Showing posts with label Ronald Acuña Jr.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ronald Acuña Jr.. Show all posts

Saturday, October 5, 2019

2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball Review | Autographs, Box Break, Checklist, Book Cards

Baseball card collectors in search of a high-end product will certainly gravitate towards 2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball. A truly premium release, each box holds one encased on-card autograph or autographed relic numbered to 15 or less.

2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball / Topps

2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball Autographs

Most of the on-card 2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball autographs come from three variations: Hit Kings, Home Run Kings, and Masters of the Mound. All three have colored parallels, Red #/10, Blue #/5, Black 1/1. The first two sets (Hit Kings and Home Run Kings) are dedicated to the top batsmen in baseball and include a powerful mix of the new (Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Ronald Acuña Jr.), and the old (Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr., Reggie Jackson). The pitchers are well represented in the Masters of the Mound set with Bob Gibson, Jacob deGrom, Mariano Rivera, and Sandy Koufax.

Click here for the complete checklist.

2019 Topps Luminaries Home Run Kings / Topps

2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball Relic Autographs

Collectors can draw relics from The Hit Kings, Home Run Kings, and Masters of the Mound sets. Each have Blue #/10 and Black 1/1 parallels. Their patch versions are either #/15 or have a Black 1/1 parallel.

2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball Book Autographs

2019 Topps Luminaries Mike Trout Book / Topps
Where 2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball has stepped up from last year's release with their autographed book cards. These 1/1 book cards are a solidly constructed and designed collectible that comes in single, dual, and triple book versions. Those with a hand of gold will be the fortunate recipients of an Ultimate and Greatest Book cards, which has between 30-50 autographs.

2019 Topps Luminaries Cut Autographs

Do autographs from Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, and Satchel Paige sound enticing? They are a prominent sampling of the legends included in the 2019 Topps Luminaries Cut Autographs. Topps dug in the vaults to provide collectors with the opportunity to add iconic cut signatures to their wares with this set, adding a tantalizing incentive for the product’s $200 price tag.

2019 Topps Luminaries Box Break Video

In our box break video below, you can get a good look at 2019 Topps Luminaries Baseball's artful packaging and our Home Run Kings autograph that came with it. Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel for further box breaks and interviews.






Sunday, April 14, 2019

2019 Topps Inception Baseball | Checklist, Box Break, Autographs, Parallels, and Review

If you’re in search of an artistic take on the top prospects and young stars in Major League Baseball, look no further than 2019 Topps Inception Baseball. The 100-card base set features a design that splashes the players’ images into a canvas background, resembling a painting that fits compactly into their hands.

2019 Topps Inception Base Set and Checklist

The base set, while aesthetically pleasing, is a difficult task even for seasoned collectors. Each box of 2019 Topps Inception contains one seven-card pack, four of which are base; the other three are parallels, autographs, or autographed relics. While most will not break a case to go for the base set, patient collectors will benefit from the breakers who push aside those cards as they feverishly chase down the rare serial numbered inserts. Click here to view the entire 100-card checklist.

2019 Topps Inception Base Set / Topps

2019 Topps Inception Parallels

Topps splits the parallels over a rainbow of colors in traditional fashion for 2019 Inception. The solid color backgrounds make the artwork jump off the card, further increasing their desirability with collectors. The box provided for this review drew a Giancarlo Stanton Green parallel, and a Mookie Betts Blue parallel numbered to 25.

2019 Topps Inception Parallels / Topps

2019 Topps Inception Autographs and Relics

The serial numbered base Inception autographs feature an impressive lineup, including Ronald Acuña Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout. As with the base set, the autographs also come in rarer colored versions. Lucky fans will snag one of the two mystery player redemption cards (one of which is Eloy Jimenez), or a case hit silver autograph.

2019 Topps Inception Silver Signature / Topps

Signed patch cards are also part of the chase, with the real hook coming in the form of the autographed relic book cards. The book cards are either limited to one or two copies, making them a real treasure for prominent display in any collection.

2019 Topps Inception Book Relic / Topps

While we were not so fortunate to pull any of the super limited edition autographs or relics, Matt Chapman’s signature stands out boldly against the base design’s background.

