Is Pete Rose Back In Major League Baseball?… Kinda, Maybe, Probably Not

Pete Rose’s banishment from MLB for gambling on baseball while playing for and managing the Reds will go down in history as one of the most debated sports topics.  Should the banishment be forgotten allowing him entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame?  This is a question that plaques the minds of many baseball fans today, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Legendary baseball player, and sometimes controversial pop-culture figure Pete Rose hasn’t appeared on an MLB-licensed Topps baseball card since 1989.  The last time he was featured in a licensed product showing team names and/or logos comes from 1994 Upper Deck: The American Epic.  Since then he has been seen countless times in other non-licensed baseball products made by Leaf and Panini.

Collectors opening 2020 Topps Series 2 Baseball are finding a familiar looking fellow on the Philadelphia Phillies Decades’ Best insert.  With his back turned, no team name and/or logos visible, you can just make out the cockeyed name across the back of the jersey which says “ROSE”.  Other players on the card include Steve Carlton and Bob Boone.

This isn’t something that Topps made a point to alert collectors about.  Collectors are discovering this all on their own.  Self-discovering moments such as this add a bit of excitement to the brand.  Pulling a card out and saying “I wonder if anyone else has noticed this?” can be fun.

In no way is this card rare.  Topps didn’t issue a corrected version.  Each one, including the parallels, looks just like this.  That won’t stop some folks from attempting to sell their cards for a premium.  This reminds me of the 2019 Topps Stadium Club Shane Bieber “error” which calls him Justin on the back.

Under The Tree: 1970 Chemtoy Major League Baseball Player Bouncing Balls

Toy manufacturer Chemtoy decided to combine two popular toys at the time – bouncy balls and baseball cards.  The result is a set of bouncy balls with pictures of baseball players inside them.  On the reverse side of the picture you’ll find a red or blue background, name, position, team, and a 4-digit number.  Each team has around (12) balls.  It can be quite difficult to see the player’s picture since the material Chemtoy used is very foggy.  Its not uncommon for them to yellow with age.  Many of them contain bubbles.

Chemtoy distributed them a few different ways.  Full boxes contain (144) balls.  Boxes can be team-oriented.  They can also be a mix of teams from the National or American League.  Blister packs were another delivery method.  Vending machines too.

About (285) balls make up the entire set.  Although when it comes to a product like this a newly discovered addition could popup one day.  Sometimes the most obscure players can be the hardest to find.  Stars like Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Reggie Jackson, Hank Aaron, Tom Seaver, Roberto Clemente, and Ted Williams each have balls.  Roberto Clemente can actually be found with two different colored backgrounds.

Collectors can’t get enough of these.  You rarely see them sell for under $10 per ball.  I’ve seen set/player collectors spend hundreds on a single ball they needed.

In 1969, Chemtoy made a football set of bouncy balls.  You almost never see these.  They’re a lot rarer than the 1970 baseball follow-up.

Even though this product might be presented as a “Super Ball” by a lot of collectors, they’re really considered to be more of a bouncy ball.  Wham-O has the distinct honor of being the creator of the Super Ball, and continues to make use of that name today.  Similar products made by other manufacturers are considered to be bouncy balls.  This is due to the different materials used to make their products.  In short, all “Super Balls” are bouncy balls, but not all bouncy balls are “Super Balls”.

FYI – Kansas City Chiefs owner and American Football League founder Lamar Hunt came up with the name “Super Bowl” after watching his kids play with a “Super Ball”.

Cubs ’19 Topps Series 2 Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Jason Heyward 2019 Topps Series 2 Major League Material Relic 150th Anniversary Parallel #’ed/150.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, July 5, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

Houston Dynamo ’19 Topps MLS Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Alberth Elis 2019 Topps Major League Soccer Single-Player Dual Relic #’ed/215.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, May 10, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

Earthquakes ’19 Topps MLS Jumbo Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Danny Hoesen 2019 Topps Major League Soccer Jumbo Relic #’ed/220.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, May 3, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

2019 Topps Major League Soccer Box Break & Review

Topps puts out a bunch of different soccer products throughout the year.  I find them to be a nice change of pace.  In the past, I’ve pulled some fun cards that includes low-numbered autographs and interesting relics.  The patch cards you get from soccer boxes can be absolutely insane.

2019 Topps Major League Soccer is a flagship brand that focuses more on set building and relics.  In fact, you won’t find a single autograph anywhere within this product.  That’s a little bit unusual as past releases have had autographs.

Two formats can be enjoyed when it comes to 2019 Topps MLS – hobby & blaster boxes.  A hobby box will come with (3) relics, while the retail blasters have (1).  A hobby box will run about $73 as of right now.

The base set consists of (200) cards.  You’ll notice it has it’s own design separate from that of the MLB flagship set.  Parallels include Blue #’ed/99, Gold #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10 (retail), and Black #’ed 1/1.

(15) cards have photo variations.  Each has a Black #’ed 1/1 parallel.

  • #1 Zlatan Ibrahimović
  • #18 Brad Guzan
  • #24 Diego Valeri
  • #28 Gyasi Zardes
  • #34 Tim Howard
  • #35 Sean Johnson
  • #50 Bradley Wright-Phillips
  • #53 Giovani dos Santos
  • #79 Carlos Vela
  • #90 Albert Rusnak
  • #98 Jozy Altidore
  • #100 Josef Martinez
  • #127 Ignacio Piatti
  • #146 Alberth Elis
  • #155 Wayne Rooney

CMP codes can help.

