Saturday, February 20, 2021

2020 Topps Chrome Black Baseball | Box Break And Review


Topps created a fresh design for their 2020 Topps Chrome Black Baseball set that provides a completely different look from its 2020 Topps Chrome Baseball partner. 

Base Set And Checklist

Each four-card box comes with a hefty $180 price tag, guaranteeing one encased autograph. The 100-card base set (see checklist here) contains almost 40 rookies including 2020 American League Rookie of the Year, Kyle Lewis. If the base cards weren't scarce enough, they all come with a variety of serial numbered parallels, sure to keep the player collectors busy search for these rare gems.

Autographs 

The signer list for 2020 Topps Chrome Black Baseball is impressive, boasting Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, and Mariano Rivera, alongside top stars Mike Trout, Ronald Acuña, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The box provided for this review yielded this Patrick Corbin gold autograph #/50.

2020 Topps Chrome Black Patrick Corbin Gold Autograph / Topps


Box Break Video

Head over to our YouTube channel to check out our 2020 Topps Chrome Black Baseball box break, along with our archive of baseball interviews. 




 





Thursday, February 18, 2021

Bob Oldis' Missed Opportunity Against Satchel Paige In The Major Leagues


Bob Oldis only played in seven games during his 1953 rookie season with the Washington Senators, yet one almost perfect game stands out in his mind almost 70 years later. 

On June 25, 1953, Oldis was placed in the starting lineup against the St. Louis Browns. Making only his second major league start, he played flawlessly. He went 3-3 at the plate with an RBI, and threw out the lone baserunner who dared to steal that day. 

Most rookies would have been elated with that type of performance, but something about that game didn't sit right with the young catcher. With the Senators down 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning, Oldis was due to bat third in the inning. 

Pitching in relief for the Browns was the ageless Satchel Paige. Undaunted by his presence, the first two batters were able to get on base with a walk and a single. This set the stage for Oldis, who was swinging a hot bat that day, to be the hero ... or so he thought. 

As he approached the top steps of the dugout, Oldis represented the winning run. After battering starter Harry Breechen for three hits, the tap on the shoulder from manager Bucky Harris wasn't what he expected. Instead of words of encouragement, Harris let him know outfielder Carmen Mauro would be taking his place at the plate. 

Dejected, Oldis returned to the dugout to watch Mauro hit a pop-up to third base, and Gil Coan finish the game by hitting into a 4-6-3 double play. He never was able to test himself against Satchel Paige in the majors, as he was sent down a short time afterwards.

When the 93-year-old was reached recently via a letter to his Arizona home, I asked if he was upset with Harris' decision to remove him for a pinch-hitter against Paige.

"Yes!" Oldis wrote. 

Oldis later had his chance to face Paige in the minor leagues during the 1958 season when he played for the Richmond Virginians and Paige hurled for the Miami Marlins; however, seven decades later it is the meeting they didn't have that stands out in his memory. 


Saturday, January 30, 2021

2020 Topps Allen And Ginter Chrome Baseball | Box Break And Review

Topps give a chromium upgrade to the Allen and Ginter baseball card series with the 2020 Topps Allen and Ginter Chrome Baseball set. The 300 card set features an array of current stars, legends, and pop culture icons that annually draw a wide range of collectors to the set. 

2020 Topps Allen And Ginter Chrome Base Set and Parallels

The chrome finish gives the Allen and Ginter cards a premium look, making for an attractive play on the original set. Produced in limited quantities as compared with the regular 2020 Topps Allen and Ginter Baseball set, Topps mixes in colored refractors and rare autographed cards to spice up the action.

2020 Topps Allen and Ginter Chrome Chris Paddack Green Parallel


Topps has also taken the inserts and made them mini versions, which include parallels of the entire set (these have refractors too), as well as the Booming Cities, Buggin Out, and Safari Sights sets. 

2020 Topps Allen and Ginter Chrome Baseball Box Break

 

2020 Topps Allen and Ginter Chrome Baseball Autographs

The autographs are the toughest to chase, averaging one per case. The 29 signers for the set include the recently deceased Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Derek Jeter, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Mike Trout.


Coming in around $180 per box, some might find the price is a little heavy; however, the cards really pop and the lure of pulling a rare autograph might just be enough for collectors to take a shot on a box.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Flavio Alfaro | 1984 USA Olympic Baseball Team Shortstop Dies At 59

Flavio Alfaro - 1985 Topps Baseball Card

Flavio Alfaro, a shortstop on the 1984 USA Olympic Baseball team died on January 27, 2021 after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 59. The announcement was made on Facebook by a high school classmate.

Alfaro played at the College of the Canyons before transferring to San Diego State University in 1983. His steady defensive play attracted the attention of the United States Olympic Team and coach Rod Dedeaux. He batted .389 in five games for Team USA in 1984. Topps gave him an iconic card in their 1985 set, which also included Mark McGwire's famed Team USA card.

Flavio Alfaro - 1984 USA Olympic Team

The Atlanta Braves drafted Alfaro in the fourth round of the 1984 MLB Draft. After batting .193 in one season with their Class A team in Durham, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers with Rick Cerone for future Hall of Famer Ted Simmons. During the offseason, he had a dispute with Brewers management over the minor league level where he would be placed. Instead of accepting their assignment, Alfaro retired. He became the first player from the 1984 USA Olympic team to retire from professional baseball.

After his baseball career, he worked as a salesman and farmer in Sacramento. 


Flavio Alfaro 1984 Team USA Media Guide