2019 Topps Stadium Club Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

In an age where high-end hits continue to be the main focus of box breakers, Stadium Club aims to change that.  I’m going to say this right now.  Every Stadium Club box opened is a good box.  There isn’t a bad one in the bunch.

2019 Topps Stadium Club continues the tradition of superb and unique photography.  That’s what Stadium Club is all about.  The photos Topps uses are so entertaining to look at.  I truly believe this brand could survive without any hits at all just because of the photography.  That’s saying a lot, especially today.

When diving into a hobby box, you’ll find (16) packs with (8) cards inside each pack.  Sitting on top of the packs is an oversize box topper.  Some of these box toppers can be found with autographs and numbered to (10) copies or less.

The base set consists of (301) cards.  Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. made it in with card #301.  Full bleed photographs without a border really makes the pictures do all of the talking.  The checklist covers rookies, veterans, retired stars, and Hall of Famers.  Parallels of the base set include Red Foil (1:3), Black Foil (1:8), Sepia (Retail), Black/White (1:48 Hobby), Rainbow Foilboard #’ed/25 (1:147), Members Only (1:256), 1st Day Issue (1:367), Photographer’s Proof (1:513), and Gold Rainbow Foilboard #’ed 1/1 (1:1,808 Hobby).

SP Photo Variations are a bit more difficult to pick out because of all the unique photos used in the base set.  CMP codes can help:

  • Base – #768
  • SP Photo Variation – #805

What could make these base cards look better?  How about printing some on chrome stock?  That’s exactly what Topps did.  (90) Stadium Club Chrome cards can be pulled and have the following parallels: Refractor (1:64), Orange Refractor #’ed/99 (1:124), Gold Minted (1:257), and Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:5,976 Hobby).

Like I mentioned earlier, I strongly believe this brand could standalone without any hits.  But the on-card autographs do look really good.  Each hobby box should come with (2) autographs.

Autographs that you can get include Base Autographs, Base Chrome Autographs, Beam Team Autographs, Co-Signers Autographs, Emperors of the Zone Autographs, Lone Star Autographs, and Power Zone Autographs.

Inserts include Beam Team, Emperors of the Zone, Instavision, Power Zone, and Warp Speed.  Instavision inserts return as case hits.  Its fun to see the attention they receive on the secondary market considering they aren’t autographed.

I think its time we see some exclusive Stadium Club cards made for the National Sports Collectors Convention.  Its been years since that’s happened.  That concept could be taken in all sorts of directions.

It doesn’t matter if your two autographs are super valuable or not.  Once all of the packs are ripped, you’re going to be left with a nice selection of cards featuring memorable photographs.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Stephen Tarpley Base Auto Redemption
  • Ramon Laureano Base Auto

Parallels

  • Javier Baez Warp Speed Red Foil
  • Charlie Blackmon Black/White
  • Yadier Molina Stadium Club Chrome Orange Refractor #’ed/99
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. Stadium Club Chrome
  • Javier Baez Black Foil
  • Chris Taylor Black Foil
  • Corbin Burnes Red Foil
  • Albert Almora Jr. Red Foil
  • Niko Goodrum Red Foil
  • Matt Chapman Red Foil
  • Robbie Ray Red Foil
  • Ramon Laureano Red Foil

Inserts

  • Juan Soto Oversize Box Topper
  • Christian Yelich Beam Team
  • Mookie Betts Warp Speed
  • Byron Buxton Warp Speed
  • Nolan Ryan Emperors of the Zone
  • Trevor Bauer Emperors of the Zone
  • Matt Carpenter Power Zone
  • Miguel Andujar Power Zone

Favorite Card

  • Christy Mathewson #29

Christy Mathewson attended Bucknell University, which is just a few miles away from where I live.  He’s buried in a cemetery next to the school.  Pretty neat considering he’s a member of the first Hall of Fame class.  Depending on the year, he’ll either have a bunch of cards made or none at all.

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2018/19 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer Hobby Box Break & Review

Curious as to what the 2019 Topps Baseball flagship set will look like on Topps Chrome stock?  Have no fear.  2018/19 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer is here.

2018/19 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer utilizes the 2019 Topps Baseball flagship set design.  It gives us a nice preview as to what the flagship set looks like on chrome stock well before Topps Chrome Baseball comes out.

The set consists of top players from the UEFA Champions League.  (100) cards make up the base set.  Parallels include Refractor, Purple Refractor #’ed/250, Blue Refractor #’ed/150, Green Refractor #’ed/99, Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/75, Gold Refractor #’ed/50, Orange Refractor #’ed/25, Red Refractor #’ed/10, Red Wave Refractor #’ed/10, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.

