Tag Archive | "Rookie Cards"

Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – 2013 Topps Opening Day

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – 2013 Topps Opening Day

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Tim Danielson


Per Box Items:
36 Packs per box
7 cards per pack

The standard sized 220 card base set cards feature a full color action shot of the player. Bordered in white, the card fronts have the player name and team logo at the bottom. The card fronts are trimmed with the team’s primary color. The card backs are photo-less and are horizontal in design. The card fronts also have teh Opening Day logo. The backs include moderate biographical information, a ‘career chase’ statistic, complete career statistics, and brief career highlights or a player quote. The backs are also trimmed with the team’s primary color. This is the same design as 2013 Topps Series 1 and 2013 Topps Stickers.

What I pulled:
252 total cards
1 duplicate
211/220 base set cards = 96% of the base set
7 serial numbered parallels
33 other inserts

Base card front and back:


Insets and parallels: (not all scanned)
7 Superstar Celebrations
7 Playhard
7 Ballpark Fun
4 Team Mascots
8 Opening Day Stars (3D card, incl. Strasburg, Darvish, Trout, Miguel Caberea)
7 Sparkle Blue parallels #/2013



I really like the design of this year’s Topps cards. The very simple clean design is very appealing. I think that the photography from Topps has really improved over the past couple of years. Topps again uses occasional horizontal card fronts when the shot dictates. Topps really appeals to younger collectors with the Play Hard, Mascot, and Ballpark Fun insert sets. There are 10 variations available. Most of these subjects are star players on there new teams at a press conference. There are not many rookie cards, but again this product is made with a younger fan in mind. The Topps Opening Day set set is loaded with inserts and parallel sets. I would have liked to see a few less inserts to get that many more base set cards. That being said though it will not be difficult to complete the base set and some of the inserts look pretty cool!

The Bottom Line:
I give 2013 Topps Series 1 a buy rating. It will be very easy to complete a base set with a box, and some light trading. There are lots of inserts and parallels to chase.

The Final Score:
Final Ratings (Out of 10):
Base set collect-ability: 9/10
Big-hit Hunter: NA
Prospector Hunter: 6/10
Value: 10/10
Overall Quality: 10/10

Overall: 35/40 (88% = B)

Thanks to Topps for making this review possible!

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – 2013 Topps Stickers

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – 2013 Topps Stickers

Posted on 16 April 2013 by Tim Danielson


Per Box Items:
50 packs per box
8 stickers per pack

Topps sell sheet

What I pulled:
406 cards (6 came with the book)
107 duplicates
313/315 cards of the set
15 stickers make a SF Giants puzzle
The 30 team logo stickers come 2 to a sticker card.

The 2013 Topps sticker cards have a color action shot of the named player, Bordered in white the sticker cards have a simple graphic at the bottom with the players name and team logo. The graphic is trimmed in the teams primary colors. The card design is similar the 2013 Topps base set card design. The sticker card backs are photo-less and void of any statistics and player information. The plain white backs just have the sticker number and copyright information.

Sticker card samples:



O. My. Gosh! I love Topps stickers books! It has been years since I completed one. I eagerly busted the packs as memories of my childhood came flooding back to me. This is the perfect product to get your kids into this great hobby. My sons and I had a couple of hours of fun while we sorted and placed the stickers. Nine players per team makes them really easy to sort. Most of the teams have either a mascot and or a veteran player sticker card. The team logo pages in the book also have a post season tracker bracket. I absolutely love the mix of retired stars and current players.  My oldest son got excited when he recognized a name he saw.  I had the same twinkle in my eye when I saw a player that I recognized from when I was his age.  No rookie cards or hits, but overflowing with value and awesome fun!. The only negative thing I have to say is that with over 100 duplicates I was still 2 cards short of completing the book. Really Topps? I know this is an entry level product, but you can do better than that!

The Bottom Line:
I give 2013 Topps Stickers a strong buy rating. You should be more than able to complete a base set with one box with lots of doubles to spare. Buy a box a trade me #34 Ben Zobrist and #172 Bryce Harper because I need them for my book and your extra Rickey Henderson and Tigers stickers!

The Final Score:
Final Ratings (Out of 10):
Base set collect-ability: 9/10
Big-hit Hunter: NA
Prospector Hunter: NA
Value: 10/10
Overall Quality: 10/10

Overall: 29/30 (97% = A)

Thanks to Topps for making this review possible!

