Oakland A’s ’21 Topps Big League Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Jerold Irabagon on being the lucky winner of the Ramon Laureano 2021 Topps Big League Auto. Once Jerold Irabagon sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP. Thanks!

Oakland A’s ’21 Topps Big League Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Ramon Laureano 2021 Topps Big League Auto. Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, September 30, 2022 @ 7:00 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.
  • U.S. residents only.
  • 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!!!

Product Highlight: 1986 Big League Chew Home Run Legends

Growing up in the 1980s I bet you can remember when Big League Chew hit the streets.  Big League Chew is unlike any bubble gum that fans had seen before. Packaged in a foil pouch, and the gum itself is shredded to resemble chewing tobacco.  Big League Chew is the brainchild of Portland Mavericks pitcher Rob Nelson. The idea was pitched to the Wrigley Company by MLB All-Star pitcher Jim Bouton. Fans were introduced to it in May of 1980, and it has been in production ever since.

In 2010 the Wrigley Company sold the rights to Big League Chew to Ford Gum. Various gum flavors and packaging styles have been added over the years. I’ve always enjoyed the artwork featured on their packages.

Gum chewers in 1986 were greeted with a baseball card inside their pouches of Big League Chew.  The entire set consists of only (12) cards.  Pouches each had one card and/or you could send away through a mail-in offer for a complete set.  Many of the cards found in the pouches were damaged through the packing process. All of the players in the set are members of the 500 Career Home Run Club.  The year on the card indicates when that player made it into the club.

Interesting fact. During the mid-1980s Ford Gum was owned by Leaf. Yes, the same Leaf that makes cards. If Ford Gum would’ve had the rights to make Big League Chew back then these cards would have the Leaf name on them.

(2) 2021 Topps Big League Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set

Big League Baseball is a blast to open. The retro design (not based on a past set) is refreshing. I think it would be fun to see it get a limited online-exclusive Chrome release.

The base set consists of (300) cards. Four subsets make up the overall base set – Veterans & Rookies, Big League Best, Award Winners, and Highlights. Parallels include Electric Blue (blaster exclusive), Orange (1 per pack), Rainbow Foil #’ed/199, Green Foil #’ed/75, Black & White #’ed/50, Blue Foil #’ed/25, Black Foil #’ed/15, and Red Foil #’ed 1/1.

Nice to see a manager card. We don’t see them as often as we use to.

Autographs include Base Autographs Electric Blue (blaster exclusive), Art of the Game Artist Autographs, Big League Autographs, Defensive Wizards Autographs, Opening Act Autographs, Souvenirs Autographs, and Wanted Autographs.

Inserts include Art of the Game, Defensive Wizards, Home Team Traditions, Souvenirs, Wanted, and Value Blaster Box Cutout Cards.

In addition to blasters and hobby boxes, fans of the Big League Baseball brand also have Collector’s Boxes. A Collector’s Box contains (1) exclusive Super7 action figure. There are (4) types of package variations that you can pull – 1983 Topps Cardback Design, 1983 Topps Cardback Design Image Variation, 1959 Topps Cardback Design, and 1959 Topps Cardback Design Image Variation. Each of these has a Gold parallel #’ed 1/1.

Topps has worked with Super7 in the past. 2020 Big League Baseball also offered Super7 figures. Other Topps properties that Super7 has made figures for include Garbage Pail Kids and Mars Attacks.

For a product that doesn’t guarantee any hits per box, I think I did pretty well for two boxes. The easiest autographs to pull (Big League Autos) fall 1:65 packs. Between two hobby boxes I had (36) packs. That gave me less than a 50% chance at pulling one autograph. I ended up pulling three. Lets not forget a few numbered parallels too. I really beat the odds on these to hobby boxes.

Fun and very affordable.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos:

  • Dylan Cease Big League Auto
  • Ramon Laureano Big League Auto
  • Jose Urquidy Big League Auto

Parallels:

  • Max Kepler Blue Foil #’ed/25
  • J.P. Crawford Green Foil #’ed/75
  • Wil Myers Rainbow Foil #’ed/199
  • Alejandro Kirk RC Orange #231
  • Sixto Sanchez RC Orange #142
  • Anthony Rizzo Orange #202
  • Kenta Maeda Orange #244
  • Carlos Carrasco Orange #197
  • Bryan Reynolds Orange #243
  • Luis Patiño RC Orange #174
  • Ha-Seong Kim RC Orange #85
  • NL Batting Leaders Orange #246
  • Alex Verdugo Orange #168
  • Mike Brosseau Orange #152
  • Trevor Story Orange #101
  • Elvis Andrus Orange #120
  • Sonny Gray Orange #79
  • Gerrit Cole Orange #8
  • Rafael Marchan RC Orange #181
  • Mookie Betts Orange #67
  • NL Saves Leaders Orange #265
  • Keibert Ruiz RC Orange #143
  • Walker Buehler Orange #92
  • Austin Hays Orange #46
  • Adonis Medina RC Orange #216
  • Brandon Woodruff Orange #62
  • Brandon Lowe Orange #47
  • Austin Meadows Orange #133
  • Shohei Ohtani Orange #114
  • Michael Conforto Orange #49
  • Marcell Ozuna Orange #208
  • Pete Alonso Orange #16
  • Kyle Schwarber Orange #7
  • Daz Cameron RC Orange #166
  • Blake Snell Orange #194
  • Yu Darvish Orange #146
  • Cavan Biggio Orange #78
  • Willson Contreras Orange #111
  • Evan Longoria Orange #44

Inserts:

  • Kyle Lewis Wanted #5
  • (2) Mookie Betts Wanted #2
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. Wanted #9
  • Kevin Kiermaier Wanted #14
  • Christian Yelich Wanted #4
  • Mike Yastrzemski Wanted #11
  • Juan Soto Wanted #15
  • Christian Yelich Souvenirs #18
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. Souvenirs #24
  • (2) Javier Baez Souvenirs #7
  • (2) Alex Bregman Souvenirs #14
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Souvenirs #27
  • Mookie Betts Souvenirs #16
  • Rafael Devers Souvenirs #6
  • (2) Sixto Sanchez RC Art of the Game
  • Gleyber Torres Art of the Game
  • (2) Alec Bohm RC Art of the Game
  • Austin Meadows Art of the Game
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes RC Art of the Game
  • Shane Bieber Art of the Game
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. Defensive Wizards #10
  • (2) Francisco Lindor Defensive Wizards #5
  • Yadier Molina Defensive Wizards #7
  • Willson Contreras Defensive Wizards #15
  • Javier Baez Defensive Wizards #2
  • Cody Bellinger Defensive Wizards #13
  • Anthony Rizzo Defensive Wizards #9
  • Nolan Arenado Defensive Wizards #4
  • J.T. Realmuto Defensive Wizards #6
  • Matt Chapman Defensive Wizards #3

Card of the Day: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2021 Topps Update Series Big Head SSSP #224

Card of the Day: Jay Buhner 1997 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Big Shots #17

2020 Topps 582 Montgomery Club – Set #3 – BIG SURPRISE!

The third set of my 2020 Topps 582 Montgomery Club membership arrived in the mail, and it came with a welcomed surprise.  Along with the 20-card set, I received a rookie autograph of A.L. Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros.  I wasn’t expecting another autograph until the end of the year.

Set #3 is designed after the 1969 Topps Team Posters Test Issue.  Measuring 11.25″ x 19.75″, the 1969 Topps Team Posters Test Issue is one of the largest vintage items that Topps has ever produced.  Each poster comes with nine or ten players pictured on it.  Finding them in good condition can be quite difficult.  In order to fit into the packaging, they needed to be folded multiple times.  It was also common for people to pin/tape them to a wall.  Doing that would certainly cause some condition issues.

A variety of colors quickly catches your eye with this third installment.  Printed on vintage stock, these colors go all the way to the edges.  Very eye appealing.

Checklist:

  • Yordan Alvarez RC #1
  • Aristides Aquino RC #2
  • Jose Berrios #3
  • Bo Bichette RC #4
  • Gerrit Cole #5
  • Ken Griffey Jr. #6
  • Vladimir Guerrero #7
  • Eloy Jimenez #8
  • Gavin Lux RC #9
  • Dustin May RC #10
  • Brendan McKay RC #11
  • A.J. Puk RC #12
  • Austin Riley #13
  • Gary Sanchez #14
  • Max Scherzer #15
  • Nick Senzel #16
  • Noah Syndergaard #17
  • Mike Trout #18
  • Jordan Yamamoto RC #19
  • Mike Yastrzemski #20

Bowman Made It’s Big Comeback In 1989

The “COMEBACK EDITION!”.  That’s what it is labeled.  After Topps acquired Bowman during the mid-1950s, the Bowman brand of cards disappeared faster than a government discovered UFO.  From 1956 to 1988, you won’t find any Bowman labeled cards.  In 1989, Topps decided to bring Bowman back.  Que AC/DC’s Back In Black.

