Bowman Baseball has taken flight largely on the back of this prized phenom.

2019 Bowman Baseball Base Set, Prospect, and Chrome Checklist


The 2019 Bowman Baseball base set is limited to 100 cards. The base set consists mostly of established stars and veterans with a few choice rookies mixed in. The box provided for this review yielded a complete base set. Set collectors who are looking for a challenge, card there is a Bryce Harper SP variation for card number three (Joey Wendle).

2019 Bowman Wander Franco Chrome and Base Prospects / Topps

Both the prospect and chrome sets contain 150 cards each, highlighted by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Joey Bart, and the aforementioned Franco. Demand for these chrome rookies have been high, especially for the lower numbered Green (/99), Gold (/50), Orange Border (/25), Red Border (/5), and Platinum (1/1) parallels.


2019 Bowman Parallels / Topps

Click here for the complete 2019 Bowman Baseball checklist.

2019 Bowman Inserts


Bowman honors the 30th anniversary of their 1989 landmark set with stars and prospects molded in its classic design, this time fit to standard size proportions with a glossy finish. Collectors will also find familiarity a few of the insert sets that make a return in 2019 —Bowman Scouts Top 100, Talent Pipeline, and Rookie of the Year Favorites.

2019 Bowman Inserts / Topps

Collectors will enjoy the horizontally oriented Ready for the Show inserts, which feature 20 of the top MLB-ready prospects. This set comes in a myriad of serial numbered parallels, further increasing their desirability with collectors.

2019 Bowman Inserts / Topps

2019 Bowman Autographs


The prized possession for those going deep with 2019 Bowman Baseball are the Chrome Prospect Autographs. Collectors anticipate 2019 Bowman’s release; eagerly waiting for the opportunity to secure the debut autograph of the next player they think will make a profound mark on the game. The limited edition serial numbered colored autograph parallels are sure to keep fans coming back to this product as different prospects take off throughout the season.

Other autograph cards include signed versions of the Scouts Top 100, Rookie of the Year Favorites, and Sterling insert sets. The box provided for this review contained a Ryan McKenna autographed Atomic Refractor Chrome Prospect card #/100.

2019 Bowman Chrome Prospects Atomic Refractor Ryan McKenna Autograph / Topps

2019 Bowman Box Break Video and Final Take




Collectors will keep coming back 2019 Bowman Baseball to this set to find players they either overlooked, or want to ride to the top as the baseball season goes deep into the summer. Whether it is Wander Franco, Joey Bart, or a less heralded prospect that emerges as the king from this set, 2019 Bowman Baseball reminds us that infinite hope that new prospects provide drives the engines of baseball fans throughout a long season.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball | Checklist, Autographs, Box Break, and Review

Collectors in search of new fortunes will find their desires fulfilled inside in a box of 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball. Armed with an upgraded design and quality artwork, Topps has made the necessary adjustments for 2019 Gypsy Queen to compete for attention among their vast release schedule.

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball Base Set, Parallels, and Checklist

This year’s base design features a framed border that puts the players in clearer focus and a colored nameplate for easier viewing. The 320-card set contains 300 base cards and 20 short prints. While the base set is a bit thin on the hot rookies, the 20 short prints highlight retired players including Hall of Famers Tommy Lasorda, Vladimir Guerrero, and Hank Aaron.

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Base Set / Topps

 The base set has a variety of colored parallels, as well as missing nameplate and GQ logo swap versions. The Jackie Robinson Day and Player’s Weekend variations will also keep collectors eyes glued to the card fronts, as these rare nuances are tough to spot at first glance.

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Parallels / Topps

Click here for the entire checklist.

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball Inserts

One advantage that 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball has over other Topps releases is the simplicity of their insert sets. There are two basic insert sets— Tarot of the Diamond, and Fortune Teller minis. With only two inserts sets to track down, the ease of completing a master set will be an attractive feature for many collectors.

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball Autographs and Relics

Topps lures in collectors with the promise of two on-card autographs in each box. It is an effective hook, as the blue autographs pop against the Gypsy Queen background, making these signed cards in demand throughout the season. The traditional Gypsy Queen autograph set features a mix of both active and retired players, with the box provided for this review yielding signatures from Brad Keller and Torii Hunter.

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Torii Hunter Autograph / Topps
Other autograph inserts of note are the Mini Rookie Autographs, Fortune Teller Mini Autographs, as well as the relic containing Autographed Garments, Autographed Patch Book, Bases Around the League Autographs, and Pull Up Sock Autographed Relics.

