2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball Box Break & Review

 photo 17toppsgqboxbaseball_zpsybcucsan.jpg

Easter weekend was spent in Bethany Beach.  I took a box of 2017 Gypsy Queen to break along on the trip.  While walking around, I did come across a card shop though.  As expected, the prices are very high given that its a tourist destination.  The shop I was in asks $5+ for single base cards from modern day products.  My money was better spent at D.B.’s Fries.

From the artistic design to the Portrait Art Patch OriginalsGypsy Queen has always been an entertaining product to break.  You’ll notice that box prices for 2017 are lower compared to previous years.  That drop in price comes with a cost.  Instead of (4) “hits” box breakers will only find (2).  Other aspects like the mini and framed paper parallels did not return either.  With that being said, 2017 Gypsy Queen still packs a punch and comes with a slew of great cards to hunt down.

This new configuration introduced us to the oversize Chrome-like box toppers called GlassWorks.  You get one of these per box, and they look really cool.  Gypsy Queen is not the typical product where you see many foil-based cards.  Certain collectors will find parallels of these box toppers which include Purple #’ed/150, Red #’ed/25, and Black #’ed/1.  On-card autograph versions also exist #’ed/25.

Rich and deep easily describes the base set which comes in at (320) cards.  The last (20) are of retired and/or Hall of Famers and are short prints.  Base parallels include:

  • Missing Blackplate
  • Missing Nameplate
  • Purple #’ed/250
  • Green #’ed/99 (retail)
  • Black & White #’ed/50
  • Green Back #’ed/50
  • Red #’ed/10
  • Black #’ed/1

Photo variations include:

  • Capless
  • Throwback Uniform
  • Card Back Content (Gum Ad)

Although it might be difficult to see for some people, Topps did use different codes on the card backs to distinguish between the photo variations.

  • Base – ends in #1904
  • Short Prints – ends in #1931
  • Capless – ends in #1937
  • Throwback Uniform – ends in #2100
  • Card Back Content (Gum Ad) – ends in #1886/1986

It was a surprise to see that the photo variations also have parallels.  This usually isn’t the case.  I was just thinking about this the other week.  You rarely see parallels of photo variations.

The high-end “hits” from Gypsy Queen have always been a joy to look at.  The Portrait Art Patch Originals continue to impress me each year.  You can see a complete gallery of these one-of-one masterpieces here.  Brian Kong and Monty Sheldon both collaborated on these for 2017.  One of these years I’d like to see these come in booklet form.  Having a hand-drawn piece on one side and a jumbo patch on the other would look awesome.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Adam Conley
  • Pat Venditte

 photo conley17gqauto_zpsgdp5yqiz.jpg

 photo pat17gqauto_zps4ld5nh8b.jpg

Auto/Relic

  • J.D. Martinez Auto/Patch Book #’ed/20

 photo jd17gqbook_zpsfc66m2qv.jpg

Parallels

  • Troy Tulowitzki Black Border #’ed/1
  • Jake Lamb Purple Border #’ed/250
  • David Robertson Missing Blackplate
  • Dansby Swanson RC Missing Blackplate
  • Max Scherzer Missing Nameplate

 photo tulow17gqblack_zpsr7fql5id.jpg

 photo lamb17gqpurp_zpstxrz4ylp.jpg

 photo robert17gqmissblack_zpsmm9lhaao.jpg

 photo dansby17gqmissblack_zps60nqwn8l.jpg

 photo max17gqnoname_zpsy7j2wep2.jpg

Short Print

  • Jackie Robinson #308

 photo jrob17gq_zpspyxqpub0.jpg

Photo Variation

  • Carlos Correa Capless #74

 photo cc17gqcapless_zpswuz1xmxb.jpg

Inserts

  • Robinson Cano GlassWorks Box Topper
  • Dansby Swanson Fortune Teller
  • Gary Sanchez Fortune Teller
  • Jose Altuve Fortune Teller
  • Max Scherzer Fortune Teller
  • Robinson Cano Portrait Hand-Drawn Art Reproduction #1
  • Adam Jones Portrait Hand-Drawn Art Reproduction #2
  • Mark McGwire Portrait Hand-Drawn Art Reproduction #1

 photo rc17gqgwbt_zpsihykh1fz.jpg

 photo dansby17gqft_zpsn046lmnz.jpg

 photo mm17gqhdartrep_zpsuqkzup6w.jpg

2017 Topps Opening Day Box Break & Review

 photo 17toppsopendaybox_zpsz5gucphs.jpg

Opening Day 2017 is almost here.  Hot dogs are heading to the grill.  Bobbleheads are waiting at the gates.  I’m prepared to watch the Phillies go all the way.  I know its a long shot, but it could happen.

