#TBT part 2

23 01 2017

I really like what Topps has done with their online offerings this year.  Yes, they are a tad bit expensive.  And, yes, they’re not cutting out any other product to do this stuff.  But Topps Now is, to me, a phenomenal idea.  I wish it was half the price, for sure, but the way the multiples work you could theoretically buy 3-5 of one card and sell them on eBay to defray the cost.  Either way, the fact you could go to a game, and the next day potentially buy a card with a picture from that game?  Great idea.

Throwback Thursday is the other thing they’ve done.  I purchased a couple of these during the season – the first TBT set Topps did, and I’ve bought up cards of Griffey/Piazza from the HOF induction.

I also bought one Topps did right at the end of the season.  This set caught my eye because it’s mimicking a white whale for Topps collectors.  In 1990, Topps made a card for then-President George Bush.  It’s a card I’d love to own someday, but the price will probably deter that from ever happening.  I wrote a bit about it here.  But at the end of last year, Topps did a 6-card TBT card set of former presidents this year, which was pretty cool.  It took the theme of “Presidents attending MLB games”.  So I ponied up the $19.99 and got a set.


One thing to note on these – they are very thick, which is nice considering the cost.  But they warp like 2010 Topps Chrome, which is surprising for this type of card.

I’m hopeful the new administration will surprise people.  Because of things like Dodd Frank, government has become so unnecessarily big that I believe it’s a drag on our economy.  At the same time, I’m hoping common sense prevails and the progress we’ve made in civil liberties isn’t undone.



11 08 2016

A little while ago I bought into another one of Topps internet ideas.  On some level, I feel like a sucker, but I do think these things are pretty cool.

Last year, Topps started generating various 5 x 7 sets with a throwback theme.  These are usually numbered between 50 and 199, with a couple of rarer (1/1) variations available.  I bought the set of the 1990 Reds and one that has Ken Griffey Jr’s full run of Topps cards.  I think they typically run $19.99 for the cheaper stuff.

This year, they came out with Topps Now, which is a real-time effort at producing season highlight cards.  Each day, they pick a few highlights from the day before and memorialize them on a card.  You have 24 hours to buy the card, and however many orders come in are the number printed.  It’s $9.99 per card, including shipping, or $29.99 for 5 cards (you can’t mix and match cards of a given day).  I bought the first Reds card available and then bought a card if Ichiro passing Pete Rose for the most hist as a professional.  And I’m also gonna buy an Ichiro 3K card on eBay (I missed the Topps Now day) when I get around to it.

Next up, Topps started doing Throwback Thursday.  It’s a neat idea – once a week, they pick out an old set, then they do 6 cards of players and throw them on that set design.  They have been doing it for quite a while now.  I bought a set the 2nd week, which was done in the design of the 1955 Bowman “TV” set.  It’s pretty neat, and in all honesty, doing a set like this once a week is better than doing 4 to 6 cards a day for Topps Now.

2016 Topps Throwback Thursday

Here’s the set.  I actually bought 3, 1 to keep and 2 for speculative purposes because it’s only a bit more to get the 2 more sets.

I am also piecing together the Griffey / Piazza Hall of Fame set that came.

An obligatory Gypsy Queen post?

12 05 2015

2015 Gypsy Queen blaster

I swore off buying retro products this year.  However, just like Topps Heritage, I found myself unable to avoid purchasing some Gypsy Queen.  I liked the first Gypsy Queen set (2011) the best, and then last year’s set was good as well.  I’d put this year’s version third – ahead of 2012 and 2013 – it’s a little bit different design with what I’ll call the “key” effect.

2015 Gypsy Queen Joc Pederson

For the record, that makes 2012 and 2013 the worst designs out of the 5 year GQ run.

I got my Gypsy Queen fix via Target.  I bought a blaster, which consisted of 8 6-card packs, and one of the value packs, which gives you 3 more 6-card packs as well as 3 of the white framed paper parallel cards.  I’ll start with the value pack.  The white framed paper cards are always the best looking cards in this product.  This year is no exception, though I didn’t get anybody of particular note.

