(2) 2020 Onyx Vintage Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Onyx Vintage Baseball makes it’s return for a second year in a row.  The 2020 version packs even a bigger punch compared to the 2019 set.  Upon viewing the checklist you’ll notice the main focus is on rookies and prospects.  But current stars, retired players, and even Hall of Famers can be found.

Packaged inside each hobby box is (1) pack.  That (1) pack contains (4) cards – (2) on-card autographs and (2) base.  Very quick and to the point.

The base set consists of (32) cards – Wander Franco, Gleyber Torres, Nolan Ryan, etc…

Autographs come in a variety of parallels – Base Blue Ink #’ed/200, Green Ink #’ed/50, Red Ink #’ed/25, and Black Ink #’ed/5.  I think its important to note that these cards don’t have the actual serial numbers stamped on them.  Please be aware of the signature’s ink color before selling, trading, or buying.

Ichiro Suzuki, Randy Johnson, and Nolan Ryan are each Blue Ink Autograph Short Prints.

Ornate-looking prospect and rookie autographs offer a more difficult pull.  Blue Ink versions of these are #’ed/30.  Parallels include Green Ink #’ed/15, Red Ink #’ed/5, and Black Ink #’ed 1/1.

(24) boxes come in a case.  As an interesting case-hit, one of those boxes will contain a redemption for a graded rookie card from the past.  So far I’ve seen rookies pulled of Randy Johnson, Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn, and Bert Blyleven.

Only about $50 per box.

A high-end version called Onyx Premium Vintage is scheduled to release this summer.  Thicker card stock.  More on-card autographs.  New signers.

In 2019 Onyx teamed-up with Futera to bring collectors Onyx/Futera Unique Prospects & Legends.  Collaborations like this don’t happen very often in the hobby today.  2020 sees Onyx working with Super Break.  Inside Super Break’s 2020 Deluxe Edition Baseball there are special Onyx Vintage autograph parallels.  Wander Franco, Gleyber Torres, and Ronald Acuña Jr. are the autograph subjects.  Each has a version #’ed/10, #’ed/5, and a 1/1.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Mason Martin Green Ink #’ed/50
  • Ronny Mauricio Blue Ink #’ed/200
  • Jean Casanova Blue Ink #’ed/200

Case Hit

  • 1989 Upper Deck BGS Graded Randy Johnson Rookie Redemption

Base

  • Ichiro Suzuki
  • Ronny Mauricio
  • Gavin Lux
  • Alek Manoah

Pin Highlight: Lawrence Taylor vs. Joe Theismann – Spring-Loaded Leg Break Pin

Monday Night Football.  November 18, 1985.  Redskins vs. Giants.  Football historians remember this game all because of one play.  Washington’s quarterback Joe Theismann was sacked by linebacker Lawrence Taylor.  While falling to the ground, Taylor’s knee drove right into Theismann’s lower right leg.  As you can imagine, Theismann’s leg snapped like a twig.  The compound fracture forced him to retire at age 36.  Even though Taylor has apologized numerous times, Theismann has never blamed him for the career ending injury.

Little to no officially licensed merchandise depicting this iconic injury can be found.  Its not uncommon for cards to feature both players.  Photos of the play are the main item you’ll find.

Many years ago I came across this pin on eBay.  There are no team names/logos, player names, or anything to officially connect the Giants, Redskins, Lawrence Taylor, or Joe Theismann to it.  But just looking at it we all know what’s going on.  The player who is suppose to be Joe Theismann even has a spring-loaded leg to recreate the classic break.

Who made this pin?  How many were made?  Who distributed them?  These are all great questions.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers.  This is the only one I’ve seen.

2020 Topps Heritage Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set/On-card autograph aficionados

In the words of Darth Vader – “You don’t know the power of the dark side.”  We all knew this day was coming.  It was only a matter of time until the 1971 Topps Baseball design came around to be used for Heritage.  I love this design.  Its one of my favorite vintage sets.  With those dark black borders it makes it one of the most condition sensitive sets of all time.  Key cards from the original set include Hall of Famers such as Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Reggie Jackson, Brooks Robinson, Thurman Munson, Roberto Clemente, and Johnny Bench to name a few.  Guys like Dusty Baker, Steve Garvey, Ted Simmons, and Bert Blyleven all have their rookies in the ’71 Topps Baseball set.