2017 Topps Opening Day acts as a good flagship filler that can hold you over until Series 2 is released.  I’ve always considered it an entry level product since hobby boxes sell for under $30.  The base set consists of (200) cards.  Parallels include:

  • Blue Foil
  • Purple Foil (Toys “R” Us exclusive)
  • Black Foil #’ed/1
  • Printing Plates #’ed/1

As is the case with their main flagship brand, photo variations play a major role in Opening Day.  Unlike other products containing photo variations, the ones found in 2017 Opening Day do not have alternate codes on the back when compared to the plain base cards.  This makes identifying them a little more difficult.  One particular photo variation, Stadium Signatures, is easy to spot as the players are pictured signing autographs for fans.  Those cards also have the letters “SS” before the card number as well.  Technically these are inserts, but other than the card number there is nothing on the front that identifies it as a Stadium Signatures card.

Opening Day is known for having some crazy inserts.  2017 is no exception.  Inserts include:

  • Incredible Eats
  • Mascots
  • National Anthem
  • Opening Day at the Ballpark
  • Opening Day Stars
  • Stadium Signatures
  • Superstar Celebrations
  • MLB Stickers Collection Stars
  • MLB Wacky Packages

Some of these inserts are incredibly difficult to pull.  My personal favorites are the Mascots and Incredible Eats.  It looks like at one time there was a plan for a bobblehead-themed insert, but it seems to have been scrapped.  I’d like to see Topps comeback to that idea.

Autographs and relics can be pulled, but nothing is guaranteed per box.  I like the Stadium Signatures Autographs.  These are limited to (10) copies.  Its fun to try and see what the player pictured is signing, especially when it turns out to be an older Topps card.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Billy The Marlin Mascot Auto

 photo billy17todauto_zps0sglsktt.jpg

Parallels

  • Aledmys Diaz Blue Foil #39
  • Julio Urias Blue Foil #186
  • Matt Strahm RC Blue Foil #90
  • Jay Bruce Blue Foil #70
  • Kyle Seager Blue Foil #95
  • Aaron Nola Blue Foil #32

 photo bruce17todblue_zpsihb3ddp5.jpg

Inserts

  • Nolan Arenado Opening Day Stars #36
  • Addison Russell Superstar Celebrations #12
  • Yunel Escobar Superstar Celebrations #25
  • Giancarlo Stanton Superstar Celebrations #21
  • Javier Baez Superstar Celebrations #3
  • Jayson Werth Superstar Celebrations #6
  • Francisco Lindor Superstar Celebrations #5
  • Carlos Santana Superstar Celebrations #8
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. Superstar Celebrations #24
  • Carlos Correa Superstar Celebrations #20
  • Troy Tulowitzki Superstar Celebrations #14
  • David Ortiz Superstar Celebrations #15
  • Miami Marlins Opening Day at the Ballpark #15
  • Oakland A’s Opening Day at the Ballpark #12
  • Atlanta Braves Opening Day at the Ballpark #8
  • Baltimore Orioles Opening Day at the Ballpark #5
  • Cleveland Indians Opening Day at the Ballpark #14
  • Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day at the Ballpark #10
  • Kansas City Royals Opening Day at the Ballpark #3
  • Cotton Candy Incredible Eats #11
  • Peanuts Incredible Eats #2
  • Classic Pastrami Incredible Eats #7
  • Hot Dogs & Onions Incredible Eats #13
  • Foot-Long Hot Dog Incredible Eats #8
  • Cheesy Corn Brisket-Acho Incredible Eats #5
  • South Philly Dog Incredible Eats #4
  • Dinger Mascot #9
  • Mr. Red Mascot #4
  • White Sox Mascot #16
  • TC Bear Mascot #6
  • Brewers Mascot #25
  • Phillie Phanatic Mascot #11
  • Swinging Friar Mascot #13
  • Oakland A’s Mascot #17
  • Billy The Marlin Mascot #2
  • Wally The Green Monster Mascot #24
  • Orbit Mascot #22

