2019 Topps Big League Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Along with Opening DayBig League is one of the most affordable baseball products on the market today.  A single hobby box will run you about $40, with retail options costing even less.  With that lower cost does come the fact you’re not guaranteed any hits, but that certainly isn’t what Big League is about.

If I had to choose between opening a box of Opening Day or Big League, I believe I’d go with Big League.  Mainly because it utilizes it’s own base card design.  Opening Day usually borrows the design of that year’s flagship set.

A single hobby box contains (24) packs with (10) cards each.  The checklist is quite deep coming in at (400) total cards.  Subsets include Stat-Kings, Award Winners, and Highlights.  Parallels include – Gold (1 per pack), Blue (Retail Blaster), Rainbow Foil #’ed/100, Artist Rendition #’ed/50, and Red Foil #’ed 1/1.

Three variations can be pulled, and they’re really easy to identify – Fernando Tatis, Jr. #6, Pete Alonso #20, and Eloy Jimenez #74.  Most of the time these cards will be of Kevin Gausman #6, Matt Carpenter #20, and Buster Posey #74.  But sometimes you can get lucky and pull one of those star rookie cards instead.

Hits are difficult to come by.  If you do get one, its going to be an autograph.  This product contains no relics.  Autographs that you can pull are Big League Autographs, Rookie Republic Autographs, and a Mystery Redemption A (Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.).

Inserts come in all shapes and sizes – Ballpark Oddities, Blast Off, Players’ Weekend Nicknames, Star Caricature Reproduction, Wall Climbers, and Topps Now World Series Set Instant Win.  Although I didn’t pull an autograph like last year, I did hit a Ballpark Oddities insert which falls 1:435 packs.  Its also possible to pull the original artwork used to make the Star Caricature Reproduction cards too.

Set collectors, collectors on a budget, and/or baseball fans looking for a product with interesting photos should thoroughly enjoy Big League.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Parallels

  • Jake Arrieta Rainbow Foil #’ed/100
  • Adam Duvall Gold
  • Gleyber Torres Gold
  • Max Muncy Gold
  • Pat Neshek Gold
  • Marcus Semien Gold
  • Kyle Gibson Gold
  • Jose Altuve Gold
  • Jesse Winker Gold
  • Christian Yelich/Trevor Story/Nolan Arenado Stat-Kings Gold
  • Juan Soto Gold
  • Felipe Vázquez Gold
  • Welington Castillo Gold
  • Wilmer Difo Gold
  • Justin Verlander/Blake Snell/Corey Kluber Stat-Kings Gold
  • Marcos Stroman Gold
  • Joey Votto Gold
  • J.D. Martinez Gold
  • Joe Panik Gold
  • Hunter Dozier Gold
  • Justin Verlander Gold
  • Miles Mikolas Gold
  • Jose Peraza Gold
  • Eddie Rosario Gold
  • Jay Bruce Gold

Inserts

  • Jose Reyes Ballpark Oddities
  • Bryce Harper Blast Off
  • Khris Davis Blast Off
  • J.D. Martinez Blast Off
  • Avisail Garcia Blast Off
  • Aaron Judge Blast Off
  • Joey Gallo Blast Off
  • Max Kepler Wall Climbers
  • Corey Dickerson Wall Climbers
  • Kevin Pillar Wall Climbers
  • Odubel Herrera Wall Climbers
  • Mike Trout Wall Climbers
  • Adam Engel Wall Climbers
  • Billy Hamilton Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Chris Archer Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Nomar Mazara Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Starlin Castro Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Dee Gordon Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Gleyber Torres Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Juan Soto Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Javier Baez Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Mookie Betts Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Tim Anderson Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Starling Marte Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Salvador Perez Players’ Weekend Nicknames

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2019 Topps UFC Knockout Hobby Box Break & Review

Enter the octagon at your own risk.  Be warned.  Two contestants will enter, but only one will come out victorious.  Que Queen’s Princes of the Universe song from the Highlander films… haha!

I can’t open a box of UFC Knockout without thinking about the first box of this stuff I opened back in 2015.  Waiting for me inside one of the mini-boxes was a Ronda Rousey/Miesha Tate Auto/Relic Booklet #’ed/5.  Absolutely nuts!

UFC Knockout is a staple when it comes to the Topps brand of UFC products.  Collectors look forward to it as it is very hit driven.  The 2019 incarnation has (4) packs per box.  Each pack comes with (2) hits.  That’s a total of (8) hits per master box.  Lots of opportunity for some interesting looking relics and autographs.