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Oops! Errors in baseball cards – Alex Gordon

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Oops! Errors in baseball cards – Alex Gordon

Posted on 15 March 2012 by Trish Vignola

Alex Gordon’s rookie card was the hottest in all of baseball. It sold for as much as $2,550. Here’s my first question. Who is Alex Gordon?

Is he the Second Coming of George Brett? Did I miss that on the ESPN ticker? If he is, please don’t tell George Brett. I don’t think he’ll take it well. Gordon has a lifetime batting average of .262 for the Kansas City Royals. Why are people paying couture handbag pricing for a piece of cardboard?

No. 297 in Topps’ 2006 set was worth apparently the price of a Vespa because it frankly should have never been produced in the first place. In part to reduce confusion in the marketplace, the Major League Baseball Players Association ruled that card manufacturers could make rookie cards only of players who either made the 25-man roster or played in a major league game the season before. For the 2006 season, Gordon didn’t qualify either way. After he led Nebraska into the College World Series, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft didn’t sign his contract until late September of that year.

“At the last second, we realized we had made a mistake, so we pulled the cards, destroyed them by cutting out the photo and then destroyed the plates,” said Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi in 2006.

Still, a fan named Jeremy Troutman pulled five of Gordon’s cards on a shopping trip in his hometown of Wichita. I think at the same time that year, I pulled five of Todd Pratt’s cards. Troutman sold all five of his cards to different collectors for a total of $5,761.79. My Todd Pratt cards aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

Although Topps destroyed the plates, Topps now believes a little under 100 of the Gordon cards got out. Apparently, most were traced to Wal-Marts across the country. Here I was being a Target snob.

Jason Mauk purchased one of the cards from a wholesaler for $1000. He then put it up on eBay and sold it for $1,425. Mauk claims almost 100 people put his auction on their watch list. He had never seen that happen before. Did I mention that was five Todd Pratt cards I pulled?

The last major error of this magnitude in the trading card industry happened in 1989. A Fleer card featuring Billy Ripken was released carrying an obscenity clearly written on the knob of the bat Ripken was holding. Ironically, my dad and I got this card several times. Fleer’s attempted cover-up created more than six versions of that card. We had two. The original remained the hottest property, selling for hundreds of dollars at the time. However, due to the extremely soft market, that card can now be had for $5.

I personally always thought Cal did it.

Gordon error card went through the roof, because of his potential. In his first full season as a pro, Gordon batted .326 with 6 home runs and 12 RBI with the Wranglers – a Royals’ minor league affiliate. Up with the big club now, he’s since cooled off. However, he’s definitely got potential.

Like the Ripken card, other versions of the Gordon card have emerged. One version has the photo missing so it just includes the thin card borders. It has been selling in the $30 to $50 range. There is one on eBay right now.

Frankly, it’s just creepy. A full Gordon card that just has his name on the front and a blank on the back has sold in the $100 to $200 range.

Before you go spend your tax refund on an Alex Gordon rookie card, take a breath. He too has now fallen victim to the soft market. It looks like the last fully intact version went for $300 bucks, a far cry from the thousands Jeremy Troutman pulled in a couple of years earlier.

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Cardboard Hunters: 1933 Goudey Sam West

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Cardboard Hunters: 1933 Goudey Sam West

Posted on 13 March 2012 by Jared Thatcher

Welcome to the latest edition of Cardboard Hunters. If you read the previous post you know that right now I am working on gathering rookie cards from all of the Hall of Fame players. I have added a couple more cards to the collection that I will share with you in a later post. Right now I want to expose you all to my favorite card in my collection, my 1933 Goudey Sam West.

Sam West was an outfielder for the Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns, and the Chicago White Sox from 1927-1942. He was regarded as one of the best defensive outfielders of his time and hit over .300 eight times in his career with a high of .333 in 1931. His career is very interesting and it is relatively hard to find information about him. However, there are a couple writers who have put together a biography of him that is a good read if you have the time.

There are a couple things that really drew me to Sam West when I started collecting cards. First of all, I love the 1933 Goudey card set. The art is absolutely stunning and the card just looks classy. The colors are light pastels for the most part and the card is more square shaped than retangular. Sam West wore the number “6″ for most of his playing career (which happens to be my favorite number) and he was a gritty player who proved to be a difficult out.

West was a doubles machine in his time and averaged 32 doubles per 162 games throughout his career. He made the All-Star team four times in career and was the starting center-fielder in the very first All-Star game ever in 1933 (which is another reason I like his 1933 Goudey card). He was in the MVP talks a few times during his career but was over-shadowed by a couple big sluggers (Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig). A couple more of his accomplishments are 6 hits in one game, four years of 400 or more putouts, and one entire season with only one (1) error.