You can’t have a set like this without some SP Photo Variations.  Lionel Messi #1, Christian Pulišić #23, Harry Kane #48, Antoine Griezmann #84, and Cristiano Ronaldo #100 cover all of them.  I made a handy little guide showing you what the SP Photo Variations look like.  Checking the CMP codes can be helpful too.  SP Photo Variations end in #223, whereas base cards end in #203.

A single hobby box should yield (1) autograph.  Even if your autograph isn’t some life altering hit, the wide variety of colored refractors helps to balance things out.

Autographs that you can get include Chrome Autographs, Champions League Debut Autographs, Future Stars Autographs, and Superstar Sensations Autographs.  Non-autographed versions of the same titles can be pulled as inserts.

One tiny difference you’ll notice is with the player’s name.  With the 2019 Topps Baseball flagship set the player’s last name is shown above their first name.  When it comes to 2018/19 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer its reversed.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Matteo Politano Chrome Auto Orange Refractor #’ed/25

Parallels

  • Gedson Fernandes Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/75
  • Marcus Rashford Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Lionel Messi Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Rafa Silva Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Marc-André ter Stegen Refractor
  • Luka Modric Refractor
  • Andreas Pereira Refractor
  • Lucas Moura Refractor
  • Marco Verratti Refractor

Inserts

  • Robert Lewandowski Superstar Sensations
  • Neymar Jr. Superstar Sensations
  • Marco Reus Superstar Sensations
  • Harry Kane Superstar Sensations
  • Raheem Sterling Future Stars
  • Saúl Ñíguez Future Stars
  • Federico Bernardeschi Future Stars

2019 Topps Museum Collection Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

BIG HITS!  BIG HITS!  BIG HITS!  That’s what Museum Collection is all about.  Over the years I’ve pulled some incredible looking cards from this product.  2019 Topps Museum Collection did not disappoint.  What a great box!!!

Museum Collection is a high-risk, high-reward product.  That’s of course if you’re thinking solely about making money.  When it comes to modern day cards, making money should never be your #1 concern.  Today’s cards should be thought of as fun, not investments.  Too many products receive an unnecessary bashing because the people opening them didn’t get a high-dollar hit.

At about $200 per box, Museum Collection may not fit everyone’s budget.  Some may settle for just a mini-box.  Every box comes with (4) mini-boxes.  Inside each mini-box you’ll find (1) hit.  (1) on-card autograph, (1) autograph relic, (1) quad relic, and (1) prime relic can be found in every master box.

A 100-card base set is there to put together.  It consists of a mixture of rookies, veterans, and Hall of Famers.  Parallels include Copper, Sapphire #’ed/150, Amethyst #’ed/99, Ruby #’ed/50, and Emerald #’ed 1/1.

This brand is really known for only having one type of insert – Canvas Collection.  For the most part, you’ll likely get (1) Canvas Collection Reproduction insert.  If you get really lucky, there are Canvas Collection OriginalsCanvas Collection Original Player Autographs, and Canvas Collection Originals Shaped Sketches.

Hits that you’ll find include Archival Autographs, Museum Framed Autographs, Superstar Showpieces Autographs, Dual Autographs, Triple Autographs, Single-Player Signature Swatches Dual Relic Autographs, Single-Player Signature Swatches Triple Relic Autographs, Momentous Material Jumbo Patch Autographs, Momentous Material Dual Jumbo Patch Autograph Book, Museum Framed Autograph Patch, Museum Framed Dual Autograph Patch Book, Single-Player Primary Pieces Quad Relics, Single-Player Primary Pieces Quad Relic Legends, Four-Player Primary Pieces Quad Relics, Meaningful Material Relics, Dual Meaningful Material Relics, Momentous Material Jumbo Patch Relics, Museum Memorabilia, and Jumbo Lumber Bat Nameplate Relics.

The Museum Framed Dual Autograph Patch Books are very well done.  I like the look of the metal hinges that hook the cards together.  They remind me of how book cards originally were made when they were first introduced to the hobby.