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Brad Keller Autograph / Topps

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball Box Break Video and Final Take

Topps’ subtle design changes from the 2018 Gypsy Queen set push the Gypsy Queen product line forward in a market where collectors are looking for both consistency and eye appeal with their purchases. The upgraded 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball delivers on both fronts, making this set one to purchase if you are looking for a fresh take on one of Topps’ time tested products.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Will Gary Vaynerchuk push the sports card market to new heights?

Gary Vaynerchuk, the entrepreneur and social media giant, has set his eyes on the sports card industry with a laser-like focus that could quickly elevate the hobby back into national prominence. While some may think "Gary Vee" is trying to ride the wave of the most hyped prospects; however, he is no stranger to collecting. Vaynerchuk built his chops in the late 1980s and early 1990s, making thousands of dollars as a teenager selling baseball cards at local shows.

Gary Vaynerchuk / Twitter

One just has to look at stacks of Todd Van Poppel and Gregg Jefferies rookies from the sports card boom as a reminder that collecting was designed to be a hobby instead of a venture into an alternate stock market. Despite the historical warnings, collectors are diving into prospects hoping to find the next Mike Trout while sidestepping the likes of Greg “Toe” Nash. With new money flying into the sports card market, will the top cards reach new highs in the coming year?




Modern-era baseball cards will always lag well behind their pre-WWII counterparts, but recent history shows that modern-era cards are starting to attract more lucrative bids. Just six months after a Shohei Ohtani rookie card sold for a modern-era record of $184,000, a Mike Trout rookie card has attracted a $92,000 bid on eBay and could climb higher. According to SBD, on-field greatness only goes so far in upping a card's value, but if Trout continues to stake his claim to the title of best (non-steroid) player since Willie Mays, they set the odds at 1/2 that a Trout card becomes the most valuable modern-era card within the next decade.

2011 Mike Trout Gold Canary Diamond / PSA

With Gary Vee’s massive following turning their attention towards the new generation of sports cards (Vaynerchuk has 1.88 million Twitter followers as compared to Topps’ 125,000), we could get a win-win on both sides of the hobby. Excited hustlers and entrepreneurs could easily drive up the higher ends of the card market while simultaneously drawing an increasing amount of casual fans back into the joys of collecting.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

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

The metallic borders of 2019 Topps Heritage baseball cards rekindle visions of the concrete architectural designs that were popular in the 1970s. While some collectors passed on the 1970 Topps Baseball card set due to its cold feel, Topps attempts to accentuate its minimalist features in 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball.
2019 Topps Heritage / Topps

Base Set / Checklist / Short Prints / Parallels

Topps marks the 500-card base set with the presence of 100-card short prints that are sure to drive collectors on a season-long mission towards completion. Topps makes an interesting turn with the set checklist, leaving a load of stars within the 100 short prints, which means collectors will have to be either very lucky or pay up for the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, and Ronald Acuña Jr.

Long-time collectors will note Pat Neshek's tribute to Lowell Palmer's 1970 Topps card in the picture below.
2019 Topps Heritage Base Set / Topps

Base set parallels are difficult to come by, with hobby boxes offering black (#/50) and flip stock (#/5) versions, while Walmart Mega Boxes serve up a variety of serial numbered chrome cards.

Variations and Refractors

One of the Topps Heritage annual features that draw collectors towards the product is the nuanced variations that demand a detailed look at each card. This year’s twists include French-language OPC versions, image, name, error, and throwback variations, as well as a 100-card set of both chrome and silver metal cards.

The box provided for this review landed a Mike Trout image variation card, as well as an Alex Bregman serial numbered chrome refractor.

Mike Trout Image Variation & Alex Bregman Chrome Refractor / Topps

Inserts

Topps stays true to form with their inserts, honoring the time-tested Then and Now, Flashbacks, and New Age Performers series. Another tip of the cap to the 1970 set comes with the Scratch-Off insert set. All of these inserts are a strong complement to what collectors expect annually from Topps Heritage.

2019 Topps Heritage Then and Now Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps Heritage Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps Heritage 50th Anniversary Box Topper / Topps

Autographs and Relics

Each 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball box guarantees either a Real One autograph or a relic. The Real One autographs include two mystery players and red ink parallels that are numbered to 70 or less. Fortunate fans will be able to land coveted dual and triple Real One autographed cards, which are limited to 25 and 5 respectively.

The 1970 Milwaukee Brewers are in focus with a 10-card autographed set including Hall of Fame owner and Commissioner Bud Selig, as well as pitcher-turned-author Dave Baldwin.

Autographs also dominate the relic space, as Topps reserves star power for its Clubhouse Collection signed relics. These hand-numbered autographs of Aaron Judge, Kris Bryant, and Mike Trout exist in quantities of 25 or less. Topps links a further connection to the 1970 season with the Flashbacks autographed relics, celebrating the likes of Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson, Bob Gibson, and Steve Carlton.

