Topps Takes Autograph Destruction To A New Level

Topps is notorious for butchering cut autos, absolutely notorious. Despite the fact that I am not really a fan of cut autos to begin with, I understand their place in the hobby – at least in some cases. When you see a card like this one (pulled on youtube), all of that goes right out the window.

Even more disparraging is the fact that Topps has produced one Mantle abomination after another lately, having to revert back to dress shirt relics and old timer game relics due to a lack of supply. I cant think of a more worthless card than one that features a swatch of shirt from a guy’s closet. I don’t need to be THAT close to the game. When you also consider the seat relics from last year’s Topps Tribute debacle and the game used bases they put in the Strasburg cards from this year, how much longer are collectors going to stand for Topps’ deplorable shenanigans?

Personally, I have nothing but contempt over cards like this Mantle cut, especially because of how many other correctly sized Mantle autos they could have used. There was really no need to produce a card like this, and yet someone over in Pennsylvania definitely felt that it was a green light all the way.

Really, Topps?!? Really?!?

Beckett’s Box Breaks Arent Even Worth My Comment Any More

Topps Tribute has lived up to my under-billing and then some. Outside of the fact that the cards look as terrible, if not more terrible than last year, the box breaks have been some of the worst this side of Topps Paradigm we have ever seen. For the amount of money collectors are paying for these boxes the cards that are being pulled are complete junk. There was even a case break on blowout where one person pulled FIVE Duke Snider autographs. Not one, not two, but FIVE. Of course, Beckett’s two box break was a COMPLETELY different story. Par for the course, right?

First, a little history. A lot of you probably have started reading this blog after the first few months back in early 2008, understandably. But, back at that time, Beckett was breaking boxes almost daily, and they were never without an eyepopping hit or two, especially when it came to high end products. Even before the infamous Exquisite ass ream, they had a number of products that were so obviously loaded on purpose that it was tough to ignore. I mean, go back and watch their break of 2007 National Treasures. It wasn’t even subtle. The box they had that contained both a 1/1 ridiculous patch auto of Brady Quinn (who was a top rookie at the time) and two other awesome cards didn’t even come with the normal advertising info that comes in every single box. No checklist, no kodak thing, nothing. It was just the box and the pack. That’s only the beginning. They had one of the craziest cases of Topps Sterling I have ever seen, and they made it seem like it was all just their luck. Right, just like my scrub auto pull from Classics is worth high book.

Then the 2007 Exquisite break rolled around and everyone FINALLY caught on to their obvious deception, mainly in partnering with the companies to get boxes sent to them that contained cards that made the products seem better. Go back and watch, tally all the pulls, count the number of boxes they break, and then tell me its all LUCK. In fact, Upper Deck faced such a terrible reputation over that break, that they did not resume regular publicized box breaks with Beckett until the 2009 football season. Sure says a lot about what is going on with what Tracy Hackler refers to as the readers favorite part of what Beckett does. Cmon.

Fast forward to yesterday. Tribute is falling flat on its face, especially in the realm of customer satisfaction. Beckett posts a video of two boxes of the product supplied by Topps. In those two boxes, they pull one of the most coveted non-1/1 cards in the entire product, a bat of the most collected player in hobby history, a 1/1 of the best player in baseball, and another auto of a popular player. Two boxes. That’s it. Funny how that works. In fact, if you go back and tally the price of all the pulls of a lifetime Beckett has had, the total equals close to twenty thousand dollars. And they only have broken one or two boxes of every product. Some kind of luck.

In fact, if you go back and look over the cases that have been broken on all the message boards, there isnt a lot of evidence that collectors are pulling that kind of hauls out of entire cases, let alone two boxes. The main point here is whatever cards they pull are being taken out of the hands of collectors that actually pay for the products. I have said a hundred times before that it would not be hard to solicit collector breaks of the product and post those instead of their own boxes supplied by the company reps. They are purchased from real stores with real money, and considering that the collector’s reactions to the product will be more genuine, more realism will also be presented.

Yeah, I know, Beckett’s arrogance and their commitment to providing the most unrealistic view of the hobby possible will prevent this from ever happening. That is really too bad, especially for the schmucks that still believe every piece of info they put out.

Don’t get me wrong, Topps is just as much to blame, as the companies are. However, Topps has a bottom line to uphold and they are not the media source that is responsible for reporting on the product. It would be like Rolling Stone getting an album with three extra tracks on it and reviewing that instead of what the normal customer could buy on iTunes. The company will take whatever steps it can to pad its profits, and its up to the outlets to refuse the deception. We all know that Beckett is more than happy to trade morality for a few extra views on their video, so Im not surprised.

Its just absolutely terrible that people are still putting stock in their breaks.

Based On These Sales, Could Topps Set Records?

Its been a long time since a player like Strasburg has come on the scene. Some of his cards are even outselling Albert Pujols, and that says to me that people arent really paying attention to the cap of the card values but really just that Strasburg is on them. With recent sales topping ridiculous amounts, how high is the ceiling for the rest of Topps Calendar?

Allen and Ginter has already sold out at Blowout, and Bowman Chrome will not be far behind. Plus, with the supply of 2010 Bowman jumbo boxes drying up, things are starting to get so insane on prices that I cant even explain it to people not in the hobby.
Check these out:

Strasburg Orange Auto /25 – Wait what? Who in their right mind would drop that kind of cash on a card like this. I can only imagine what is going to happen when the Chrome version comes out. Its going to be even more insane.

Base Strasburg Auto BGS 10 – Ok, this may deserve to be on the top of this list because I am in utter shock. With the recent grading “scandal” I think its becoming more understood what really makes up a BGS grade. Then when you factor in that this bidder paid a premium of multiple THOUSANDS of dollars and you just have to scratch your head. Plus, im not even going to go into my difference between 9.5 and 10 argument again. Holy shit.
Base Strasburg Auto PSA 10 – Im literally floored by this sale. PSA 10s are generally believed to be at the level of a BGS 9.5 with a few 10 subgrades, and yet this thing sold for how much? Strasmus in june indeed.
Base Strasburg Auto BGS 9.5 – When comparing the base raw to the base 9.5 and seeing that the price doubles is completely fucking ridiculous. I dont have anything else to say about that. Show me another card where that happens. Plus, who is seriously paying 600+ for these non-chrome cards anyways?
Strasburg Million Card Giveaway Base – For this price you are already 5/6ths of the way to a base auto, so why even try? I still cant believe how much these are going for, and it is even more crazy how much the codes are going for now that there is a chance to unlock one of these. Unbelievable.
Overall, its pretty much understood that Strasburg’s cards are going to mean gold for a Topps brand that needed to prove that having the exclusive was worth everyone’s time. I would expect HUGE jumps in everything they release for the rest of the year, and for those of you who bought in to cases early, welcome to big money.