2015 Gypsy Queen white framed paper

You get one mini per pack – and I did a little better as far as the minis go, with a former Cy Young winner in the mix.

2015 Gypsy Queen value minis

Here are the 2 inserts I got – Walk-Off Winners and Glove Stories, which has been a GQ insert since the first year.

2015 Gypsy Queen walk off winners Hatteberg

2015 Gypsy Queen Glove Stories Bourjos

As far as base cards, I got 3 retired players.  Now I tend to complain about Topps re-using old photos, because it is the number one thing I would want to change from their products.  But this photo of the Iron Horse is a classic and does go really well with the design.

2015 Gypsy Queen value retired players

And here were the most interesting current players.

2015 Gypsy Queen value current players

Moving on to the current players from the Blaster box.  This could be known as the advertising set.  There are a number of cards where you can clearly see ads in the back.  Mostly this is on cards that are poses from Spring Training.  The Hudson card below has clear advertisements for Play Station and Hilton Garden Inn.

2015 Gypsy Queen blaster current players

I got 6 Hall of Fame retired players.  And Mark McGwire, I had kind of forgotten Topps was putting his cards in their products.  But since I had 6 HOF-ers, he didn’t make the scan!

2015 Gypsy Queen blaster HOF players

I got a Gold Framed Paper card of Joe Mauer in this box – these are numbered out of 499.  The odds say 1:27, which would mean you’d get this every 3-4 boxes.  So a good pull.

2015 Gypsy Queen Gold Framed Paper Mauer

Here were the other inserts.  Another Glove Stories, another Walk-Off Winners

2015 Gypsy Queen Glove Stories Gordon

2015 Gypsy Queen blaster inserts

Finally, here were the mini cards.  8 of them, one of which was a red version of Lucas Duda.  That’s numbered out of 50, and should come one every 10 blasters per the odds.  So another good pull.

2015 Gypsy Queen blaster minis

All in all – this was fun to open.  I think someday I’ll collect these, but want to stay focused on the next steps in my Topps project – which means on to 2002!

2015 Topps Heritage – a couple of retail packs

5 03 2015

I said I wasn’t going to collect Heritage this year, and I fully intended not to.  But then I went to the card aisle at Target two days ago – looking for Topps flagship.  I found that, but surprisingly, I also found Heritage out on the shelves – 2 or 3 days earlier than it was supposed to be.  And I couldn’t help myself, so I bought a hanger pack, which had 35 cards.  And a 9-card retail pack.  Here are all 44 cards.

1st card: I got 1 SP card.  That was Giancarlo Stanton.  He used to call himself Mike Stanton, but changed to his given name because he didn’t want to be confused as the former guy who pitched for the Braves and Yankees.  Now he’s got the richest contract in sports history – so he can tell us to call him whatever he wants!

2015 Heritage Giancarlo Stanton

2nd card: That made me think of this guy – who is also changing what we call him to his given name.  Who knew that B.J. stood for Boss, Jr?  Certainly not me.  Future cards of Mr. Upton will call him “Melvin”.  His contract isn’t as rich as Mike/Giancarlo – and his production is even further off.

2015 Heritage BJ Upton

Cards #3-#7: It’s not that easy to tell from the scan, but these are parallel cards.  I couldn’t find odds on these, but they are calling them holofoil for the few people who are selling them on eBay.  They have a refractor effect, but they aren’t chrome cards.  Pretty nice, actually – I think Topps could just go with these and forget the 6 different chrome versions.  This is a 100-card partial parallel – just like all the Chrome cards.

2015 Heritage hanger pack Holofoil

Card #8: I got one of the News Flashbacks – this one was for the opening of the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC.

2015 Heritage Flashbacks Metropolitan Opera House

Card #9: The other insert I got was Then & Now, with Adam Wainwright and Sandy Koufax.  You’d figure most of them would be Koufax and Kershaw, but this was for the league leader in shutouts.  Wainwright tied for the league lead with 3 last year; Koufax had 5 in 1966.

2015 Heritage Then & Now Koufax Wainwright

Cards #10-18: Here are the first few base cards.  2 All-Star Rookies in there, including the AL Rookie of the Year, a manager, and Melky in his new digs.