West got his professional baseball career break basically by sheer luck early in life. He was playing baseball for his high school team when for some reason, his coach decided to sit him one game. Records show that he was the best player on his high school team so his benching did not go over well with West. Instead of sit on the bench and watch his team, West decided to head into his small town and watch a Rule, Texas semipro game. To his luck, the Rule team was missing its right fielder that day and West volunteered to fill the position. After that he began his minor league career and excelled wherever he played. He was injured a couple times before he finally made his major league debut, but still managed to be a great asset to the Washington Senators. In 1932 the Senators traded him to the St. Louis Browns in a deal that included Goose Goslin. When Babe Ruth heard about the trade he was quoted saying “They gave away a dozen ball games when they traded Sammie West to St. Louis. I remember four or five games myself that he saved for them last year.”

In his later years, West would frequently criticize modern players for not hustling and for taking singles for granted. He liked to see a player take wide, aggressive turn at first base when he hit a single instead of just trotting to first. When he played he was known for stretching singles into doubles by flustering outfielders into making hurried and bad throws to second base.

Sam West was the definition of hustle in his time and reminds us what the game of baseball used to be. I agree with West and would love to see more hustle and aggresive play in baseball these days. His card is in my office and is a constant reminder of what made me fall in love with the game of baseball and the hobby of collecting cards.

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – 2011 Bowman Sterling Review

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – 2011 Bowman Sterling Review

Posted on 10 March 2012 by Tim Danielson

2011 Bowman Sterling

Per Box Items:

    • 2 Autograph Cards
    • 1 Relic Card
    • 1 Rookie Card
    • AND 1 MLB® Future Star Card


    • 12 Autograph Rookie or MLB® Future Star Cards
    • 6 Team USA or Rookie Relic Cards
    • 1 Dual Autographed Card Numbered* to 299 or less
    • 1 Dual Relic Box Topper Numbered* to 299 or less
    • 6 Rookie Cards
    • 6 MLB® Future Star Cards

Topps Sell Sheet
The standard sized base cards feature a full color, cropped action shot of the named player. The heavily graphic card fronts show the set name logo, team logo, and player name and position. Although technically border-less, the player’s picture can ‘pop-out’ of the circle or oval graphic. All of the cards have a chrome finish to them. The card backs are photo-less. The glossy black and white backs list basic biographical information, moderate career highlights and last year’s and career statistics.

What I Pulled:

11 base set cards
1 base card refractor
6 relic cards
10 autos
2 auto refractors
1 dual relic box-topper

Base card front and back:

Base card refractor:
Jose Fernandez serially numbered #/199

The autographs:
Travis Harrison
Jose Fernandez
George Springer
Joe Panik
Javier Baez
Jake Skole
Ben Revere
Taylor Jungmann
Matt Barnes
Michael Fulmer (refractor #/199)
Kevin Matthews (refractor #/199)
Jemile Weeks (gold refractor #/50)

The Relics:
Alex White
Tyler Chatwood
Alexi Ogando
Michael Lorenzen
Deven Marrero
Nolan Fontana
Box Toppper
Curtis Granderson/Carlos Gonzalez dual relic #/246


One of the last products released by Topps ended the year with a bang! The very popular Sterling series has been a huge hit with collectors every year. Very heavy with RC and prospects, 2011 Bowman Sterling also has a large focus on the United States Collegiate National Team. The well designed cards are very eye-catching. The refractor finish is as colorful as always. The autographs are all sticker autographs but fit the cards very well. I did miss out on the dual autograph, but the gold refractor serial numbered out of 50 made up for it. As with all chrome products, expect the ‘chrome-curl’ on the base cards. With all of the hits in 2011 Bowman Sterling it should be easy to at least break even if you flip the cards.

The Bottom Line:
I give 2011 Bowman Sterling a buy rating. Buy the singles you want if you are not a prospector as this is not for set builders. Otherwise, buy a box and trade your Tigers to me!

The Final Score:
Final Ratings (Out of 5):
Base set collect-ability: NA
Big-hit Hunter: 3/5
Prospector Hunter: 5/5
Overall Design: 5/5
Fun: 5/5
Value: 3/5
Re-buy: 5/5
Overall Quality: 5/5

Overall: 31/35 (86% = B)

Until next week, keep collecting, collect for the joy of the hobby and collect for the fan in all of us.

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