 photo nolan17tods_zpszovhuyat.jpg

 photo add17todcs_zpsmbbboc2v.jpg

 photo marlins17tod_zpsmtr4zyud.jpg

 photo 17todhotdog_zpsvqfybjto.jpg

 photo brew17todmas_zpsds6oldnm.jpg

2017 Topps Heritage Baseball Box Break & Review

 photo 17theritagebbbox_zps5tmlrovw.jpg

The year was 1968.  Adam West’s Batman television series came to an end, Robert F. Kennedy/Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated, and Denny McClain became the first pitcher since Dizzy Dean to win 30 or more games in a single season.  Baseball collectors were introduced to the 598-card, speckle-border, set known as 1968 Topps.  They may not have had Hall of Fame careers, but guys like Jerry Koosman and Ron Tompkins will forever be linked to Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench due to being pictured on the same rookie cards.

Topps is gradually working through their classic designs and applying them to the Heritage brand.  The 1968 design is up to the plate this year.  If you plan on building the base set, there are (500) total cards including (100) short prints.

Most base parallels are not serial numbered.  I like that as it adds a little mystery.  Obviously the print runs for each type of parallel were announced.

  • Blue Border (50) copies
  • Bright Yellow Backs (25) copies
  • Gray Backs (10) copies
  • Flip Stock (5) copies
  • Base Mini #’ed/100

Chrome parallels come in a variety of colors:

  • Chrome #’ed/999
  • Refractor #’ed/568
  • Blue Refractor #’ed/68
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/5
  • Superfractor #’ed/1
  • Purple Refractor

When it comes to the Blue, Gold, and Purple Refractors, you really need to look in order to see the color.  Its a good thing they’re serial numbered.  I could easily see someone mistaken one color for another.  For some reason those colors aren’t distinct this time around.  The speckle-border may not have shown up as much when those colors were added.  Perhaps that is why they kept the color so light.

Although Heritage is not the only product that contains photo variations, collectors seem to want them more.  Especially the rarer ones.  In a hobby dominated by autographs and relics, its awesome to see the amounts some people are willing to spend on these.  Luckily, all you need to do in order to spot them is check the code on the card backs.  Look carefully.  Those codes are tiny.

  • Color Swap ends in 74
  • Traded ends in 73
  • Throwback ends in 72
  • Action/Rookie ends in 71
  • Error ends in 70
  • Base SP (401-500) ends in 69
  • Base ends in 1867

I was pleasantly surprised to see how collectors responded to some of the box toppers.  Specifically the 3D cards and posters.  Anytime non-autographed and non-relic cards sell well is a positive in my book.

Heritage has a tremendous following.  A single hobby box can be loaded with stuff.  Topps gives you a lot more to look for than just your traditional “hit”.  I can’t wait to see how they handle the 1971 design.  1971 Topps is notorious for it’s all black borders.  It doesn’t take much for them to get damaged.

Here is what I pulled (Purple Refractor Hot Box):

Relic

  • Miguel Cabrera Clubhouse Collection Jersey

 photo mccc17thjsy_zpsipolsjg4.jpg

Base Variation

  • Kris Bryant #500 Action Image

 photo kb17thaction_zpsxs4g8if9.jpg

Short Prints

  • Justin Upton #438
  • George Springer #432
  • Chris Sale #405
  • Mark Trumbo #461
  • Carlos Correa #430
  • Robinson Cano #422
  • Jason Kipnis #448
  • Giancarlo Stanton #401

 photo sale17thsp_zpse5b79zap.jpg

Parallels

  • Baltimore Orioles Blue Border (50) copies
  • Freddie Freeman Chrome #’ed/999
  • Aaron Judge/Tyler Austin 2017 Rookie Stars Chrome Purple Refractor
  • David Dahl/Raimel Tapia 2017 Rookie Stars Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Manny Margot/Hunter Renfroe 2017 Rookie Stars Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Ian Kinsler Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Jose Altuve Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Christian Yelich Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Justin Verlander Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Aledmys Diaz Chrome Purple Refractor
  • David Ortiz Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Kenta Maeda Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Danny Duffy Chrome Purple Refractor
  • David Price Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Albert Almora Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Lucas Giolito Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Mike Trout Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Madison Bumgarner Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Jay Bruce Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Giancarlo Stanton Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Todd Frazier Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Corey Seager Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Yu Darvish Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Francisco Lindor Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Bryce Harper Chrome Purple Refractor
  • Aroldis Chapman Chrome Purple Refractor

