Saturday, December 17, 2016


I've made my fandom of the US Women's National Soccer Team pretty evident in the past. So I've been wanting to pick up some autos for quite awhile. In the post-World Cup hype last year they were a little out of my price range. But now that we're solidly in the lull between World Cups where the average casual fans aren't paying attention, autos can be had at much more affordable prices.

Tobin Heath
Best, most underrated player in the world.

Kelley O'Hara

Becky Sauerbrunn

All of the autos are from 2012 Panini Americana and I got all of them for less than half of what they were going for a year ago.

Friday, December 9, 2016

2016 Topps Triple Threads hobby box #2

Here is the second box of TTT, and final item from the October show.


After the Gallo relic /9 was not a patch getting a piping patch on this Marcell Ozuna relic is an improvement.



This guy has a total of 30 plate appearances in the majors and 6 hits. Not sure why he's in a high end set. Thanks Topps.


A sweet triple relic of three great pitchers. This is more like what I like to see from TTT.


And a nice Trea Turner auto/triple relic to finish it off. 

With the end of this box I am now only one post away from being completely caught up!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

2016 Topps Triple Threads hobby box #1

The last thing I picked up at the October show was two boxes of 2016 Topps Triple Threads. I've had a love affair with TTT since 2013 that I am never able to indulge as much as I would like. My dream would be to bust a few cases every year. Alas, even one double master case would cost more than I currently spend in an entire year on cards. So while that's not something feasible for me I can at least open a box or two every year as well as pick up singles on eBay. Here is the first of the two boxes.

There base parallels were all higher numbers so I will just stick with the hits.


Seems like the relics numbered to nine or less generally have a patch. So getting plain white jersey is a little disappointing. 


Ick..Yankee hit...*gag*


I thought in previous years that the rookie card autos were "extra" hits that replaced a base parallel. I could be wrong about that but it makes me feel like I was shorted a relic as this card replaced the Unity single relic/auto.


Maikel Franco is a pretty decent auto to pull. So while the rest of the box was lackluster at least it ended with an ok card.

Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 Bowman Chrome hobby box - SUPAH

The second box I picked up at the October show was a 2016 Bowman Chrome hobby box. I know some people have been pretty critical of Topps in how they configured Bowman Chrome this year going with the double mini box setup for hobby and doing the vending boxes to replace the jumbo boxes. It made sense for Topps as between the two they were able to produce far fewer base cards, assuming the number of cases produced was similar. In the case of regular hobby, 2015 and previous years contained 72 total cards per box between base, parallels, inserts and autos. 2016 boxes are 60 cards. Cases this year and previous contain 12 boxes so that is 144 fewer cards per case that Topps produced. Over an entire print run of thousands of cases that certainly added up to huge overhead savings for Topps. A lot of people don't seem to like that, getting fewer cards. I on the other hand, do like it. I mentioned before my issue with storage space for cards so I actually really don't mind getting 12 fewer base cards in a box while still getting the same number of autos and an average number of parallels. 

Now on to the cards.

Green Refractor #53/99

Refractor #243/499


Green Refractor #50/99

And then the last card, which I posted about on the day I pulled it.

Superfractor #1/1

I didn't even want to take it out of it's top loader to scan it. I still can't believe I pulled a Super. I've pulled a a few one of ones previously, printing plates and a Platinum parallel from Topps flagship, but nothing like a Super. I haven't decided yet what I want to do with it. Part of me wants to just keep it since it being my first super it should become a major centerpiece of my collection. On the other hand, Jimenez had a phenomenal 2016 season and is currently ranked by many as the current #2 Cubs prospects. So this card may fetch a pretty penny when he, hopefully, makes the majors. We shall see.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

2016 Topps Heritage Minor League hobby box

I picked up this box sort of on a whim at a show in October. I'd finished my shopping for the day and still had some cash left which of course meant opening some wax I don't normally open. This product is always pretty cheap so it was fairly low risk to go for.

Blue Parallel #96/99

Blue Parallel #55/99

Blue Parallel #92/99

So as you can see I pulled nothing special, and that's ok! With the low cost of these boxes it's worth the risk to go for the variations and nice autos. And who knows, like with other prospect products, some of these players may end up being stars in a few years.