Over 30 years is a long time to go without a Bowman set.  When it returned, the set resembled 1953 Bowman Color.  Right down to the slightly larger card size.

This Bowman set looks nothing like the prospect/rookie filled products we see today.  It consists of (484) cards.  Only (46) of them are rookies.  The most notable rookie would be of Ken Griffey, Jr.  Gary Sheffield, Tino Martinez, and John Smoltz have rookies in here too.

Topps released this product around the All-Star break.  This allowed them to include rookies which had been called-up, and picture veterans in their new uniforms if they had been traded.  One of the hottest cards to pull at the time wasn’t even a rookie.  Collectors wanted the card of Nolan Ryan in his new Texas Rangers uniform.  Nolan Ryan left the Astros over a contract dispute, and found his way to Texas.  All of the other sets had him with Houston.

Outside of the base set, you’ll find one insert.  This 11-card set features reprints of famous vintage Bowman cards.  On the back of each insert are rules for a contest in which you could win an original version of the card pictured on the front.  The grand prize was a complete set of 1953 Bowman Color.

Complete boxes/sets of 1989 Bowman are readily available and quite affordable.  The high-end Tiffany versions are a different story.  These are limited to 6,000 sets (not a lot for the time), and can cost almost $1,000.

Product Highlight: 1991 Pennsylvania High School Big 33

Due to a decline in donations and an increasing amount of debt, the Big 33 Scholarship Foundation closed it’s doors after sixty years in 2017.  The annual football game it once sponsored is now under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association.

The Big 33 Football Classic began in 1957.  Its often been referred to as the Super Bowl of High School Football.  Some of the best high school players from Pennsylvania have taken on Ohio, Maryland, and Texas.  In the early years Pennsylvania would just play itself splitting up between east and west or blue and gray.  Between 1957 and 1960 Pennsylvania played against collected talent from around the nation.  Lots of famous football stars have played in the Big 33 game – Herb Adderley, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly.

Starting in 1991, they began to make team sets.  The Pennsylvania set contains (36) black and white cards.  Key cards include Ray Zellars, Curtis Martin, and Marvin Harrison.  All of these predate their NFL rookies.  It’s 1991 Maryland counterpart doesn’t really have any major cards worth talking about.  Any Big 33 card can make an interesting addition to your collection.  Later on, some sets included autographs.

During my senior year in high school, I received a Big 33 Academic Scholarship.  That included a trip to the 2004 Big 33 game in Hershey, PA.  A couple of players from that game made it to the NFL – Chad Henne, Brian Hoyer, Darrelle Revis, and Ted Ginn Jr.

Under The Tree: 1995 Gottlieb Big Hurt – The Pinball Game

Frank Thomas was the cover man for Big Hurt Baseball during the mid-90’s.  Big Hurt Baseball is a video game that was released for various consoles between 1995 and 1996.  The video games aren’t nearly as collectible as the pinball counterpart.

Gottlieb released a pinball version of Big Hurt Baseball in 1995 simply titled Big Hurt – The Pinball Game.  Just under 2,000 machines were produced, which according to pinball collectors isn’t many.  A small portion of them have been registered on the Internet Pinball Serial Number Database and the Pinball Owners Registry.  With Frank Thomas having a huge fan base, this machine is in high-demand.  Finding one that’s in excellent, fully working condition isn’t the easiest thing to do.  If you do find a complete example that functions properly, it’s going to cost into the thousands.  Roughly what a Frank Thomas 1990 Topps “No Name” rookie would set you back.  It would’ve been great if they could have incorporated one of those into this machine’s design.

You have to admit, a piece like this would make a great addition to any Frank Thomas collection.  Just as long as you have the money and space.  Even if you don’t have the money and/or space for one of these, collectors still buy loose parts for their collection.  It really wouldn’t surprise me if one day we see parts from one of these pinball games embedded into cards.

Game highlights include:

  • Roaring crowds
  • Play-by-play announcer
  • Moving baseball glove obstacle
  • (3) flippers
  • (2) pop bumpers
  • (2) slingshots
  • Drop targets
  • Captive ball
  • 4-ball multi-ball capability

If you woke up to one of these pinball machines on Christmas morning, your tree must have been huge.