Archive for Topps Chrome

“Oh yeah! I got a 1-of-1!” –

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Commentary, Kid Collectors with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Topps Chrome Update Mega Boxes are all the rage right now. And on Thursday night during a stop at Target to get groceries I lucked into a group of four boxes that were tucked behind some blasters.

This is my third time seeing them “in the wild” since their release. And even though I told myself I was done with them after buying a few last week, the fact that they were 10% off This week made me grab the remaining four.

I opened two in car — pulled a Vlad Jr. rookie and a green Refractor Hunter Pence /99 — and decided to keep the other two sealed until I picked up my kids. I figured I’d let me son pick one and open it if he decided to buy one with his birthday money.

I presented the option to him and of course he opted in at the $18 price tag. He looked at the two sealed boxes I had on the kitchen table and held one in his hand, looking at the odds. And then at the last second he switched the boxes with me … which I didn’t mind. This was about HIM, not me.

He used my keys to pierce the cellophane wrapper and then unboxed the seven packs. He grabbed the first one and ripped the back. It was at that moment — at about 8:50 pm Pacific on 11/5/19 — he had a monumental experience.

“Oh yeah! I got a 1-of-1!” he exclaimed as he pulled off the wrapper.

I was shocked. I stood up to get a better look — it was a yellow printing plate for Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu’s All Star Game card, #70 in the set. My son puts his cards in binders, sorted by team. Because that’s what you do when you’re new to the hobby — he’s only been actively involved for about a year.

“That’ll go in a holder,” he said as he looked at the metal card.

The moment got be excited, and damn near made my cry. Parenthood will do that.

We high-fived. We hugged. We talked about how hard it is to get one.

And not once — not even to this moment — did we talk about value, worth, resell price, etc.

I was 18 when I pulled my first 1-of-1. It, too, was a printing plate. It was a plate for a 1998 Topps Gallery Nomar Garciaparra that literally fell out of a pack I opened at the register at R&K Comics in Sunnyvale, Calif. I was in college at the time and sold it a few weeks later when I realized the card could net me enough to pay for a semester of books.

The market has certainly shifted over the last two decades — printing plates aren’t nearly as desirable, and more people than before argue against their 1-of-1 status since there are typically four plates for each card, even though they are in different colors thereby making them unique as the card states in the rear.

But the experience is what makes this a huge deal, and it’s these father-son moments of bonding that keep me excited about this hobby.

On a side note, I came home last week with a Mega Box of the same product for him. He opened it and also hit an autograph of Yankees pitcher Chance Adams. He was excited do that pull, but nowhere near as excited as he was in this night with his first 1-of-1.

The little things in collecting bring joy

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , , on October 31, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I kind of got a kick out of something today and it was a reminder to me that I am indeed jaded.

I ran into a freshly stocked shelf at Target today, one consisting of the new Topps Update Chrome Mega Boxes. I grabbed a few for me, and one for my son. I opened mine and got some decent looking cards but nothing to really show off.

Then when my son got home from school he opened his Mega Box. And there in the last pack was an autograph of … Yankees rookie pitcher Chance Adams.

My son was enamored. There in his 9-year-Old hands was a rookie autograph of a Major League Player. It instantly became one of his favorite cards, even though it’s far from his best card. But all this kid knows is that from the box he opened he got himself an autograph card … and I wasn’t going to sully his thinking by telling him he could probably buy 15 of those autos for the cost of the Mega Box.

The joy on his face and in his voice when he announced it and showed it off to his sister is what the hobby is all about. It’s something that I and many others miss because we’ve all been jaded — whether we want to believe it or not — by the cost of products; the incessant complaining about lack of creativity, and the feeling that we need to get our money back in our breaks for any of this to make sense.

I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir. And I’m also sure there are some of you laughing that my kid is excited about a Chance Adams auto. But fact remains that we are all chasing that joy; we are all trying to recreate those fabulous feelings we all had whenever we pulled something that made us smile.

We don’t all collect the same. Hell, not all of us even participate in this hobby the same way. But whenever anyone is feeling joy about whatever they’re doing in this hobby, it is a great reminder of why some of us got into it in the first place, and I wish we — I — could feel more of that.

In Memoriam: Yordano Ventura 6/3/91-1/22/17

Posted in In Memoriam with tags , , , , on January 22, 2017 by Cardboard Icons

Rookie Card Upgrade 8: 2011 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs Refractor Craig Kimbrel (BGS 9)

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , on November 25, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I have a thing for electric closers. Kimbrel definitely fits the mold and about three years ago I bought this raw 2011 Topps Chrome Rookie Autograph for my collection.