Monday, November 21, 2016

2016 Topps Chrome hobby jumbo box - Nola shows up AGAIN

This was the last box I bought from the show in July. I always enjoy breaking Topps Chrome. At this point this set has been completely analyzed by anyone and everyone so I won't bother with the non-color and non-auto cards. Nothing special in the inserts department. The usual smattering of regular refractors. Now for the color.

Blue Wave Refractor #41/75

Purple Refractor #159/275

And now the autos





And there is number three. In one day, in one breaking session, three different boxes, three different products, two different manufacturers I pulled Aaron Nola's auto three times. I had previously pulled his auto from 2015 Bowman's Best. So I already think it's abnormal with the low amount of breaking I do that I've personally pulled his auto four times. But pulling it three times in one day? That takes the cake.

Refractor #322/499

Blue Refractor #021/150

And a nice Trea Turner auto to finish out the box.

And count 'em up, yep! Six autos!! This was also the second box in the break that I pulled an extra hit after Allen & Ginter. It's normal to pull extra hits from Panini products, but Topps? I think I had only had that happened to me once previously. I've gotten shorted hits from Topps products more than I've pulled extras. So this was nice.

October show boxes coming soon!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016 Topps Strata hobby box

In 2015 I bought a couple singles of Strata and was a big fan of how the cards looked, save for the relic window not being open. So this year I decided to get a box and try my luck.


Bumgarner wore this jersey for the Giants game at home against the Dodgers on April 7th, 2016. The Giants won the game 12-6. However, Bumgarner was not pitching that day. So another case of "game worn"rather than genuinely "game used".

Nola auto #2 of that day.

So not a very good box. But still a nice looking product. With just two cards per box Strata, I'm sure, can be very mercurial. Still it's less than $60 a box now so not a bad deal. I've got another show coming up in a couple weeks so I may get another box.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2016 Donruss Optic hobby box

When Optic was first announced I was willing to give it a shot. It seems like Panini is following Topps' lead on low-end products as of late. Optic is obviously supposed to compare to Topps Chrome. At the fairly cheap price point I thought it worth opening a box to see how it was. It ended up being a fun break!




El Oso Blanco

We are so used to seeing autographs using blue ink that it feels odd to see a card signed in black. I like it. This was also the first of three times that I pulled Aaron Nola's auto in one day. More on that in future posts..

Donruss Optic is overall a decent product in it's first go round. Optic replaced Panini Prizm as the low end chrome offering in their lineup. I think Optic's base cards are more pleasing to the eye than Prizm. The parallels are where Prizm knocked it out of the park but Optic, while not exactly falling flat, feels more "been there done that". Prizm and Optic both had/have the insert autos with stickers that are nothing special. The on-card autos look nice in both, I think. So really I see Optic as on the same level as Prizm was. No better, no worse. But Prizm probably won't be coming back. Optic just makes more sense as the chrome companion to the regular Donruss flagship set. And I'm ok with that.

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016 Allen & Ginter hobby box

This was my one yearly box of A&G that I bought back in August. Turned out ok.

The Skippers mini inserts are an unannounced pseudo case hit. This is probably the most valuable card I pulled.

Brooklyn Back mini #22/25

Woo!! Sharapova may be serving PED suspension but I don't think it was justified. Banned meds used to treat a diagnosed condition IIRC. So I was pretty happy to pull her auto. Not to mention that it's always nice to pull an extra hit!!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2015 Bowman's Best box- A nice Cub auto

The next few posts will be about the various boxes I purchased at recent shows. Up first is 2015 Bowman's Best. I had bought one box previously and enjoyed it despite not doing well. This time turned out a little better.

I'm still used to when Atomic refractors were in Topps Chrome and numbered to 10. It's weird that these are unnumbered. 

And another

Gold Refractor #22/50


Refractor unnumbered

Green refractor #40/99

Green Refractor #77/99


Loose Pack Cards

Here are three nice cards from loose packs I bought at shows. Two from 2016 Tribute and one from 2016 Stadium Club.


Conforto wore this jersey on July 31st, 2015 against the Nationals. The Mets won the game  2-1 in 12 innings. However, Conforto did not play in this game. So even though the card states that this is "Game Used Memorabilia" it really is the definition of "Player Worn Memorabilia".


Always nice when I can pack pull a card for my HoF relic PC.


Contact Sheet white parallel. At 1:638 packs not an easy pull. Even better that it's Harper!!