Showing posts with label Mike Trout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Trout. Show all posts

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why 2017 Topps Tier One is a good money bet for collectors

Seeking to live up to quality one expects by its name, 2017 Topps Tier One has selected the upper echelon of baseball for inclusion in this year’s set. With each three-card box guaranteeing two autographs and one relic card, the odds are favorable that a superstar autograph is waiting behind a foil sealed pack.

2017 Topps Tier One / Topps
A quick look at the checklist for the Tier One autographs reveals the likes of Barry Bonds, Bryce Harper, Derek Jeter, Hank Aaron, Ichiro, Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, and Sandy Koufax to name a few. The dual and triple autographs are equally as tantalizing. Over one-thousand home runs with Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. on the same signed card? Yes, I’ll take that. How about three potential Hall of Famers from the same generation with Bryant, Harper, and Trout signing together? Sir, can I have another?

For those searching for the next wave of MLB talent, Tier One has that covered with their Break Out Autographs set. Upstarts such as Alex Bregman, Miguel Sano, and of course, Aaron Judge are the headliners. Conspicuously absent is Cody Bellinger; however, I am sure Topps will make up for his demand later in the season.

2017 Topps Tier One Miguel Sano / Topps
Curiosities such as signed and unsigned bat knobs (numbered 1/1) add to the intrigue of Topps Tier One. A card with parts of Aaron’s or Ty Cobb’s bat makes for interesting discussions amongst collectors. One-of-one cut signatures from deceased Hall of Fame legends Joe DiMaggio, Roger Maris, and Willie Stargell also give collectors more vintage items to track down.

The box provided for this review yielded autographs of Steve Carlton (#/25), Miguel Sano (#/90) and a Zach Britton relic (#/331). The two signatures display nicely on both cards and the copper tinged signature of “Lefty” Carlton makes his deliberate autograph stand out amidst the wave of blue sharpies in collections everywhere.

2017 Topps Tier One Steve Carlton Copper Autograph / Topps
It is quite understandable that some hobbyists might not want to take a $125 chance on only three cards, as Topps’ guaranteed hit products tend to appeal to a niche segment of the hobby. While Topps can’t guarantee a dollar-for-dollar return on your investment with 2017 Tier One, it’s a good bet that collectors will walk away happy after a purchase.



Monday, July 3, 2017

2017 Topps Finest touches a wide palate of tastes for baseball card collectors

With a product like 2017 Topps Finest, collectors have bold expectations for the set to deliver on return and design. Sandwiched in between the release of 2017 Topps Archives Baseball and 2017 Topps Series 2, Topps Finest looks to stand out amidst two of Topps’ flagship products.

Immediately noticeable alongside the Chrome finish is the powerful background that pushes the players seemingly through the card, putting you up close and personal with the action. The 125-card base set is succinct enough to hit all of the top stars, while also including the coveted rookies of Aaron Judge and Andrew Benintendi; however, set collectors will find issue with the 25 short prints, as they appear once only every four mini-boxes.

Despite the frustration of set collectors, most who will purchase 2017 Topps Finest are looking for what they can hit past the base set. A unique twist that Topps put on this year’s release are the inserts modeled in the design of the 1994-95 Finest Basketball set, a nod to when collecting both leagues were more closely aligned. This insert set also has autographed parallels, which are sure to attract collectors that pursued the basketball card set in their youth.

2017 Topps Finest 94-95 Kris Bryant Insert Card / Topps
A tiered system of 2017 Topps Finest autographs that contain refractor parallels are the most readily available signatures from this set. With the parallels coming in eight different colors of increasing scarcity (Blue, Green, Gold, Blue Wave, Red Wave, Orange, Red, and SuperFractor), the chase of completing a “rainbow” of Aaron Judge, Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter, Ken Griffey Jr., Kris Bryant, and Mike Trout, will keep collectors pouring into this product as the cards hit the market.

2017 Topps Finest Tyler Austin Topps Finest Autograph / Topps
The Finest Finishes autograph insert set, which commemorate historical endings in baseball history, boasts an autograph lineup of the likes of Cal Ripken Jr., Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Pedro Martinez, Reggie Jackson, and Sandy Koufax. These cards serve to keep the conversation going about why these moments have persisted in the minds and hearts of fans and collectors worldwide.