  
Kimbrel has been a stud ever since, but demand for his cards decreased due in part to the fact that he had since been traded to the San Diego Padres. About a month ago a BGS graded refractor version of the card hit COMC at less than the price of a blaster box. Needless to say I popped on it.  

And then as the card was being shipped to me, Kimbrel was traded to the Boston Red Sox, my favorite team. Timing was perfect for this acquisition. 

TTM Return: Yu Darvish (and more)

Posted in TTM Success with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

So, about a month ago I quietly sent out a handful or TTM requests to some players who admittedly were longshots.  These were guys I did not expect to get ANYTHING in return, but figured it was worth a shot since it was pretty early in the year. Well, the first one returned, and lo and behold it was longest shot of all, Yu Darvish.

The Iranian-Japanese right-handed pitcher has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since he came to the Major Leagues in 2012.  So, on Friday night, my wife and I were having dinner at a local establishment, sitting at the bar, and in the background I heard that Darvish had a perfect game going through 7 innings. Surprise!

Then out of nowhere, my wife tells me that I got a small envelope in the mail at my mother-in-law’s house and she  pulled it out of her purse.  It’s the Darvish return envelope! (Worth noting that my wife has no idea who the envelope is from, other than “Y.D.,” the initials that I placed on the envelope

I rip it open at the bar (kinda funny to watch me do this I bet) and instantly see that my 2012 Topps Darvish rookie card is within the envelope, but is unsigned.  Behind the Topps card is an over-sized card often given away by clubs, and it’s signed … digitally.

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Bummer.

Let down.

Waste of time.

Whatever term or phrase you want to describe this situation I suppose could be justified.  But what you cannot say is that Darvish is a bad guy for not signing.  There are lots of players — let alone mega superstars — who simply do not signed through the mail and their requests simply go un-returned.

So while I did not get a real Darvish autograph in this attempt, it was still a cool story, given the circumstances. And I do appreciate the return.

On a side note, a day later I received this TTM return, I did receive a real Darvish autograph, one that I purchased on eBay a week earlier.  It’s the pictured 2012 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs, graded BGS 9.

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Clearance retail Chrome hitting stores; Strasburg rookie auto refractor pulled

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Who doesn’t love a deal, especially when they come in the form of marked-down collectible baseball cards.

True clearance prices for sealed packs of baseball cards in a retail setting are rarely seen. Most stores blow through product before there is a chance for it to sit around. And in the cases where stock has collected dust, the packs are sent back to the distributor and then they are repackaged in another form.

And in the occasions where cards are marked down, they usually are brands that are not super appealing. Well, in some Toys R Us stores right now, you might find something that is appealing — 2010 Topps Chrome baseball, and in some places 2010 Bowman Chrome baseball.

The 2010 rookie class is one that continues to be at the front of the hobby even two years later.

Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, Marlins outfielder Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton and Indians catcher Carlos Santana are the five names that led that fairly deep rookie card class. And in Topps chrome you have a shot at their rookie cards, as well as signed versions that can be worth big money.

Toys R Us appears to have been restocked with loads of 2010 Topps Chrome rack packs which feature three sealed retail packs (4 cards per pack) and a retail exclusive pack of three orange refractor parallel cards. The original price on these packs was $9.99. These are now available to you for $4.99.

And while the odds for any autograph are tough, and the chances to land one of the aforementioned five rookie studs are even worse, the opportunity is there. And no one is passing up that chance when it comes at basically $1.66 a pack.

I’ve visited three Toys R Us stores this week and found Topps Chrome in each of them, and in one store I actually located a blaster of 2010 Bowman Chrome for $12.99. (I opened it, it was bad …. really, really, bad.)

Needless to say I cleared out all of the Topps Chrome packs, and it is always fun to look back and see this many refractors.

And those rookies? Yeah, pulled a few of those too:

Even a few shiny ones:

But nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the feeling when you beat the odds and pull the main card in the set from a retail pack:

2010 Topps Chrome Refractor Autograph Stephen Strasburg /499

Happy hunting.

Video Break: 2011 Topps Chrome Football Blaster

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

Needed a few more things from Walmart so I had to make a quick trip. Lo and behold they got the new 2011 Topps Chrome football blasters in this morning.  This almost never happens here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Usually we get them a week after they start hitting retail shelves on the east coast. Anyway, I broke my blaster on video. Shiny stuff inside.

Enjoy.