2019 Topps Archives Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Well… wasn’t that an entertaining box to rip open.  Its the retro product of all retro products.  I’m talking about Archives.  Once again Topps utilizes classic designs from the past to create cards of today’s veterans, stars, rookies, and retired/Hall of Famers.  The collection of notable and obscure players combined with all of the on-card autograph goodness has been a “Fan Favorite” for years.

A hobby box of 2019 Topps Archives will cost about $90 as of this writing.  (24) packs come in a hobby box, and you’re guaranteed (2) on-card autographs.

If you’re looking to put the set together it consists of (300) cards.  Designs from 1958, 1975, and 1993 are featured throughout the set.  When it comes to the cards printed with the 1975 design be sure to watch out for the ones missing the facsimile signature.  Also be on the lookout for 1993 Topps Gold cards.  Both of these are subset parallels that aren’t easy to pull (1:207 packs).  Other parallels include Purple #’ed/175, Silver #’ed/99, Blue #’ed/25 (Hobby), and Gold #’ed 1/1.

Base High-Number cards are like short prints and range from #301-#330.

Please check the card backs as you’re ripping through those packs.  (10) photo variations are in here.  Base cards featuring the 1958 design have CMP codes that end in #053.  Base cards featuring the 1975 design have CMP codes that end in #058.  Base cards featuring the 1993 design have CMP codes that end in #064.  No matter the design, if you pull a photo variation the CMP code will end in #070.

Along with well-known names in baseball like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Sandy Koufax, Archives always comes with a slew of what I call obscure players.  These are guys who had successful careers in baseball, but just don’t have that many autographed cards.  In fact, Archives can sometimes be the only product where they have autographs.

Autographs come in the following forms – Fan Favorites Autographs, 1978 Topps Record Breaker Autographs, 1994 Future Star Autographs, 50th Anniversary of the Montréal Expos Autographs, Ichiro Retrospective Autographs, Topps Magazine Autographs, and Topps Originals Autographs.

Inserts include 1975 Mini, 1994 Topps Future Star, 50th Anniversary of the Montréal Expos, Ichiro Retrospective, Topps Coins (Blaster box), and Topps Magazine.

I’m always interested to see if any Phillies players from the past received the Archives autograph treatment.  This year one did.  Former Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal has a Fan Favorites autograph.  Very cool!  When I began watching the Phillies he was their starting catcher.  I even met him during a few autograph signings in Harrisburg, PA.  During his playing career he had some autographed cards issued.  But nothing recently.  Its great to see his name popup again.

Another area of interest to me are the 50th Anniversary of the Montréal Expos inserts.  Some of these players use to play for the Harrisburg Senators AA team.  The first professional baseball game I went to see was in Harrisburg.  Including guys like Cliff Floyd and Rondell White bring back a lot of memories.

Curious to known whether or not the Topps Magazine was real.  It was.  Topps Magazine ran from 1990 to 1993.  Fun to see this make a comeback in cardboard form.

I say this every year, but I’m going to continue to do so until it happens.  Current Phillies radio broadcaster and former pitcher Larry Andersen needs to have an autograph in here.  Its the perfect product for him to be in.

Tons of nostalgic designs and on-card autographs.  Awesome box!

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Ken Griffey Jr. Fan Favorites Auto
  • Coco Laboy 50th Anniversary of the Montréal Expos Auto

Parallels

  • Lucas Giolito Silver #’ed/99
  • Lou Gehrig Purple #’ed/175
  • Ichiro Retrospective #I-15 Green #’ed/99

Base High-Numbers

  • Luis Urias 2019 Rookie #325
  • Pete Alonso 2019 Rookie #330
  • Kyle Wright 2019 Rookie #329
  • Josh Hader 1975 Highlights #313
  • Kris Bryant 1975 Highlights #318
  • Derek Jeter 1975 Highlights #311
  • Chris Sale 1958 Sport Magazine All-Star #305
  • Javier Baez 1958 Sport Magazine All-Star #303
  • Nolan Arenado 1958 Sport Magazine All-Star #307

Inserts

  • Pedro Martinez 50th Anniversary of the Montréal Expos
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Future Star
  • Pete Alonso Future Star
  • Ichiro Retrospective #I-4
  • Ichiro Retrospective #I-8
  • Cal Ripken Jr. Topps Magazine
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. Topps Magazine
  • Shohei Ohtani Topps Magazine
  • Aaron Judge Topps Magazine
  • Barry Larkin Topps Magazine

2019 Topps Archives Signature Series Baseball (Active Player Edition) Hobby Box Break & Review

“Wouldn’t this card look nice with an on-card autograph?”.  That’s the question Topps answers each year with the release of Archives Signature Series.  That goes for the Active Player and Retired Player Edition.  I’ve had quite a bit of luck with this brand before.  In 2017 I pulled a Mike Trout autograph #’ed 1/1.  Last year I got a Starling Marte autograph #’ed 1/1.  No duds for me.  Now I didn’t get another 1/1 autograph this time, but it is a decent card of a pitcher doing well this year.