2017 Topps Finest Ozzie Smith Finest Finishes Autograph / Topps

Each master box (two mini-boxes) guarantees two autographs. The box provided for this review yielded not two, but three autographs, including one Finest Finishes of Jake Arrieta, which I am sure is celebrating his 2016 World Series performance. Also included were multiple base card refractors, two refractor parallels, three Breakthrough Inserts, as well as, yes, an Aaron Judge rookie card.

2017 Topps Finest Aaron Judge Rookie / Topps
If collectors are looking for a product that supplements its impressive autograph set with equally attractive base cards to match, and are willing to pay a premium to do so, 2017 Topps Finest can easily satisfy a wide palate of collector’s tastes.

For those who enjoyed 2017 Topps Finest, click here to check out our 2018 Topps Finest Review, complete with checklist, parallels, autographs, and more.



Friday, June 30, 2017

Why 2017 Topps Museum Collection is the cornerstone of Topps releases for the season

Looking at Sandy Koufax enter his flawless delivery on the cover of 2017 Topps Museum Collection, the elegance that he showed on the mound foreshadows what this product delivers. With on-card autographs that stand out on high-grade thick stock, and radiant jersey relic pieces distributed throughout, this set proves once again that it is worthy of being a cornerstone display of any modern collection.

2017 Topps Museum Mini-Box / Topps
Opening the box, one will find four mini-boxes, which even those are worthy of being collected, as the four together pay a fitting tribute to one of the most beloved Dodgers Hall of Famer. Each mini-box guarantees either an autographed or relic card, giving collectors four exciting chances to pull a big hit.

Sorting through each five-card pack, the four base cards with their high gloss finish and limited edition parallels are in demand, as coveted rookie cards of Aaron Judge, Andrew Benintendi, and Yoan Moncada are being chased by fans across the globe. The additions of iconic legends such as Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, and Ted Williams serve as an added bonus to the merits of this 100-card set.

2017 Topps Museum / Topps
While the aforementioned base cards serve as a delightful benefit, those who purchased 2017 Topps Museum Collection are looking to score a rare autograph or relic that justifies the product’s $200 price tag. Primary of interest are the dual and triple signed cards, as combinations of some of the best ever to play the game are together on the same piece of memorabilia. Who wouldn’t want a dual signed card of Hank Aaron and Ken Griffey Jr., or a triple signed card of the Hall of Fame Atlanta Braves rotation of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz to add to their collections?

2017 Topps Museum Hank Aaron / Ken Griffey Jr. Dual Auto / Cardboard Connection
For those who are eyeing the next generation of Hall of Famers, 2017 Topps Museum Collection has that covered. In addition to the aforementioned trio of top rookies in their autograph roster, the likes of Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout all appear throughout the variety of signed cards available in this set. The gold signed Museum Framed and Premium Prints autograph variations jump off of the cards, further solidifying their desirability in collections.

2017 Topps Museum Quad Mets Patch / Topps
The box provided for this review stayed true to form, yielding one on-card autograph, one relic autograph, a quad patch and a prime relic, each with the quality that one has come to expect from Topps’ Museum Collection. As the All-Star Game approaches, Topps has once again given collectors a reason to keep their focus on this release without having to look ahead to what is coming in the second half of the season.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

2017 Topps Archives weathers a storm of controversy to shine for collectors

Imagine opening a pack of baseball cards and pulling mint specimens of Hank Aaron, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout one after another. While this sounds like a fantasy lineup, 2017 Topps Archives provides a wonderful array of fresh faces mixed in with veterans and legends in the design of vintage Topps cards from yesteryear.


Focusing on the themes of the 1960, 1982, and 1992 sets, this year’s Topps Archives set is one of the most exciting and controversial releases to hit the market this season. While collectors are attracted to seeing their heroes fixed on classic Topps motifs, much attention has been given to who Topps chose to be signers for their Fan Favorites autograph insert cards.