 photo or17thblue_zpswhzdvzgi.jpg

 photo ff17thchrome_zps4lwsznrf.jpg

 photo bharp17thchromepurp_zpshtbtih5p.jpg

Inserts

  • J.A. Happ/Carlos Correa – The Topps News/Tyler Chatwood Advertising Panel Box Topper
  • Aledmys Diaz 1968 Topps Game
  • Felix Hernandez 1968 Topps Game
  • Manuel Lee 1993 Rediscover Topps Bronze Buyback #488
  • Mickey Tettleton 1987 Rediscover Topps Bronze Buyback #649
  • Kyle Lohse 2012 Rediscover Topps Silver Buyback #26
  • David Holmberg 2014 Rediscover Topps Gold Buyback #242
  • Lou Brock/Jonathan Villar Then And Now #4
  • News Flashbacks 1968 – Ivy League Goes Co-Ed #13
  • News Flashbacks 1968 – Civil Rights Giant Slain #2
  • Baseball Flashbacks 1968 – Johnny Bench
  • Mookie Betts New Age Performers #3
  • Manny Machado New Age Performers #8

 photo 17thadbt_zpsz7fbqtzl.jpg

 photo fh68thgame_zpsx8gr30g9.jpg

 photo ml17th93rtbb_zpsxdba824f.jpg

 photo mt87rtbb_zpsu5tyu0f7.jpg

 photo lohse17thrtbb_zpsiqxtcscj.jpg

 photo dh17rdbb_zpsmfk6awcp.jpg

 photo brockjonathennow17th_zps142gmzu2.jpg

 photo nflas17th_zps28tthcsa.jpg

 photo benchbbfb17th_zpsfn3nbeqd.jpg

 photo manny17thnap_zpsxiqu8lzu.jpg

2017 Topps Baseball Series 1 Box Break & Review

 photo 17toppsbbs1box1_zpsv0cpvwu3.jpg

And so it begins.

Teams are packing up the trucks.  Spring Training is upon us.  I’ve got a good feeling about my Phillies this year.  Lets hope when they head for Clearwater, FL they don’t leave the Phanatic behind.  Its going to be fun following Mickey Moniak’s progress down in the minors.  I also look forward to watching Tommy Joseph take over at first base.  Plus, John Kruk is joining the broadcast team.

The first baseball product of 2017 contains (350) total base cards.  When it comes to their flagship brand, Topps seems to keep moving away from that traditional border design.  The setup this year reminds me of graphics you would see in front of the player while watching T.V.  Topps has done the whole border-look for years, so this new design is refreshing.  Some of the most popular parallels you’ll find include:

  • Purple (Toys “R” Us exclusive)
  • Rainbow Foil
  • Negative
  • Gold #’ed/2017
  • Vintage Stock #’ed/99
  • Black #’ed/66
  • Mother’s Day Hot Pink #’ed/50
  • Father’s Day Powder Blue #’ed/50
  • Memorial Day Camo #’ed/25
  • Clear #’ed/10
  • Platinum #’ed/1
  • Printing Plate #’ed/1

Topps scaled back on the amount of parallels and photo variations that come per box this year.  There are no SP photo variations, just SSPs to watch for.  I’m glad to see this scale back, because one photo variation per box was getting to be too much.  The plain SPs barely held much more demand than a simple base card.  Just having the SSPs was the correct way to go for 2017.  They’re difficult to pull, but very rewarding when you find one.  Luckily Topps changed that little code on the back of the cards when it comes to base and SSP photo variations.  Base cards end in 1730, while the SSPs end in 1786.  Knowing this makes them a lot easier to spot.

Inserts are more than plentiful.  My favorites include ’87 Topps, Then & Now, and 5 Tool.  Many (not all) of them come with their share of parallels and autographs.  2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the classic 1987 Topps Baseball set.  Its nice to see that classic wood grain design again.  I like Then & Now because its always cool to see older cards pictured on newer ones.  5 Tool brought back artist Tyson Beck to put his fire-style to things.  One of these years I’d like to see Topps make relics and/or autographs of the First Pitch celebrities.

All year long we will be seeing Rediscover Topps buyback cards throughout various products.  Rediscover Topps foil rarities include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Blue, and Red.  Bronze is the most common while red is harder to come by.  Topps listened to collectors and didn’t print any foil on the older buybacks.

