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

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

Six Hobby Haunting Graves

Looking for a good scare?  Or perhaps just some good old fashion cardboard history?  Then you’ve come to the right place.

This hobby has a long history.  It wouldn’t be around today if it weren’t for certain individuals.  The idea of pack-inserted cards had to come from somewhere.

Here are my top six hobby haunting grave sites.  I wonder if their tombs hold some undiscovered cardboard treasures?  Que evil laugh!

Jefferson Burdick – Hillside Memorial Cemetery and Park, Central Square, Oswego County, New York. – Created the American Card Catalog.  Assigned letters and numbers to the different card styles and became the default method for organizing pre-1951 sets.  His collection of over 306,000 cards is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

John Allen – Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia. – The first half of the Allen & Ginter name brand.  Allen & Ginter was a tobacco manufacturer and created some of the first tobacco cards designed to be collected.  Very colorful and eye appealing.  Subjects include sports figures, inventors, entertainers, and animals.

Lewis Ginter – Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia. – You can’t have John Allen without Lewis Ginter.  He is the second half of the Allen & Ginter brand.  Eventually Allen & Ginter would merge with four other tobacco manufacturers and be called the American Tobacco Company.

Sy Berger – Beth Moses Cemetery, West Babylon, Suffolk County, New York. – Longtime Topps employee for over 50 years.  Co-designer of the 1952 Topps Baseball set.  Father of the modern baseball card.

The Dukes – Duke University Chapel, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina. – Washington, James, and Benjamin Duke were tobacco titans atop the American Tobacco Company.  They are credited with the idea of inserting cardboard advertisements into product packaging featuring entertainers, politicians, and sports figures.

John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll – Kilmun Parish Church and Cemetery,
Kilmun, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. – In 1879 this man became the first individual to be featured on a pack-inserted tobacco card.  Only four copies of this card are known to exist.  The brand of tobacco it came in was called Marquis of Lorne named after a title he held.  Unfortunately the brand did not sell well.

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 Onyx Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball Hobby Mini-Box Break & Review

Hobby accomplishment of the year should go to both Onyx Authenticated and Futera.  Two card manufacturers working together to release a single product is an amazing accomplishment not easily achieved in today’s world of league-exclusive deals.  You just don’t see it happen.  This team-up took me by surprise.  Its a good surprise because both companies make some really nice looking products.  Between Onyx Authenticated’s baseball connections, and Futera’s superior printing techniques, collectors can enjoy this high-end product called 2019 Onyx Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball.

The 2019 Onyx Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball base set consists of (40) cards.  Falling at a rate of 1:4 packs (1 per box) are Heritage Prospects & Legends cards.  These cover the same subjects found in the base set and come in either Silver #’ed/17 or Gold #’ed/9 versions.

Autographs include Glory Autographs, Legends Autographs, Lineup Autographs, Prominent Autographs, Prospects Autographs, Timeless Autographs, Tribute Autographs, and Triumph Autographs.

Autograph Relics include Game Gear Autograph Relics, Legacy Autograph Relics, and Masters Autograph Relics.

Gold-Plated Framed Autographs include Memostars Autograph Relics, Mythicals Autographs, Phenoms Autographs, 1-of-1 Autographs, 1-of-1 Autograph Relics, and 1-of-1 Cut Autographs.  These are my favorite cards.  Their Gold-Plated Framed cards are much more ornate.

As the name suggests, you’ll find cards of both young prospects and retired/Hall of Famers.  The names range from Wander Franco to Nolan Ryan.

In today’s hobby, Futera is known for making high-end European soccer products.  Very limited stuff.  With the release of 2019 Onyx Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball, American baseball fans can take advantage of Futera’s Code for Collectors and Memorabilia Color Grading services.  I say this about Futera every time I talk about them, but these services are ones that collectors would love other manufacturers to have.  It takes autograph and relic documentation to a whole new level.  With services such as these, it massively cuts down on counterfeits and altered cards.

A full box consists of (4) mini-boxes.  (1) mini-box containing a hit can cost $70.  $300 for a full box.

I hope this isn’t the last time these two companies work together.  This collaboration should be an example to other manufacturers.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Julio Pablo Martinez Gold-Plated Framed Phenoms Auto #’ed/9

Base

  • Austin Beck #2
  • Noelvi Marte #21
  • Nolan Gorman #10
  • Richard Gallardo #7
  • Daniel Alvarez #1

On the back of these cards is an 8-digit code.  If you enter the code into Futera’s Code for Collectors database it will provide you with lots of information about that card.

Here’s what comes up when I input the code found on my Julio Pablo Martinez Gold-Plated Framed Phenoms Auto #’ed/9:

You’re shown an actual picture of your card.

Check out all of this info:

  • Name: JULIO PABLO MARTINEZ
  • Card Number: PH18
  • Subset: Phenoms
  • Set: Prospects and Legends Unique 2019
  • Print Run: 9
  • Released: 9
  • Board: Acard Board – White
  • Thickness: 3mm
  • Gsm: n/a
  • Ink – Front: 4 color
  • Ink – Back: 4 color
  • Foil Front: n/a
  • Foil Back: Digital Foil
  • Embossing: n/a
  • Special Print Techniques: Matt Laminated
  • Accessories to use: Toploader 197pt
  • Hand Crafting: Foil Numbering
  • Engraving: Gold Frame Piece
  • Coding Type: Print Code
  • Memo 1: This card was signed by Julio Pablo Martinez on July 24, 2019, in Kinston, North Carolina and is certified by ONYX Authentication and Futera.  Being limited in number this card is considered a true collector’s item.