Baseball chaser Zack Hample, who gained notoriety for catching Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit, was nabbed by Topps to be part of the series, which includes other debated aficionados such as Skip Bayless and Bald Vinny. Once fans got wind of his appearance in the set, they reacted with disdain to the possibility of landing his card as one of the two guaranteed autographs in each box. Some even resorted to having bids on ways to destroy the card with the proceeds going to charity.






Fortunately, the box provided for this review yielded spectacular autographs of Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda and Kansas City Royals star Kevin Seitzer. These cards are crisp in the both their styles and signatures.





Going past the base set, the 1959 Bazooka Gum and 1960 Rookie Card designs have tremendous eye appeal that further an even greater reason to pursue Topps Archives. While on their chase, consumers will also find a career retrospective to Derek Jeter as another way to get on the bandwagon.



Despite the chatter surrounding the desirability of a few of Topps’ choices on autographs, collectors have found excitement in seeing the tremendous history of past and present stars distributed in classic Topps styles. With the opportunity to pull a future Hall of Famer alongside one already enshrined in Cooperstown, it makes 2017 Topps Archives a release that can weather all seasons.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How 2017 Bowman Baseball puts a stamp on seven decades in the game

Bowman gives a nod to their seventh decade with the debut of their 2017 baseball card series, commemorating their history with tributes to their longevity throughout this year’s product. Highlighting special inserts marked with 70th anniversary logos, and reproductions of classic cards, Bowman has created an aura that respects their past while moving their brand forward.

2017 Bowman Baseball / Bowman
Building excitement as the first 2017 baseball card release that focuses on top farmhands within the MLB pipeline through their Bowman Prospects and Chrome Prospects subsets, 2017 Bowman Baseball has positioned itself as the premier set for collectors looking catch the next rising star. The smooth design of the set (which is enhanced by the Chrome parallels) only serves add to its wide appeal.

The aforementioned 150-card Bowman Prospects set features the standout minor leaguers across baseball, many of whom are on the cusp on the major leagues this season, including Amed Rosario, Austin Meadows, and Clint Frazier. While the checklist for the set might disappoint some due to seeing the same players included for a second year in a row, Bowman continues to make the future stars of the game its focal point.

Not to be ignored is the 100-card base set, which is highlighted by rookie cards of the ever-popular Aaron Judge, Yoan Moncada, and Dansby Swanson. The mix of rookies who made their major league debut last season, coupled with baseball’s established veterans, make the base set a valuable accompany piece to the pre-rookie cards that everyone is chasing.

2017 Bowman Aaron Judge / Bowman
In an effort to connect their 70th anniversary to the current stars, inserts that contain a mesh of active stars and retired legends are designed in the fashion of the 1948, 1951, 1952, and 1992 Bowman sets. Also inserted into packs are buyback cards stamped with the Bowman 70th anniversary logo.

2017 Bowman Inserts / Bowman
Each box promises one autographed card. The box provided for this review yielded a Chance Adams autographed Chrome Prospect card. The wide array of autographs available in 2017 Bowman will make consumers happy, as they have the opportunity to pull signatures from the likes of Judge, Mike Trout, and Bryce Harper, as well as Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Mike Piazza, and Randy Johnson.

Chance Adams Chrome Autograph / Bowman
As Bowman literally puts their stamp on their seven decades of baseball lineage with the 2017 Bowman set, they are simultaneously positioning themselves to be a player in the hobby for potentially another seven decades. This release sets them up perfectly for this generation to place 2017 Bowman Baseball as a landmark set in their collections.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 Topps Heritage hooks hobbyists with a simple approach

Cut in the aesthetically pleasing style of the 1968 Topps design, Topps’ 2017 Heritage is a throwback to a season that was defined by the mound dominance of Bob Gibson and his miniscule 1.18 ERA. While the feel of the set doesn’t quite have the aggressiveness of Gibson’s fastball, it is the simplicity of the overall package that will attract collectors to this year’s issue.

