Chrome Dead Redemption

Damn, life’s been a bit hectic recently. Between work, the house and the family there’s not been much time to write in these ‘hallowed’ pages 🙂 In fact the seven days between my last post and this one today has been the my longest absence since I started the blog!

However I couldn’t resist as 2013 Topps Chrome is now upon us – and so are some old friends!

In an effort to prepare for the oncoming storm Topps has already come clean about the number of redemptions that can be found in this year’s Topps Chrome Baseball! And let’s be honest – it’s quite a list!

Aside from an assortment of what appear to be autographed inserts, there are a number of key rookie cards that collectors won’t be finding in their freshly sealed packs, including the following names (many of whom I’d love to be getting my own hands on) –

  • Yasiel Puig
  • Gerritt Cole
  • Manny Machado
  • Jurikson Profar
  • Anthony Rendon
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu
  • Nolan Arenado
  • Nik Franklin
  • Jose Fernandez
  • Adam Eaton
  • Avisail Garcia
  • Paco Rodriguez
  • Tony Cingrani
  • Jedd Gyorko
  • Oswaldo Arcia
  • Tyler Skaggs
  • Shelby Miller
  • Manny Machado
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • Kyle Gibson

Topps have advised that a number of these cards were received back shortly after the rest were sent to the packagers, so certain ‘lucky’ redemption recipients shouldn’t have too long to wait for their cards! And starting with 2013 Topps Chrome, Topps will be keeping their valued collectors up to date with their redemptions through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr every Friday!

Gotta love the originality of THAT idea! Blazing a trail there Topps!!!! Couldn’t you have come up with another day other than the one that Panini does their redemption updates??

Now I have to confess that I like Topps Chrome! It always comes across as the distant cousin that no-one likes to talk about. Not quite there with the mass appeal of the base set and not quite there with the prestige of Bowman Chrome, Topps Chrome seems to sit uncomfortably between the two!

However this year’s superlative rookie class may well just elevate the product to near classic status, with a great base card design coupled with the allure of the Chrome finish!

Sadly the multitude of redemptions will certainly harm the long time value of this set, especially the appeal of sealed boxes once the redemption expiry date has passed! I mean, who’s going to want to buy a sealed box of ’13 Topps Chrome with a chance of pulling a ‘dead’ redemption card of Manny Machado or Yasiel Puig?

Not me for sure!! So my advice will be get the Chrome autos while you can of those that have already been redeemed, as I imagine that they’ll become pretty scarce in the long term!!

So, does Topps Chrome float your boat? or will you be getting your Chrome rookie fix with Bowman Chrome?

My special thanks to the guys over at Sports Collectors Daily for reporting on this story! Now I’m off to think of some more ‘Redemption’ related puns for blog post titles!!

Life Isn’t Easy For Puig Collectors

Feast your eyes on this!


Nice, eh?

Just prior to the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago Topps announced an extra promotional giveaway – this exclusive 2013 Gypsy Queen Yasiel Puig RC! And while there are dozens of promo cards given away over the course of the Convention, this was the one that pretty much everyone was after.

Topps produced only 500 copies and gave away 100 each day to those who opened a box of 2013 Topps Tribute World Baseball Classic Edition at their booth, and given its popularity, coupled with its relative scarcity, the GQ Puig’s were quick to disappear.

There has been some controversy around the distribution of these particular cards as large numbers appear to have gone to the dealers who were already in the Convention halls, obtained before the doors were opened to the collecting public! Some of these dealers had already got these cards listed and sold on eBay before the end of the first day.

And now, only days after the NSCC has closed its doors for this year, you can expect to pay upwards of $50 for the pleasure of owning this Puig rookie (and I’ve even spotted one listed at $99.95 Buy It Now!!).

So is this card for you? No doubt you’d love to own it but just how far would you go and how much would you spend for the privilege? Sure, there’ll be a few more Puig rookies out before the end of the year, some rarer and more desirable than others, but if you’ve embarked on putting together a Yasiel Puig PC together then I’m already feeling your pain! Good luck with that!

Personally I’ll just wait for the Bowman Chrome to come along!

The Road To Redemption(s)

Although not officially released until Wednesday 3rd July some folks out there have already been breaking boxes/cases of Topps’ inaugural Bowman Inception Baseball, and cards have already started to trickle out onto eBay over last 24 hours!

When I previewed 2013 Bowman Inception a few months ago I couldn’t help but question the need for another prospect-based product, and I also had some concerns about the overall look and design of the cards. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was I didn’t like, but I wasn’t anticipating Bowman Inception to be top of my 2013 ‘must have’ list!

However having seen a few of the cards I may be willing to partly change that stance and may look at picking a few individual cards up!

Here’s a few examples of what the cards look like!!

inception_taveras inception_odorizzi inception_dahl inception_miller inception_soler

I’m loving that Oscar Taveras, if I have to be honest!!

However while scouring eBay for some of these cards I also noticed a number of listings that were slightly more concerning!

Let me ask you a question – What do all these players have in common?

Yasiel Puig
Ryu Hyun-Jin
Corey Seager
Manny Machado
Xander Bogaerts
Jurickson Profar
Bubba Starling
Mike Olt
Casey Kelly
Anthony Rendon
Lance McCullers
Barrett Barnes
Billy Hamilton
Nick Franklin


Anyone at the back???

Well, as crazy as it might sound (or perhaps not), all of these players have redemption cards inserted into Bowman Inception!! And these are the only ones that I’ve found so far! There may be  more that appear as more boxes get busted!

That’s 14 different names so far!!! 14!!!

Now I know that redemptions are a necessary evil! Especially in the case of Yasiel Puig whose recent appearance in the majors has set the Baseball world on fire and collectors clamouring for his cards! Topps had to rush them in somehow and a redemption card is the only pertinent solution!

But surely this number of redemptions is a bit of a joke?

Come on Topps!!! Collectors don’t want to see these damn things!

It’s not as if some of these players are insignificant either! There’s some big names on that list, and as a collector I’d be concerned if I’d spent a decent amount of coin on a box of Inception only to find redemptions inside! It’s not as if there’s a guarantee these redemptions will be honoured either, especially given Topps’ recent change in policy with regard to currently outstanding redemptions and the re-issue of replacements!

And I know Topps aren’t the only company that issues redemptions. Panini is also cursed with this problem as well but at least Tracy Hackler sends out updates every Friday through The Knight’s Lance blog with regard to what redemptions are being processed in a particular week! Seems a bit more organised if you ask me!

So, I guess there’s another question out of all of this.

Would you, as a collector, go out and purchase a ‘not cheap’ box of Inception Baseball knowing that there’s a pretty good chance you might be pulling a redemption of a not-insignificant player?

Personally it would be a big NO for me. As I said earlier I’d much rather pick up the individual cards that I was after and leave the box-busting (however much fun it might be) to others!

And in the meantime I’ll go on living in my self-contained little collecting dreamworld where redemption cards have flown away with the fairies and all boxes contain just good, old-fashioned Baseball cards!

— sigh —

Good times!!