  • Base – #492
  • Photo Variation – #514

That hobby box of yours should contain (2) Jumbo Relics, and (1) Dual Relic.  Both of course have Orange #’ed/25 and Black #’ed 1/1 parallels.  Rarer relics include Crests of Honor #’ed/5, and Nameplate Patches #’ed 1/1.

Inserts come in the form of 2018 MLS Award WinnersAll-StarsThrowback Topps, and Young Phenoms.  All have Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10, and Black #’ed 1/1 parallels.

Does anyone else think Gyasi Zardes looks like Wesley Snipes a.k.a. Willie “Mays” Hayes?

The autographs are greatly missed by collectors.  I’m not sure why those were left out other than to keep the cost down.  Overall a fun break.  Very solid.

Here is what I pulled:

Relics

  • Danny Hoesen Jumbo Relic Orange Parallel Patch #’ed/25
  • Danny Hoesen Jumbo Relic #’ed/220
  • Alberth Elis Single-Player Dual Relic #’ed/215

Parallels

  • Graham Zusi All-Star Orange #’ed/25
  • Johnny Russell Gold #’ed/50
  • Jonathan Lewis Gold #’ed/50
  • Derrick Jones Blue #’ed/99
  • Sebastian Lletget Blue #’ed/99
  • Vako Blue #’ed/99
  • Alex Ring Blue #’ed/99

Inserts

  • Corey Baird 2018 MLS Award Winners – Rookie Of The Year
  • Latif Blessing Young Phenoms
  • Ezequiel Barco Young Phenoms
  • Kellyn Acosta Young Phenoms
  • Chris Mueller Young Phenoms
  • Alex Ring All-Star
  • Josef Martínez All-Star
  • Diego Valeri All-Star
  • Miguel Almirón All-Star
  • Francisco Calvo All-Star
  • Graham Zusi All-Star
  • Jozy Altidore Throwback Topps
  • Cristian Roldan Throwback Topps
  • Sacha Kljestan Throwback Topps
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović Throwback Topps

Card of the Day: Curtis Pride 1994 Fleer Major League Prospects #29

Yankees ’18 Topps Series 2 Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Luis Severino 2018 Topps Series 2 Major League Material Black Parallel Relic #’ed/99.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, July 13, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

Chicago Fire ’18 Topps MLS Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Tony Tchani 2018 Topps MLS Auto.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

2018 Topps Major League Soccer Box Break & Review

Lately, soccer products from Topps have been quite solid for me.  Opening this box of 2018 Topps Major League Soccer kept the solid streak going.  For about $70, my box delivered a wide range of nice hits.

The base set is (200) cards strong.  Parallels include Blue #’ed/99, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/10, and Black #’ed 1/1.  Over the years, Topps has changed the base set design significantly.  Unlike some other soccer products who borrow the Topps baseball flagship design, MLS does it’s own thing.  The design for 2018 encapsulates a majority of the team logos in a diamond shape.  My eyes are immediately drawn to this feature as I think it resembles a window housing a relic.

It wouldn’t be a flagship set if Topps didn’t include some SP Photo Variations.  There is a handful of them, about (14) to be exact.  After doing some research and comparing, I discovered that Topps did in fact use different CMP codes for the variations.  Base cards end in #15 where the variations end in #25.  You’ll find a SP Photo Variation 1:51 packs.  So check those card backs!

Every hobby box should have (2) autographs and (1) jumbo relic.  The regular jumbo relics can have some interesting patches, especially when it comes to the low-numbered parallels.  The patch I pulled looks to be from the letter “O” from “BMO”.  “BMO” stands for Bank of Montreal.  Crests of Honor relics are numbered to (5) and contain some really insane team logo patches too.

Three different inserts can be found – Multi-Dimensional, All-Star, and Throwback Topps.  The Throwback Topps inserts pay tribute to 1988 Topps Baseball.  So do the All-Star cards.

Overall it was a fun break.  Its nice to see an alternative flagship design.  I like that the SP Photo Variations are a little more difficult to pull.  It would take about 2.5 boxes to pull one unless you get really lucky.  Solid break across the board in my opinion.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Tony Tchani
  • Jeff Larentowicz

Relic

  • Jozy Altidore Jumbo Patch Orange #’ed/25

SP Photo Variation

  • Clint Dempsey #74

Parallels

  • Federico Higuain Orange #’ed/25
  • Seattle Sounders FC Blue #’ed/99
  • Keegan Rosenberry Blue #’ed/99
  • Anibal Godoy Blue #’ed/99

Inserts

  • David Villa Multi-Dimensional
  • Kellyn Acosta Multi-Dimensional
  • Graham Zusi Multi-Dimensional
  • Giovani Dos Santos Multi-Dimensional
  • Johan Kappelhof All-Star
  • Hernan Grana All-Star
  • Graham Zusi All-Star
  • Diego Valeri All-Star
  • Miguel Almiron All-Star
  • Nemanja Nikolic All-Star
  • Kei Kamara Throwback Topps
  • Christian Ramirez Throwback Topps
  • Ethan Finlay Throwback Topps
  • Jordan Morris Throwback Topps