While some of Topps’ other releases feel like a parade of bells and whistle with all kinds of shiny inserts, the traditional aspect of Topps Heritage is what keeps collectors coming back to this product. Nuances like the puzzles of Kris Bryant and Mike Trout on the back of the All-Star cards, as well as the action and letter variations are the right amount of diversity to make you pay attention to the details without losing sight of what brought you to the product in the first place.

Buster Posey Action Variation / Topps
A certain gem of 2017 Topps Heritage is the selections for the dual and triple Real-One autographed cards. Lucky individuals will garner a signed card of the fantasy Hall of Fame battery of Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench. Others so fortunate will pull signed cards by three franchise Hall of Famers, with the Cardinals supplying Steve Carlton, Orlando Cepeda, and Lou Brock on the same card, while the Baltimore Orioles put out stalwarts Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Jim Palmer on another. These multi-signed cards are highly desirable pieces that could easily serve as the cornerstones of many hobbyists collections.

Nolan Ryan / Johnny Bench Dual Signed Card / Topps
Set collectors however, will face a major challenge in completing the 500-card set. The yield from the 24-pack box is well short of the fifty percent mark, further complicated by the 100 short printed cards at the end of the set. The box provided for this review only yielded eight short prints, which will undoubtedly force collectors to the secondary market to finish things off.

A selection of 2017 Topps Heritage Short Prints / Topps
A cool touch to the box provided for this review was the addition of a 1968 Topps buyback card, further connecting the past with the present as intended by the theme of the Heritage set. While hoping for one of the aforementioned dual autographs, this box yielded a Clubhouse Collection relic card of Miami Marlins slugging outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton.

Don McMahon 1968 Topps Buyback / Topps
Giancarlo Stanton Clubhouse Collection Relic / Topps

Despite the fact that a set will be difficult to build out of one, or even two boxes, the clean and simple design combined with the possibility of pulling a monumental autograph should push collectors to explore the depths of the 2017 Topps Heritage release well into the regular season.

 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 Topps High Tek Baseball Review Patterns Autographs & More

Two-thousand-sixteen is quickly coming to a close, but Topps gives collectors a glimpse into the future with this year’s High Tek baseball release. Crafted with a slick opaque design with funky patterns that highlight the on-card action shots, 2016 Topps High Tek breaks the mold of recent trading card designs.

2016 Topps High Tek / Topps
The 111-base card set is divided into two different styles, Spiral Vortex and Maze Grid. If these two were the only options in the set, High Tek would quickly fall to the wayside as one of Topps’ novelty releases, but a closer inspection of the designs reveals at least a dozen additional variations. Some collectors will find this to be a dizzying array of options; others will be enthralled at the challenge of putting together a master set. Further adding to the chase of a complete set is the fact that there are only six base cards in each box.

2016 Topps High Tek Base Cards & Variations / Topps
The major appeal of 2016 Topps High Tek is the on-card autographs. The impressive list includes top modern stars such as Ichiro, Kris Bryant, and Mike Trout, as well as Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, and Ken Griffey Jr. The box provided for this review produced an autograph of Hall of Famer Wade Boggs in a parallel limited to 25.

Wade Boggs Topps High Tek Autograph / Topps
With 2016 Topps High Tek, the baseball card magnate aims to give value driven collectors instant autograph hits with the additional chase of the variations that comprise the master base set. While some collectors might frown at the notion that purchasing an entire case might not yield a complete base set, they will be pleased at the quality of autographs and diversity of inserts and parallels.

If you enjoyed 2016 Topps High Tek Baseball, check this review of 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball, complete with patterns, variations and a video box break.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 Topps Heritage is as close as it comes to a sure bet with baseball

When it comes to a sure thing in baseball cards, nothing comes closer than the Topps Heritage series. Continuing with the trend of merging the current with classic, Topps makes a smash hit with their 2016 Topps Heritage set.

Paying homage to the 1967 Topps card design, this year’s Topps Heritage series is perfectly timed with the start of the spring training season. As the 2016 crop of veterans and rookies take the field with fresh faces and the uniforms of new teams, fans and collectors can get a similar rush of excitement by delving into the 2016 Topps Heritage set.

