2017 Topps Pro Debut Baseball Box Break & Review

Tim Tebow is a marketing machine.  The way collectors eat up his cards is mind blowing.  He never gives up and will forever be cemented into pop culture.  His name is catchy too.  It almost sounds like a superhero – Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Susan Storm, Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, Stephen Strange, and Tim Tebow.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact his first and last name both start with the same letter.

Topps makes two MiLB products per year.  I believe they have to as part of their agreement with Major League Baseball.  Those two products would be Pro Debut and Heritage Minors.  With the Mets giving Tim Tebow a contract, Topps jumped at the opportunity to make his first MiLB licensed card.  Tim Tebow had baseball cards prior to the one found in Pro Debut, but none of them received this kind of attention.  The media was all over this card.  Its great to see the hobby get such widespread positive media coverage for once.  Topps made the excellent decision not to overproduce the card either.  They made it one of the most difficult cards to pull.  Although it looks like a regular base card, it is anything but that.  You’d almost need to open (500) packs just to find one.  Treating as if it were a normal card would have driven the price way down.  At it’s height, prices reached $400.  Since this product’s release, prices have calmed down to around $150.

Baseball can be very gimmicky at times.  This is very true when it comes to the minor leagues.  With inserts such as Ben’s BizFragments of the Farm RelicsPromo Night Uniforms, and Promo Night Uniforms RelicsPro Debut really taps into the cool things minor league baseball does in order to bring fans to the ballpark.  For me, its fun to see cards of the Williamsport Crosscutters in here.  Local MiLB teams have die-hard followings.  Shortly after this product came out, I purchased a Fragments of the Farm Williamsport Crosscutters parking lot banner relic.  I remember seeing these banners last summer.  Its this type of connectivity that draws collectors to this brand.  Being able to connect a memory with a card can make all the difference.

The 2017 Topps flagship design carries over to Pro Debut.  (200) cards make up the base set.  Parallels include Green #’ed/99, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10, and Black #’ed/1.  Photo variations are kept at a minimum.  The CMP code for variations ends in #4214, versus base cards with #4204.  These too have Black parallels #’ed/1.

Of all the Pro Debut releases, 2017 has gotten the most attention thanks to Tim Tebow.  This year’s set had a fairly low print run.  Fun break!

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Kyle Lewis Auto
  • Patrick Weigel Auto Green Parallel #’ed/99

Relics

  • Columbus Clippers Fragments of the Farm Game-Used Base from Huntington Park
  • Riley Pint Pennant Patch Red Parallel #’ed/10

Parallels

  • Ben Bowden Red Parallel #’ed/10
  • Austin Meadows Green Parallel #’ed/99
  • Jen-Ho Tseng Green Parallel #’ed/99

Inserts

  • Promo Night Uniforms – 50 Seasons In Reading Night
  • Promo Night Uniforms – Home Improvement Night
  • Promo Night Uniforms – Top Gun Night
  • Promo Night Uniforms – Hockey Jersey Night
  • Ben’s Biz – The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor #4
  • Ben’s Biz – Erik The Peanut Guy #2
  • Ben’s Biz – Todd “Parney” Parnell #13
  • In The Wings – Dylan Cozens
  • In The Wings – Ozzie Albies
  • In The Wings – Gleyber Torres

Notable Base

  • Cody Bellinger #145
  • Nick Senzel #150
  • Clint Frazier #174
  • Gleyber Torres #124
  • Ian Happ #24

2017 Leaf Babe Ruth Immortal Collection Box Break & Review

Leaf is known for creating some fun niche products.  Sometimes these products will return year after year, while others will be a one time event.  Brian Gray and his team over at Leaf are very in tune with what collectors enjoy.  I’d say that they’re one of the most flexible companies in the industry.  The way they can create cards for collectors at the height of a pop culture moment is truly astonishing.

Even if you’re not a baseball fan, its almost impossible for you not to know who Babe Ruth is.  Its Babe Ruth for crying out loud.  A perfect example of the type of niche products they make would be 2017 Leaf Babe Ruth Immortal Collection.  For around $200 per box you get (2) base, (2) original Yankee Stadium seat relics, and (2) Babe Ruth game-used bat relics.  One bat piece will be from a Yankees bat, and the other from a Boston bat.