Most fans open boxes of UFC Knockout for the hits.  But there is a base set to put together.  (100) cards make up the base set.  Its a good mix of veteran fighters along with rookies.  I like the smokey design.  Three levels of parallels can be found – Green #’ed/149, Blue #’ed/88, Purple #’ed/25, Red #’ed/8, and Gold #’ed 1/1.  Outside of the base set there is one insert – UFC Fire.  The UFC Fire set consists of (24) total cards, and comes with that artistic Fire look we’ve seen in other products.

As I mentioned before this is a very hit driven set.  Hits include Knockout Autographs, Knockout Autograph Relics, Autograph Jumbo Fight Mat Relics, A.K.A. Ink, UFC Fire Autographs, UFC Champions Autograph Relic Books, Dual Autographed Jumbo Relic Books, Knockout Relics, Jumbo Fight Mat Relics, and One-Two Combination Relics.

The on-card autographs found in the Knockout Autographs, A.K.A. Ink, and UFC Fire Autographs sets looks extremely cool.  Not everything is signed on-card though.  Some are on stickers.

My box delivered quite the variety of hits.  Much more than just base-level cards.  A lot of color compared to what I’m use to seeing from this brand.  When opening this box things felt more exciting.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Max Holloway Auto Purple #’ed/25
  • Cynthia Calvillo Auto Blue #’ed/50
  • Deiveson Figueiredo Auto #’ed/99

Auto/Relic

  • Tyron Woodley Auto/Relic #’ed/99

Relics

  • Darren Till Jumbo Fight Mat Relic Purple #’ed/25
  • Jessica Andrade One-Two Combination Relics Blue #’ed/50
  • Mackenzie Dern Relic #’ed/150
  • Jessica-Rose Clark Relic #’ed/150

Parallels

  • Conor McGregor Purple #’ed/25
  • Zabit Magomedsharipov Blue #’ed/88
  • Marlon Moraes Blue #’ed/88
  • Justin Gaethje Green #’ed/149
  • Dominick Reyes Green #’ed/149
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz Green #’ed/149
  • Colby Covington Green #’ed/149
  • Joanna Jędrzejczyk Green #’ed/149

2019 Topps Tier One Baseball Box Break & Review

Why mess with a winning formula?  Topps Tier One has and probably always will be a quick-thrill break.  Some people enjoy ripping pack after pack, while others want to go straight to the hits.  Trust me.  This one goes right to the good stuff.

Packaged inside every box is one pack.  Inside that pack you should find three cards – (2) autographs, and (1) relic.  I’ve noticed that some breakers have been known to get lucky and pull an additional fourth hit.  Its not something that happens all of the time, but a possibility.

The major elements that draw collectors to this brand so much are the vast majority of on-card autographs and jumbo patches.  To be fair, there are some sticker signatures in here like when it comes to the Autographed Tier One Relics.  But for the most part, on-card autographs are what you’re going to pull.

Cards that you can find include Tier One Autographs, Break Out Autographs, Mystery Break Out Autographs Redemption, Clear One Autographs, Clear One Dual Autographs, Prime Performers Autographs, Tier One Talent Autographs, Dual Autographs, Triple Autographs, Cut Signatures, Autographed Tier One Relics, Dual Autographed Tier One Relic Books, Autographed Prodigious Patches, Autographed Tier One All-Star Patches, Autographed Tier One Bat Knobs, Autographed Tier One Limited Lumber, Autographed Tier One Uniform Button Relics, Signature Tools Autographs Relics, Cut Signature Relics, Tier One Relics, Tier One Legends Relics, Prodigious Patches, Tier One All-Star Patches, Tier One Bat Knobs, Tier One Limited Lumber, and Tier One Uniform Button Relics.

As a Phillies fan, I’d like to see the Chase Utley Bat Knob Relic.  Those Bat Knob and Limited Lumber bat barrel cards have always been eye catchers.  Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera has a nice big signature that stands out on these cards too.

Making your money back and/or striking it rich should never be your #1 goal when opening modern day boxes of cards.  Have fun!  If a box is too expensive, pickup some singles for your collection.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Andruw Jones Tier One Talent Auto #’ed/299
  • Franklin Barreto Tier One Talent Auto #’ed/299

Relic

  • Alex Rodriguez Tier One Legends Relic #’ed/175

2018/19 Topps Chrome Bundesliga Soccer Hobby Box Break & Review

Bundesliga!  That sounds like something Farmer Fran would yell in The Waterboy.