Topps NOW was a major success last year.  The 2017 set is already underway.  Ultimate Card Giveaway codes can land you a free Topps NOW card.  If you’re really lucky you might score a complete 2017 Topps NOW set.  I pulled one of these from my box, but the code didn’t unveil anything.  No free Topps NOW card for me.

Keep your eyes open for Topps NOW Golden Tickets.  These come with a specific date on them.  Redeeming this will get you every Topps NOW card made for that day.  Each card will come with a special gold stamp.

Even after you’ve pulled that one autograph or relic, its still exciting to open the rest of the packs.  Its so packed with goodies, you never know what you might find.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Robinson Cano Major League Material Jersey

 photo cano17toppsjersey_zpsteanu2of.jpg

Parallels

  • Kris Bryant #1 Cyan Printing Plate #’ed 1/1
  • Mookie Betts #161 Gold #’ed/2017
  • Fernando Rodney #292 Gold #’ed/2017
  • Keone Kela #22 Gold #’ed/2017
  • Adonis Garcia #129 Rainbow Foil
  • Raisel Iglesias #185 Rainbow Foil
  • Colin Rea #114 Rainbow Foil

 photo kris17toppspp_zpssjr9kkz0.jpg

 photo kris17toppspp1_zpscp69ofg9.jpg

 photo bett17gold_zpswtmw8zfi.jpg

 photo rais17foil_zps5v8iwihk.jpg

Inserts

  • Greg Amsinger MLB Network #3
  • Chris Davis 2016 Rediscover Topps Buyback Gold Foil
  • Mel Hall 1987 Rediscover Topps Buyback Silver Foil
  • John Smiley 1988 Rediscover Topps Buyback Silver Foil
  • Al Nipper 1988 Rediscover Topps Buyback Bronze Foil
  • Ray Burris 1985 Rediscover Topps Buyback Bronze Foil
  • Ramon Martinez 1990 Rediscover Topps Buyback Bronze Foil
  • Roberto Clemente Rediscover Topps Promo
  • Nolan Ryan Rediscover Topps Promo
  • Jackie Robinson Rediscover Topps Promo
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. Rediscover Topps Promo
  • Don Mattingly Rediscover Topps Promo
  • David Price Then & Now #14
  • Carlos Correa Then & Now #18
  • Corey Seager Then & Now #19
  • Buster Posey Then & Now #7
  • Mase First Pitch #23
  • Keegan-Michael Key First Pitch #7
  • Stephen Colbert First Pitch #22
  • Brett Eldredge First Pitch #14
  • Deshauna Barber First Pitch #5
  • Ian Kinsler 5 Tool #27
  • Addison Russell 5 Tool #24
  • Eric Hosmer 5 Tool #9
  • Yoan Moncada 5 Tool #43
  • Matt Kemp 5 Tool #32
  • Addison Russell ’87 Topps #92
  • Frank Thomas ’87 Topps #21
  • Troy Tulowitzki ’87 Topps #41
  • Johnny Cueto ’87 Topps #95
  • Cal Ripken Jr. ’87 Topps #48
  • Aaron Judge ’87 Topps #58
  • Yoenis Cespedes ’87 Topps #24
  • Sonny Gray ’87 Topps #87
  • Hank Aaron ’87 Topps #56
  • Dansby Swanson Salute #75
  • Jose Peraza Salute #42
  • Hank Aaron Salute #98
  • Barry Larkin Salute #100
  • Kenta Maeda Salute #65
  • Yoenis Cespedes Salute #48
  • Giancarlo Stanton Salute #70
  • Corey Seager Salute #81
  • Carlos Correa Salute #84

 photo gregmlbnet17_zpsr9imbhef.jpg

 photo davis17bb_zpsdqxvyedb.jpg

 photo smil17bb_zpsmeoiy60r.jpg

 photo ray17toppbb_zpszwniiexv.jpg

 photo griffey17promo_zpstllpzv6a.jpg

 photo bptn17topps_zpszpmuhimu.jpg

 photo colbert17fp_zpsj9hhipcm.jpg

 photo yoan5tool_zpsazdqdq0e.jpg

 photo cal1787topps_zpsvwkcehjd.jpg

 photo hank17sal_zpsul5uzgqs.jpg

2016 Futera Liverpool Unique Collection Pack Break & Review

 photo liverpool2016futerapack_zpswxgvh7oj.jpg

Futera’s name is synonymous with high-end cards.  To put it simply, they are the Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bentley of the trading card industry.  Their focus is mainly English Premier League football (soccer) clubs.  International collectors have been familiar with Futera ever since they began in 1989.  Last year it was announced that their products would have more of an American presence.

