2019 Topps High Tek Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Topps Tek made it’s debut to the world in 1998.  The various background patterns gave collectors what seemed like an endless amount of cards to collect.  Some of these patterns are much more difficult to obtain than others.  I’m sure there are collectors still attempting to finish their sets they started over twenty years ago.

I’m so happy that this brand got an overhaul compared to it’s recently revived predecessors.  Over the past few years trying to follow which patterns and parallels go with each player got a bit confusing.

What’s changed?  A lot.  Instead of getting (1) pack with (40) cards and (2) autographs, we now get (3) mini-boxes containing (6) cards and (1) autograph per mini-box.  Less cards, but more autographs.

Only (3) patterns highlight the base set.  There is a different pattern for rookies, current stars, and retired players.  Each have the same parallels.  In my opinion, this makes things so much easier.

The 2019 Topps High Tek base set consists of (112) cards.  Parallels that you can pull include White (1 per pack), Blue (1 per pack), Green #’ed/150, Purple #’ed/99, Pink #’ed/75, Black #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10, and Gold #’ed 1/1.

Autographs include High Tek Autographs, CelebraTEK Autographs, Future TEK Autographs, PortraiTEK Autographs, ReflecTEK Autographs, and TEK Buyback Autographs.

Inserts include CelebraTEK, Future TEK, PortraiTEK, and ReflecTEK.

I’m a sucker when it comes to on-card acetate autographs.  Not only is the 2019 format easier to follow, but for the same price as previous years you get an additional autograph.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Lance McCullers Jr. High Tek Red Auto #’ed/10
  • Brad Keller RC High Tek Purple Auto #’ed/99
  • Elvis Luciano RC High Tek Auto

Parallels

  • Mookie Betts Black #’ed/50
  • Miguel Cabrera Purple #’ed/99
  • Jacob deGrom Green #’ed/150
  • Jose Ramirez Blue
  • Jose Ramirez White
  • Touki Toussaint RC White

Base

  • Jose Ramirez #16
  • Anthony Rizzo #71
  • Justin Verlander #24
  • Paul Goldschmidt #108
  • Andrew Benintendi #6
  • Nolan Arenado #77
  • Derek Jeter #38
  • Christin Stewart RC #19
  • Javier Baez #72

2019 Topps Triple Threads Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

I’ve been a fan of Triple Threads since the days when they came packaged in those funky triangle boxes.  Remember those?  Every year while opening up my box of Triple Threads I’m reminded of my first experience with this product.  Its a story I tell with my box break and review each year.  I’ll continue to do it as long as this brand sticks around.

I opened my first pack of Triple Threads while attending the 2007 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.  This was my first National.  I purchased it from Dave & Adam’s Card World.  Taking that pack over to the food court and opening it up unveiled a Roger Clemens/Tom Seaver/Doc Gooden Triple Auto/Relic #’ed 1/1.  This is a memory that will stick in my head forever.  Isn’t capturing classic moments on cardboard while creating lifetime memories what collecting is all about?

The Triple Threads brand has been driven by relics and autographs since it’s birth in 2006.  2019 Topps Triple Threads continues that tradition.  Despite relics and autographs being the main focus, there is a base set to collect.  The latest Triple Threads set consists of (100) cards.  Parallels include Amethyst #’ed/299, Emerald #’ed/259, Amber #’ed/199, Gold #’ed/99, Citrine #’ed/75, Onyx #’ed/50, Sapphire #’ed/25, Ruby #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

Autographs include Base Rookies & Future Phenoms Autograph Relics, Rookie Autographs, Autograph Single Jumbo Relics, Triple Threads Autograph Relics, Triple Threads Autograph Relic Combo, 150 Years of Baseball Triple Autograph Relics, Pieces of the Game Autograph Relics, Jumbo Plus Autograph Relic Books, Letter Plus Autograph Relic Books, Windows into Greatness Autograph Relic Books, Deca Autograph Relic Books, Deca Autographed Relic Combo Books, Cut Above Cut Signatures, and Dual Cut Above Autograph Books.