2016 Topps Heritage Mike Trout Clubhouse Collection / Topps
Staying in line with past Topps Heritage releases, this year’s series will keep collectors busy trying to pursue a master set, with 75 short prints, as well as a myriad of image variations to chase down. The design of the base set also has a fine touch of including dual rookie cards of the top young talent that will impact the major leagues in 2016.

Going past the base set and its variations, there are also Flashback inserts paying tribute to significant happenings of the 1967 season, as well as the classic Then and Now inserts that help to merge the stars of 1967 with 2016.

Each box guarantees either one autograph or one relic card. The autograph checklist for this year’s product is rather strong, featuring Real One single, dual, and triple autographed cards, as well as rare cut autographs of deceased players from the 1967 set. The box provided for this review produced a Mike Trout Clubhouse Collection Relic, highlighting a game used jersey from arguably the top young star in the game.

Whether it is the nostalgic design of the 2016 Topps Heritage set, the many layers of their master set, or the desirability of their autographed inserts, this year’s Topps Heritage set proves that if there is one Topps product that you have to put your money on, it’s this one.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

2016 Topps Bunt making a bridge between traditional and digital collecting

Topps has been searching for ways to connect their digital card platform with traditional physical baseball cards. Their quest for a solution has arrived in the form of 2016 Topps Bunt.

The 200-card set is the perfect format to get multiple generations excited about baseball card collecting, no matter the platform. Imagine a young child and their parents sharing the joy of opening a pack of baseball cards and both teaching each other about the nuances of preserving baseball cards while building a collection that lives at your fingertips on your phone.

Even the players included in the set warrant a bonding experience, as the likes of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Andrew McCutchen, are right alongside Cal Ripken Jr., Ted Williams, and Willie Mays. While the younger collectors will gush about the accomplishments of their current heroes, the inclusion of the sport’s legends allows for the conversation about the history of the game to continue.

The box provided for this review yielded 36 packs, allowing for a complete 200-card set to be collated with the purchase of one box. A variety of inserts in 2016 Topps Bunt trump the designs of those included with the Opening Day series earlier this year and rival those in the Topps flagship set.

Sampling of 2016 Topps Bunt Insert Card / Topps

The digital component comes in the form of Bunt Loot Packs, which are ten-card redemptions via the Topps Bunt App. Collectors have the opportunity to unlock a bevy of inserts that run in a similar limited fashion as to what one would find in a physical box.

Topps has been integral for the past 65 years in preserving the game through iconic cardboard images, and continues to do so with 2016 Topps Bunt. With a price point of under $30 a box, 2016 Topps Bunt is a fun and inexpensive way to share the joys of collecting and the narrative of the National Pastime no matter whether it is analog or digital.

Monday, July 25, 2016

2016 Topps Factory Set a worthy display of a time honored tradition

Collectors are going to have to make a little bit more room on their shelves as Topps has released a hobby staple, their 2016 Complete Factory Baseball Card Set. The Hobby set provided for this review came complete with all 700 cards from both series, as well as five-card pack of bonus parallels.

2016 Topps Hobby Complete Factory Set
With their 65th anniversary logo emblazoned on the distinctive red box, the factory set's design features many of the rising starts of Major League Baseball including Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Jacob deGrom, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, and Mike Trout. As the factory set continues in a long-standing annual hobby tradition, it makes for a wonderful acquisition to any collection and displays nicely whether it is sealed, or opened to put in binder pages to review for years to come.


2016 Topps Factory Set Foil Parallel

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2015 Topps Supreme Baseball Review

2015 Topps Supreme is being billed by the famed baseball card company as one of their premier products for the year. Each two card box retailing for $75, guarantees two autographs, making Topps Supreme a big dice roll for collectors.



Topps has made a major improvement from last year’s release, placing on-card autographs in the 2015 Supreme series, upgrading from 2014’s exclusively stickered set. The list of potential autographs in this set is impressive. With the likes of Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Reggie Jackson, and Cal Ripken Jr., as well as this generation’s stars of Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout, the possibility of snagging one of these prized signatures makes for an intriguing play.

Click here to read the full review about the mystique of 2015 Topps Supreme and why the risk might not outweigh the reward.