Where this product really shines is in the design and photography.  All cards are printed on thick white card stock.  They contain just a titch of foil to distinguish between the parallels.  What stands out to me are the photographs.  Seeing that Leaf doesn’t have a license to use MLB team names and/or logos, you won’t find the words “Yankees” or “Red Sox” on any of these cards.  I usually stay away from unlicensed products, but given the wide variety of photos Leaf used you almost forget about it.  Sure, there are tons of pictures in here of Babe Ruth playing baseball.  Its the photos of him doing other things that make these cards stand out.  My favorite is the one of him signing a baseball.  Others show him playing football, boxing, fishing, and golfing.

Major “hits” include a cut signature, bat barrel, and bat knob.  Depending on which part of the bat the piece is from can have a drastic increase in price.  Bat relics numbered 1/1 seem to almost pay for the box itself.  Collectors have been spending big money on the redemptions.

Here is what I pulled:

Relics

  • Babe Ruth Game-Used Boston Bat Redemption Purple #’ed 1/1
  • Babe Ruth #37 Game-Used New York Bat #’ed/20
  • Babe Ruth #41 Original Yankee Stadium Seat Red #’ed/20
  • Babe Ruth #44 Original Yankee Stadium Seat #’ed/50

Base

  • Babe Ruth #43 #’ed/50
  • Babe Ruth #45 Red #’ed/20

2017 Topps Tier One Box Break & Review

Don’t you hate it when you keep pulling cards of that amazing rookie?  This dude Aaron Judge keeps following me.  I guess there could be worse problems to have 🙂  I’ve never pulled so many cards of a hot rookie in my life.  My jaw literally dropped after opening this box.  Another awesome pull from a Topps product.

Tier One doesn’t mess around with base cards, short prints, and photo variations.  It gets straight to the point quickly.  Boxes are on the high-end costing about $140.  Inside each box you should find (2) autographs and (1) relic.  Some boxes will come with a bonus “hit”.

Given that there really isn’t a base set, 2017 Topps Tier One is broken down into the following areas:

  • Tier One Autographs
  • Dual Autographs
  • Triple Autographs
  • Break Out Autographs
  • Clear One Autographs
  • Cut Signature
  • Cut Signature Relics
  • Prime Performers Autographs
  • Prodigious Patches
  • Prodigious Patches Autographs
  • Signature Tools Autographed Relics
  • Tier One All-Star Patches
  • Tier One Bat Knobs
  • Tier One Autographed Bat Knobs
  • Tier One Limited Lumber
  • Tier One Autographed Limited Lumber
  • Tier One Relics
  • Tier One Legends Relics
  • Tier One Autographed Relics
  • Tier One Dual Autographed Booklet Relics

For the most part, autographs are on-card.  Cards signed in paint pen continue to be my favorite.  All of these cards look really great.  Many products on the market today are high risk and reward.  Tier One is probably at the top of that list.  The 2017 rookie class is packed with fantastic players.  Some of the best we’ve seen in years.  Box prices this year are reflecting that.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Aaron Judge Break Out RC Auto #’ed/140
  • Mark Mulder Prime Performers Auto #’ed/300

Relics

  • Albert Pujols Tier One Jersey #’ed/331
  • Luke Weaver Tier One Jersey #’ed/331

2017 Topps Museum Collection Box Break & Review

And the luck continues…

Museum Collection has and always will be the typical product that I enjoy opening.  That certainly goes for 2017, especially after you see the awesome cards that I pulled.  Every box contains (4) mini-boxes each housing a “hit”.  Inside you should find at least (1) on-card autograph, (1) autograph relic, (1) quad relic, and (1) jumbo relic.

Although this is a heavily “hit” driven product, there is a base set to collect.  The base set consists of (100) cards covering rookies, current stars, and legends.  Parallels include:

  • Copper/Gold
  • Sapphire Blue #’ed/150
  • Amethyst Purple #’ed/99
  • Ruby Red #’ed/50
  • Emerald Green #’ed/1

Outside of the base set, there is only one insert – Canvas Collection Reproductions.  These mimic the original Canvas Collection sketches found within the product.  If you can’t afford the original sketch or don’t want to wait for it to popup, the reproductions look great in any collection.  Both Aaron Judge and Alex Bregman have rookies in here.  In addition to the original sketches, a select group of players also have autograph sketches.  Talk about some sweet looking cards.  Between Canvas Collection Original Autographs and Gypsy Queen Original Art Patches, its only a matter of time until we see booklets featuring original sketches, jumbo patches, and autographs.  Those would be cool to see someday.

