2020 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls Hobby Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Autograph/Relic/Olympic Fans

Do you know what the secret is to being an Olympic athlete? LITTLE CHOCOLATE DONUTS!

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games were postponed last year thanks to COVID-19. This obviously postponed the release of 2020 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls. Even though everything about this product screams 2020, I see many people referring to it as a 2021 product. It makes sense as to why seeing that the cards were printed in 2021, and have a 2021 copyright date.

We don’t get to see many standalone Olympic products. They’re usually reserved only for years when the Olympics are actually taking place. Although it isn’t uncommon for Olympians to show up in other products like Allen & Ginter. Its a welcomed change of pace as these athletes who can become superstars overnight usually don’t have that many cards made.

The base set consists of (76) cards. Parallels include Bronze (1 per pack), Silver (1:4), U.S. Flag #’ed/299, Gold #’ed/99, and FoilFractor #’ed 1/1. Watch carefully for those Gold parallels. The gold color is quite similar to the Copper ones and can easily be missed. Check the back to see if they are serial numbered to (99) copies to make sure. I almost missed mine.

Every hobby box comes with (24) packs containing (8) cards per pack. On average you should find (3) hits per box. One of those hits should be an autograph.

Autographs include your regular autographs that mirror that of the base cards. You will also find Olympic Champions Autographs which feature past winners.

Relics include Achievement Medallions Commemorative Relics, Team USA Memorabilia Pieces, and USOC Insignia Commemorative Relics.

Inserts include For Pride and Country, New to the Games!, and U.S. Olympic Heroes.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see this product receive the Sapphire treatment?

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto:

  • Kathleen Baker Base Auto #’ed/350

Relics:

  • Matt Grevers Team USA Memorabilia Pieces
  • Robbie Hummel Team USA Memorabilia Pieces

Parallels:

  • Brooke Raboutou Gold #’ed/99
  • Rose Lavelle U.S. Flag #’ed/299
  • Cat Osterman #9 Silver
  • Maggie Steffens #68 Silver
  • Brooke Raboutou #29 Silver
  • Damon Huffman #44 Silver
  • Michael Andrew #22 Silver
  • Kelsi Dahlia #18 Silver
  • Vashti Cunningham #60 Copper
  • Megan Rapinoe #20 Copper
  • Carlin Isles #5 Copper
  • Megan Rapinoe #33 Copper
  • Kyle Snyder #38 Copper
  • Alex Morgan #61 Copper
  • Mariel Zagunis #75 Copper
  • Monica Aksamit #64 Copper
  • Lilly King #74 Copper
  • Alex Morgan #21 Copper
  • Matt Grevers #17 Copper
  • David Brown #62 Copper
  • Rose Lavelle #11 Copper
  • Simone Manuel #27 Copper
  • Cat Osterman #9 Copper
  • Sam Mikulak #72 Copper

Inserts:

  • Lilly King U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Sam Mikulak U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Matt Grevers U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Jessica Long U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Carissa Moore U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Kathleen Baker U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Robbie Hummel U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Rose Lavelle U.S. Olympic Heroes
  • Haylie McCleney New To The Games!
  • Kareem Maddox New To The Games!
  • Damon Huffman New To The Games!
  • 3-On-3 Basketball New To The Games!
  • Tom Schaar New To The Games!
  • Robbie Hummel New To The Games!
  • Ryan Murphy For Pride & Country
  • David Boudia For Pride & Country
  • Madison Hughes For Pride & Country
  • Lilly King For Pride & Country
  • Alex Morgan For Pride & Country
  • Kathleen Baker For Pride & Country
  • Jordan Burroughs For Pride & Country
  • Johnny Hooper For Pride & Country

Card of the Day: Simone Biles 2016 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Hopefuls #38

Card of the Day: Milton Berle 1992 Pro Line Portraits Team NFL #2

Under The Tree: 1977-80 Pro Sports Marketing NFL Action Team Mates

Remember the days of flipping through a catalog and circling all the stuff you wanted for Christmas? Those days are long gone.

Sold exclusively through the Sears and J.C. Penney Christmas catalogs between 1977 and 1980 were the Pro Sports Marketing NFL Action Team Mates. Measuring 7.5″ tall, these NFL-themed action figures came with two sets of interchangeable numbers, removable helmet, football, playbook, and display stand. They aren’t player specific, but you could certainly place whatever jersey number you wanted on them and pretend it was Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, etc…

Figures which have never been removed from their box can easily come in pieces. Small rubber bands were used to hold the limbs together. Over the years these rubber bands can disintegrate leaving you with a box of loose body parts.

Today these figures are highly sought after. Triple digit sales are not uncommon for loose figures. Individual parts even have a strong demand.

Compared to the collectible figures we have today, these look quite generic. For a long time this is how sports action figures looked. When these were released, we were still years away from Starting Lineup figures.

