The Hobby Penny Pincher V.4

In the Hobby Penny Pincher, I will be displaying a modern “hot autograph” available on the secondary market and then I’ll point you to a usually cheaper but just as beautiful alternative to help make your purchasing decision. I don’t use eBay affiliate links and have no way to make money off my work, it’s just a free service for those deep into collecting. I know at times in my collecting life I have been left disheartened due to price gouging and would hate to see someone walk away because they feel like they aren’t able to keep up with the Joneses.

There are very few Topps products that deliver as strongly as Triple Threads does year after year. I once had a personal vendetta against Triple Threads that originated back to 2007. That year, I had managed to purchase every single Topps & Upper Deck baseball product that was produced, with the exception of Triple Threads. Shortly after its release, boxes of ’07 Triple Threads mysteriously shot up to $250 a box, which at the time I considered an unreasonable amount for 12 cards. I ended up passing on Triple Threads and ultimately failed to complete my collecting goal for the year.

From that point on, I did nothing but hate on Triple Threads. I talked about how awful the design was, how steep the prices were, and even how terrible the product breakdown was. Truth is, as someone with extreme OCD, I was just in my feelings for not being able to complete my 2007 collecting goal. By the time I purchased my first few cards of Triple Threads in 2014, I was instantly hooked. The cards looked immaculate and the design was simply perfect. As cynical and jaded as I’ve become, I have to admit that Triple Threads is as good as it gets, despite its high end price point.

As for The Hobby Penny Pincher, check out this 2021 Topps Triple Threads Kirby Puckett cut signature, which also features a piece of his game-used jersey patch. This one of one recently sold for a whopping $1,299 on eBay. For those younger collectors who may be unaware, Puckett was one of baseball’s premier players in the game before being hit in the face by a Dennis Martinez fast ball, which ultimately caused permanent blurred vision. After his baseball career ended prematurely, Puckett went into a decade-long downward spiral which ended in his death in 2006.

If you are looking for a Kirby Puckett autograph look no further, as I have your back once more. Save yourself quite a bit of money and find an on-card Puckett auto from 1996’s Leaf Signature Extended Series. Copies of that card don’t appear often on the secondary market but when they do, they can be won for under $500, unless it is graded. As for the game-used patch, that’s a tough one. Patches are already somewhat rare and considering Puckett played his last game in 1995, there’s just less items to choose from. Basic, game-used jersey cards, however, are readily available and will run you anywhere between $30-$50 a piece.

If you are merely looking for an aesthetically pleasing card, the 1996 Leaf card blows away the modern Topps card. If you are a stickler for clean autographs, again, you’d have to go with Leaf. If you are on a limited budget, once again, Leaf is the way to go. The only way the Topps card wins out is if you are a game-used relic fan and if you are, complete, intact game-used items from Puckett have sold for well below the price of the Triple Threads card. All you have left in the argument for Triple Threads is the “one of one” numbering but … in 2021, a 1/1 isn’t all that rare when you think about it.

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