Buyback autographs are what keep the heart of this product beating.  Each box contains (1) encased buyback autograph of a currently active MLB player.  Just under (100) different MLB players have autographs in here.  Many with multiple cards.

For those of you unfamiliar with what a buyback autograph is, here’s a little refresher.  Topps will buy up a ton of cards they issued in the past.  They then get players to sign those cards.  Topps then foil stamps the cards with the “Archives Signature Series” logo.  The cards are then placed in BCW holders for their protection.

A single box will cost just under $50.  If you think that’s too expensive for one card, I’d recommend sticking to picking up singles on the secondary market.  Its amazing how far an on-card autograph on a simple base card can go.  Lots of past Topps designs are improved with an on-card autograph.

Very simple and to the point.  I’ve always said cards with a simple design are the most attractive.

Wondering if your favorite player has cards in here?  Take a look.  The amount of cards per player and the serial numbering varies.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Michael Soroka 2015 Bowman Draft Buyback Auto #’ed/79

Angels ’18 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Nick M on being the lucky winner of the Adam Kennedy 2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto.  Once Nick M sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!

Angels ’18 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Adam Kennedy 2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, November 23, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

2018 Topps Archives Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

OMG!  Darth Vader played baseball with Babe Ruth?  That’s exactly what went through my mind when I found out that Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones) from The Sandlot also voiced Darth Vader from Star Wars.  Its funny the things you find out as a kid, and don’t initially put together at first.  The same thing happened when I discovered that Batman and Beetlejuice were both played by Michael Keaton.  It was a total mind blower!

Nostalgia is wildly popular in today’s world of sports cards.  No brand better represents that than Archives.  The 2018 version of Archives focuses heavily on the 1959, 1977, and 1981 baseball set designs.  (300) cards make up the base set.  An additional (20) cards are tacked on the end, and numbered 301-320.  These come in the form of 1959 Topps Combo, and 1977 Topps Turn Back the Clock cards.

The base set 1-300 has a slew of various parallels.  First off you have the basics – Purple #’ed/175, Silver #’ed/99, Blue #’ed/25 (Hobby), and Gold Foil #’ed 1/1.  Then come the subset parallels that are a bit more difficult to spot.  Cards in the 1959 design can have a no signature or Venezuelan (Grey Back) parallel.  1977 cards have a no signature parallel.  Finally, 1981 cards can be found with an alternative Topps logo.

Photo variations do have a part in 2018 Topps Archives, but they only apply to (9) cards.  1959 – Aaron Judge #31, Shohei Ohtani #50, and Kris Bryant #100.  1977 – Amed Rosario #108, Clayton Kershaw #150, and Derek Jeter #200.  1981 – Roberto Clemente #201, Ernie Banks #202, and Bryce Harper #300.  Simply check the CMP code on any of these players.  If any of them end in #326, you’ve got yourself a photo variation.

Archives is all about the autographs.  Every hobby box should have (2).  Along with all the big name rookies and legends, Archives is known for having autographs of obscure retired players who you just don’t see that much.  In some cases this is the only product you’ll ever see them have autographs.  I’ve said this for a long time, but as a Phillies fan it would be great to see Larry Andersen receive an autograph in here.  This is the perfect product for him to popup in.  Phillies pitcher and card collector Pat Neshek got some autographs.  He’s had autographs before, but not for a long time.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of The Sandlot.  Its been a long time since I’ve seen it, but that movie is very good.  Autographs from key cast members can be pulled.  These have been crazy popular.  I’m surprised we didn’t get one of James Earl Jones.  This isn’t the first time Topps has made cards commemorating a classic baseball movie.  In the past they’ve done Bull Durham and Major League.  A League Of Their Own should be next.  Think of all the celebrities who were in that – Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell.  What other baseball movies would you like them to make cards for?

Inserts come in the form of The Sandlot commemorative cards, Topps Rookie History1981 Topps Future Stars Trios1993 Coming Attraction, and 1980s Coins (blaster).

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Adam Kennedy Fan Favorites Auto
  • Rhys Hoskins 1993 Coming Attraction RC Blue Auto #’ed/25

Parallels

  • Clayton Kershaw Topps Rookie History Green #’ed/50 – I believe this is an error.  Green is suppose to be #’ed/99, while Blue is #’ed/50.
  • Luis Castillo Purple #’ed/175
  • Monte Irvin Silver #’ed/99

Inserts

  • Dave Winfield Topps Rookie History
  • Mike Piazza Topps Rookie History
  • Nick Williams 1993 Coming Attraction
  • Clint Frazier 1993 Coming Attraction
  • Dominic Smith 1993 Coming Attraction
  • Miguel Andujar 1993 Coming Attraction
  • Acuna/Albies/Gohara 1981 Topps Future Stars Trios
  • Robles/Stevenson/Fedde 1981 Topps Future Stars Trios
  • Hays/Sisco/Scott 1981 Topps Future Stars Trios
  • Hamilton “Ham” Porter The Sandlot
  • Timmy Timmons The Sandlot
  • Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez The Sandlot

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition.  Wow!  That’s quite a mouthful.  Buybacks are awesome.  Especially when you have a company like Topps who has such a rich history of classic sets to choose from.  I don’t think a buyback product such as this could exist without that long history to draw upon.

