Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Topps Innovator Sy Berger Dies At 91

It is hard to imagine card collecting without Sy Berger. While baseball cards were around before he came into the picture, Berger was directly responsible for setting the standard for card that remains today. As co-designer of the 1952 Topps Baseball Cards, Berger took all the elements that had existed before, stats, facsimile signatures, team logos, player pictures, etc and combined them onto one card. He even went on to set the standard size for all cards, 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches.

Here is a fantastic segment Keith Olbermann did that spells it all out.

Here is a statement from Topps

“The Topps family is very saddened by the loss of one of its most cherished members: Sy Berger.  His contributions to the Company as well as major professional sports and entertainment properties have been monumental to say the least.  Thank you Sy!  You have and will continue to put smiles on the faces of children, collectors and fans for generations.  Topps extends  its heartfelt condolences to the Berger family.”

And from his friend Willie Mays

"What can I say about Sy Berger? He was my long-time friend. He helped me from my first days in the majors. I never could have made it without him. He always knew the right thing to say or the right thing to do. We worked together. We laughed together. We grew up together.  What I can say to you is, 'He was my friend.' What I would say to him is, 'So long old pal.'"

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Topps Five Star Baseball Checklist Includes Some Surprises

Expect the unexpected. Autograph cards for Tom Brady, Dan Marino and John Elway will be included in 2014 Topps Five Star... Baseball. That is not a typo. The three superstar QBs have been included in the high end hit centric release of baseball legends, superstar veterans and on the rise rookies.

Before Tom Brady started taking snaps for the New England Patriots or even the Michigan Wolverines, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. His position at the time was catcher.

The 1979 MLB draft saw a lot of name players selected, Andy Van Slyke, Tim Wallach, Steve Howe and Don Mattingly to name a few.  Selected in the 4th round of the 1979 draft, 99th overall, by the Kansas City Royals was Dan Marino. Marino decided instead to go to the University of Pittsburgh to QB for the Panthers.

That same year the Kansas City Royals selected another future football great, John Elway. Elway also chose college, going to Stanford where he played both football and baseball for the Cardinals. But in 1981 he was drafted again, this time by the New York Yankees. He was chosen in the second round, 52nd overall, in a draft that included Tony Gywnn who was selected later in the third round. Elway actually played in the Yankees farm system in the summer of 1982 where he had a very respectable .318 batting average and a perfect fielding percentage. It was the Yankees intention to bring Elway to the Bronx as the starting right fielder by 1985. If it had not been for the 1983 NFL draft it is entirely possible that Elway could have been in permanent pinstripes, knocking Ken Griffey Sr. to the bench and sharing the outfield with Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield. Elway will appear in 2014 Topps Five Star Baseball as a Yankee.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Topps Football Complete Set Box Break and Review

One cannot deny the convenience of having an entire base set presorted and supplied in a custom box.  2014 Topps Football Complete Set NFL Trading Cards offers all of this year’s base cards with a bonus found exclusively in the product, orange border serial numbered parallels.

Clearly, this package gets classification as a boxed set for the purposes of this review. Inside you’ll find the complete 440 card base set, no alternate photo versions or inserts, and each boxes contains a pack of five Orange-Bordered parallels.

Here is a little of what we found inside the complete set box.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Topps Triple Threads Baseball Box Break Recap and Review

Anyone who plays baseball knows the cleanup position in the batting order may not be the most consistent hitter in he lineup. Usually that is reserved for early in the order. But a smart manager also makes sure the bottom of their order has some hitters too, prevented a guaranteed  “three and out" in the later innings. So it's a smart play by Topps to put Triple Threads Baseball after heavy hitters like Museum, Tribute and Tier One. It remains a consistent fan favorite and rightly so. 2014 Topps Triple Threads Baseball delivers again with hits that satisfy and boxes that spread the wealth. Triple Thread has become the goto Premium Baseball card offering with the widest range of appeal.

Topps Triple Threads Baseball falls under our premium cards category.  Each master display box contains two mini boxes with 7 cards per mini. Every mini-box contains an autographed relic and a relic card, one of which is a triple relic.

Here are all of the cards we pulled from our box.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Topps Gets Exclusive Autograph And Promotional Deal With Mike Trout

I could have gone with "Topps Reels In A Huge Exclusive" but that wouldn't do justice to the news that today Topps and Mike Trout announced a multi-faceted partnership. This exclusive deal means Trout’s autographed trading cards will only be found in Topps products. In addition, Trout will continue be the face of Topps BUNT, the mobile sports app for iOs and Android, in 2015.

Trout’s cards will be available in many Topps 2014 and 2015 Baseball products including Topps Chrome, Triple Threads Baseball, Dynasty Baseball, Five Star Baseball and more. Topps BUNT 2015 will launch in late March of 2015.

2014 Topps Finest Baseball Cards Box Break Recap And Review

What a difference a year makes.  Topps played with the Finest formula last year and got some things right. Unfotunately what they got wrong was the card design. This year all of those added elements remain and 2014 Topps Finest Baseball comes on strong with a sharp looking design.

While Finest Baseball falls under our classification of premium cards, there is enough here to keep set builders interested so there is some cross over into our trading cards category.  Hobby exclusive master boxes contain 2 mini boxes, with each mini containing 6 - 5 card packs.  Each master box contains 2 On-Card Autographs.

Here are some of the cards we pulled.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 Donruss Baseball Cards Box Break Recap And Review

I have always been outspoken with my opinion that team logos do not make or break a card, that great cards can still be produced without a league license. Just the same, having a league license does not guarantee every set of cards will be fantastic. Unfortunately for 2014 Donruss Baseball, the thing that hurts the set is not the absence of a league license, it’s photo selection, or lack thereof. Here is an example.

That is a lot of cards that look pretty much the same.  As a matter of fact, the vast majority of photos are from 4 vantage points, one for right handed hitters, one for left handed hitters, one for right handed pitchers and one for left handed pitchers.  

Even with team logos, these cards would be uninteresting and repetitive.  Add the “throwback” backs that are about as dull as humanly possible, short of the full names, and now you have an entire base set that is not worth collecting. (I can’t believe I just said that.) The only collectors who might be interested in this base set would be those people who collect a player or two that MUST have every card ever published to complete their collection.

The only thing that saves this set from being a complete write off would be the inserts, not even the hits. Clearly the most desirable cards to come out of this set are the Diamond Kings, a collector favorite. These are a prime example that no license is needed to produce a good looking card.

Still, will any of this stop true Donruss fans from gobbling up these cards, especially with the return of the Rated Rookie? Probably not.

2014 Donruss Baseball fits into our Trading Cards category.  Each Hobby box includes 24 packs with 8 cards per pack, one oversized Diamond Kings box topper and 2 autographs and one game gear memorabilia card per box.

Here are some of the cards we pulled.