FYI – The Juan Soto and Pete Alonso cards were in the same pack.  Second pack in from the right.  That’s where all of the good stuff is.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto/Relic

  • Juan Soto Momentous Material 3-Color Patch Auto Gold #’ed/5

Auto

  • Dennis Eckersley Archival Autograph #’ed/199

Relics

  • Andrew Benintendi Single-Player Primary Pieces Quad Relic Copper #’ed/75
  • Dustin Pedroia Meaningful Material 3-Color Patch Gold #’ed/25

Parallels

  • Pete Alonso RC Sapphire #’ed/150
  • Kris Bryant Copper
  • Roberto Alomar Copper
  • Michael Kopech RC Copper

Insert

  • Buster Posey Canvas Collection Reproduction

Base

  • Jacob deGrom #54
  • Jose Altuve #39
  • Charlie Blackmon #34
  • Josh Donaldson #7
  • Mike Piazza #56
  • Roberto Clemente #76
  • Ozzie Smith #89
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. #6
  • Clayton Kershaw #47
  • George Springer #40
  • Freddie Freeman #4

2019 Topps Series 2 Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

We’re at the halfway point of the 2019 MLB season.  Things started off really well for my Phillies, but recently they have sunk into second place behind the Braves.  Pitching is the Phillies’ biggest problem.  They just don’t have it.  If I had to pick their best pitcher, I’d go with Zach Eflin.  That Jake Arrieta has become so incredibly difficult to watch.  I believe he reached his pinnacle when winning the World Series with the Cubs.  Since then its been downhill.  What bothers me the most is how much praise I keep hearing about their pitching.  No sooner does the game end, Phillies lose, and all you hear about is how great the pitching was.  Sometimes I think they’re in complete pitching denial.

Ok.  That’s enough about me complaining about the Phillies’ pitching.  Being almost halfway through the MLB season means the next addition to the classic flagship set is upon us once again.  I’m talking about 2019 Topps Series 2.  In a few more months we will be welcomed with 2019 Topps Updates.

Flagship sets such as this are made for major set collectors.  Products like Series 2 come with (24) packs per box, and guarantee (1) autograph or relic per hobby box.  More affordable retail options are always available.  If you feel like spending a bit more, jumbo boxes offer more hits.

2019 Topps Series 2 picks up right where Series 1 left off.  The base set ranges from card #351 to #700.  Parallels include Purple (Meijer), 150th Anniversary, Rainbow Foil, Gold #’ed/2,019, Advanced Stats #’ed/150, 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, Base Clear #’ed/10, Platinum #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. made it into the set as a Short Print.

You can’t have a flagship set without photo variations.  And there are plenty of them to look for.  The CMP codes can help:

  • Base – #962
  • SP Variation – #031
  • SSP Variation – #032

The Advanced Stat parallel also has a different CMP code which ends in #968.  The easiest way to identify these is to just look at the back as they are #’ed/150.

Unless you get extremely lucky, your hit for the most part will be a basic one-color relic.  There are plenty of big cards to find, but that shouldn’t be your main goal with this type of product.  Its vital that you check everything.  That autograph or relic may not have been a big dollar hit, but a photo variation or parallel could easily end up being the highlight.  The photos Topps picked, especially for the SSP variations, are really interesting.

The Home Run Challenge inserts continue to be my favorite.  None of the dates I’ve picked have been correct.  Anything that can keep collectors thinking about the product once its been opened is ok in my book.  Especially in a time when there are lots of products to choose from.

Gary Vaynerchuk a.k.a. Gary Vee, is featured on his own insert set, and even has some autographs.  Gary Vee is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, investor, and internet personality.  I’ve talked a bit about him before.  Earlier this year Gary Vee appeared on The Rich Eisen Show, and mentioned some of the sports cards he’s been investing in.  Trading cards is one of the areas he started in many years ago.

I think its great to see Gary Vee using his platform to talk about cards.  The general public listening though shouldn’t misinterpret what a successful, wealthy person like Gary Vee does for a hobby as a new guaranteed can’t lose source of income.  A lot of people will interpret what he says in that type of manner.  Its not meant to be received that way.  Just be smart, and enjoy the show.  His insert set highlights top entrepreneurs in baseball.

Set collectors get the most enjoyment out of Series 2.  Bring on Topps Chrome and Updates!

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Jason Heyward Major League Material Relic 150th Anniversary #’ed/150

SP Photo Variation

  • Joe Morgan #374

Parallels

  • Evolution – Radio Broadcast – Black #’ed/299
  • Tyler O’Neill Independence Day #’ed/76
  • Chris Owings 150th Anniversary
  • Billy McKinney Rainbow Foil
  • Patrick Corbin Rainbow Foil
  • Ronald Torreyes Gold #’ed/2019
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu Gold #’ed/2019
  • Ender Inciarte Gold #’ed/2019
  • David Dahl Gold #’ed/2019