Round #2 of this brand covers a wide array of retired stars and Hall of Famers.  Back in July we got the version full of active players.  Its a very quick-thrill box to bust.  A single box costs just under $40 and contains (1) encased buyback autograph.  Players have multiple buybacks with each varying in numbering.  Cards can be numbered anywhere from (1) to (99) copies.  Signed relics and special buyback autographs of deceased players can also be pulled.

As I mentioned before, Topps dives deep into their vault and gets these players to sign lots of neat stuff.  Not just cards from the mainstream sets either.  Its not uncommon to find Topps cards that were made for Kay Bee Toys, Toys “R” Us, and even Cap’n Crunch cereal.  Any set can bring back memories, but sometimes these really make collectors feel nostalgic.  And that’s a feeling that drives the industry today.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Bo Jackson ’89 Topps Royals Leaders #789 Buyback Auto #’ed 1/1

When it comes to opening boxes, I’ve had a lot of luck this year.  This card goes right up there with some of my other awesome pulls.  Bo Jackson is one of the greatest athletes of all-time.  If he hadn’t gotten hurt, there is a good chance he would’ve made it into both Canton and Cooperstown.  I like that Topps chose this card for him to sign.  Bo Jackson’s name isn’t anywhere on the card other than his signature.  ’89 Topps featured these “Team Leaders” cards.  On the back they list batting and pitching leaders from the previous year.  The person pictured on the front doesn’t necessarily have to be mentioned on the card.  It makes for a nice conversation piece.  You couldn’t ask for a better picture.  And no.  That isn’t a picture of Bo Jackson throwing out Harold Reynolds at home plate.  That game was played inside the Kingdome where Bo wouldn’t have needed sunglasses.

Card of the Day: 2018 Topps Archives – The Sandlot – Hercules

Card of the Day: Justin Bour 2016 Topps Archives #82

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition Box Break & Review

Upon opening a box of Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition last year, my head almost exploded.  Not only did I pull a card numbered one-of-one, but it was an autograph of Mike Trout too.  Its not everyday that you get to pull one of those.  That was the second Mike Trout autograph I’ve pulled.

Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition has returned for 2018.  Housed inside each $50 box is (1) buyback autograph of a current player.  The version of this product that focuses on retired stars will be released in October.

To some collectors, $50 might seem like a lot of money for just one autographed card.  Especially when you have no clue as to who you might get.  That’s why the secondary market is a great place to pickup singles if you don’t feel like taking the $50 gamble.  Over the years, Topps has created some amazing looking sets.  On-card buyback autographs amplify some of those awesome base sets.  I know when opening Gypsy Queen or Allen & Ginter I’ve said to myself “Wouldn’t this base set look cool with autographs?”  Products such as this do exactly that.  Something as simple as an on-card autograph on a base card can be quite eye appealing.  Just look at how well Stadium Club has been received the last few years.  Simple is almost always better when it comes to card design.

The checklist covers (67) active MLB players.  Each player has multiple cards, and the serial numbering varies.  Risk takers hoping for a big pull should have fun.  So should those player collectors picking up cards on the secondary market.  In some way everyone can enjoy it.

Another 1/1!  I’m on a roll with this product.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Starling Marte 2016 Gypsy Queen Walk-Off Winners Buyback Auto #’ed 1/1

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Postseason Edition Box Break & Review

I think it’s important to point out that there are two different 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series products this year.  First is the Active Player Edition (Mike Trout on the cover) featuring current stars that continue to play.  The other is the Postseason Edition (Derek Jeter on the cover) that has retired players who performed well during the playoffs and World Series.  Both offer cards which would look great in your collection, but it all depends on what your in the mood to open.

Housed inside each box is (1) encased autographed buyback card.  For the most part, I’ve seen cards from the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s.  But I have seen some from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s too.  All vary in serial numbering.  Postseason Edition boxes are a lot more affordable when compared to it’s active player counterpart.  $40 will get you one of these.

Buybacks bring life back into older products.  What was once a simple base card now could be super desirable.  When it comes to the Postseason Edition, I like to see autographed buybacks of player’s rookie cards.  In today’s hobby its common to pull rookie autographs of a player.  But this is really only something that started in the 90’s.  There are so many great players collectors never had the opportunity to pull an autographed rookie of.  Buybacks changed that forever.

Stadium ClubNational Chicle, and Allen & Ginter buybacks are my personal favorites.  Base cards from those three products always have me saying “This would look nice with an on-card autograph.”

Over the years, Topps has partnered with many companies in order to bring collectors exclusive cards.  Teaming-up with restaurants, retailers, and food manufacturers was not out of the question.  Using these cards for buybacks was a fun idea.  Cards made for Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Nestle, Cap’n Crunch, Kmart, Hills, and Toys “R” Us can all be found in here.  Having these semi-obscure sets resurface with autographs I’m betting will bring back lots of memories for collectors.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Tim Wakefield 2001 Topps Buyback Auto #’ed/10