Card of the Day: Dennis Martinez 1979 Topps #211

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Card of the Day: Brian Banks 2013 Topps Chrome Refractor #27

Card of the Day: Bill Walton 1974-75 Topps #39

Card of the Day: Ted Williams 1971 Topps #380

2019 Topps Chrome Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

I have a confession to make.  I’m easily distracted by shiny objects.  So are a lot of other collectors.  BE CAREFUL OPENING WHILE OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY!

I can only speak for myself, but when I finished opening my box one word came to mind… balance.  The box I opened contained a very nice balance of hits.  It probably is one of the best Topps Chrome Baseball boxes I’ve ever opened.

A hobby box will run you about $110 right now.  The base set consists of (204) cards with the following parallels: Base Refractor, Prism, Sepia (Blaster), Pink (Value Pack), Negative, Purple #’ed/299, Blue #’ed/150, Green #’ed/99, Green Wave #’ed/99 (Hobby/Jumbo), Blue Wave #’ed/75 (Hobby/Jumbo), Gold #’ed/50, Gold Wave #’ed/50 (Hobby/Jumbo), Orange #’ed/25 (Hobby), Orange Wave #’ed/25 (Hobby/Jumbo), Red #’ed/5, Red Wave #’ed/5 (Hobby/Jumbo), Superfractor #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

SP Photo Variations are quite difficult to pull falling at a rate of 1:247 packs.  There are (25) total SP Photo Variations.  Pulling the regular version is hard enough, but they do have parallels: Green #’ed/99, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/5, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.

CMP codes are helpful:

  • Base – #369
  • SP Photo Variation – #409

Housed inside each hobby box are (2) guaranteed autographs which can come in the form of Rookie Autographs, Dual Rookie Autographs, 1984 Topps Baseball Autographs, 1999 Topps Chrome Baseball Autographs, Freshman Flash Autographs, and Future Stars Autographs.

Relics are case hits.  When you think about Topps Chrome Baseball, relics don’t always pop into your head right away.  They tend to be much more difficult to pull from this brand.  Called Debut Gear, these horizontally-oriented hits came out well and make me wish we saw more chrome-style relics.  Not only did I pull a case hit (1:544 packs) I got the Red Refractor version #’ed/5 (1:17,628 packs).  Not too shabby for a 24-pack box.  Debut Gear Autographs are also available.

Non-autographed inserts include 1984 Topps Baseball, Freshman Flash, Future Stars, and Greatness Returns.

I think you’ll agree that my hits were quite balanced.  One of these years I’d like to see some Topps Chrome Baseball National Sports Collectors Convention exclusive cards.  Shiny stuff!!!

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Cedric Mullins Gold Wave Refractor Auto #’ed/50
  • Sean Reid-Foley Auto

Relic

  • Ivan Rodriguez Debut Gear Patch Red Refractor #’ed/5

SP Photo Variation

  • Justus Sheffield Green Refractor #’ed/99

Parallels

  • Carlos Santana Purple Refractor #’ed/299
  • Touki Toussaint Prism Refractor
  • Jose Urena Prism Refractor
  • Dakota Hudson Prism Refractor
  • Sandy Alcantara Prism Refractor
  • Charlie Blackmon Refractor
  • Evan Longoria Refractor
  • Whit Merrifield Refractor
  • Nick Burdi Refractor
  • Jesus Aguilar Refractor
  • Justus Sheffield Refractor
  • Ronald Guzman Refractor

Inserts

  • Ty Cobb/Bryce Harper Greatness Returns
  • Kyle Wright Freshman Flash
  • Cedric Mullins Freshman Flash
  • Scott Kingery Future Stars
  • Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. Future Stars
  • Miles Mikolas Future Stars
  • Ichiro 1984 Topps
  • Francisco Lindor 1984 Topps
  • Joey Votto 1984 Topps
  • Yusei Kikuchi 1984 Topps

Card of the Day: Cliff Branch 1975 Topps #524

Counterfeit Frank Thomas 1990 Topps “No Name” Rookie Gets BGS Approval

On December 27, 2018 a counterfeit 1990 Topps Frank Thomas “No Name On Front” Error Rookie Card found it’s way to BGS (Beckett Grading Services).  It should’ve been sent back to the individual who sent it in with a note stating its not authentic.  But did that happen?  No.  Instead it slipped through the cracks, was slapped into a BGS holder, and labeled the real thing.

Thanks to BGS, this dangerous card is now floating around the hobby.  They assigned it the right card number “414A” and everything.  “414A” is used for authentic examples of this card all of the time versus “414” for the standard Frank Thomas rookie which contains his name.  Checking the BGS serial number 0011017488 even further makes you believe that its real.  Someone at BGS either didn’t know what they were doing, or was completely aware of their actions.  In today’s hobby you just can’t tell anymore.

What makes this card a fake?  Authentic examples lack a large portion of the black lines that surround the empty blue box where his name should be.  A chunk of black lines are also missing from within the inner yellow border as well.  Authentic cards also don’t contain the “Topps” name on the front.  This card which BGS claims to be authentic contains all of the lines, and the “Topps” name on the front.  MAJOR RED FLAG!  Its important to note that some counterfeits do have the missing black lines, and no “Topps” name.  Please watch out for those.  Legitimate reprints exist which were released in various Topps products over the years.  So not only did BGS grade a counterfeit, they graded a bad counterfeit.

Authentic (left) Counterfeit (right)

Originally it popped up for sale from Probstein123.  Big surprise considering the shilling, trimming, and altering scandals they’ve been involved with.  They supposedly took the card down after being alerted to it.

That brings us to today.  On July 28, 2019 eBay user infiniumusa sold this exact card (same BGS serial number 0011017488) for $3,000.  Its unclear if the transaction went through or not, but I haven’t seen it since.

The fact is that this card is out there ready to fool anyone it can.  If you’re in the market for one, stay far away if it has BGS serial number 0011017488.  TOTALLY FAKE!