2022 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Update Series Baseball Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set/Rookie/Parallel Fan

I had never opened a Sapphire product until now. In the past I have purchased various Sapphire products to flip.

When the regular 2022 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Baseball was released it debuted at $249.99/box. That was a bit too expensive for me considering there aren’t any autographs. So I made the decision to skip it.

After hearing that 2022 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Update Series Baseball included on-card autographs everyone expected the price to be very high. Turns out that wasn’t the case. Boxes debuted at $129.99. Topps can be all over the place when it comes to pricing. Sometimes its high. Sometimes its low. Sometimes its right on.

The base set consists of (330) cards. Parallels include Green #’ed/75 (1:9), Gold #’ed/50 (1:13), Orange #’ed/25 (1:26), Purple #’ed/10 (1:64), Red #’ed/5 (1:127), Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:1,598), and Padparadscha #’ed 1/1 (1:1,039).

Autographs are #’ed/25 or less. Parallels include Orange #’ed/25 (1:817), Purple #’ed/10 (1:2,043), Red #’ed/5 (1:4,085), Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:20,013).

The autographs are difficult to pull. But at least this product has them. And with a small autograph checklist when one is pulled it is usually of a top rookie.

On-card autographs are always better than stickers. Collectors were hoping not too many of them would be packed-out as redemption cards. So far the only redemption autograph looks to be of Jeremy Peña.

Each box should contain at least (2) parallels. I’ve seen some with (1) and others containing (3).

I bought this box because it had a reasonable debut price, and wanted to open a Sapphire product. The chance at pulling an autograph was also a nice bonus.

Seeing that this is the only product where you can find on-card Sapphire autographs of top rookies from 2022, box prices could skyrocket if any of them work out. On the other side those players could flop, and box prices could tank.

No Julio Rodriguez, Bobby Witt Jr., or Spencer Torkelson rookie cards found in my box.

As I mentioned before, this is the first Sapphire product I’ve opened. This is also the first time I’ve seen Sapphire cards in-hand. I can see why collectors go crazy for them.

2023 members of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club will receive (1) 20-card set, and the factory set this year. It would be really cool if that 20-card set would be printed on Chrome Sapphire card stock. The set should consist of subjects that haven’t had Chrome Sapphire cards made yet. Off the top of my head Mickey Mantle, Phillie Phanatic, and Mike Schmidt would make great additions.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Parallels:

  • Adam Frazier Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Hunter Renfroe Green Refractor #’ed/75

Rookies:

  • Jason Krizan RC #US65
  • Felix Bautista RC #US225
  • Ryan Pepiot #US109
  • MacKenzie Gore RC #US81
  • Brendan Donovan RC #US150
  • Jack Suwinski RC #US236
  • Shane Baz RC Rookie Debut #US240
  • Nick Allen RC #US117
  • Bryan Lavastida RC #US317

Base:

  • Nick Castellanos #US266
  • Garrett Stubbs #US315
  • Michael Lorenzen #US84
  • Andrew Stevenson #US173
  • Matt Chapman #US235
  • Cole Sulser #US103
  • Sergio Romo #US322
  • Sean Manaea #US48
  • Jace Peterson #US12
  • Drew Smyly #US138
  • Opening Day Bronx Bash #US45
  • Boston Flex #US11
  • Cole Irvin #US292
  • Luis Guillorme #US107
  • Robert Suarez/Steven Wilson #US239
  • Jurickson Profar #US69
  • Archie Bradley #US98
  • Andrew Knizner #US329
  • Brad Miller #US91
  • Kyle Cody #US96
  • Adam Engel #US323

Product Highlight: 1998 Topps Super Chrome Baseball

Here in America we do everything bigger and better. We will supersize anything. Right down to our baseball cards.

(36) cards are in the 1998 Topps Super Chrome Baseball set. The overall design looks just like 1998 Topps Chrome Baseball with one tiny change. Cards measure 4 1/8″ x 5 3/4″.

Inside each box you will find (12) packs. Each pack has (3) supersized cards. You can tell by the large hanging tab on the pack that this product was made for retail stores such as Walmart.

