Guess The Set – July 19, 2019

Can you Guess The Set?  This evening I’ll post the correct answer in the comment section and on Twitter.  Good luck!

Hint – Mike ________ best cards.

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Here’s What Your 2019 National VIP Badges Look Like

I wonder if they’ve ever given any thought to randomly including autographs, relics, or vintage cards in these badges?  Honestly, people would probably complain “certain” people were getting the special cards.  Less than two weeks to go until the greatest show in the world celebrates it’s 40th anniversary.

Topps, Leaf, Upper Deck, and Panini all have VIP sets.  Don’t forget to check out my tips on how to get your name on the list to attend the Topps Q&A.

Good luck to everyone going!

Panini’s 2019 National VIP Set (Something To Look At While Waiting In Their Customer Service Line)

I’m not a big fan of Panini.  Its been years since I’ve opened any of their products.  I think they’re sloppy, careless, and abuse their exclusive licenses to the max.  With all of that said, people continue to buy their stuff and complain.

Panini’s customer support (or lack there of) is so poor its almost impossible to get a hold of someone to talk to.  During the National Sports Collectors Convention its a common sight to see people lined-up at the Panini booth waiting to talk to a customer support representative.  I’ve seen people stand there all day.  Its sad.  Collectors don’t want to spend all of their time at the National waiting to talk to Panini’s customer support.  That time should be used for walking around, looking at all the cool stuff, getting autographs, picking-up singles, and opening boxes.  Its not like you’re going to be satisfied after talking to the Panini employee anyway.

While you’re waiting in that long line at the Panini booth, VIPs should redeem the coupon found in their package of goodies.  That coupon is good for a 10-card set that features Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and R.J. Barrett.  The tenth card is still a mystery, and will be unveiled closer to the start of the 2019 National.  I’m fairly positive it’ll be of Zion Williamson.

2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball Preview

Two card manufacturers working together on a single product is certainly not something that happens very often.  Especially during a time when exclusives are all the rage, and everyone is out for themselves.  Onyx Authenticated and Futera have done what seems to be the impossible.  Working simultaneously, both companies are happy to introduce 2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball.

No.  There aren’t any team names and/or logos.  But given the quality of these cards, I truly believe that doesn’t matter one bit.  Futera mainly focuses on European soccer now, but I’ve always thought their cards looked extremely well done.  I didn’t think seeing a baseball product come from them was a possibility until now.  Onyx’s baseball products aren’t too shabby either.  Their Vintage Collection is a blast to open.

2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball is a limited, high-end release.  Only (75) cases will be produced.  Each pack contains an autograph or autograph/relic.  Baseball fans will get to take advantage of Futera’s Colour Grading and Code For Collectors features.  These are two services which allow you to see how rare that relic card might be, and the process that went into making that specific card.  Its a level of documentation that every card manufacturer should adhere to.  Services such as these really helps to cut down on counterfeits.

Be sure to checkout the official sales sheet and checklist.  You’ll find its filled with prospects and Hall of Famers.  I wouldn’t mind pulling that Babe Ruth cut signature.  My favorite cards are the 24ct Gold-Plated Framed cards.

(4) packs come in a single box.  Each pack will cost around $97.  That’s about $400 for the entire box.  As of this writing, August 23rd is the launch date.

Guess The Set – July 12, 2019

Can you Guess The Set?  This evening I’ll post the correct answer in the comment section and on Twitter.  Good luck!

Hint – Lasagna.

Card of the Day: Pete Alonso 2019 Topps Finest Auto

2019 Topps Stadium Club Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

In an age where high-end hits continue to be the main focus of box breakers, Stadium Club aims to change that.  I’m going to say this right now.  Every Stadium Club box opened is a good box.  There isn’t a bad one in the bunch.

2019 Topps Stadium Club continues the tradition of superb and unique photography.  That’s what Stadium Club is all about.  The photos Topps uses are so entertaining to look at.  I truly believe this brand could survive without any hits at all just because of the photography.  That’s saying a lot, especially today.

When diving into a hobby box, you’ll find (16) packs with (8) cards inside each pack.  Sitting on top of the packs is an oversize box topper.  Some of these box toppers can be found with autographs and numbered to (10) copies or less.

The base set consists of (301) cards.  Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. made it in with card #301.  Full bleed photographs without a border really makes the pictures do all of the talking.  The checklist covers rookies, veterans, retired stars, and Hall of Famers.  Parallels of the base set include Red Foil (1:3), Black Foil (1:8), Sepia (Retail), Black/White (1:48 Hobby), Rainbow Foilboard #’ed/25 (1:147), Members Only (1:256), 1st Day Issue (1:367), Photographer’s Proof (1:513), and Gold Rainbow Foilboard #’ed 1/1 (1:1,808 Hobby).

SP Photo Variations are a bit more difficult to pick out because of all the unique photos used in the base set.  CMP codes can help:

  • Base – #768
  • SP Photo Variation – #805

What could make these base cards look better?  How about printing some on chrome stock?  That’s exactly what Topps did.  (90) Stadium Club Chrome cards can be pulled and have the following parallels: Refractor (1:64), Orange Refractor #’ed/99 (1:124), Gold Minted (1:257), and Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:5,976 Hobby).

Like I mentioned earlier, I strongly believe this brand could standalone without any hits.  But the on-card autographs do look really good.  Each hobby box should come with (2) autographs.

Autographs that you can get include Base Autographs, Base Chrome Autographs, Beam Team Autographs, Co-Signers Autographs, Emperors of the Zone Autographs, Lone Star Autographs, and Power Zone Autographs.

Inserts include Beam Team, Emperors of the Zone, Instavision, Power Zone, and Warp Speed.  Instavision inserts return as case hits.  Its fun to see the attention they receive on the secondary market considering they aren’t autographed.

I think its time we see some exclusive Stadium Club cards made for the National Sports Collectors Convention.  Its been years since that’s happened.  That concept could be taken in all sorts of directions.

It doesn’t matter if your two autographs are super valuable or not.  Once all of the packs are ripped, you’re going to be left with a nice selection of cards featuring memorable photographs.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Stephen Tarpley Base Auto Redemption
  • Ramon Laureano Base Auto

Parallels

  • Javier Baez Warp Speed Red Foil
  • Charlie Blackmon Black/White
  • Yadier Molina Stadium Club Chrome Orange Refractor #’ed/99
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. Stadium Club Chrome
  • Javier Baez Black Foil
  • Chris Taylor Black Foil
  • Corbin Burnes Red Foil
  • Albert Almora Jr. Red Foil
  • Niko Goodrum Red Foil
  • Matt Chapman Red Foil
  • Robbie Ray Red Foil
  • Ramon Laureano Red Foil

Inserts

  • Juan Soto Oversize Box Topper
  • Christian Yelich Beam Team
  • Mookie Betts Warp Speed
  • Byron Buxton Warp Speed
  • Nolan Ryan Emperors of the Zone
  • Trevor Bauer Emperors of the Zone
  • Matt Carpenter Power Zone
  • Miguel Andujar Power Zone

Favorite Card

  • Christy Mathewson #29

Christy Mathewson attended Bucknell University, which is just a few miles away from where I live.  He’s buried in a cemetery next to the school.  Pretty neat considering he’s a member of the first Hall of Fame class.  Depending on the year, he’ll either have a bunch of cards made or none at all.