Card of the Day – Finest Magenta Plate

When I busted 2007 Topps Finest last year, I was a complete “newbie” to collecting once more. It was only my third box since my return and not only were most of the brands and “gimmicks” new to me, so were 90% of the players. To be honest, I had no idea what this pink card was when I pulled it.

Without a doubt, ’07 Topps Finest was one of the most memorable boxes I ever busted. I could go on and on about how beautiful the artwork in Masterpieces and Turkey is but when you get down to it, what I really love is futuristic cards, Refractor technology, and autographs. Boy, was this box loaded. I pulled more than a dozen Refractors (Regular, Blue, Green, & Black), three autographs (including my second Andrew Miller), and two printing plates.

Given his extremely successful career, you’d think Torii Hunter would be a Hobby star. After all, he’s hit at least 20 home runs in seven of his last eight seasons, is a two-time All-Star, and even finished in the top 10 in the M.V.P voting a few years back. Unfortunately, due to the fact that companies are making “1 of 1” printing plates almost as common as autographs, I am sitting on a card worth less than $10 dollars on a good eBay week.

Torii will be 33 years old during the 2009 season. Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs at the age 36 so I figure I should give Hunter a few more years before I deem his career a failure. Hey, no one would have ever guessed that Cecil Fielder, Brady Anderson, or Luis Gonzalez would ever hit 50 home runs but they all did with ease while shocking the sports world.

Here’s to the future single-season Home Run King, Torii Hunter!

You Be the Judge! – King of 1997

If ever there was one year that catered to the infamous “Joe Collector”, it was 1997. Sure, Topps Finest had already created the favored drug of the Joe Collector years earlier with the debut of the Refractor and made them much easier to come by thanks to Bowman’s Best and Topps Chrome, but 1997 was just a special year for trading cards, maybe baseball in general.

Below are ten of my favorite releases of that very special season of trading cards. In this very special ‘You Be the Judge’ I am asking you the collector to chime in with your favorite brand from 1997. Was it SPx, with it’s beautiful and sometimes creepy holographic images? How about the first-ever release of Bowman Chrome or the original Bowman “Chrome” autographs released by Bowman’s Best? Maybe like me, you are a “Pinnacle Man” who loves Certified and Totally Certified, or perhaps you keep it old school with the bad ass Topps Finest of the year. If you collect and love this hobby and were around in 1997, this is your chance to speak your mind. Is your favorite 1997 baseball release not pictured? Please, let us know!

Finally, here is a full scan of eight of the images combined which would make a decent wallpaper, if you are a big enough card collecting nerd. Unfortunately, I had to leave out two products and chose Upper Deck SPx and Bowman’s Best. You can view the Wax Heaven wallpaper by clicking HERE.

Upper Deck SPx

Pinnacle Totally Certified

E-X 2000 (Fleer)

Donruss Signature Series

Topps Finest

Flair Showcase (Fleer)

Leaf Limited (Donruss)

Bowman’s Best

Pinnacle Certified

Bowman Chrome

Topps Finest rookie redemption

Do you feel Topps put out a good group of rookies for 2008? These cards were some of the hottest a few months ago but have since dropped off the face of the Internet after a couple of lesser-known players were announced.

Either way, below is every single redemption from 2008 Finest Rookie Redemption with Johnny Cueto being at #1 and the just-announced Jed Lowrie being #10. Also, be aware the #2 & #10 cards will have autographs on them so make sure you know that should you decide to sell on eBay.

You have no idea how many sold redemption #2 for almost nothing when everyone assumed these would all be non-autos. There are a lot of very happy collectors out there waiting for their Jay Bruce autographs. Talk about a tragic transaction!

Tragedy has struck Wax Heaven

…with the biggest case of eBay Heartbreak I have ever experienced!

As many of you know, I collect Andrew Miller. After Andrew’s past few starts I am probably one of the few remaining A.M collectors. For about 6 months I have obsessed over the 2007 Topps Finest Black Refractor Autograph #’d to 99. I have had a couple of chances of obtaining the card but never pulled the trigger for one reason or another. The reason I wanted it so bad was because aside from the Superfractor, which I have never seen, it’s clearly the absolute best Miller rookie on the market. And then this popped up on eBay.

9 minutes, 19 seconds…

Well, what do you know? There is a Gold Refractor #’d to 50 I didn’t even know exsisted. Frankly put, the card is my new “White Whale” and today as I sit with not even remotely close to having $135 dollars, I have no choice but to let it pass. Do you know what that feels like? I am sure many collectors do.

3 minutes, 22 seconds…

The truth is, I still love baseball cards and the only reason I have not busted any boxes lately is because I have decided to enjoy the baseball season and going to games and will do the busting through the Winter when there will be nothing on but over-hyped football and boring basketball on television. I have not had the “itch” to buy any baseball products in a long, long time but seeing these cards pass me up kills me.

42 seconds…

Oh well, it’s way overpriced anyways. Miller has had a very up and down season. No way anyone pays $130+ for the two cards. Maybe if it doesn’t sell this time around and he starts another auction with no reserve/high first bid I can scrounge up $150 for the most perfect baseball card ever made.

Sold! One bid, $135.00…

Topps is going to save the hobby!

Were you one of the two, maybe three people complaining about gimmick cards?

Are you the lone set-collector who was upset about short-prints in Topps Heritage?

Do you go to your blog on the World Wide Web to bitch and moan about Redemption replacements?

Never fear because Topps Company, you know…the guys who brought you Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Ben Henry’s favorite baseball card featuring a squirrel have single-handedly saved the hobby of trading cards by putting out Topps Finest Rip GIrls lipstick/autographs numbered 1 of 1!

Thank you, Topps. Thanks.

Make sure to bid, bid, bid!

Topps Finest Rip Girls