Are there any chase cards? Yes. Each base card has (1) refractor parallel. You should find (1) refractor per box.

Too bad Topps didn’t make SuperFractors back then. Pulling a Super Chrome SuperFractor would have been fun.

Topps Super Chrome Baseball saw a return in 1999. After 1999 it wasn’t heard from again.

Base
Refractor
Pack
Box

Checklist:

  • Tony Gwynn #1
  • Larry Walker #2
  • Vladimir Guerrero #3
  • Mo Vaughn #4
  • Frank Thomas #5
  • Barry Larkin #6
  • Scott Rolen #7
  • Juan Gonzalez #8
  • Jeff Bagwell #9
  • Ryan Klesko #10
  • Mike Piazza #11
  • Randy Johnson #12
  • Derek Jeter #13
  • Gary Sheffield #14
  • Hideo Nomo #15
  • Tino Martinez #16
  • Ivan Rodriguez #17
  • Bernie Williams #18
  • Greg Maddux #19
  • Roger Clemens #20
  • Roberto Clemente #21
  • Chipper Jones #22
  • Sammy Sosa #23
  • Tony Clark #24
  • Barry Bonds #25
  • Craig Biggio #26
  • Cal Ripken, Jr. #27
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. #28
  • Todd Helton #29
  • Mark McGwire #30
  • Jose Cruz #31
  • Albert Belle #32
  • Andruw Jones #33
  • Nomar Garciaparra #34
  • Andy Pettitte #35
  • Alex Rodriguez #36

Hobby Oddities: An Introduction To Baseball Card Collecting On VHS

The year is 1989. You’re visiting your local video rental store. Walking up and down the aisles you begin to browse their inventory. Die Hard, Beetlejuice, Coming To America, etc… Its a difficult choice. That’s until you see An Introduction To Baseball Card Collecting. I’ll take it!

An Introduction To Baseball Card Collecting was released in 1989. In this 28 minute video Bobby Valentine covers many of the important principles as to how baseball cards were collected at that time. Some of these principles are valid today, while others are completely outdated.

An example of an outdated principle is when the video states that a player’s rookie card is his most valuable card. At one time this was true. Today we have grading, parallels, autographs, and relics. A mass-produced base rookie card can be worth significantly less when compared to a non-rookie, low-numbered, autograph, relic card of the same player today.

Distributed by JCI Video out of Woodland Hills, CA. The summary on the VHS back reads:

Finally, a video about baseball card collecting is available! Bobby Valentine hosts this beautifully filmed explanation of how a simple pastime of the 1950s exploded into a multi-million dollar industry in the 1980s. Bobby discusses all the basic subjects of card collecting, including how the distribution methods through 1973 affect card prices today and the current hobby role played by dealers, card shops, trade shows, price guides and hobby newspapers.

A highlight of the video is its photography of the cards themselves, filmed with lush backgrounds and lighting effects to make their rich colors evoke the kind of nostalgic emotions that are the essence of the relationship between a collector and his cards.

I wonder if we’ll ever see the 4K, Blue-Ray, DVD, Extended Director’s Cut? Imagine watching it in IMAX.

Believe it or not this wasn’t the only VHS released on baseball card collecting. There are others.

Grading started with cards, and now extends all the way to VHS tapes. Someone should get a copy of An Introduction To Baseball Card Collecting graded. That would complete the circle.

2022 Topps Holiday Mega Box Baseball Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set/Christmas fans

The Topps Holiday Mega Box has become a fan favorite. I truly don’t know how the hobby made it through the holiday season without it. Scrolling through my Twitter feed all I see are people’s shopping baskets filled with these boxes.

Topps offered the 2022 Holiday Mega Box on their website for a short time before selling out. Walmart would be your best option to find a box now.

(200) cards make up the base set. Many holiday elements are added to the 2022 Topps Baseball flagship design. Parallels include Metallic (1:2), Red Metallic #’ed/99 (1:92), and Gold Metallic #’ed 1/1 (1:8,915).

Photo variations offer even more holiday items to look for. Some are easier to come by than others. I always check the CMP codes to be sure.