I wonder if any of these guys found their way over to Barbie’s Dream House and told Ken to take a hike?

Card of the Day: Dwight Gooden 2000 Topps Chrome All-Star Rookie Team #9

Product Highlight: 1996 Best Harrisburg Senators Team Set

Today I was planning to watch the Harrisburg Senators take on the Bowie Baysox on City Island in Harrisburg, PA.  I guess we all know that’s not going to happen due to COVID-19.  This was going to be my first bobblehead giveaway of the year too.  Fans were going to receive a bobblehead of Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner.

In early March I purchased three sets of tickets for some minor league games.  Two in Harrisburg, and one in Lancaster.  With MLB looking to play half of a season starting in July with no fans in attendance, I highly doubt MiLB would be much different.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t play at all.  I’d like to get my money back for these tickets, but all I can do right now is exchange them for other tickets to a 2020 game.  This makes no sense because even if they do play fans most likely won’t be allowed in to watch.  I think they’re just holding out for as long as possible on giving refunds.  Its possible they’re holding on to the tiniest bit of hope that perhaps a certain percentage of fans might be allowed to attend.  You can’t blame them for doing so.  Tons of money has been lost already.  The last thing they want to do is dish out refunds.

In 1997 I attended my first professional baseball game on City Island.  The game was between the Harrisburg Senators and New Haven Ravens.  While sitting in my seat, a Ravens player walked by and gave me a broken bat.  To this very day I do not know who that player was.  I like to think it was Todd Helton as he was part of the Rockies minor league system at the time.

Heading in to the game, I remember stopping at a souvenir booth.  Team sets for the 1997 roster hadn’t been released yet, so I bought one leftover from the 1996 season.  The two most recognizable names on the 29-card checklist are Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Vidro.  Both players already had cards in nationally distributed sets prior to this team set release.

Product Highlight: 1995 Taco John’s Iowa Barnstormers AFL Team Set

Arena football has it’s followers.  You wouldn’t know that based on the small amount of AFL cards out there.  Upper Deck gave it a shot, but unless you pull an autograph of a famous coach or owner that box probably won’t be too rewarding.

In 1995, the Iowa Barnstormers played their inaugural season with a young quarterback on their roster named Kurt Warner.  After being released from the Packers in 1994, Warner turned to the AFL since no other NFL teams seemed that interested in signing him.  He played with the Barnstormers for three seasons before heading over to Europe, and then eventually found his way to the St. Louis Rams.

Leave it to the Iowa Barnstormers and a Mexican fast food franchise called Taco John’s to produce what is likely the most valuable AFL card ever printed.  Taco John’s sponsored the team’s first set.  You could obtain these cards in two different ways.  First was to purchase an entire team set directly from the Iowa Barnstormers.  The second way would’ve taken much longer.  For each week of the AFL season, participating Taco John’s restaurants would give out two different cards from the set with a purchase.

The entire set consists of (42) cards.  Kurt Warner is the most notable one of the bunch.  Its his first football card.

Having (42) cards in the set meant it could take up to (21) Taco John’s meals before pulling a Kurt Warner.  I wouldn’t want to see what the bathroom looks like after eating (21) Taco John’s meals.  That’s a scene best saved for a Garbage Pail Kids sticker.

Product Highlight: 1993 Topps/McDonald’s All Time Greatest Team Trading Card Glasses

McDonald’s has been making collectible drinking glasses for decades.  I never really got into them, except for when they made a set for the movie Batman Forever in 1995.  Topps and McDonald’s teamed-up in 1993 to bring collectors a set of ten glasses.  Printed on each glass is a Topps baseball card.  If you purchased any Extra Value Meal with a Coke Classic you had the opportunity to buy one of these 16-ounce All Time Greatest Team Trading Card Glasses.  Each glass features the player’s facsimile signature too.

Here’s the checklist:

  • #1 Nolan Ryan 1969 Topps #533
  • #2 Johnny Bench 1970 Topps #660
  • #3 Lou Gehrig 1961 Topps #405
  • #4 Joe Morgan 1973 Topps #230
  • #5 Cal Ripken Jr. 1985 Topps #704
  • #6 Brooks Robinson 1961 Topps #10
  • #7 Roberto Clemente 1961 Topps #388
  • #8 Willie Mays 1957 Topps #10
  • #9 Babe Ruth 1962 Topps #139
  • #10 Carl Yastrzemski 1970 Topps #10

The first nine glasses were sold nationally.  In order to get the tenth glass, you needed to live in the Boston area.  That makes Carl Yastrzemski the rarest of them all.

Card of the Day: Spyder Webb 1987 Bellingham Mariners Team Issue #16

Card of the Day: Mark McGwire 1992 Topps Dairy Queen Team USA #1