Relics include Triple Threads Relics, Triple Threads Relics Combos, Triple Threads Single Jumbo Relics, 150 Years of Baseball Triple Relics, Pieces of the Game Relics, Windows into Greatness Relic Books, All-Star Patches, All-Star Jumbo ASG Patch Books, All-Star Jumbo Sleeve Team Patch Books, All-Star Laundry Tag Books, All-Star Majestic Logo Patches, Bat Nameplate Books, Bat Knob Books, Jumbo Plus Relic Books, Letter Plus Relic Books, Jumbo Letter/Number/Logo Books, Jumbo Patch Combo Books, and Deca Relic Combo Books.

Each master box of 2019 Topps Triple Threads comes with (2) mini-boxes.  Inside each mini-box you’ll find (2) hits.  A master box will cost a little over $200.

My box of Triple Threads really delivered some nice looking cards.  If a master box is too much of a risk for you, picking up singles on the secondary market might be you’re best option.  Remember, this hobby should be about having fun.  Open what you want to open.  Collect what you want to collect.  Don’t worry about what other people are pouring their money into.

If you’ve enjoyed Triple Threads in the past like I have, I believe you’ll have fun with it’s 2019 incarnation.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto/Relics

  • Lou Brock/Tim Raines/Rickey Henderson 150 Years of Baseball Triple Auto Relic #’ed/9
  • Zack Wheeler Auto Single Jumbo Relic Gold #’ed/25

Relics

  • Eric Hosmer Triple Threads Relics Gold #’ed/9
  • George Springer Triple Threads Single Jumbo Relic #’ed/36

Parallels

  • Bryce Harper Amber #’ed/199
  • Jacob deGrom Emerald #’ed/259
  • Trey Mancini Emerald #’ed/259
  • Trey Mancini Amethyst #’ed/299

Base

  • Cody Bellinger #17
  • Kris Bryant #26
  • Shohei Ohtani #87
  • Nolan Arenado #80
  • Trey Mancini #44
  • Jackie Robinson #50

2019 Topps Update Series Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Of the three flagship sets, I believe Topps Update Series is the biggest one collectors look forward to the most.  It features players in their new uniforms if they were recently traded, and newly called-up rookies.  I’m not one to think of modern-day sports cards as investments, but have you seen the price of last year’s Update Series?  With rookies of Juan Soto and Ronald Acuña Jr. those boxes have skyrocketed.  A sealed hobby box now goes for over $200, while jumbos have topped $300.  As I said, today’s cards shouldn’t be thought of as investments, but price increases can happen.  Just because 2018 Update Series has gone up in price doesn’t mean 2019 Update Series will.  Collect what you like, and don’t worry about the money.

2019 Topps Update Series consists of (300) cards.  Parallels include Purple (Meijer), 150th Anniversary (1:6 packs), Rainbow Foil (1:10 packs), Gold #’ed/2,019, Vintage Stock #’ed/99, Independence Day #’ed/76, Black #’ed/67 (Hobby/Jumbo), Mother’s Day Pink #’ed/50, Father’s Day Blue #’ed/50, Memorial Day Camo #’ed/25, Platinum #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.  (100) subjects have Clear (Hobby) parallels #’ed/10.

You can’t have a Topps flagship set without a few photo variations.  There are a bunch to look for.  Luckily they tend to be located near the center of the pack.  I tend to use the CMP codes:

  • Base – #010
  • SP Variation – #055
  • SSP Variation – #057

Autographs include 1984 Topps Baseball Autographs, Legacy of Baseball Autographs, 150 Years of Professional Baseball Autographs, Bryce Harper Highlights Autographs (Walmart only), Est. 1869 Autographs, Iconic Card Reprints Autographs, Shohei Ohtani Highlights Autographs (Target only), The Family Business Autographs, and Cut Signatures.

Autograph Relics include All-Star Stitches Autographs, All-Star Stitches Jumbo Patch Autographs, All-Star Stitches Dual Autographs, Topps Reverence Autograph Patch (Hobby/Jumbo), 150th Anniversary Manufactured Medallion Autographs (Hobby/Jumbo only), and 150th Anniversary Manufactured Patch Autographs (Relic Blaster only).