Like I mentioned before, the “hits” are what totally drive this product.  The patches and on-card autographs are amazing.  I really like the Premium Prints Autographs and Museum Framed Autographs.  Pieces featuring dark backgrounds with autographs in paint pen are slick looking.

Fans of the 2017 World Baseball Classic have been finding the first relic cards from that event in here.  Allen & Ginter and Dynasty will also contain WBC relics.  Those uniforms can create some insane patches.

Overall, my box was a blast to open.  Box prices are around $210.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto/Relic

  • Francisco Lindor Single Player Signature Swatches Dual Relic Auto Redemption

Auto

  • Roy Oswalt Archival Autographs #’ed/99

Relics

  • Joc Pederson Momentous Material Emerald Green Laundry Tag MLB Logo Patch #’ed/1
  • Joey Votto/Adam Duvall/Brandon Phillips/Billy Hamilton Primary Pieces Gold Quad Patch #’ed/25
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu Meaningful Material Copper Patch #’ed/35

Parallels

  • Freddie Freeman Amethyst Purple #’ed/99
  • Edwin Encarnacion Sapphire Blue #’ed/150
  • Josh Donaldson Copper/Gold
  • Jose Altuve Copper/Gold

Insert

  • Giancarlo Stanton Canvas Collection Reproduction

Notable Base

  • Alex Bregman RC #94
  • Yulieski Gurriel RC #99
  • Jackie Robinson #66

2017 Topps Series 2 Baseball Box Break & Review

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I’ve had a fairly good string of luck lately when it comes to Topps products.  Between 2016 Bowman’s Best2017 Topps Series 1, and 2017 Topps Finest I’ve pulled some amazing cards.  Oh!  I can’t forget about 2016 Bowman Draft too.  Now let us dive deep into a hobby box of 2017 Topps Series 2.  Will the luck continue?  SPOILER ALERT!  It does.

2017 Topps Series 2 picks up right where Series 1 ended.  It adds another (350) cards to the base set.  Many of the same parallels return from Series 1.

  • Purple (Toys “R” Us exclusive)
  • Rainbow Foil
  • Negative
  • Gold #’ed/2017
  • Vintage Stock #’ed/99
  • Black #’ed/66
  • Mother’s Day Hot Pink #’ed/50
  • Father’s Day Powder Blue #’ed/50
  • Memorial Day #’ed/25
  • Clear #’ed/10
  • Platinum #’ed/1
  • Printing Plates #’ed/1

As expected, photo variations play a large role.  They aren’t the easiest cards to pull, but its fun when you do get one.  All you need to do in order to figure out whether you found one is to check the small CMP code on the back.  Base cards end in #3535 while variations end in #3587.  Its very important that you check for these.  Photo variations can easily be a bigger “hit” in your box compared to that guaranteed relic or autograph.  I’m sure there are plenty of missed photo variations just sitting in collector’s base card boxes.

If you’re a fan of inserts, this product is perfect for you.  I pulled a total of (43) regular inserts out of a standard (36) pack hobby box.  A majority of them have their share of parallels, relics, and autographs you can find.  The 30th anniversary celebration of 1987 Topps Baseball carries over into Series 2.  Topps has used countless of retro designs for their products, but this classic wood grain look is a real favorite.  Memorable Moments are cool, especially the card that commemorates the first Topps baseball set from 1951.  Historical references to the hobby’s beginnings depicted on cardboard is always educational to see.

Overall, my box was absolutely fantastic given the real nice parallel that I found.  It was waiting in the last pack.  This guy Aaron Judge just keeps following me.  2017 Topps Series 2 is mainly geared towards set collectors, but the high-end pulls are amazing.  With Aaron Judge keeping box prices on the rise, this product is one of the more affordable options.  Jumbos are more expensive, but contain more “hits”.