The level of detail that Futera has put into their “Code For Collectors” and “Colour Grading” services is literally off the charts.  “Code For Collectors” allows you to see how that autograph, memorabilia, and/or special insert card was made.  The database features photos and a full detailed write-up about that specific card.  Futera’s “Colour Grading” service displays the number of different colored relics there are for a certain card.  For example, lets say you pull a memorabilia card serial numbered out of (25).  Their database will tell you out of those (25) which ones contain a 1-color, 2-color, 3-color, etc relic.  This is the exact setup every card company should have.  With all of this documentation, it makes it almost impossible to fall for a counterfeit.  American card companies have only scratched the surface with tools like these.

I was able to get my hands on a pack of Futera’s latest product, 2016 Liverpool Unique Collection.  The entire product focuses on the Liverpool Football Club which has a deep history given that it was established in 1892.  Many other products from their Unique Collection line are team specific as well.

2016 Liverpool Unique Collection is a high-end set.  Each box contains (4) packs with a “hit” inside every pack.  Full boxes sell for $300, and individual packs go for $80.  Futera only made (30) total cases.

The base set consists of (50) cards.  Heritage parallels were made for (40) cards each limited to (30) copies.  Other product highlights include:

  • “Memorable” memorabilia cards #’ed/43
  • “Superstars” memorabilia cards #’ed/43
  • “Team Heroes” dual memorabilia cards #’ed/32
  • “Then & Now” dual memorabilia cards #’ed/29
  • “Kitcard” dual memorabilia cards #’ed/27
  • “Memostars” memorabilia cards with 24ct gold-plated title #’ed/15
  • “The Mythicals” memorabilia cards with 24ct gold-plated frame #’ed/7

You’ll also find a good share of autographs too.  Speaking of autographs.  I don’t believe that Futera knows the meaning of a sticker autograph.  Everything I’ve seen has been signed on-card.  You have to admire that.

I really enjoy the way Futera designed these cards.  Lots of heavy white card stock makes the colored action shots pop.  A high-end look can be seen from the base cards all the way up to the rare “hits”.  Those Mythicals cards are some of the most ornately designed cards I’ve ever seen.  They look as if they were made to hang in a museum.

Overall, it was an entertaining break.

Here is what I pulled:

Base

  • John Barnes #32
  • Philippe Coutinho #16
  • Jordan Henderson #18
  • Sadio Mané #27
  • Robbie Fowler #39
  • Jerzy Dudek #38
  • Cameron Brannagan #13
  • Roberto Firmino #25
  • Graeme Souness #50

 photo firm16flfc_zpsh2ibbhfm.jpg

 photo sou16flfc_zpscl3loy9z.jpg

Memorabilia

  • Gerry Byrne Mythicals Matchday Programme #’ed/7 – contains a piece of programme from the 1965 FA Cup Final between Liverpool FC and Leeds United at Wembley Stadium; 24ct gold-plated frame

 photo gerry16flpfcframe_zpsfcodtgpj.jpg

2016 Bowman’s Best Baseball Box Break & Review

 photo bbbaseball16box_zpsuxmhijpo.jpg

The first card shop that I ever visited was called the Penalty Shot.  Don’t let the name fool you, it carried much more than just hockey cards.  It was a great shop with some glass cases full of singles, a dollar wall, and packs/boxes.  One of my first purchases was a Scott Rolen 1995 Bowman’s Best RC.  I had recently met Scott Rolen at an autograph signing during a local mall show and was collecting his cards.  I still own that card and never intend on moving it.  Sadly the Penalty Shot is no longer open.  That’s a shame because it was one of the most organized shops I’ve ever been in.  I think we can all agree that one of the key elements collectors look for in a card shop is organization.

2016 Bowman’s Best is the best of both worlds when it comes to collecting prospects and veterans.  It caters to both groups.  A single master box contains two mini-boxes.  Inside each mini-box you should discover two autographs.  That comes to four autographs for an entire master box.