2015 Heritage hanger pack base cards

Cards #19-26: The next 8 cards show off 3 horizontal (landscape) cards.  I got both strikeout leaders – note how Cueto is the leader in the NL!

2015 Heritage hanger pack base cards_0001

Cards #27-35: These are the last 9 cards of the hanger pack.  2 more All-Star Rookies.  That Hosmer card has to be on the list of the most super-duper-up-close cards of all-time.  Night Owl did a post on that a little while ago.

2015 Heritage hanger pack base cards_0002

36th card: This is the retail loosey I bought.  Nice to get a card of Mr. Cub – though it’s hard not to see this and feel sad that he passed away.

2015 Heritage BB flashback Ernie Banks

Cards #37-44: A 5th All-Star Rookie.  I’m on fire!

2015 Heritage retail pack base cards

This was probably a mistake – I now feel the need to get a hobby box…

Disappointment with my Heritage

16 03 2014

Disappointment with Topps Heritage, that is.  I’ve said it multiple times on this blog.  Like in the post I did back in 2012:

2012 Topps Archives – oddball sets that didn’t make the cut

I hope someday Topps does a throwback to this – I’d be disappointed if the 2014 Heritage set doesn’t have these in the product somehow.

1965 Topps Embossed cards

So the news of how rare the embossed cards are in 2014 Heritage for these cards has me bummed.  When I was younger, my mom used to take me and my brother out looking for antique copper luster-ware.  We’d go to antique shops and I remember buying quite a few of these.  I always thought they were pretty cool.  The gold cards have a raised relief sculpture-type picture of the player.  They don’t really depict the player all that well, but I still like them.  And I don’t think I’m alone – like 1987 Topps, collectors seem to have a love-hate relationship with these cards.

Well, Topps did put them in the product.  And I was super-excited – from all the promotional material, it sounded like these would replace the stick-ums from last year’s set.  Meaning, they would be a 3-per box insert or so.  Unfortunately, that’s not what Topps did.  They changed it up and made these super-duper-uber-duber-short-printed.  Supposedly there are only 15 of each in existence, and they’re going for a big price on eBay.  So much for collectability.  I was really looking forward to this year’s Heritage.  The 1965 design is one of the best out there.  I liked the look of their Clubhouse Collection cards.  And the embossed cards put it over the top for me.  But now – I’m just disappointed.  I still got two boxes, but am definitely bummed.

There was an interesting link on blowout cards forums – talking about pre-sells of this on eBay.  I don’t really care too much about this, I’m more disappointed in the fact they were made so rare overall.  Obviously, Topps can do what they want with their product, but I think to get rarity into Heritage a platinum parallel would have been a better idea.


A lot of the things Topps did with this product isn’t in line with what Heritage has been in the past.  It’s a product geared toward the set collector, and the idea has been to pay homage to the set from back then.  But this year, there are Real One autographs of Jim Rice and Don Mattingly – players who were in middle school when 1965 Topps came out.  But the embossed thing is what bums me out the most.

More Turkey Reds

4 03 2014

I got the chance to open up the other 5 Turkey Red packs I ordered from Topps, and here’s the highlights from that purchase.  I mentioned it earlier, but I don’t like the base cards nearly as much as some of the other Turkey Red designs.  When they’ve done these retro sets a few times, they can’t do the same design as the set it’s paying homage to.  I thought last year’s was a really cool take on Turkey Red.  This year’s design doesn’t seem all that great – in fact, it seems kind of lazy.  But, I still kind of like the product and the way they do the photos.  Here’s a few of the more notable base cards I pulled.  Rivera is going to have quite a few last cards it seems, which is fine by me.  This could be one of Cano’s last Yankee cards, though he’s already complaining about management in Seattle.

2014 Turkey Red base cards

I thought that Harper looked very familiar…

2013 Turkey Red first pack

I hate when they do that.  Here’s a few more from this year’s set.  The Canon advertisement on Swisher’s card is interesting after Night Owl recently pointed out about the noticeable lack of advertising in the Topps flagship set.