2019 Topps Jose Ramirez Clubhouse Collection Relic / Topps
While the box used for this review did not yield one of the spectacular aforementioned signatures, a neat relic of Cleveland Indians All-Star slugger Jose Ramirez rounded out the box.

Box Break Video

If you want to get a feel of the fresh excitement that 2019 Topps Heritage has brought to the 1970 Topps design, check out our entire box break in the video below. Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future breaks and interviews.


Wrapping up 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball

Topps has created the 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball for the patient collector, starting with the old-school details, to the extended time needed to complete the entire run of short prints. The experience is an epic that starts well before the regular season that will keep playing out well through the All-Star break. As Major League Baseball attempts to write new rules to quicken the pace of play, 2019 Topps Heritage is a reminder that baseball cards collecting is not something that needs a time clock to get to the next release.





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.






Sunday, January 6, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict

Tanner Jones joins the Baseball Happenings Podcast to tell the listeners what exactly led him on the path to spend $100,000 to amass one of the finest single-player collections in the world en route to earning the "baseball card addict" title. In his new book “Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict” he narrates his fascinating journey of building a 10-million-card collection before deciding to roll the dice on one player — Jose Canseco.

“I call junk wax a cheap gateway drug in my book because I almost feel like it was engineered by the card companies to be mass produced in the '80s,” Jones said during his appearance on the Baseball Happenings Podcast. “So that way, when we all grow up, we are able to come back to a super easy. It's really easy to slip in a couple wax boxes of Score just for nostalgia sake, and while you're at the card shop you're like, ‘Wait a second here, there are some cards out here that have pieces of jerseys and autographs on them.’ You know, it's a completely different way of collecting than what we were used to as kids.”
Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict / Tanner Jones
Once Jones had the itch, he was off to the races. Armed with extra cash to spare, Jones started to buy back his childhood memories at pennies on the dollar.

“It didn't have anything to do with Canseco when I came back as an adult,” he said. “I was just absolutely enamored by the prices of the complete sets that I loved as a child. So yes, thinking, ‘Wait a second, I can get an '89 Upper Deck factory set for 60 bucks? Holy cow, how do you not buy that?’

“I started assembling a complete run of complete sets from 1980 to 1992, or '93 or so. Along the way is when I started discovering the game used and autographed cards, so I just got into that hardcore as well. After a while, I take step back and go, ‘Holy cow, I've already dropped a couple grand on this stuff — on baseball cards!' To me, that was like insanity back then, like a couple thousand dollars [spent] on baseball cards.”

For most, a few thousand dollars would have sufficiently scratched their nostalgic collecting itches; however, Jones is far from ordinary. His re-entry was just the tip of the iceberg that led him on a multi-million card chase for the next decade. Jones discusses how he moved from flipping cards to settling on one player before deciding to sell it all. In the midst of all of tales of wheeling and dealing, he gave valuable advice on how to keep your marriage intact during the process. Jones drops gems on the collecting conundrums throughout the latest episode of the Baseball Happenings Podcast below.





Saturday, December 29, 2018

Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict by Tanner Jones | Book Review

What does it feel like to spend $100,000 on baseball cards? Tanner Jones shares the rush of putting what amounts to a sizeable down payment not just into a baseball card collection, but rolling the dice all on one player in his new book, “Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict”.


Jones started his foray into collecting with a story that would even make Gary Vaynerchuk smile, explaining how he fueled his collecting habits in the early 1990s by flipping baseball cards to his elementary school classmates. Students would line up with their lunch money as Jones fed their cardboard desires.

“I was responsible for all of their stomach growls throughout the rest of the afternoon because the boys liked wax packs more than they liked lunch,” Jones said.

He even experimented in the early advent of online sales, firing up services like Prodigy to connect globally with traders and sellers. After a move ended his brief grade school flirtation with online dealing, Jones used his entrepreneurial spirit to make money scouring for deals at baseball card shows.

As with most teenage boys who came of age during the 1990s collecting boom, Jones put aside his baseball card hustle for more social endeavors.

“I slowly drifted away from the hobby that I loved so much,” he said. “I started devoting my time to friends, girls, cars, and church youth group activities.”

For the next decade, Jones focused on getting his life in order, which included a stretch where he was homeless. He quickly pulled himself up to start a burgeoning website development business, get married, and have a child.

Jones thought he put his cardboard obsession behind him, but a trip through his childhood Jose Canseco collection rekindled his itch to collect. Armed with his own finances, Jones made his way back to what he knew best, the art of the flip. However, this time he wasn’t going for the dollar lunchroom deals, he set his eyes on entire collections.