2019 Topps Inception Matt Chapman Autograph / Topps

2019 Topps Inception Box Break and Final Take

As 2019 Topps Inception boxes sell within the $60-$70 range, they create an interesting choice for collectors this baseball season. With signatures that clearly distinguish themselves from a majority of Topps’ releases, and attractive base and parallel cards to further capture eyeballs, 2019 Topps Inception makes a ploy for value above many of Topps’ guaranteed hit offerings.



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.

2021 Bowman Chrome Baseball

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.



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Top 5 Reasons Why 2018 Topps Update Is the Only Set You Need This Year

The release of 2018 Topps Update Baseball completes Topps’ annual flagship set trifecta. With post-season attention squared on Rookies of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani, Topps doubles down on their star power with this set. This strong 300-card collection makes a robust case for Topps’ best 2018 issue for these five reasons.
2018 Topps Update / Topps

5) Stellar Photography

It is obvious after reviewing all of this year's Topps products that 2018 Topps Update contains some of Topps’ highest quality action shots. The photography rivals Topps Stadium Club, which is known for its hallmark landscapes.

2018 Topps Update / Topps

4) Mother’s Day / Father’s Day Parallels

What a better way to celebrate Topps’ place in the family with a special nod to all of the parents out there. Limited edition parallels numbered to 50 exist in both Mother’s Day Hot Pink and Father’s Day Powder Blue. The box provided for this review sided with the matriarchs, producing this Javier Baez Home Run Derby Mother’s Day Hot Pink Parallel.

2018 Topps Update Javier Baez Mother's Day Parallel / Topps

3) Crisply Designed Inserts

This 1983 Topps 35th anniversary and Topps Salute series lead the way for 2018 Topps Update’s inserts, continuing the tradition of Topps Series 1 and 2 releases earlier this year. The International Affair and Storybook Endings inserts are new to this release, both providing interesting facts on foreign-born players, as well as those who had a fond farewell in their final MLB season.

2018 Topps Update Inserts / Topps

2) Guaranteed Autographs and Relics (One Per Box)

With 17 different signature series and 7 patch / relic variations, 2018 Topps Update has a boastful assortment of signatures and relics that will keep collectors ripping open packs in search of the next big hit. This review box yielded an attractive Gleyber Torres All-Star Stitches relic.

2018 Topps Update Gleyber Torres Relic / Topps

1) A Coveted Rookie Lineup

This set has all of the top 2018 rookies together minted in the traditional Topps flagship design. Rookie cards of award winners Acuña Jr. and Ohtani, as well as Juan Soto and Gleyber Torres, populate the set. These four upstarts are featured twice, once with their rookie cards, and again on their MLB debut cards.

2018 Topps Update Rookies / Topps

As if these five reasons aren’t enough incentive to get on the bandwagon, an entire hobby box delivered a complete base set among the myriad of inserts and parallels. With prices hovering around $60, Topps creates both an exceptional value and experience for 2018 Topps Update 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.





Monday, September 10, 2018

2018 Topps Fire Review - How 2018 Topps Fire has ignited the spirits of card collectors

It is time to add 2018 Topps Fire Baseball to the list of things that you need to pick up when making your next Target run. Topps returns its flame-driven baseball issue exclusively to Target stores in 2018 with the intent of igniting the baseball card collecting community’s senses.

2018 Topps Fire Ronald Acuña Jr. / Topps
Driven by artist Tyson Beck’s flair for the dramatic, 2018 Topps Fire Baseball pushes the creative boundaries of set design. The action images are embedded in an energetic background that makes each one thrust off the center of the card. These lively constructions serve to truly separate Topps Fire from the rest of the brand’s more subdued standard releases.

2018 Topps Fire Box / Topps
The 200-card base set is a mixture of today’s stars with those of yesteryear, putting rookie standouts Ronald Acuña Jr., Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujar alongside Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Bob Feller, and Pedro Martinez. In an effort to diversify the ranks even further, Topps reached to wider depths of the Hall of Fame roster to include the likes of Lou Boudreau, Eddie Mathews, and Phil Rizzuto.
2018 Topps Fire Retired Stars / Topps
When it comes to the inserts, they are simple and manageable, a step that Topps should follow with its future releases. In addition to the variety of colored parallels that mirror 2018 Topps Fire’s base set, the six inserts sets – Power Producers, Speed Demons, Cannons, Hot Stars, Flame Throwers, and Fired Up, all support the Topps Fire’s temperature producing theme.