Inserts

  • Carlos Correa Home Run Challenge
  • Byron Buxton Significant Statistics
  • Trevor Story Significant Statistics
  • Derek Jeter Gary Vee’s Top Entrepreneurs In Baseball
  • Chris Iannetta Gary Vee’s Top Entrepreneurs In Baseball
  • Johnny Bench 150 Years of Baseball
  • Honus Wagner 150 Years of Baseball
  • Jackie Robinson Iconic Card Reprints
  • Ernie Banks Iconic Card Reprints
  • Dale Murphy Iconic Card Reprints
  • Javier Baez 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Mark McGwire 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Max Scherzer 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Francisco Lindor 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Chris Sale 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars
  • Jose Altuve 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars

2019 Topps Finest Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Since it’s introduction to the hobby in 1993, Topps Finest has been a true fan favorite.  This is the brand that kicked-off the refractor, which has become such an important part of the hobby today.  Even now, those refractors from 1993 command major dollars on the secondary market.  Looking for a sealed box of 1993 Topps Finest?  Be prepared to spend up to $700 for one.

Topps Finest is a chrome-brand.  Although the word “chrome” isn’t in the name, that’s exactly what it is.  Its not something you think about when you have Topps Chrome and the entire Bowman family to pick from.

A master box of 2019 Topps Finest consists of (2) mini-boxes.  Inside each mini-box there are (6) packs, and (1) autograph.  That’s (2) autographs per master box.

The main base set is made up of (101) cards.  Parallels include 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, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.  Rookie sensation Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is on card #101.  His base rookie does not have any of the normal parallels.

If you’re going through your packs and pulling out cards with card numbers higher than #101, that’s because Topps included an Extended Base set.  Cards containing numbers 101-125 fall into this category.  Its important to note that there are two card number 101s.  First you have #101 of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. from the main set.  Secondly, you have #101 of the Extended Base set of Yusei Kikuchi.  The Extended Base set can be thought of as short prints.  At first glance they look just like a base card, but the card stock they’re printed on is a bit thicker.  Just like the numbered parallels and autographs.  Parallels for the Extended Base set include Gold Refractor #’ed/50, Red Refractor #’ed/5, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.

On-card autographs is where the real action is at.  Finest Autographs, Finest Blue Chips Autographs, Finest Careers Die-Cut Autographs, Finest Firsts Autographs, Finest Origins Autographs, Prized Performers Autographs, and Finest Originals Buyback Autographs are all of the different autographs that you can get.

Non-autographed inserts include Finest Blue Chips, Finest Careers Die-Cut, Finest Firsts, and Prized Performers.

Lots of 90s nostalgia with these inserts, and a couple of very solid autographs came from my box.  Simplified design with a lot of color.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Luke Voit
  • Jesus Aguilar Gold Refractor #’ed/50

Extended Base

  • Starling Marte #116

Parallels

  • Yadier Molina Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Walker Buehler Refractor
  • Michael Kopech Refractor
  • Trevor Story Refractor
  • Jose Berrios Refractor

Inserts

  • Jake Bauers Finest Firsts
  • George Springer Prized Performers
  • Joey Votto Prized Performers
  • Brandon Nimmo Blue Chips
  • Scott Kingery Blue Chips
  • Josh Hader Blue Chips
  • Shohei Ohtani Blue Chips

2018/19 Topps UEFA Champions League Museum Collection Soccer Hobby Box Break & Review

Even if you don’t speak the language, you have to admit soccer broadcasters can be very entertaining.  Especially when a goal is made.  I’d like to see cards made that commemorate some of the most memorable soccer calls in history.  How that could be done isn’t quite clear.  I guess you could have the broadcasters inscribe what they said on a card.  Don’t ask me how they would spell some of the crazy noises they make.  Placing a microchip in the card with a recording of the actual call would be ideal.  But I’ve got a feeling that could get expensive.

This is the second year soccer fans have had the opportunity to enjoy UEFA Champions League Topps Museum Collection.  The 2018/19 version of this popular brand contains (1) pack inside each box.  Every pack should have (8) cards.  (1) Autograph, (1) Autograph/Relic, and (1) Relic should be pulled from every pack.  That’s (3) total hits.  (2) base parallels, and (3) regular base cards are in each pack too.

Collectors opening boxes of this product are mainly focused on the hits.  But there is a base set to put together if that’s something you’re into.  The base set consists of (75) cards.  A handful of parallels are available – Copper #’ed/99, Sapphire #’ed/75, Gold #’ed/50, Ruby #’ed/25, and Emerald #’ed 1/1.

As mentioned before, hits are the meat and potatoes of this brand.  Hits you can pull include Archival Autographs, Archival Dual Autographs, Framed Autographs, Road to Madrid Autographs, Museum Autograph Relics, Autograph Jumbo Relics, Framed Autograph Patch, Single Player Triple Relic Autographs, Meaningful Material Single Relics, Dual Meaningful Material Patch Relics, Momentous Material Jumbo Relics, Momentous Material Prime Patch Relics, and Single Player Triple Relics.