The base set comes in at (100) cards that is divided up between (65) veterans/rookies and (35) top prospects.  Parallels you can pull include:

  • Refractor
  • Atomic Refractor
  • Blue Refractor #’ed/250
  • Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/35
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Superfractor #’ed/1

Autographs are a big deal when it comes to Bowman’s Best.  Most of them are signed on-card as well.  The Best of 2016 autographs are most likely what you’re going to find.  Parallels of these autographs include:

  • Refractor
  • Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/50
  • Atomic Refractor #’ed/25
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Superfractor #’ed/1

Inserts are plentiful too:

  • Bowman’s Choice Autographs
  • 1996 Bowman’s Best
  • 1996 Bowman’s Best Autographs
  • Baseball America Prospect Forecast
  • Baseball America Prospect Forecast Autographs
  • Dual Autographs
  • First Impressions Autographs
  • Mirror Image
  • Stat Lines
  • Stat Lines Autographs

Many inserts come with their share of parallels.

Last year the horizontally designed Hi-Def inserts really caught my attention.  This time around the 1996 Bowman’s Best inserts catch my eye.  Especially the parallels and autographs featuring veterans.

Overall, Bowman’s Best is really good for those collectors who want a mix of both prospects and veterans.  Boxes cost just under $100.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Sean Newcomb
  • Matt Manning
  • Ozzie Albies
  • Aaron Judge Green Refractor #’ed/99

 photo newcomb16bbauto_zpsu0ri8mw4.jpg

 photo manning16bbauto_zpsiptt4sny.jpg

 photo ozzie16bbauto_zps3p6izwxy.jpg

 photo judge16bbgreenauto_zpsfw3ipvuv.jpg

Parallels

  • Rafael Devers 1996 Bowman’s Best Orange Refractor #’ed/35
  • David Dahl Blue Refractor #’ed/250
  • Tim Anderson RC Atomic Refractor
  • Michael Conforto RC Refractor
  • Mookie Betts Refractor
  • Bryce Harper Refractor
  • Starling Marte Refractor
  • Will Benson Refractor
  • Aledmys Diaz RC Refractor
  • Tim Anderson RC Refractor
  • Giancarlo Stanton Refractor
  • Jorge Mateo Refractor
  • Yoan Moncada Refractor
  • Anderson Espinoza Refractor
  • Braxton Garrett Refractor

 photo devers16bborg96_zpsfiwn4cod.jpg

 photo dahl16bbblue_zpsonjqegu4.jpg

 photo tim16bbatom_zps4eltq12k.jpg

 photo harper16bbref_zpsbtwz9kzm.jpg

Inserts

  • Jose Berrios 1996 Bowman’s Best RC
  • Mark McGwire 1996 Bowman’s Best
  • Clayton Kershaw/Julio Urias Mirror Image
  • Buster Posey/Zack Collins Mirror Image
  • Jon Lester/Steven Matz Mirror Image
  • Anderson Espinoza Stat Lines
  • Jake Arrieta Stat Lines
  • Tyler O’Neill Stat Lines
  • Nomar Mazara Stat Lines

 photo mm16bb96_zpsjkjg9zho.jpg

 photo 16mibb_zpsraeq1xsl.jpg

 photo jake16bbstat_zpspxtkt67g.jpg

2016 Bowman Draft Baseball Jumbo Box Break & Review

 photo 16bowmandbox_zpsyooqkrc0.jpg

As 2016 comes to a close, we can say goodbye to this year’s line of Bowman products.  Bowman’s Best is officially the last Topps baseball product of 2016.  Countless boxes were ripped open, and many collectors pulled some flashy looking cards of tomorrow’s stars.  If you were lucky enough to attend the National in Atlantic City, perhaps you even got to pull some NSCC themed Bowman Chrome Refractors.  I know I did.  But before we change the calendar, let us dive into what is probably one of the most important prospect-based sets of the year – 2016 Bowman Draft.

Bowman Draft is packed with exactly what it sounds like, recent draft picks.  As a Phillies fan, 2016 Bowman Draft has me particularly excited since they had the first pick and chose Mickey Moniak.  Collectors have been happily buying up cards of these 2016 draft picks in their new MLB uniforms.

Among the (200) card base set is the wonderful world of parallels.  Its always fun to bust open a pack and see if I can spot a shiny color, especially when it turns out to be autographed.  Topps keeps coming up with new parallels to collect every year.