Relics include All-Star Stitches Relics, All-Star Stitches Jumbo Patch, All-Star Stitches Dual Relics, All-Star Stitches Triple Relics, Major League Material, Own The Name Nameplate Letter Relics (Hobby/Jumbo), 150th Anniversary Manufactured Medallion Relics (Hobby/Jumbo), and 150th Anniversary Manufactured Patch Relics.

Inserts include 150 Years of Professional Baseball, 1984 Topps Baseball, Bryce Harper Highlights (Walmart only), Est. 1869, Iconic Card Reprints, Perennial All-Stars (Retail only), Shohei Ohtani Highlights (Target only), The Family Business, All-Time Great Redemptions, and 1984 Oversized Box Loaders (Hobby/Jumbo).

One of the best things Topps did was insert the Silver Packs inside the actual box.  In the past these were meant to be handed out at hobby shops and online retailers.  Hobby boxes come with one, and jumbos are packed with two.  Having them packed inside the box guarantees that you’ll receive them.

A single hobby box will come with (1) hit.  That hit will most likely be a relic.  As you’ll see that wasn’t the case for me.  There are tons of high-end hits to pull, but Update Series has really become about the rookies.

Its time to say goodbye to the 2019 Topps Baseball flagship design.  2020 Topps Baseball Series 1 will be here before you know it.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Carter Kieboom 1984 Topps RC Red Parallel Auto #’ed/25

Silver Pack

  • Brendan Rodgers 1984 Topps RC Blue #’ed/150
  • Griffin Canning 1984 Topps RC
  • Rafael Devers 1984 Topps
  • Gary Sanchez 1984 Topps

Parallels

  • Matt Chapman ASG Independence Day #’ed/76
  • Miguel Cabrera 1984 Topps 150th Anniversary #’ed/150
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. Home Run Derby Rainbow Foil
  • Josh Donaldson Rainbow Foil
  • Shane Green ASG Gold #’ed/2019
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu ASG Gold #’ed/2019
  • Josh Naylor RC Gold #’ed/2019
  • Ian Kinsler 150th Anniversary
  • Kyle Bird RC 150th Anniversary
  • Josh Harrison 150th Anniversary
  • Walker Buehler ASG 150th Anniversary

Inserts

  • Ken Griffey, Jr. Iconic Card Reprints
  • Cecil Fielder The Family Business
  • Javier Baez 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Jackie Robinson 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Bert Blyleven 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Willie Mays 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Corbin Martin 1984 Topps
  • Nelson Cruz 1984 Topps
  • Adam Jones 1984 Topps
  • Willie Mays 1984 Topps
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1984 Topps
  • Paul Goldschmidt 1984 Topps

2019 Topps Clearly Authentic Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Within the last couple of weeks Topps has released two products which are configured similarly.  The first being 2019 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition and 2019 Topps Clearly Authentic.  If I were you, I’d spend the extra $10 on a box of Clearly Authentic.  After seeing the card I pulled from my box, and watching other breaks online, Clearly Authentic has been quite solid across the board.

At $56 per box its quite the gamble for just one card.  Then again, if all you’re doing this for is the money you’re not in this hobby for the right reason.  Its meant to be fun, not an investment tool.

Housed inside every box is (1) encased on-card autograph acetate card.  The product has a mix of current players, retired stars, and Hall of Famers.  All on classic card designs with an acetate twist.

Clearly Authentic Autographs (2019 Topps flagship design) – Green #’ed/99 (1:4), Black #’ed/75 (1:16), Red #’ed/50 (1:21), Blue #’ed/25 (1:39), Purple #’ed/10 (1:97), Orange #’ed/5 (1:193), and Gold #’ed 1/1 (1:1,024).

Clearly Authentic 1952 Reimagining Autographs – Sepia #’ed 1/1 (1:999).