He eventually purchased a van to haul off the remnants of other dealers’ hordes. Often these acquisitions would take up his entire living room and garage. Thanks to an understanding wife and a generous cash flow, Jones was able to spend another decade hustling cardboard.

“Through all of this, I realized I was not just a collector, but also a dealer,” he said. “Not only a dealer but a dealer who was buying out dealers. … Never in the ten years of wheeling and dealing did I never have nothing to sell.”

Exhausted by his last mega-deal in 2015, Jones capped a career that would have satisfied many baseball card collecting addicts, except for himself. Not one to put aside his love for the hustle, Jones moved to create custom memorabilia cards for collectors.

While immersed in this new artistic side of the hobby, his love for one of the “Bash Brothers” reemerged. Jones set his laser focus on a new target, his childhood hero Jose Canseco.

At first, Jones went to recapture the cards of his youth, but quickly he was sucked into the chase of becoming the premier collector of Canseco cards. Fueled by his obsessive interests, the heart of Jones’ story is his quest to earn the Canseco Super Collector title.

The second half of “Confessions of a Cardboard Addict” is dedicated to how he established his truly monumental Canseco collection. From his wild ride to Canseco’s home for his own private signing to his conquests of the rarest of the slugger’s baseball cards, his story opens a door to the compulsions that drive many in the hobby.

Within a few short years and over $100,000 later, Jones stood at the peak of his collecting summit pondering the $85,000 acquisition of one of his collecting rivals. Just as he was about to purchase a ticket to corner the market on the most exclusive Canseco collection, he sat down with his wife to talk through the purchase. Suddenly, he had a moment of clarity.

“Just like that, I had an overwhelming sense that purchasing the collection was not what God wanted me to do,” he said.

With that decision, Jones was at peace with his collection; however, there was just one problem — how was he going to get back the $100,000 he poured into it? The only way he knew how of course, by hustling.

The fact whether Jones did or did not recoup his hefty investment in the “Juiced” author’s baseball cards isn’t central to “Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict”, but rather another step into the long-winding abyss of one wrapped up in the narrow world of hardcore collecting. His journey towards recoupment is filled with tips that even the most savvy of sellers could benefit from reading.

While Jones’ narrative gets blurred at times with the OCD-like tendencies of a collecting hunt that will most likely appeal to only fellow hobbyists, his tale is a cautionary reminder that our value is defined by the impact we have on others, not size of the collections we amass.


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.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

2018 Topps Gold Label Review and Box Break - Topps hits gold with their framed autographs

Collectors looking to follow the postseason gold rush will set their next destination for the hobby-only 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball. The product's signature gold framed autographed and relic cards create a premium piece worth chasing.

2018 Topps Gold Label

2018 Topps Gold Label Base Set

The base set contains 300 cards, each 100-card series organized in a tiered system. The three tiers (Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3) are differentiated by their label and their image variety. The Class 1 cards are the most abundant and increase in scarcity as they ascend in the system.

2018 Topps Gold Label Base Cards / Topps
One box guarantees 35 cards, which puts set collectors far away from a base set. With the three different classes for the base set, collectors are going to have to think hard about whether pursuing a base set is a challenge they want this off-season.

2018 Topps Gold Label Parallels

Each series has four colored parallels (Black, Blue, Red, and Gold). These inserts become harder to find by class, with the odds sharply decreasing as between Class 1 and Class 3. The parallel odds are listed below.
2018 Topps Gold Label Parallels / Cardboard Connection
While the image variations and designs will attract collectors, the true gems in 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball are the framed autographs. They are guaranteed one per box and have limited edition parallels that add even more value to a desirable product.

2018 Topps Gold Label Chris Sale Red Parallel / Topps

2018 Topps Gold Label Autographs and Relics

Topps gives collectors a ready-made collectible by framing their autographed cards. The thick gold border creates a card that demands a display, not one destined for a binder like most traditional signed trading cards. The box provided for this review uncovered both a Scott Kingery rookie framed autograph and a Lewis Brinson blue parallel autograph redemption.


The relics are even harder to find, with their Golden Greats Autographed Relics and MLB Legends Relics all numbered to 75 or less. Lucky collectors will rejoice in finding a black (#/5) or gold (1/1) parallel.

After opening a box of 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball, it is apparent that the framed autographs will be the key driver of interest to this product. One question that collectors will have to answer is if they want to hold on to the base set. The images are crisp, and player collectors will enjoy the variations; however, the prospect of opening ten or more boxes to complete a set will send the average collector to the secondary market.

Despite the challenges of finishing the base set, 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball ranks highly among Topps' guaranteed hit products and is worth checking out a box or two for the framed autographs alone.



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.

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.