Archive for Honus Wagner
Got an idea I’m unveiling here. As I move into a new era of card collecting, I’m going to showcase my cards from another era simply by grouping them by the year the depicted player was inducted into the Hall of Fame. We start at the beginning: 1936
Been waiting all week to see the 2009 Topps 206 Blasters to hit retail store shelves, and when I found them Wednesday I was thrilled. Problem: The odds for any for the hits are off the charts. Autographs are EASIER to get in Blasters than relics. The easiest signature can be attained 1 in every 162 packs while the easiest relic falls 1 in every 672 packs. Autographs are almost five times easier to get than relics! There are two ways to interpret this: 1) Topps is giving Blaster Buyers a better shot at signatures; 2) Topps is milking Blaster Buyers for every penny.
These odds won’t make a difference to set collectors; Blasters offer an extra pack and cost a dollar less than buying seven random retail packs. But for basic collectors, Blasters may not be worth the money — the hits are at least three times harder to get. Is this fair?
The main problem with retail products is pack searchers are everywhere. Within 10 minutes of a retail box being placed on the shelf, someone has rifled through it and yanked the hits. So what are retail shoppers left to do? Buy blasters, which contain packs that are not searched. The problem here though is that Topps is making the collector work even harder for their hit.
There’s always the option to buy a hobby box, and given the stats that Cardboard Problem presented on Wednesday, that is looking like the best option for basic collectors.
Finally found some retail 2009 Topps 206 at Target (H/T A Cardboard Problem, via Twitter), picked up three packs from two searched boxes. Nothing major from the packs, the standard amount of base cards, three thick gold border parallels and three minis, including a Polar Bear back, which are seeded 1:10 packs.
The Jimmie Foxx mini pictured to the right is a Piedmont (common) back and was the first mini I pulled. I LOVE minis of retired players. That is why I went gaga over 2008 Allen and Ginter — I adored the Baseball Icons set, which I am still working on, by the way. The only bad thing about this Foxx: He’s shown as a Philadelphia Athletic and not a Boston Red Sox. Oh well.
The first thing I noticed about the card was that it was stained on the back. As it turns out, Topps added the staining on every card to give it an authentic tobacco feel. I thought someone really spit on it. (check out the shoddy video break here) Anyway, kind of a neat idea. I dig it.
The other two minis I pulled were of Josh Whitesell (Piedmont) and Trevor Cahill (Polar Bear). When I went to scan the cards, I realized that the Cahill was an error. First I noticed that they had Cahill listed as a D-Backs player, then seconds later I noticed it had the same card number (289) as the Josh Whitesell, who actually does play for Arizona. Looks like Topps got the backs screwed up on these two cards. Kind of ironic that out of three packs I end up with these two. Anyway, has anyone else noticed this? I wonder if the error was corrected.
Aside from the minis, this product is rather ho-hum for me. The design (front) is exactly the same as the 2002(?) Topps 206 set, so that is somewhat disappointing. But I understand there’s not a lot of wiggle room when you’re re-creating a set like this. Not when you’re honoring the 100-year anniversary. I very much dislike the gold chunk parallel cards, although they are better than a blank deterrent card. And the card backs are rather ugly, in my opinion.
As far as the base cards I pulled, I’m happy to have ended up with two Red Sox cards. And I enjoy the cards of Kenji Johjima (jailhouse pose) and Fausto Carmona (whose got his eyes closed). Find the cards of Chicago players Mike Fontenot and Alex Rios amusing (looks like the flames of Hell behind them). And The Jay Bruce is pretty solid, although I feel like I’ve seen this pose 52 times already. Go figure.
What I can’t figure out is why Topps decided to add “American League” and “National League” on the back of some of the cards, yet left it off of others. Hmm.