2020 Topps Opening Day Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set

2020 has been a weird and crazy year.  And its not even over yet.  Opening a pack of baseball cards might seem like a normal thing, but I believe everyone could use a little normal right now.

During this pandemic we’ve seen interest in sports cards reach an all-time high.  Mike Trout’s 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Auto Superfractor #’ed 1/1 recently sold for $4 million.  With headlines and widespread media coverage such as that other people will want to try and get in on the action too.  This will cause prices to rise.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option in this era of expensive products, 2020 Topps Opening Day Baseball might be just right for you.  With (36) packs per box, and (7) cards per pack, that pack busting itch can surely get scratched.  It is possible to find big hits, but nothing is guaranteed in each box.  This is why the box price is significantly lower compared to other products.

The main base set mimics that of the 2020 flagship set design.  (200) cards make up the base set.  White Sox star rookie Luis Robert has a very difficult short print to pull.  It looks just like the base set but falls 1:360 packs or roughly 1:10 boxes.

Base set parallels include Red Foil (Target), Purple Foil (Meijer), Blue Foil (2,020 copies), Opening Day Black Foil #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.  The Luis Robert short print does NOT have any parallels.

Photo variations are rather difficult to find, but do exist.  I find the best way to identify them is by checking the CMP code found on the card backs.

  • Base – #579
  • Photo Variation – #601
  • Canada Variation – #591 (exclusive cards found only in Canadian blister packs)

(15) subjects have autographs on these variations.

Autographs include Opening Day Autographs, Ballpark Profile Autographs, Diamond Relic Autographs, Mascot Autographs, Mascot Autograph Relics, and Walk This Way Autographs.

Relics include Opening Day Relics, Diamond Relics, Major League Mementos Relics, Mascot Relics, and Mascot Commemorative Patch Relics.

Inserts include Dugout Peeks, Mascots, Opening Day, Spring Has Sprung, Team Traditions and Celebrations, The Lighter Side of Baseball, Walk This Way, and 2020 Topps Sticker Collection Preview.

No autographs or relics for me in this box.  Then again, this product doesn’t guarantee any per box either.  The rarest card I pulled would be the Nolan Arenado Walk This Way insert which falls 1:369 packs.

As a Phillies fan its neat to see Phillies Public Address Announcer Dan Baker receive his first baseball card found in the Ballpark Profile Autographs set.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Parallels:

  • Gerrit Cole Blue Foil #21
  • Luis Castillo Blue Foil #125
  • Eric Hosmer Blue Foil #83

Inserts:

  • Nolan Arenado – Walk This Way
  • Seattle Mariners – Team Traditions and Celebrations
  • New York Yankees  – Team Traditions and Celebrations
  • Boston Red Sox – Team Traditions and Celebrations
  • Mookie Betts – 2020 Topps Sticker Collection Preview
  • Javier Baez – 2020 Topps Sticker Collection Preview
  • Juan Soto – 2020 Topps Sticker Collection Preview
  • Bo Bichette  – 2020 Topps Sticker Collection Preview
  • Ted Williams – Spring Has Sprung
  • Rafael Devers – Spring Has Sprung
  • Ken Griffey Jr. – Spring Has Sprung
  • Mark McGwire – Spring Has Sprung
  • Bernie Brewer – Mascots
  • Blooper – Mascots
  • Mariner Moose – Mascots
  • Rangers Captain – Mascots
  • Billy The Marlin – Mascots
  • Mrs. Met – Mascots
  • Slider – Mascots
  • Cincinnati Reds – Opening Day
  • Kansas City Royals – Opening Day
  • San Diego Padres – Opening Day
  • (2) Seattle Mariners – Opening Day
  • (2) Tampa Bay Rays – Opening Day
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – Opening Day
  • Miami Marlins  – Opening Day
  • (2) Texas Rangers – Opening Day
  • Milwaukee Brewers – Opening Day
  • Minnesota Twins – Opening Day
  • New York Yankees – Opening Day
  • Toronto Blue Jays – Opening Day
  • Oakland Athletics – Opening Day
  • Philadelphia Phillies – Opening Day
  • Washington Nationals – Opening Day

Hobby Oddities: It’s Academic Player Erasers

It’s Academic, Inc. has been around for over twenty years.  They make tons of supplies which can be used in a school or office environment.  Book covers, locker accessories, and scissors are just a small taste of what they’re known for.  Over the years, they’ve worked with all kinds of licensed brands to help sell their products.  At one time (it doesn’t look like it anymore) they had a deal with the MLBPA.  One of their products to come out of this deal was a line of Player Erasers.  These are exactly what they sound like.  Pencil erasers in the shape of your favorite baseball players.  The checklist features twenty players, which seems a lot more extensive than what you’d expect from a product such as this.

