Just spotted this one, it’s probably an uncorrected error though: Check out the spelling on Pittsburgh on the Short Print version (left).
Archive for Topps 206
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.
I can’t stay away from 2009 Topps 206 retail packs. Searched or not, I find myself drawn to those blue wrappers like a piece of metal to a magnet. It’s almost masochistic at this point because I know there is almost a 99 percent chance that I will not pull a relic. What I keep telling myself is that those blue and black framed beauties are not my reason for buying these cards. And to an extent I am being truthful. The reason I am drawn to these cards is because of the minis — they resemble cards that are a century old, and for the most part they look pretty good. But what sucks is that the and relics are minis, too, only set inside colored frames which are easy for searchers to spot. Bastards.
I digress. Knowing all this, I still bought a few packs the other day and managed to do well with the minis. So well, in fact, that I hit for the cycle: got four different mini backs in just a few packs. The Piedmont backs may be the most common, but I think they may be my favorite. I really like the Polar Bear (1:10 packs) , the Old Mill (1:20) are so-so and the Cycle backs (/99) are serial numbered. But the Piedmont backs are a thing of art — they look exactly like the cards from a century ago
Which one is your favorite?
Purchased a few more 2009 Topps 206 retail packs on Monday and pulled a mini of Ken Griffey Jr. Is this really the best that Topps could have done for this veteran; a card of him looking like a huge blob? Seriously, given that this set is sort of art-based, I think there were some real opportunities. Maybe Topps could have given us another Griffey card featuring that pretty swing, or give us a throw back of him climbing the wall like Spiderman. But to put out a card that looks like this is almost a slap in the face. I don’t care if he was an Upper Deck autograph exclusive his entire career, Griffey deserves better than this heaping pile of garbage.
The rest of the five packs break was so-so. No shortprint minis, no short print base cards, but I did wind up with a relic: Chipper Jones Old Mill (1:254 packs) border jersey card. It also should be noted that I pulled another Trevor Cahill mini (Piedmont) and it appears that Topps just screwed up all of the Cahill minis as this one also features the back intended for Josh Whitesell.
For four long weeks I waited, and when the day arrived, it simply was not as I expected. Each month a local community college holds a fairly extensive flea market chalk full of regular vendors. Among them is a guy who hawks video games and baseball cards. He’s usually got a showcase of sports cards, but behind him he’s got a dollar table where he throws out two stacks of cards he offers for a buck a piece. Last month, after I ran out of money, I saw that he had vintage baseball! I quickly thumbed through them and saw some stuff I would have purchased if I had any money left.
So for four weeks I longed for the first Saturday of the month. I imagined swooping in and buying everything within sight for the low price of a buck a card, of three for $2, as he told me last month. Well, Saturday was not my day. He had no vintage, or baseball really. In his showcase he had some 2009 Topps 209 relics and autos, most notably an Old Mill Ty Cobb bat card for which he wanted $125, and a Evan Longoria auto priced at $75. I passed and moved onto the dollar table, which contained only game-used football cards. I don’t really collect football, but for a buck a piece I figured I could find a few things that would humor me, entertain you, and eventually turn for some measly Red Sox cards of the same nature. So without further adieu, I bring to you, Thrift Treasures XXI, The Bachelor Edition.
We’ll start with this utterly worthless Absolute triple relic of Brian Leonard, who at one time played for the St. Louis Rams. These cards are one of the reasons I stopped collecting football. This card features swatches of two jerseys and a football used during a PHOTO SHOOT. WTF!? A photo shoot? Lame. What intrigues me here is that we’ve got two different color jersey swatches (looks cool), which leads me to believe they used multiple jerseys during said photo shoot. I’m almost positive these didn’t come from the same jersey. But the real reason I bought this was because of the pigskin swatch. As much as I hate these event-worn relics, I do love when swatches of football with character are inserted into cards. Here, the pigskin swatch features letters from the area of the ball under the laces, the part that reads “National Football Conference.” I dig it.
For our second serving, I give you a heaping plate of Dustin Keller. This 2008 SPX “Rookie Materials” dual relic intrigues me because of the way Upper Deck has been abusing the SPX brand. Seriously, inserting metal in lieu of a jersey swatch is disgusting. I already hated the way SPX has been changed from a brand based on Holograms to a set focused on relic cards inserted into the letters S, P and X. I hate it. What makes it worse is when they do what they did with this Keller — give me two swatches and a piece of metal. Boo! The ~good~ news, this is a jersey from another rookie photo shoot. Any Jets fans want to relieve me from this agony? Did I mention it’s numbered to just 199 copies?! All I ask for is baseball, preferably Red Sox in return.
When I was attending San Jose State, I had the pleasure of spending three years at the student newspaper, an experience that ultimately helped me into my profession. I have many memories from that time including two stints as a sports editor. During one semester, there was a wide out for conference rival University of Nevada-Reno who was lighting the Western Athletic Conference on fire, Nate Burleson. Now some seven years later I’ve finally got my hands on a Burleson rookie, a rookie jersey card at that. There is no mention of where this purple swatch of Minnesota Vikings jersey comes from, but given what I’ve shown you already today, I’m guess this also came from a photo shoot. What is mentioned on the back of this card is that he used to light up San Jose State. Just awesome. I might have to keep this card just because of the memories it brings back.
Remember Freddie Mitchell? I think the guy made one great catch in a big game somewhere and then became the talk of the National Football League for a few minutes. He then came out at a press conference dressed like he was Don Magic Juan talking all kinds of junk. At least that is what I remember of Mitchell. Anyway, here is another reason to remember Mitchell: This sick-ass jersey card. This was the very first card I pulled out of the stack for purchase. Are you kidding me? This swatch comes from his UCLA jersey and features a powder blue jersey with a navy blue area that I’m almost certain came from the shadow effect around his jersey number. This card is worth the entire purchase alone.
And finally I present The Bachelor: Jesse Palmer. This washed up college and NFL quarterback, now ESPN college football analyst, was the centerpiece of Season Four (2004) of The Bachelor television show. For a few months the ladies swooned over this guy, who I’d imagine must be pretty well-off financially. They gawked at his images in magazines across the country and started to follow his already declining career. They wanted to know him, they wanted to be with him. And these ladies could have had a piece of him the whole time … well, his jersey anyway. Not sure what my intentions are with this card. I mean it’s not like Jesse Palmer is the object of every woman’s affection at this point; they’re all into pretty boys like Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson. I may just keep it for fun, or is that a bit creepy?
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.