A hobby box will yield (24) packs with (9) cards per pack.  Each box comes with (1) relic or (1) autograph.  A box topper should also be awaiting you on top of the packs.

2020 Topps Heritage consists of a whopping (500) cards.  The last (100) #401-#500 are SPs.  Parallels include Flip Stock (Hobby) #’ed/5, and White #’ed/50 (Hobby).  Traditionally, Black Border cards are #’ed/50 but given the base set already has a black border Topps needed to switch that parallel to another color.  (350) cards have French Text parallels.  (132) cards have Mini parallels #’ed/100.  (100) have Chrome parallels which can be broken down into Purple Hot Box (Hobby/Blaster), Refractor #’ed/571, White #’ed/71, Gold #’ed/5 (Hobby), and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.

Photo variations play a major role in many Topps products.  For some reason I always get the feeling that the ones found in Heritage command more demand.  Its amazing to see the amount of money a collector is willing to pay for a variation compared to an autograph of that same player from the exact product.  I heavily advise checking for them.  You can use the CMP code or as it is the case with Heritage many variation types are printed right on the back.

  • Base – #13
  • Base SP – #27
  • French Text – #40
  • Error – #44
  • Missing Signature – #45
  • Throwback – #46
  • Action Image – #47
  • Silver Team Name – #48
  • Nickname – #49

Autographs include Real One Autographs, Real One Dual Autographs, Real One Triple Autographs, Senators Final Season Autographs, and Cut Signatures.

Autograph Relics include Clubhouse Collection Autograph Relics, Clubhouse Collection Dual Autograph Relics, and Flashbacks Autograph Relics.

Relics include Clubhouse Collection Relics, Clubhouse Collection Dual Relics, Clubhouse Collection Triple Relics, Clubhouse Collection Quad Relics, 1971 Mint Relics, and 1971 U.S. Postage Stamp Relics.

Inserts include 20 Giants Seasons, 20 Giants Seasons Buybacks, 1971 Bazooka Numbered Test Minis, 1971 Topps Play Baseball Scratch-Off, 1971 Topps Baseball Tattoos (Retail), Baseball Flashbacks, New Age Performers, News Flashbacks, Then and Now, and 2020 MLB Sticker Collection Previews.

Box Toppers include 1971 Topps Greatest Moments, 1971 Topps Super Baseball, 1971 Topps Super Baseball Autographs, and 1971 Topps Originals.

My favorite cards remain the Real One Autographs.  Combining on-card autographs with a treasure trove of classic Topps designs is a winner in my book.

Heritage has a lot of depth to it.  There are tons of really rare hits that you could pull, but that shouldn’t be the #1 reason for busting a box.  A Clubhouse Collection Relic is most likely going to be your hit.  You might have to open a few boxes to even find an autograph.  Take your time in opening it.  Know what to look for, and don’t rush.  This is one of the most nostalgic sets of the year.  Enjoy the card collecting experience.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Daniel Vogelbach Clubhouse Collection Relic

Chrome

  • Carlos Santana Chrome Refractor #’ed/571

Variation

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. Action Image #437

SPs

  • DJ Lemahieu #415
  • Alex Verdugo #459
  • Michael Brantley #425
  • Elvis Andrus #401
  • Daniel Vogelbach #461
  • Kyle Schwarber #409
  • Hunter Dozier #487
  • J.D. Martinez #423

Inserts

  • Willie Stargell/Pete Alonso Then & Now
  • Max Fried New Age Performers
  • Bo Bichette RC New Age Performers
  • 20 Giants Seasons – Willie Mays #17
  • 20 Giants Seasons – Willie Mays #20
  • D.B. Cooper Disappears After Hijacking – News Flashbacks ’71
  • Tom’s As Terrific As Ever vs. Pirates – Baseball Flashbacks ’71
  • Carew Embarks on Epic Tear to Hit .300 – Baseball Flashbacks ’71

Box Topper

  • Jim Palmer – 1971 Topps Greatest Moments

Notable Rookies

  • Bo Bichette/Anthony Kay #52
  • Dustin May/Gavix Lux #188
  • Brendan McKay/Mike Brosseau #161
  • Austin Nola/Kyle Lewis/Justin Dunn #391

2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set/New Rookie Card Hunters

A new baseball season is upon us.  The trucks are being unloaded.  The bubble gum is ready to be chewed.  The players are arriving.  Spring Training gives teams the opportunity to stretch their legs, and showcase some of their young talent.  Who’s going to be the surprise stars?  Which prospects will get the call to the big leagues?  Who’s going to the World Series?  These are all questions which will be answered in the coming months.  One thing is for sure.  Topps will be there to cover it all.