This is one of the best flagship brand boxes I’ve ever opened.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Buster Posey Major League Material Jersey

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Parallels

  • Aaron Judge 1987 Topps RC Red #’ed/25
  • Brian Dozier Black #’ed/66
  • Koji Uehara Gold #’ed/2017
  • Jay Bruce Gold #’ed/2017
  • Tyler Thornburg Gold #’ed/2017
  • David Price Gold #’ed/2017
  • Ryan Pressly Gold #’ed/2017
  • James Loney Rainbow Foil
  • Jeff Samardzija Rainbow Foil
  • Michael Conforto Rainbow Foil

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Inserts

  • Bob Costas MLB Network #11
  • Ben Gibbaro First Pitch #25
  • Ty Pennington First Pitch #34
  • Tom Lehman First Pitch #38
  • Danny Willett First Pitch #39
  • Ted Lilly 2006 Topps Rediscover Topps Silver Foil #336
  • Junior Noboa 1988 Topps Rediscover Topps Bronze Foil #503
  • Jeff Newman 1978 Topps Rediscover Topps Blue Foil #458
  • Erik Hanson 1989 Topps Traded Rediscover Topps Gold Foil #45T
  • Marvell Wynne 1990 Topps Rediscover Topps Bronze Foil #256
  • Gene Harris 1989 Topps Traded Rediscover Topps Bronze Foil #46T
  • Frank Thomas Salute #168
  • Renato Nunez Salute #188
  • Tim Raines Salute #159
  • Gregory Polanco Salute #198
  • Yoan Moncada Salute #114
  • Tim Anderson Salute #139
  • George Brett Salute #163
  • Jacoby Jones Salute #138
  • Brian Dozier Salute #143
  • Justin Verlander Major League Milestones #14
  • Jose Bautista Major League Milestones #5
  • Corey Seager Major League Milestones #6
  • Adrian Gonzalez Major League Milestones #4
  • Kris Bryant Major League Milestones #17
  • Ichiro Memorable Moments #45
  • Roger Maris Memorable Moments #7
  • Bo Jackson Memorable Moments #18
  • Derek Jeter Memorable Moments #24
  • Reggie Jackson Memorable Moments #41
  • Mark McGwire Memorable Moments #14
  • Ty Cobb Memorable Moments #32
  • Ted Williams Memorable Moments #9
  • Nolan Ryan Memorable Moments #27
  • Rob Zastryzny 1987 Topps RC #170
  • Cal Ripken Jr. 1987 Topps All-Star #108
  • Corey Kluber 1987 Topps All-Star #138
  • Chris Sale 1987 Topps All-Star #145
  • Jorge Alfaro 1987 Topps RC #151
  • George Brett 1987 Topps All-Star #174
  • Francisco Lindor 1987 Topps All-Star #133
  • Raimel Tapia 1987 Topps RC #122
  • Bryce Harper 1987 Topps All-Star #172

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2017 Topps Finest Baseball Box Break & Review

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Its difficult to imagine a time when refractors weren’t part of the hobby.  Virtually every product today has a certain amount of parallels to collect.  Topps changed everything in 1993 with their first Finest Baseball set.  Products from that era for the most part don’t carry much value today.  Boxes of ’93 Finest Baseball are one of the rare exceptions.  People are willing to spend $500-$600 for a single box.  That’s quite a lot considering there are no autographs, relics, and only one level of refractor you can pull.

Topps switched 2017 Finest Baseball back to the normal distribution method compared to the online only version of last year.  The complete set consists of (125) cards with numbers (101-125) being short prints.  Parallels include:

  • Refractor
  • Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Superfractor #’ed/1

Autograph parallels include:

  • Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/25
  • Red Wave Refractor #’ed/25
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Superfractor #’ed/1

Inserts are plentiful, but not overly done.  We’ve got ’94-’95 Finest Basketball Recreates, Finest Breakthroughs, David Ortiz Finest Careers Die-Cuts, Finest Finishes Autographs, Finest Firsts, and Finest Originals Buyback Autographs.  Parallels and autographs can all be found, except for the buybacks.  The buybacks don’t have parallels, just autographs.

I think my favorite looking cards are the ’94-’95 Finest Basketball Recreates and Finest Breakthroughs inserts.  Especially when it comes to the parallels.  It was a neat idea for Topps to use that classic ’94-’95 Topps Finest Basketball design for baseball cards.