Clearly Authentic 1984 Topps Baseball Autographs – Green #’ed/99 (1:28), Black #’ed/75 (1:32), Red #’ed/50 (1:46), Blue #’ed/25 (1:91), Purple #’ed/10 (1:222), Orange #’ed/5 (1:444), and Gold #’ed 1/1 (1:2,219).

Clearly Authentic 150 Years of Professional Baseball Autographs – Green #’ed/99 (1:52), Black #’ed/75 (1:42), Red #’ed/50 (1:63), Blue #’ed/25 (1:129), Purple #’ed/10 (1:339), Orange #’ed/5 (1:655), and Gold #’ed 1/1 (1:3,993).

Clearly Authentic T206 Autographs – Blue #’ed/25 (1:63), Purple #’ed/10 (1:101), Orange #’ed/5 (1:203), and Gold #’ed 1/1 (1:1,051).

I’ve had a lot of luck with this product.  Pulls from this product in the past include autographs of Don Mattingly and Jose Altuve.  This year certainly didn’t disappoint.

Its a quick-thrill with tons of rarities to find.  The Clearly Authentic brand is quickly becoming a popular release collectors look forward to.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Ronald Acuña Jr. Clearly Authentic Auto Black Parallel #’ed/75

2019 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

The MLB regular season is officially over.  Now the postseason begins.  My Phillies didn’t make it.  They finished the year 81-81.  Bryce Harper had a great season and was really fun to watch in a Phillies uniform.  That walk-off game winning grand slam against the Cubs was nuts.  This off season I would like to see them improve their pitching department.  That area drastically needs to be fixed.  Phillies’ batters would no sooner get some runs on the board and their pitchers would give them right back.  Very frustrating to watch.

2019 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball consists of (200) cards.  Parallels include Blue #’ed/99, Black #’ed/50, Flip Stock (1:108 packs), Gold #’ed/15 (1 per case), and Red #’ed 1/1.  An additional (20) Short Prints fall 1:6 packs and are #201-#220.

While ripping through those packs you need to keep an eye out for variations.  CMP codes can help.

  • Base – #636
  • Short Print – #650
  • Image Variation – #651
  • Missing Name Variation – #652

Top prospects such as Keibert Ruiz, Julio Pablo Martinez, Nolan Gorman, Casey Mize, Wander Franco, and Joey Bart have Autographed Image Variations #’ed/50.

Unlike the MLB versions of Heritage, the MiLB edition comes with an additional hit.  Every hobby box should have at least (1) on-card autograph, and (1) relic.

Autographs include Real One Autographs, Real One Dual Autographs, 1970 Mint Autograph Relic, Bazooka Autographs, Fresh on the Scene Autographs, and 1970 Topps Super Baseball Topper Autographs.

Relics include Clubhouse Collection Relics, and 1970 Mint Relics.

Inserts include Fantastic Feats, Fresh on the Scene, and 1970 Topps Super Baseball Toppers.

During the summer I attend about four MiLB games.  Usually on bobblehead nights.  Lots of fans have a great connection to that team in their backyard.  For me its the Williamsport Crosscutters, Harrisburg Senators, and State College Spikes.

This is the last product to utilize the 1970 Topps Baseball design.  Boxes aren’t that expensive.  A single hobby box should cost $60.

Lots of rookies and prospects in their MiLB uniforms.  MiLB is known for being gimmicky.  Crazy uniforms, mascots, giveaways, etc…  You see this a lot in Topps’ other MiLB product Pro Debut.  Heritage MiLB is a bit more serious, but still a lot of fun.

People like to say that cards of players in their MLB uniforms will always get more attention.  I think a statement like that is too general.  A mass-produced base card of a player in their MLB uniform probably wouldn’t be worth as much as one in their MiLB uniform if the MiLB card is a low-numbered parallel.  I think it all comes down to aspects like that.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Nate Pearson Clubhouse Collection Relic