2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball kicked-off with a Million Card Rip Party at AT&T Stadium.  Some of the best and well respected group/box breakers in the hobby gathered together for a massive Rip Party.  The party went late into the night until one million cards had been opened.

2019 National League Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso arrived to open the first pack.  Topps even had specially made Pete Alonso autograph cards for the event’s participants.  These feature the 2020 Topps flagship design, are serial numbered to (100) copies, and have the Topps Million Card Rip Party logo in the upper-right corner.

Throughout this historic event Topps interviewed Pete Alonso and various other breakers.  When you’re opening that many boxes some awesome cards are bound to be pulled.  Chris Justice of Cards Infinity pulled an insane Mike Trout/Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball Stars Dual Autograph #’ed/5.

A lot of collectors have been eagerly awaiting this latest Topps flagship set.  Aristides Aquino, Gavin Lux, Bo Bichette, and Yordan Alvarez are just some of the players who have their first RC logo cards in here.  Yordan Alvarez has both the RC logo and Gold Cup logo on his base rookie.  That’s something you don’t see often.

Inside a hobby box such as this you’ll find (24) packs with (14) cards per pack.  The second you open the box you’ll be greeted with a special Silver Pack.  Housed inside that pack are 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Chrome cards.  If you’re lucky you might pull a parallel or autograph.

The base set consists of (350) cards.  Parallels include: Yellow (Walgreens), Purple (Meijer), Rainbow (1:10), Gold Foil (1:2 Jumbo), Gold #’ed/2020, Advanced Stat #’ed/300, Vintage Stock #’ed/99, Independence Day #’ed/76, Black #’ed/69 (Hobby/Jumbo), Mother’s Day Hot 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) cards have Clear parallels #’ed/10.

It wouldn’t be a flagship set without photo variations.  There are tons to look for.  Over (100) to be exact.  I’ve always found checking the CMP codes to be the most efficient way in identifying them.

  • Base – #269
  • SP – #284
  • SSP – #285

Technically considered a parallel compared to a photo variation, the CMP code for the Advanced Stat cards end in #283 and are #’ed/300.

Many of the photos used for the base set are quite fun.  Some look as if they’ed be used in Stadium Club.

The hobby box format comes with (1) autograph or relic.  Jumbos guarantee (2) relics and (1) autograph.

I’m happy to see Turkey Red make a comeback as retail exclusive inserts.  You can even find Chrome Turkey Red cards.  Mixing the artistic filter with chrome technology was a wise choice.

Another new thing I like are the Rookie Card Retrospective RC Logo Medallion Manufactured Relics.  Little RC logo medallions are embedded into classic Topps rookie card reprints.  They just look really cool.

Topps knows that collectors enjoy special experiences.  Lucky collectors can pull certificates for the “Celebration of the Decades” event.  According to Topps, “Winners will be invited to an exclusive experiential event that will be talked about for decades!”

The 2020 baseball card collecting season has begun!

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Rhys Hoskins 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Relic

1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Chrome Silver Pack

  • Jesus Luzardo RC
  • Dustin May RC
  • Kris Bryant
  • Whit Merrifield

Parallels

  • Randy Johnson Topps Choice Black #’ed/299
  • Yuli Gurriel Advanced Stat #’ed/300
  • Anthony Rendon Gold #’ed/2020
  • Randy Arozarena RC Gold #’ed/2020
  • Big Air, Big Hair Rainbow
  • Danny Hultz RC Rainbow
  • Tyler White Rainbow

Inserts

  • Pete Alonso Home Run Challenge
  • Justin Verlander 2019 Topps Now Review
  • Cal Ripken Jr. Topps Choice
  • Austin Riley Decade’s Next
  • Orlando Cepeda Decades’ Best
  • Max Scherzer Decades’ Best
  • Stan Musial Decades’ Best
  • Houston Astros Decades’ Best
  • Rod Carew 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Wade Boggs 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Trevor Bauer 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Alex Young RC 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Mookie Betts 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary

Notable Rookies

  • Aristides Aquino RC #20
  • Yordan Alvarez RC #276
  • Gavin Lux RC #292
  • Bo Bichette RC #78

(3) 2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball Jumbo Pack Break

Today I took a trip to my local card shop – Sports Zone Toys & Comics.  Its a really nice shop.  Easy to get around and very well organized.  The main reason I went was to pickup a few plastic containers used for storing cards.  I left the shop with some containers, Bryce Harper bobblehead, Phillie Phanatic Super7 action figure, and (3) jumbo packs of 2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball.