  • Sammy Sosa
  • Mark McGwire
  • Derek Jeter
  • Cal Ripken Jr.
  • Mike Piazza
  • Jeff Bagwell
  • Craig Biggio
  • Frank Thomas
  • Greg Vaughn
  • Ken Caminiti
  • Bobby Bonilla
  • Albert Belle
  • Kenny Lofton
  • Roberto Alomar
  • Jim Thome
  • Chuck Knoblauch
  • Bernie Williams
  • Paul O’Neill
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Juan Gonzalez

Seeing that the deal was only with the MLBPA and not MLB, team names and logos had to be left off.  I see them as more of a novelty.  A good conversation piece to sit on your desk.  As far as functionality, I’m not 100% sure how well they worked as an eraser.  On the back of the package, they advise you to rub-off the portion of the eraser you plan to use on a piece of scratch paper first in order to remove the decorative coating.  Otherwise you’ll end up with streak marks.  Given the checklist, I’d say these were released in the late 90s.

(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

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

Hobby Oddities: Cards Mounted On Cheap Plaques

Every card show has that one dealer with a booth jam-packed with them.  It wouldn’t matter if the card show consisted of only three dealers.  I guarantee that one of the three is selling base cards mounted on cheap plaques.  We’ve all seen them.  Where do they come from?  Why do they exist?  Do people really buy them?

I guess the plaques are suppose to make the base cards more desirable.  My running theory is that they’ve always targeted people who don’t know much about the hobby.  They’re hoping to catch that person who thinks if a card is mounted on a plaque it means that it’s special and/or valuable.  Rarely is that the case.  Sentimental value for certain individuals is really the only thing they have going.  Perhaps owning one brings back some great childhood memories.  The Big Apple Card Company out of Sunrise, FL was a major contributor to their mass-production.  Various other companies issued them too.

Odd, cheap, and annoying accurately describe these things.  They’ll never disappear.  If there was an all out nuclear war the only things left would be cockroaches and these plaques.

Hobby Oddities: ProGard’s Pro-Index Card Storage System

What is ProGard’s Pro-Index Card Storage System?  The idea is quite simple.  Upon placing your cards in the specially made holders, you then snap them into the bottom of the box.  The holders have horizontal pegs which form a hinge when connected.  Once the connection has been made, you’re able to flip through your cards without having to worry about them falling all over the place.

Based on my personal experience, these holders can be a pain to get and keep closed.  In order to get the cards in the holders, both halves of the holders need to be taken apart.  Once the cards are placed inside, you then need to press both halves back together.  If you don’t do this correctly, once they’re placed in the box its easy for the holders to pop open.  Another drawback is that they only came in one size.  Thicker than normal cards will not fit.

I always thought these things looked like a tank.  Hidden inside (at least mine did) was a Pro-Index Commemorative Coin.  It had a special slot for it to fit and all.

In the end, ProGard’s Pro-Index Card Storage System didn’t make it.  The lack of expansion along with holders that wouldn’t stay together pushed collectors away.  It wasn’t a very flexible way to store your collection.  Albums and standard white cardboard boxes give the collector a bit more freedom.

ProGard did issue a Pro-Index Card Storage System that held top loaders.  The slots for top loaders look to have been fitted on top of the slots made for the holders which used the pegs.  Its possible the peg model wasn’t selling well and they decided to make this modification.  Or they just wanted another model available.  Neither one garnered much attention.  They came in a variety of colors – black, blue, red, and yellow.  Black is the most common color.

ProGard is/was a registered trademark owned by ENOR Corp. out of Cresskill, NJ.  For awhile they made all types of card supplies such as snap-lock cases, sports card mini albums, top loaders, polypro sleeves, semi-rigid holders, card storage boxes, and snapgard holders.

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.