  • Base – #811
  • SP – #819 (1:7)
  • Rare – #820 (1:20)
  • Super Rare – #821 (1:160)

Each box contains (10) packs. You should at least find (1) SP. My favorite variation has Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf pictured in the bottom left corner of Shohei Ohtani’s card.

You will also find (1) relic, autograph, or autograph/relic per box. Most likely a one-color relic is what you’ll get, but much rarer hits can be pulled. This includes relics and autograph/relics of an Elf, Santa Claus, and Mrs. Claus. Consider yourself very lucky if you hit one of these. The Holiday Faux relics and autograph/relics are extremely rare.

Packaged along with the packs is a tree ornament. Parallels of the ornaments would be a fun addition some year.

The Topps Holiday Mega Box is not meant to be taken too seriously. At $24.99/box, its a cheap fun rip.

On a side note, I think Topps should make an online-exclusive set of Topps Chrome Sapphire cards featuring Christmas/holiday season characters. They would probably be a big hit. Especially if they threw in some parallels.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic:

  • Pete Alonso

Parallels:

  • Cooper Hummel RC Metallic #27
  • Emmanuel Rivera RC Metallic #20
  • Cedric Mullins Metallic #86
  • Max Muncy Metallic #199
  • William Woods RC Metallic #127

SP Variations:

  • Royce Lewis RC #94 – Christmas lights on arm
  • Gabriel Arias RC #12 – Candy cane on arm

Box Topper:

  • Shohei Ohtani Ornament

Notable Rookies:

  • CJ Abrams #112
  • Bryson Stott #133
  • Jeremy Pena #129
  • Wander Franco #181
  • Bobby Witt Jr. #150

2022 Topps Brooklyn Collection Baseball Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Autograph

Typically reserved for members of the 582 Montgomery Club to buy, 2022 Topps Brooklyn Collection Baseball went straight to the general public for sale.

The initial price of a box was $149.99. Due to the popularity of this year’s product prices have shot up to around $270 as of right now.

(50) cards make up the base set. Subjects include current stars, rookies, and retired/Hall of Famers. Parallels include Chartreuse #’ed/99 (1:2), Black #’ed/75 (1:2), Gold #’ed/50 (1:3), Blue #’ed/40 (1:4), Orange #’ed/25 (1:6), Purple #’ed/15 (1:10), Red #’ed/5 (1:29), and Platinum #’ed 1/1 (1:139).

Each base card has a Bush Terminal Die-Cut Variation. These are serial numbered to 36 copies, and have a Platinum parallel limited to just 1.

Bush Terminal is a nod to Topps’ original location in Brooklyn, NY. I found an old newspaper article written about when they moved in.

Every box comes with (7) cards – (2) autographs, (2) parallels, and (3) base.

(71) autograph subjects are on the checklist. Base autographs vary in serial numbering. Autograph parallels include Black #’ed/75, Gold #’ed/50, Blue #’ed/30, Orange #’ed/20 (1:6), Purple #’ed/10 (1:11), Red #’ed/5 (1:21), and Platinum #’ed 1/1 (1:105). It should be noted that Hunter Greene, Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout autographs were issued as redemption cards.

With the small checklist and parallel structure it can be calculated that around 7,000 total boxes have been produced. That’s not a lot.

Once these boxes began to arrive collectors quickly realized that Topps loaded them up. Some people have found (3) autographs in their box.

Great small checklist. On-card autographs. Low print run. Thick card stock. Quick rip. This is my favorite type of product configuration to open.

I’d say that my box was fairly solid when compared to some of the other breaks I’ve seen. The CC Sabathia autograph, and Steven Kwan rookie are my best hits.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos:

  • CC Sabathia Orange #’ed/20
  • Aaron Ashby RC #’ed/99

Parallels:

  • Heliot Ramos RC Black #’ed/75
  • Steven Kwan RC Blue #’ed/40

Base:

  • Gabriel Arias RC #36
  • Wander Franco RC #37
  • Jackie Robinson #35

Product Highlight: 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball

Glossy was to Fleer as Tiffany was to Topps.