Here are the results from the (3) jumbo packs.  It was a newly opened box with only a couple of packs purchased from it.  The store’s owner said no hits had been pulled yet.  FedEx just dropped off a 2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball hobby box which I’ll be working on next.

Sports Zone Toys & Comics is quite active on Facebook and YouTube.  Check them out!

Relic

  • Rickey Henderson 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Relic

Parallels

  • Shohei Ohtani Topps Choice Blue
  • Nolan Arenado Gold #’ed/2020
  • Lucas Giolito Rainbow
  • Pete Alonso Rookie Cup Rainbow
  • Sean Murphy RC Rainbow

Inserts

  • Tom Glavine Decades’ Best
  • Kris Bryant Decades’ Best
  • Yadier Molina Topps Choice
  • Joey Votto 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Tony Gwynn 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Don Mattingly 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary

Notable Rookie

  • Aristides Aquino RC #20

2019 Topps Holiday Baseball Mega Box Break & Review

Hey look!  My local Walmart finally got some 2019 Topps Holiday Baseball Mega Boxes.  Walmart exclusive!  I’ve been wanting to try a box.  The Walmart here doesn’t have the best card section like some others do.  In store, a box should cost around $20.

The 2019 Topps Holiday Baseball Mega Box set consists of (200) cards.  Parallels include Metallic (1:2 packs), and Gold Metallic #’ed 1/1 (1:7,045 packs).

New for 2019 are the Base Short Print Variations.  Its hard to believe that none of the past Holiday boxes have had these.  There are three types that you can pull.  Each can be identified by the CMP code on the back.

  • SP (1:7) – #063
  • Rare (1:20) – #064
  • Super Rare (1:161) – #065

Given that this is a holiday-themed set, all Base Short Print Variations have some type of holiday element added to them in addition to the holly berry border.  Candy cane bats, Christmas socks, and Santa Claus hiding out in the background are all great examples of what you can find.  My Base Short Print Variation was found upside down in the pack.

Housed inside each box are (10) packs.  Among those packs there should be (1) relic, autograph, or autograph relic.  My favorite hits are the Holiday Faux Relics.  These cards feature fictional relics from Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Frosty The Snowman, and even the Workshop Elves.  Cards like this always make interesting conversation pieces.  I know a lot of people like to make fun of them.  But imagine pulling one of these cards out around Christmas time.  It would create a memory that would last a lifetime.  Every holiday season you could bring it back out to display while remembering where you were, and who was around you when it happened.

Isn’t creating memories a core part of collecting?

If I would’ve pulled the Pete Alonso Gold Metallic #’ed 1/1 I could’ve gotten the entire Alonso rainbow from one box.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Nomar Mazara

Base Short Print Variation

  • Shohei Ohtani SP

Parallels

  • Pete Alonso RC Metallic
  • Kolton Wong Metallic
  • Pedro Avila RC Metallic
  • Jake Arrieta Metallic
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. RC Metallic

Notable Rookies

  • Pete Alonso RC
  • Yusei Kikuchi RC
  • Keston Hiura RC
  • Nick Senzel RC
  • Michael Chavis RC
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. RC
  • Cavan Biggio RC
  • Carter Kieboom RC

2019 Bowman Draft Baseball Hobby Jumbo Box Break & Review

The third and final major prospecting pillar of 2019 has arrived.  It all began with Bowman, then came Bowman Chrome, and now Bowman Draft.  I believe Bowman Draft receives the most attention as it has the first prospect cards for newly drafted 2019 players.  Collectors, flippers, and investors all want to get their hands on them.