Auto

  • Alek Thomas Real One Auto

Short Prints

  • Brady Singer #214
  • Seuly Matias #219

Parallel

  • Nick Madrigal Black #’ed/50

Inserts

  • Elehuris Montero Fresh on the Scene
  • Matthew Liberatore Fresh on the Scene
  • Kris Bubic Fresh on the Scene
  • Jonathan India Fresh on the Scene
  • Andrew Knizner Fantastic Feats
  • Luis Robert Fantastic Feats
  • Bryan Mata Fantastic Feats
  • Julio Pablo Martinez 1970 Topps Super Baseball Topper

2019 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Who’s going to be the next Babe Ruth?  The answer to that is fairly simple… nobody.  There will only ever be one Babe Ruth, and he passed away in 1948.  But it sure is fun to see certain players increase and decrease in popularity over the years.  In 2017 it was Aaron Judge.  2018 Shohei Ohtani.  2019 Pete Alonso.  Bunches of other players fall in between.  Who’s going to be the next mega-popular player collectors will be digging through their boxes to find?  That’s the one-million dollar question.

Bowman Chrome is the second prospecting pillar of the year to drop.  Every prospect-focused set has a core group of players which are in demand at the time of it’s release.  But over time those players can drop off the radar and new ones who nobody paid attention to at first can rise up.  That’s how prospecting goes.

2019 Bowman Chrome has (2) mini-boxes per master box.  Housed inside each mini-box are (6) packs.  Every mini-box should have (1) autograph.  That’s (2) autographs per master box.

Between the veterans, rookies, and prospects, you’re looking at a 200-card set.  The Base Bowman Chrome set has (100) cards.  Parallels include Refractor #’ed/499, Purple #’ed/250, Blue #’ed/150, Green #’ed/99, Gold #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/5, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.

Base Bowman Chrome Prospects makes up the other (100) cards.  Parallels include Refractor #’ed/499, Purple #’ed/250, Blue #’ed/150, Green #’ed/99, Gold #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/5, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.  Shimmer Refractors are also available in Green #’ed/99, Gold #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10, and Black #’ed/5.

Photo variations usually aren’t something you think about a lot when it comes to this brand, but there are (15) players who have them.  CMP codes with these photo variations end in #209.

Autographs include Rookie Image Variation Autographs, Bowman Chrome Prospects Autographs, Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs, 2018 Arizona Fall League AFL Fall Stars Autographs, 2018 Arizona Fall League MVP Autographs, Arizona Fall League Alumni Autographs, All-America Game Autographs, Elite Farmhands Autographs, Prime Autograph, and Stat Tracker Autographs.

Relics include 2018 Arizona Fall League AFL Fall Stars Relics, 2018 AFL Fall Stars Autograph Relics, and Chrome Autographed Relics.

Inserts include 2018 Arizona Fall League AFL Fall Stars, 2018 Arizona Fall League MVP Short Print, Arizona Fall League Alumni, Elite Farmhands, and Stat Tracker.

As always, Bowman Chrome is prospect and rookie heavy.  Some of these names might not ring a bell just yet, but someday in the future they could.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Sean Hjelle Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractor Auto #’ed/499
  • Sam Hentges Bowman Chrome Prospects Auto

Parallels

  • Eric Pardinho Bowman Chrome Prospects Purple Shimmer Refractor
  • Khris Davis Bowman Chrome Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • J.B. Bukauskas Bowman Chrome Prospects Blue Refractor #’ed/150

Inserts

  • Victor Victor Mesa Elite Farmhands
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars
  • Ryan McKenna 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars
  • Connor Scott Stat Tracker
  • Brady Singer Stat Tracker
  • Nick Madrigal Stat Tracker
  • Brice Turang Stat Tracker

What’s Inside A SportsCards.com Mystery Box?

SportsCards.com sells a variety of monthly subscription boxes, has an eBay Store, and their database allows you to see completed eBay auction listings long after they’re not visible directly on eBay anymore.  I received this box as a gift.

What was in this Mystery Box?

  • (1) pack of 2019 Leaf Draft Football
  • Fred Lynn 1976 Topps #50
  • Ty Cobb – A Word From – Sample Card
  • Marquese Chriss 2016-17 Donruss Newly Crowned Relic
  • Buck Leonard 1978 Grand Slam #36 BGS Authentic Auto