Unlike it’s baseball counterpart, there are no Canvas Collection inserts with original artwork.  Sticker autographs are also the go to.  Most soccer products that pertain to leagues outside of the United States have sticker autographs.

As of right now, a box will cost around $100.  There is also a Bundesliga edition.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Andreas Pereira Archival Autographs Ruby #’ed/25

Auto/Relic

  • Jeroen Zoet Museum Autograph Relics Gold #’ed/50

Relic

  • Marco Reus Meaningful Material Single Relics #’ed/99

Parallels

  • Iker Casillas Copper #’ed/99
  • Miralem Pjanić Gold #’ed/50

Base

  • Benjamin Henrichs #70
  • Gareth Bale #15
  • Bertrand Traoré #8

2019 Topps Big League Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Along with Opening DayBig League is one of the most affordable baseball products on the market today.  A single hobby box will run you about $40, with retail options costing even less.  With that lower cost does come the fact you’re not guaranteed any hits, but that certainly isn’t what Big League is about.

If I had to choose between opening a box of Opening Day or Big League, I believe I’d go with Big League.  Mainly because it utilizes it’s own base card design.  Opening Day usually borrows the design of that year’s flagship set.

A single hobby box contains (24) packs with (10) cards each.  The checklist is quite deep coming in at (400) total cards.  Subsets include Stat-Kings, Award Winners, and Highlights.  Parallels include – Gold (1 per pack), Blue (Retail Blaster), Rainbow Foil #’ed/100, Artist Rendition #’ed/50, and Red Foil #’ed 1/1.

Three variations can be pulled, and they’re really easy to identify – Fernando Tatis, Jr. #6, Pete Alonso #20, and Eloy Jimenez #74.  Most of the time these cards will be of Kevin Gausman #6, Matt Carpenter #20, and Buster Posey #74.  But sometimes you can get lucky and pull one of those star rookie cards instead.

Hits are difficult to come by.  If you do get one, its going to be an autograph.  This product contains no relics.  Autographs that you can pull are Big League Autographs, Rookie Republic Autographs, and a Mystery Redemption A (Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.).

Inserts come in all shapes and sizes – Ballpark Oddities, Blast Off, Players’ Weekend Nicknames, Star Caricature Reproduction, Wall Climbers, and Topps Now World Series Set Instant Win.  Although I didn’t pull an autograph like last year, I did hit a Ballpark Oddities insert which falls 1:435 packs.  Its also possible to pull the original artwork used to make the Star Caricature Reproduction cards too.

Set collectors, collectors on a budget, and/or baseball fans looking for a product with interesting photos should thoroughly enjoy Big League.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Parallels

  • Jake Arrieta Rainbow Foil #’ed/100
  • Adam Duvall Gold
  • Gleyber Torres Gold
  • Max Muncy Gold
  • Pat Neshek Gold
  • Marcus Semien Gold
  • Kyle Gibson Gold
  • Jose Altuve Gold
  • Jesse Winker Gold
  • Christian Yelich/Trevor Story/Nolan Arenado Stat-Kings Gold
  • Juan Soto Gold
  • Felipe Vázquez Gold
  • Welington Castillo Gold
  • Wilmer Difo Gold
  • Justin Verlander/Blake Snell/Corey Kluber Stat-Kings Gold
  • Marcos Stroman Gold
  • Joey Votto Gold
  • J.D. Martinez Gold
  • Joe Panik Gold
  • Hunter Dozier Gold
  • Justin Verlander Gold
  • Miles Mikolas Gold
  • Jose Peraza Gold
  • Eddie Rosario Gold
  • Jay Bruce Gold

Inserts

  • Jose Reyes Ballpark Oddities
  • Bryce Harper Blast Off
  • Khris Davis Blast Off
  • J.D. Martinez Blast Off
  • Avisail Garcia Blast Off
  • Aaron Judge Blast Off
  • Joey Gallo Blast Off
  • Max Kepler Wall Climbers
  • Corey Dickerson Wall Climbers
  • Kevin Pillar Wall Climbers
  • Odubel Herrera Wall Climbers
  • Mike Trout Wall Climbers
  • Adam Engel Wall Climbers
  • Billy Hamilton Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Chris Archer Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Nomar Mazara Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Starlin Castro Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Dee Gordon Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Gleyber Torres Star Caricature Reproduction
  • Juan Soto Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Javier Baez Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Mookie Betts Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Tim Anderson Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Starling Marte Players’ Weekend Nicknames
  • Salvador Perez Players’ Weekend Nicknames