Hang on!  We’ve got one more product to talk about which features that 2018 Topps Baseball pixel-party flagship design.  I’m talking about 2018/19 Topps Chrome Bundesliga Soccer.

The Bundesliga is a German soccer league.  Although Topps has created cards for this league before, this is the first time its gotten full distribution here in the United States.  The Topps Chrome brand has a huge following, no matter the sport.  If you’re a soccer fan, that’s an additional plus.

You’ll find (18) packs per box, with (4) cards per pack.  This is a hobby-only release.  A single box will cost about $55.

The entire set consists of (90) cards.  Parallels include Blue Refractor #’ed/199, Green Refractor #’ed/99, Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/99 or #’ed/75, Gold Refractor #’ed/50, Orange Refractor #’ed/25, Red Refractor #’ed/10, and Red Wave Refractor #’ed/10.  Standard Refractors are suppose to come 1:3 packs, but I did not pull any.  Purple Refractors #’ed/250, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1 have yet to surface.  A few sources have indicated that there are photo variations.  I don’t think these exist.  To me, it looks like some changes took place between the time this product’s details were initially released, and when it actually came out.

Just like most Topps Chrome products, every box should have (1) autograph.  Parallels include Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/75, Gold Refractor #’ed/50, Orange Refractor #’ed/25, Red Refractor #’ed/10, and Red Wave Refractor #’ed/5.  Autographed Blue Refractors, Green Refractors, and Superfractors have not popped up.

Three types of inserts can be pulled – Future StarsSuperstar Sensations, and Top 11.  Non-autographed versions should have Gold Refractor #’ed/50, Orange Refractor #’ed/25, Red Refractor #’ed/10, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1 parallels.  No Superfractors have hit the secondary market as of this writing.  The autographed counterparts vary in serial numbering.

2018/19 Topps Chrome Bundesliga is setup very similar to 2017/18 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League.  Between the one autograph, stack of refractors, and a box price of $55, you can get a nice balance of pulls.  I believe that’s what makes Topps Chrome so popular.  Great looking cards!

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Takashi Usami Blue Wave Refractor Auto #’ed/75

Parallels

  • Michael Gregoritsch Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Marco Reus Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Ja-Cheol Koo Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Weston McKennie Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/75
  • Yann Sommer Blue Refractor #’ed/199
  • Péter Gulácsi Blue Refractor #’ed/199

Inserts

  • Rouwen Hennings Superstar Sensations
  • Enrico Valentini Superstar Sensations
  • Julian Brandt Superstar Sensations
  • Janik Haberer Future Stars
  • Christian Pulisic Future Stars
  • Nadiem Amiri Future Stars

2019 Bowman Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Prospecting is never ending.  There will always be a group of people looking to pour thousands of dollars into players that have yet to make their major league debut.  Its very entertaining to watch.  I wish people didn’t use modern day cards as investments.  Cards made today are meant to be for fun.  I’ve seen people get way too stressed over how their “investment” hasn’t panned out.  In my personal opinion, if you pull a rare card of a minor league prospect who has convinced the world they’re the next Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, or Babe Ruth, move it as soon as possible.  Take that money and put it in the stock market.  I believe in the long run you’ll be much happier.

There are three key prospecting prospects released each year – BowmanBowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft.  Whenever any of them come out the prospecting community gets a big surge of excitement.  2019 Bowman saw this right away.  Collectors and prospectors quickly began picking up the latest cards of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Wander Franco, Joey Bart, and Ronny Mauricio.  As of this writing, a Wander Franco Chrome Orange Refractor Auto sold for $9,000 according to eBay.  Someone is obviously looking to take a massive risk.  That’s assuming the transaction went through.  Its nothing compared to his Superfractor Auto #’ed 1/1.  Not only has that card been pulled, but its been sold privately for $60,000 to $100,000.

A hobby box will yield (24) packs, with (10) cards per pack.  (1) autograph per box.  The main base set consists of (101) cards.  Why (101) cards you may ask?  That’s because there are two card number 3’s.  Joey Wendle is featured on card #3 the most.  But if you get lucky that card #3 you pulled also has a chance to be of Bryce Harper.  This is the first pack-inserted card to feature Bryce Harper in a Phillies uniform.  Its a Short Print, and has parallels just like the rest of the set.  In addition to the 101-card main base set, there is also a 150-card Base Paper Prospect, and 150-card Base Chrome Prospect set.