2018 Topps Fire Inserts / Topps

2018 Topps Fire Parallels / Topps
Each box promises two hits, one being an autographed card. Due to the dark backgrounds on the cards, it is understandable that Topps uses sticker autographs for this issue. Hits come in the form of relics, autographed relics, and autographed base cards, with the ultra-lucky scoring dual or triple signed cards. The Fire autographs and relic cards also come in low-numbered colored parallel versions akin to the base card set. The box provided for this review uncovered a Joe Musgrove autographed relic, as well as an Austin Hays signed card.

2018 Topps Fire Joe Musgrove Autographed Patch Relic Card / Topps
Sorting through the aftermath of the $70 retail 2018 Topps Fire box, I was halfway to a complete set with two autographs and an exciting selection of inserts and parallels that exceeded the expectations for what I originally believed to be a gimmicky set. Topps took a risk creating Fire in a non-standard design, knowing that traditionalists might take a pass on buying it. However, after experiencing an entire box, I recommend that collectors buy at least a $20 blaster, if not a whole box, as it ranks amongst the most entertaining Topps releases of 2018.





Monday, September 3, 2018

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Review | How Allen and Ginter pushes forward a diverse collecting tradition

Since the advent of Topps issuing the Allen and Ginter series, the legendary baseball card manufacturer has used Allen and Ginter to push the boundaries of a traditional baseball card set. With the release of 2018 Allen and Ginter, Topps continues in that tradition by highlighting not only top baseball players, but also actors, rappers, writers, and even a card dedicated to Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Box / Topps
The diversity that Topps strives for with Allen and Ginter is what also makes it one of the company’s most annually polarizing issues. If you are of the “hip hop” generation, the inclusion of Biz Markie and Method Man will capture your attention, as well as seeing the cardboard debut of actor Michael Rapaport who cut his teeth in the landmark film Higher Learning alongside Ice Cube. Other non-playing personnel include HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky, 2017 J.G Taylor Spink Award winner Claire Smith, and sabermetrics pioneer Bill James.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Base Set / Topps
Some collectors will openly welcome the opportunity to land an autograph of one of these luminaries, or a grab a card celebrating the cryptocurrency craze in between the likes of Ronald Acuña Jr., Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout. For other consumers who are diametrically opposed to these trading-card curiosities creeping into their pack ripping adventures, I encourage them to check out the myriad of other Topps releases, many of which have been profiled on this website.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Hits / Topps
Putting the merits of the base set contents aside, one will find that each box offers the opportunity to score three hits, which come in the form of autographs, booklets, buybacks, relics, or rip cards. The box provided for this review offered up two framed mini cards, an autograph of Oakland Athletics slugger Khris Davis, and a wood bat mini of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. The third hit was a relic card of newly minted Los Angeles Dodger, Manny Machado.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Mini Cards / Topps
When it comes to inserts, here is where Allen and Ginter gets creative. The mini cards celebrate baseball superstitions, such as the “No Talking About a No-Hitter,” card pulled in this box, as well as a Crazy Horse Indigenous Heroes tribute card. The standard sized inserts show off the evolution of baseball equipment over time with the "Baseball Equipment of the Ages" subset, highlight the heavens with a “Magnificent Moons” series, and spotlight all-time leaders in their respective statistical categories through the "Fantasy Goldmine" cards. The entire release is designed with an artistic flair that should put to rest whatever qualms one has about the makeup of the base set.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Inserts / Topps
With a well-established legacy amongst collectors, Topps Allen and Ginter continues to drive forward the reach of card collecting through its intriguing design and subject selection. If you are on the fence about Allen and Ginter because of the non-sport cards within in the set, after seeing your favorite baseball players in the crisp 2018 Topps Allen and Ginter design, you will remember just why you proudly keep your baseball cards on display for all to admire.