2014 Turkey Red base cards_0001

I got 6 different autographs, so that’s a pretty good thing.  Yan Gomes and Chris Owings are up first.  These guys don’t have regular cards – just the auto version.

2014 Turkey Red autos

Next up are two guys I’d never heard of.

2014 Turkey Red autos_0001

And last but not least is the best pull of this purchase – an auto of Cubs rookie Junior Lake.  This one is only #’d out of 49, whereas the others were mostly 499 or 599.

2014 Turkey Red autos_0002

We interrupt this series for some Red Turkeys

25 02 2014

I bought 6 boxes of Turkey Red from the Topps website last week, and they came in yesterday.  I don’t think they’re going to be as popular as last year (though they are sold out), and I know online exclusives aren’t everybody’s favorite.  But I’ve been busy as hell and I liked the ones last year.  They come in a pretty cool box that looks like an old school cigarette pack, so that’s cool.

I’m just going to do one box/pack for now, then get back to my series of last cards.  I’ll open the other 5 whenever audit season (my job) winds down.  That said – who was the first card?  A real turkey!

2014 Turkey Red Braun

Gobble up those steroids!!!  The design is honestly a little weird.  I thought the mock-ups on Topps’ website might be fake, but it’s almost too simplistic.  I like the coloring of the photos, though, so it’s got some redeemable qualities.

You get 11 cards in a pack.  Here are the other 9 regular cards.  Reigning 2-time MVP is a good thing.

2014 Turkey Red box 1

And here’s my auto.  This is #’d out of 99, which if you went off last year means it’s a rarer auto than most.  Delabar is one of only a few pitchers to throw an “immaculate inning”, striking out 3 batters on 9 pitches.

2014 Turkey Red Delabar

2013 Turkey Red – 6 packs

28 02 2013

As mentioned yesterday, I was able to get in early enough and purchase some Turkey Red packs through Topps online promotion.  Topps had a pre-sale, selling packs for $20 each.  That sold out very quickly, and then a week later they had a regular sale for $25 each.  That also sold out very quickly.  I got in on the pre sale and ordered 6 packs.  I think my reasoning for 6 was free shipping.  If I remember right, getting over 100 bucks got you free shipping.  Since it was really $19.99, to get over that amount I needed 6.  And it seemed like a good number.  Here’s what the packs look like – they were really cardboard mini-boxes that I think are meant to remind you of some tobacco packaging from the early 20th century.

2013 Turkey Red pack

The way these work, there are 10 regular cards and 1 autograph in each pack.  I didn’t pull any major mojo, and I got quite a few more doubles than I would have preferred (43 singles, 17 doubles).

2013 Turkey Red cards

But the cards are really nice.  The design is nice, the pictures are pretty good.  The card stock seems better than some of the other retro releases Topps has (like Gypsy Queen).  I also like that these are only current players.

2013 Turkey Red cards_0001

And, naturally, I got 6 autographs.  I showed one of them yesterday.  And I got one double of the auto, too.  Here’s the 4 other autographs.  Nothing to write home about, but I think that’s the nature of this type of purchase – there’s a chance at something really nice, but you may not pull a huge hit.  I bought this product because of the base cards, though, which are very nice as I said above!

2013 Turkey Red autos

Turkey Red, 2013 Version

27 02 2013

Unlike a few other bloggers I’ve read about, I was lucky enough to make it on to Topps web site in time to purchase some packs (they’re more like mini-boxes) of the online-exclusive Turkey Red.

Here’s the first card.

2013 Turkey Red first card

Here’s the rest of the first pack.  Pulled both rookie of the year winners.

2013 Turkey Red first pack

Here’s the autograph.

2013 Turkey Red first pack auto

I’ll show some more tomorrow,

Leaf Memories and the original – in both sets, Paul Molitor

10 01 2013

One player is in both the 2012 Leaf Memories set and the original set from 1990 Leaf.  That’s Paul Molitor, who is shown with the Brewers in the 1990 set.  It’s hard to tell for sure because it’s a black and white photo shopped picture, but I think that’s also a Brewers uniform, though I think it could be the Blue Jays, too.

Picture 1