Low numbered parallels and/or autographs is the heart and soul of this brand.  I have a feeling it always will be.  30 years ago Topps revived the Bowman brand.  I distinctly remember those green wax packs labeled “The Comeback Edition”.  My favorite part of 2019 Bowman is the tribute made to that set from 1989.  Old-school Topps designs on chrome stock is a nice look.  These 30th Anniversary cards have various autographs and parallels.  Redemption cards for original Buyback Autographs from ’89 Bowman have been thrown in too.  Those Griffey, Jr. rookies I’m sure will look cool.

I will reiterate what I said earlier.  Please open prospect focused sets such as this for the FUN.  Buy singles for the FUN.  Please don’t do it for the money.  Too many people buy into the hype, and do what they see and hear others doing.  On The Rich Eisen Show recently a wealthy entrepreneur named Gary Vaynerchuk talked about sports cards making a comeback.  I think its awesome to see sports cards mentioned on a platform like that.  But when a rich guy talks to the public as if there’s going to be a big sports card boom, people may interpret that incorrectly.  All of a sudden if Gary Vaynerchuk says he’s buying rookie cards of a certain player, other people start to do the same.  You can’t think like that.  Following that model is a dead end.  Its like taking stock advice from CNBC.  By the time it reaches T.V., its way too late to get in on it.  FYI – Gary Vaynerchuk has been attempting to recruit bloggers to pump-up players and cards he’s purchased.  Lots of people answered the call, but not me.

Another prospecting season is upon us.  Time to check Baseball America on a weekly basis to see if you’ve got any cards of the players on their Hot List.  Good luck, but remember to think and have fun first.  Collect what you like and can afford.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Genesis Cabrera Bowman Chrome Refractor Auto #’ed/499

Parallels

  • Beau Burrows Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Noelvi Marte Bowman Chrome Atomic Refractor
  • Nolan Gorman Bowman Sky Blue #’ed/499

Inserts

  • Mike Trout Bowman Sterling Continuity
  • Colton Welker/Roberto Ramos/Brendan Rodgers Talent Pipeline
  • Bryan Mata/Bobby Dalbec/Josh Ockimey Talent Pipeline
  • Casey Mize 30th Anniversary
  • Jacob deGrom 30th Anniversary
  • Jose Altuve 30th Anniversary
  • Kyle Wright Rookie Of The Year Favorites
  • Danny Jansen Rookie Of The Year Favorites
  • Chris Shaw Rookie Of The Year Favorites
  • Yordan Alvarez Ready For The Show
  • Brendan Rodgers Ready For The Show
  • Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Ready For The Show
  • Brendan McKay Ready For The Show
  • Sean Murphy Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
  • Leody Taveras Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
  • Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
  • Brandon Marsh Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
  • Jason Groome Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
  • Jackson Kowar Bowman Scouts’ Top 100

2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection Baseball Box Break & Review

Baseball collectors really need to check out 2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection.  Whether you’re into collecting prospects or not, these are some incredible looking cards.  Depending on where you shop, a box will cost around $40.  Quite affordable.

A single box comes with (1) pack.  (4) cards come per pack, and (2) of them will be autographed.  The base set consists of only (22) cards.  (4) players from the base set have photo variation parallels – Brent Honeywell, Taylor Trammell, Nolan Gorman, and Heliot Ramos.  These unsigned base photo variation parallels are limited to (30) copies each.  All cards have a painted-look, and are printed on vintage stock.

Now onto the autographs.  As I mentioned before, you’ll find (2) of them per box.  Everything is signed on-card, and the signatures look fantastic.  Base photo autographs come in the following forms – Blue Ink #’ed/200, Green Ink #’ed/50, Red Ink #’ed/25, and Black Ink #’ed/5.  Brent Honeywell, Taylor Trammell, Nolan Gorman, and Heliot Ramos photo variations also have autographed versions – Blue Ink #’ed/25, Green Ink #’ed/10, Red Ink #’ed/5, and Black Ink #’ed/1.

