2018 Topps Finest Baseball Box Break & Review

Its hard to imagine, but there was a time when chrome technology, parallels, and refractors didn’t exist.  Now the hobby thrives on those three key elements.  Completing that rainbow keeps getting more challenging as new, brightly colored pieces of cardboard make their way into products.  A lot of people like to focus their attention on 1993 Topps Finest Baseball as to where chrome cards got their start.  In many ways that is correct, especially when it comes to giving credit to the product that put chrome cards and refractors on the map.  If you dig a little deeper though, another set predates 1993 Topps Finest Baseball that utilizes chrome technology.  I’m talking about 1992 Topps Football’s Finest.  Topps issued this 45-card set in factory set form, and all of the cards contain a chrome finish.  Very few collectors pay attention to this set which is a real shame because the cards look really well done.  Sealed sets can easily be found for under $10.  Prototype cards occasionally show up for sale, and command major dollars.  These prototypes don’t contain the Topps name, have airbrushed logos, and on the back say “Signs and Glassworks, Inc.”

Topps Finest has gone through a lot of changes over the years.  Remember back in the 90’s when so many cards came with those peel-off stickers?  At the heart of it though has always been nicely designed chrome cards, and a wide variety of colored parallels.  Topps continues this tradition with the 2018 incarnation of the Finest brand.  Last year I pulled a monster hit from my box of Finest.  Inside one of the mini-boxes was an Aaron Judge Blue Wave Refractor Auto #’ed/25.  It was pulled in June during all of the madness surrounding him.

Much like previous years, a master box of Finest is made up of two mini-boxes.  Inside each mini-box are six packs.  Every mini-box should come with at least one autograph.  That’s two autographs per master box.

For those collectors who enjoy putting sets together, this base set consists of (100) cards.  Card numbers 101-125 are short prints, and fall 1:28 packs.

In addition to the base set, there are a bunch of inserts to look for such as Finest Careers Die-CutFinest CornerstonesFinest Firsts, and Sitting Red.  All of these have autographs and parallels.  Finest Hour, Finest Mystery Redemptions, and Finest Original Buybacks are all autographs.  The Finest Mystery Redemptions usually turn out to be autographs of players who didn’t have autographs in the product when it shipped out.  I think there is a good chance that Juan Soto, Gleyber Torres, and Ronald Acuna will end up being the three mystery signatures.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Brandon Woodruff RC
  • Sandy Alcantara RC Red Refractor #’ed/5

Parallels

  • Alex Verdugo RC Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Raisel Iglesias Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Nick Williams RC Refractor
  • Dominic Smith RC Refractor
  • Eric Thames Refractor
  • Carlos Carrasco Refractor

Inserts

  • Amed Rosario RC Finest Firsts
  • Manny Machado Sitting Red
  • Joey Votto Sitting Red
  • Rhys Hoskins RC Cornerstones
  • Carlos Correa Cornerstones
  • Justin Bour Cornerstones
  • Robinson Cano Cornerstones

Rookies

  • Nick Williams
  • J.P. Crawford
  • Rhys Hoskins
  • Lucas Sims
  • Rafael Devers
  • Dominic Smith
  • Nicky Delmonico
  • Brandon Woodruff
  • Austin Hays
  • Jack Flaherty

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