Bowman Paper parallels:

  • Silver #’ed/499
  • Blue #’ed/150
  • Green #’ed/99
  • Gold #’ed/50
  • Orange #’ed/25
  • Red #’ed/5
  • Black #’ed/1
  • Printing Plate #’ed/1

Bowman Chrome parallels:

  • Chrome
  • Refractor
  • Sky Blue Refractor
  • Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Superfractor #’ed/1
  • Printing Plate #’ed/1

Chrome Draft Picks Autographs parallels:

  • Refractor #’ed/499
  • Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/150
  • Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Black Refractor #’ed/75
  • Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Gold Wave Refractor #’ed/50
  • Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Red Wave Refractor #’ed/5
  • Superfractor #’ed/1
  • Printing Plate #’ed/1

Inserts to look for include Bowman Scouts’ Fantasy Impact, Draft Dividends, MLB Draft History, and Top of the Class box toppers.  All come with their fair share of parallels and autographs.  The Draft Dividends really stand out to me as they’re quite good looking.  I’m beginning to enjoy horizontally designed chrome cards.

The only veterans you’ll find come in the form of MLB Draft History.  Topps used very young photos of these vets.  They came out great.  I can’t help but notice the design is similar to those early 90’s products made by Classic.

2016 Bowman Draft’s configuration is the biggest change this year.  Gone is the regular hobby box.  You’ll have to choose between a jumbo or super jumbo box.  Since the hobby box option isn’t available, you’re going to spend a little more.  This was the first time I had ever opened a jumbo box, and it was a lot more fun than your standard hobby one.  Jumbos offer so much more to pull.

Right now 2016 Bowman Draft is the #1 product for those collectors looking for cards of the newest draft picks.  Go buy a box… or case.  In 2017, the Bowman brand turns 70.  I can’t wait to see what surprises Topps has planned.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Kyle Lewis Blue Wave Refractor Auto #’ed/150
  • Ronnie Dawson Refractor Auto #’ed/499
  • Taylor Trammell Auto

 photo lewis16bdauto_zpsqnnrirvl.jpg

 photo dawson16bdauto_zpsivddazbb.jpg

 photo taylor16bdauto_zpsmviytcdk.jpg

Parallels

  • Chase De Jong Blue Border #’ed/150
  • Ben Rortvedt Silver Border #’ed/499
  • D.J. Peters Silver Border #’ed/499
  • Nolan Williams Chrome Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Jon Harris Chrome Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Rhys Hoskins Chrome Sky Blue Refractor
  • Ryan Boldt Refractor
  • Walker Robbins Refractor
  • Erick Fedde Refractor
  • Taylor Trammell Refractor
  • Dominic Smith Refractor
  • Ben Rortvedt Refractor
  • A.J. Puckett Refractor
  • Dylan Cozens Refractor
  • Francisco Mejia Refractor
  • Will Benson Refractor
  • Alex Young Refractor
  • Will Craig Refractor
  • C.J. Chatham Refractor
  • Franklin Barreto Refractor
  • Javier Guerra Refractor
  • Alec Hansen Refractor
  • Jordan Sheffield Refractor
  • Ryan McMahon Refractor
  • Mason Thompson Refractor
  • Alexis Torres Refractor
  • Daniel Palka Refractor
  • A.J. Puk Refractor
  • Jacob Heyward Refractor
  • Ryan Hendrix Refractor

 photo dejong16bblue_zpsloiwzxf5.jpg

 photo dj16bdsil_zpst5uyebya.jpg

 photo nolan16bdgold_zpse6zioad1.jpg

 photo jon16bdpurp_zpsvbfdjlfl.jpg

 photo rhys16bdsky_zpsqyzi6fbc.jpg

 photo puk16bdref_zpsahuuvhjv.jpg

Inserts

  • Christian Arroyo Bowman Scouts’ Fantasy Impact
  • Corey Ray Bowman Scouts’ Fantasy Impact
  • Austin Meadows Bowman Scouts’ Fantasy Impact
  • Justin Dunn Bowman Scouts’ Fantasy Impact
  • Brett Lilek Draft Dividends
  • Zack Collins Draft Dividends
  • Eric Lauer Draft Dividends
  • Chipper Jones MLB Draft History
  • Frank Thomas MLB Draft History

 photo christ16fi_zps70hzhtmc.jpg

 photo 16bddd_zpsourle7yt.jpg

 photo ch16bd_zpsod0heivn.jpg