2019 Bowman Draft’s base set consists of (200) cards.  Parallel cards that you can pull include Sky Blue #’ed/499, Purple #’ed/250, Blue #’ed/150, Green #’ed/99, Gold #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25 (Jumbo), Red #’ed/5, Black #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

Every single card in the main base set has a Chrome counterpart.  Parallels of the Chrome cards include Refractor, Sky Blue (Jumbo), Purple #’ed/250, Sparkles, Blue #’ed/150, Green #’ed/99, Gold #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25 (Jumbo), Red #’ed/5, SuperFractor #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

(14) Chrome cards have photo variations – Adley Rutschman, Alek Manoah, Josh Jung, Hunter Bishop, Riley Greene, Shea Langeliers, CJ Abrams, Victor Victor Mesa, Wander Franco, Andrew Vaughn, Joey Bart, J.J. Bleday, Nick Lodolo, and Seth Beer.  The CMP code for these variations ends in #763.  With the exception of Hunter Bishop and Alek Manoah, variations have autographed versions #’ed/99.

Coming (3) to a Jumbo box and (5) to a Super Jumbo box, autographs of newly drafted prospects are #1 on breaker’s radar.  Autograph types include Chrome Draft Pick Autographs, 1989 Bowman 30th Anniversary Autographs, Class of 2019 Autographs, Draft Night Autographs, Draft Pick Breakdown Autographs, Franchise Futures Dual Autographs, Under Armour Game Autographs, and Chrome Top of the Class Box Toppers Autographs.

Inserts include 1989 Bowman 30th Anniversary, Draft Pick Breakdown, Draft Progression Trios, Franchise Futures, and Chrome Top of the Class Box Toppers.

When it comes to products like Bowman Draft, you’ll find people spending thousands of dollars for a card picturing a player who is years away from making their MLB debut.  Others will attempt to convince you which players you should put you’re money into.  Don’t let any of this intimidate you.  Open what you want to open.  Collect what you want to collect.  Prospecting can be fun, but make sure you’re doing it within your own budget.  Do your own research.  Think for yourself.  Don’t worry about what others are doing.  Most importantly… have fun!

As a Phillies fan, I always hold out prospects from the Phillies.  I also hold out any cards of players who have photo variations too.  Players who have photo variations tend to be the ones in which people think have the most potential.  That’s my personal strategy.  Lots of future potential.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Davis Wendzel Chrome Draft Pick Purple Refractor Auto #’ed/250
  • Ryan Zeferjahn Chrome Draft Pick Auto
  • Tyler Baum Chrome Draft Pick Auto

Parallels

  • Matt Mercer Green #’ed/99
  • Anthony Seigler Purple #’ed/250
  • Ethan Small Sky Blue #’ed/499
  • Ronny Mauricio Chrome Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Cristian Javier Chrome Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Eric Yang Chrome Sky Blue Refractor
  • Jack Kochanowicz Chrome Refractor
  • Nick Quintana Chrome Refractor
  • Tyler Callihan Chrome Refractor
  • Tony Locey Chrome Refractor
  • Erik Rivera Chrome Refractor
  • Anthony Prato Chrome Refractor
  • Cal Mitchell Chrome Refractor
  • Ronny Mauricio Chrome Refractor
  • Spencer Brickhouse Chrome Refractor
  • Tyler Fitzgerald Chrome Refractor
  • Joey Bart Chrome Refractor
  • Jared Triolo Chrome Refractor
  • Royce Lewis Chrome Refractor
  • Julio Rodriguez Chrome Refractor
  • Brice Turang Chrome Refractor
  • Jake Agnos Chrome Refractor
  • Tim Tebow Chrome Refractor
  • Josh Smith Chrome Refractor
  • Logan Wyatt Chrome Refractor
  • Andrew Schultz Chrome Refractor
  • Conner Capel Chrome Refractor
  • J.J. Bleday Chrome Refractor
  • Hudson Head Chrome Refractor

Inserts

  • CJ Abrams 1989 Bowman 30th Anniversary
  • Hunter Bishop Draft Pick Breakdown
  • CJ Abrams Draft Pick Breakdown
  • MacKenzie Gore/Ryan Weathers/CJ Abrams Draft Progression
  • Cal Mitchell/Travis Swaggerty/Quinn Priester Draft Progression
  • Heliot Ramos/Joey Bart/Hunter Bishop Draft Progression
  • Pavin Smith/Jake McCarthy/Corbin Carroll Draft Progression
  • Kody Hoese/Michael Busch Franchise Futures
  • Blake Walston/Brennan Malone Franchise Futures
  • Quinn Priester/Sammy Siani Franchise Futures
  • Adley Rutschman/Gunnar Henderson Franchise Futures