In an attempt to compete with Topps, Fleer issued a series of Glossy sets. At a quick glance these cards look just like the normal Fleer flagship set. But upon a closer look you’ll notice minor upgraded changes that give the cards a higher-end feel.

Lets take a look at the 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball set.

This set consists of (660) “Custom Coated” cards, (12) “Custom Coated” Limited Edition World Series cards, and (66) full color team logo stickers.

When compared to a normal 1989 Fleer Baseball card you’ll notice that the Glossy example has a shiny finish, and has been printed on white card stock.

Turning the card over you can see blue was used for the Glossy instead of yellow. A big “Collectors Edition” logo is in the background on the Glossy card as well.

Sets were distributed in tins only. About 30,000 sets were printed.

Key rookie cards include Randy Johnson #381, Ken Griffey, Jr. #548, and John Smoltz #602.

The 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball set has a famous cameo appearance in the 1990 film Home Alone.

When Kevin is snooping around his older brother’s bedroom a 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball tin can be seen on the top shelf.

The shelves eventually come crashing down. Inside the tin you can see a few cards. One card is definitely of Fred McGriff.

ALERT: Watch Out When Buying These 2022 Topps Stadium Club Baseball Chrome Refractor Autographs

The 2022 Topps Stadium Club Baseball Chrome set consists of (90) cards.

Collectors ripping through their packs/boxes have noticed that the Refractor parallels of these cards contain the Topps autograph COA printed on the back. The only problem is that these specific cards were never meant to have that COA printed on them.

As you can imagine it wouldn’t take much for a scammer to forge the player’s autograph on the front, and attempt to pass it off as the real thing. An individual who didn’t know any better might look at that card, see the COA, and believe the autograph is authentic.

It looks like this is isolated to just the regular non-autographed Refractor parallels. Non-autographed Orange Refractors #’ed/99, Pearl White Refractors #’ed/30, Gold Minted Refractors, and SuperFractors #’ed 1/1 do not have this COA printed on the back.

If you’re looking for an authentic 2022 Topps Stadium Club Baseball Chrome Refractor Autograph not only should it have the COA printed on the back, but the front should have the “TOPPS CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH ISSUE” message as well. It should also be serial numbered.

A similar situation took place with 2021 Topps Archives Baseball.

2022 Topps Baseball Factory Set Hobby (Red Box) Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set (obviously)

If you collected enough Topps Baseball Factory Sets and stacked them up I bet you could play an awesome game of Jenga. Nowadays the Topps Baseball Factory Sets arrive in more colors than M&M’s.

The Hobby version of the 2022 Topps Baseball Factory Set consists of (660) cards. That’s (330) cards from Series 1, and (330) cards from Series 2.

Set collectors obviously like the convenience of receiving Series 1 and Series 2 all in one box. Spencer Torkelson, Bobby Witt Jr., and Julio Rodriguez come as bonus cards. These three cards come as secondary options of cards #658, #659, and #660. You won’t see them on the checklist which is printed on the outside of the box. So it might come as a surprise to some people. Each Factory Set format should contain these bonus cards.

Parallels add a bit of a mystery element to the Factory Sets. The Hobby version will come with (5) Foilboard parallels #’ed/390.

There are at least (7) different Factory Set formats you can buy. Each has the same (660) card set. Exclusive cards vary from set to set.

  • 2022 Topps Baseball Complete Set Hobby Factory Box (Red Box)
  • 2022 Topps Baseball Complete Set Retail Factory Box (Blue Box)
  • 2022 Topps Baseball Complete Set Walmart Retail Factory Box (Turquoise Box)
  • 2022 Topps Baseball Complete Set Target Retail Factory Box (Purple Box)
  • 2022 Topps Baseball Complete Set Target Retail Factory Box (Green Box)
  • 2022 Topps Baseball Complete Set All-Star Game Factory Box
  • 2022 Topps Baseball Complete Set 582 Montgomery Club Factory Box

Topps has Hobby Factory Sets available on their website. The Retail (Blue Box) is pictured but shows Foilboard parallels (Hobby exclusive). Under the “Specs” it mentions Hobby as well.