I made a guide that can help you with the variations and autograph print runs that go with them.  Serial numbers are not printed on any of the cards, and variations aren’t mentioned on the backs.  What is listed on all of the card backs are the print runs for the base photo autographs and parallels.  For some reason Black #’ed/5 isn’t listed.  Please consult this guide before buying or selling any of these cards on the secondary market.  You want to make sure you’re selling the correct card.  Also, you don’t want to get tricked by someone attempting to convince you that a card is a variation when its not.

As an added bonus, autographed cards from previous Onyx products have been randomly included.  Issued as redemption cards, you can also find graded rookie cards of Hall of Famers and All-Stars.

2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection is a quick-thrill and fun rip.  Small checklist, but packed with some potential stars.  Everything about them is so eye-catching.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Nolan Gorman Base Blue Ink Auto #’ed/200
  • Ronny Mauricio Base Blue Ink Auto #’ed/200

Base

  • Noelvi Marte
  • Jo Adell

2019 Topps Major League Soccer Box Break & Review

Topps puts out a bunch of different soccer products throughout the year.  I find them to be a nice change of pace.  In the past, I’ve pulled some fun cards that includes low-numbered autographs and interesting relics.  The patch cards you get from soccer boxes can be absolutely insane.

2019 Topps Major League Soccer is a flagship brand that focuses more on set building and relics.  In fact, you won’t find a single autograph anywhere within this product.  That’s a little bit unusual as past releases have had autographs.

Two formats can be enjoyed when it comes to 2019 Topps MLS – hobby & blaster boxes.  A hobby box will come with (3) relics, while the retail blasters have (1).  A hobby box will run about $73 as of right now.

The base set consists of (200) cards.  You’ll notice it has it’s own design separate from that of the MLB flagship set.  Parallels include Blue #’ed/99, Gold #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10 (retail), and Black #’ed 1/1.

(15) cards have photo variations.  Each has a Black #’ed 1/1 parallel.

  • #1 Zlatan Ibrahimović
  • #18 Brad Guzan
  • #24 Diego Valeri
  • #28 Gyasi Zardes
  • #34 Tim Howard
  • #35 Sean Johnson
  • #50 Bradley Wright-Phillips
  • #53 Giovani dos Santos
  • #79 Carlos Vela
  • #90 Albert Rusnak
  • #98 Jozy Altidore
  • #100 Josef Martinez
  • #127 Ignacio Piatti
  • #146 Alberth Elis
  • #155 Wayne Rooney

CMP codes can help.

  • Base – #492
  • Photo Variation – #514

That hobby box of yours should contain (2) Jumbo Relics, and (1) Dual Relic.  Both of course have Orange #’ed/25 and Black #’ed 1/1 parallels.  Rarer relics include Crests of Honor #’ed/5, and Nameplate Patches #’ed 1/1.

Inserts come in the form of 2018 MLS Award WinnersAll-StarsThrowback Topps, and Young Phenoms.  All have Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10, and Black #’ed 1/1 parallels.

Does anyone else think Gyasi Zardes looks like Wesley Snipes a.k.a. Willie “Mays” Hayes?

The autographs are greatly missed by collectors.  I’m not sure why those were left out other than to keep the cost down.  Overall a fun break.  Very solid.

Here is what I pulled:

Relics

  • Danny Hoesen Jumbo Relic Orange Parallel Patch #’ed/25
  • Danny Hoesen Jumbo Relic #’ed/220
  • Alberth Elis Single-Player Dual Relic #’ed/215

Parallels

  • Graham Zusi All-Star Orange #’ed/25
  • Johnny Russell Gold #’ed/50
  • Jonathan Lewis Gold #’ed/50
  • Derrick Jones Blue #’ed/99
  • Sebastian Lletget Blue #’ed/99
  • Vako Blue #’ed/99
  • Alex Ring Blue #’ed/99

Inserts

  • Corey Baird 2018 MLS Award Winners – Rookie Of The Year
  • Latif Blessing Young Phenoms
  • Ezequiel Barco Young Phenoms
  • Kellyn Acosta Young Phenoms
  • Chris Mueller Young Phenoms
  • Alex Ring All-Star
  • Josef Martínez All-Star
  • Diego Valeri All-Star
  • Miguel Almirón All-Star
  • Francisco Calvo All-Star
  • Graham Zusi All-Star
  • Jozy Altidore Throwback Topps
  • Cristian Roldan Throwback Topps
  • Sacha Kljestan Throwback Topps
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović Throwback Topps