After seeing what I pulled from my box, you’ll agree it was extremely good.  I’m still in a state of shock.  This was one of the greatest boxes I’ve ever opened.  Boxes of 2017 Topps Finest Baseball are currently selling for $140.  A majority of baseball products are running high right now because of Aaron Judge’s popularity.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Aaron Judge Blue Wave Refractor RC Auto #’ed/25
  • Rob Segedin RC Auto

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Short Print

  • Corey Kluber #120

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Parallels

  • Yu Darvish Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Jorge Alfaro Green Refractor RC #’ed/99
  • Chris Sale Refractor #38
  • Corey Seager Refractor #25
  • Stephen Strasburg Refractor #49
  • Dansby Swanson Refractor RC #32

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Inserts

  • Bryce Harper Breakthroughs
  • Anthony Rizzo Breakthroughs
  • Willson Contreras Breakthroughs
  • Aledmys Diaz Breakthroughs
  • Ichiro ’94-’95 Finest Basketball Recreates
  • Bryce Harper ’94-’95 Finest Basketball Recreates
  • Dansby Swanson Finest Firsts RC

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Notable Rookies

  • Alex Bregman RC #89
  • Dansby Swanson RC #32
  • Andrew Benintendi RC #66
  • Aaron Judge RC #2

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2017 Topps Archives Baseball Box Break & Review

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Retro designs are used throughout many different products today.  Archives has and always will be at the top of that list.  For 2017 Archives, Topps has channeled designs from 1960, 1982, and 1992.  Fun facts about those years include Domino’s Pizza being founded in 1960, the Commodore 64 launching in 1982, and President George H.W. Bush barfed into the lap of Japan’s Prime Minister in 1992.  We won’t find cards commemorating those events in here, but it sure would be fun if we did.

The base set consists of (300) cards.  (100) cards are devoted to the 1960, 1982, and 1992 designs.  Parallels include Peach #’ed/199, Light Blue #’ed/75, Soft Red #’ed/25, and Black #’ed/1.  In addition to those, the 1960, 1982, and 1992 subsets each have something extra to keep an eye out for.  Cards in the 1960 design can have grey backs versus the standard white.  1982 cards can be found without the facsimile signatures – “No Signature”.  The 1992 cards are the easiest to spot because they contain gold foil with the word “Winner” printed on the front.  Photo variations play a big part too.  Luckily Topps made them easy to spot by checking the code on the back.  Base cards end in #2782, whereas photo variations end in #2799.

Derek Jeter has a huge presence within Archives this time around.  They come in the form of reprinted Retrospective cards.  All have their respectful foil parallels and very low numbered autographs.  Three of these cards are short print “hits” – 1993, 2007, and 2015 designs.

The best part of Archives are the autographs.  It is jam packed with on-card autograph goodness.  You’ll find autographs of Hall of Famers and current stars.  Archives is known for having a unique selection of niche players each year.  These players may not be worthy of the Hall of Fame, but they’re retired after having long careers in baseball.  For many, this could very well be the only time they get an autographed card.  One of these years I’d like to see former Phillies pitcher Larry Andersen included in this set.  He’d fit the mold perfectly.

99.9999% of the cards found in 2017 Archives are baseball related.  A few lucky collectors will find autographs of actor Gene Hackman.  These come in the form of buybacks from the original 1978 Topps Superman set.  As cool as these look, you should be careful when buying one on the secondary market.  Buybacks usually come with some type of foil stamp indicating that it was reissued by Topps.  These do not.  That could make it easier for someone to counterfeit.  Topps only got Gene Hackman to sign certain Lex Luther cards from that set.  Depending on the card, Topps only had him use blue or silver pen.  Pulling one directly from the pack is the best way to know if its authentic.  This is probably why his 2017 Topps Series 1 Hoosier autograph is selling for more.

With a cost of around $125 right now for a hobby box, retail blasters might be more up some collector’s alley.  Blasters also contain exclusive coins.

On a side note, I totally agree with Sport Card Collectors.  If guys like Zack Hample and Skip Bayless can get cards, it would be awesome to see some cards made for sports card bloggers.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Dave Magadan
  • John Smiley

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Parallels

  • Danny Duffy “No Signature” #180
  • Rick Porcello Light Blue #’ed/75
  • Mookie Betts Peach #’ed/199
  • Ian Desmond Peach #’ed/199

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Inserts

  • Yoan Moncada 1959 Bazooka #18
  • Sandy Koufax 1959 Bazooka #17
  • Carlos Correa 1959 Bazooka #1
  • Francisco Lindor 1959 Bazooka #9
  • Derek Jeter Retrospective #2
  • Derek Jeter Retrospective #22
  • Orlando Arcia 2017 Rookie Star #2
  • Yoan Moncada 2017 Rookie Star #1
  • Miguel Cabrera Retro Original #18
  • Jake Arrieta Retro Original #7

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