Here is what I pulled:

Parallels:

  • Trey Amburgey RC #263 Foilboard #’ed/390
  • Ryan Mountcastle #579 Foilboard #’ed/390
  • Casey Mize #431 Foilboard #’ed/390
  • Otto Lopez RC #422 Foilboard #’ed/390
  • Clint Frazier #101 Foilboard #’ed/390

2022 Topps Mini Baseball Now Available To 582 Montgomery Club Members

2022 Topps Mini Baseball went up for sale today on the Topps website for 582 Montgomery Club members.

$24.99 per box with a (2) box limit.

(990) cards make up the entire set (Series 1, Series 2, and Update Series). Each box should contain (35) cards with (2) inserts, and (3) parallels. Variations and autographs are also something to watch for.

2022 Topps Gallery Baseball Monster Box Break & Review – MONSTER HIT!

Collector Type: Set/Autograph/Art Fans

Talk about a Monster Box containing a monster hit. I believe everyone reading this would agree. This dude Julio Rodriguez keeps popping up in all of my boxes. The odds of pulling one Orange parallel autograph is 1:302 packs, and two came from this box.

The base set consists of (200) cards. Parallels include Printer Proof (4 per Blaster), Rainbow Foil, Private Issue #’ed/250, Green #’ed/125, Green Pattern #’ed/99, Blue #’ed/75, Blue Pattern #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Orange Pattern #’ed/10, Red #’ed/5, Red Pattern #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

Variations (although difficult to pull) offer another chase element. (10) cards have variations which use an artistic filter on the player’s base card. Spencer Torkelson’s variation not only uses the artistic filter, but the photo is different as well. When flipping through your cards you could easily overlook them. That’s why I always check the CMP codes.

  • Base – #688
  • Variation – #715

Each Monster Box is suppose to have (2) autographs.

Autographs include Gallery Autographs (Rookies, Retired Greats, Veterans, Young Stars), Masterstrokes Autographs, Modern Artists Autographs, Next Wave Autographs, and Portrait Gallery Autographs.

Inserts include Gallery of Heroes, Masterstrokes, Modern Artists, Next Wave, Portrait Gallery, Sketch Cards, and Works of Art Rookie Cards.

The Works of Art Rookie Cards caused some discussion when this product was first released. These surprise inserts feature famous pieces of art with the rookie card logo on them. One of them being of the Mona Lisa. A lot of collectors wondered why the Mona Lisa received the rookie card logo when it has been seen on other trading cards long before now. One of those other cards dates back to 100 years ago. Even Topps has used the Mona Lisa in other sets.

Topps either didn’t remember that the Mona Lisa has other cards prior to this release. Or they knew about them and figured that placing the rookie card logo on this card would create a buzz and get people talking. Which it ultimately did.

Topps Gallery can be found at Walmart in Monster Box and Blaster form. Topps did sell Monster Boxes on their site, but have sold out.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos:

  • Julio Rodriguez RC Orange Auto #’ed/25
  • Griffin Jax RC Orange Auto #’ed/25

Parallels:

  • Shane Bieber Blue Pattern #’ed/50
  • Ian Anderson Blue #’ed/75
  • Kyle Tucker Private Issue #’ed/250
  • Tyler Gilbert RC Rainbow Foil
  • Connor Wong RC Rainbow Foil
  • Roansy Contreras RC Rainbow Foil
  • Cedric Mullins Rainbow Foil
  • Mitch Haniger Rainbow Foil
  • Austin Meadows Rainbow Foil
  • Matt Vierling RC Rainbow Foil

Inserts:

  • Bryce Harper Modern Artists
  • Joe Ryan RC Next Wave
  • Willie Mays Masterstrokes
  • Freddie Freeman Portrait Gallery
  • Joey Votto Portrait Gallery

Notable Rookies:

  • Julio Rodriguez RC #35
  • Bryson Stott RC #25
  • Hunter Greene RC #170
  • Jarren Duran RC #49
  • CJ Abrams RC #160
  • Seiya Suzuki RC #137
  • Wander Franco RC #55