Our intrepid box buster tackles 2009 Topps Tribute and comes away with some nice hits,
by Rich Klein
We recently received our review box of 2009 Topps Tribute baseball. It's a high end issue for Topps and despite an early 2010 release, it's still considered an '09 product.
The box promised that each $50 pack would contain at least one relic or autographed relic card numbered to 99 or less. Each box contains six packs. The box prices for 2009 Topps Tribute are holding pretty steady at around $280 with my local store selling out of his allotment at the $300 per box SRP.
Topps first produced their Tribute line for baseball in 2001. That 2001 set is still considered important as that was the first brand produced by Topps for the high-end consumer. Many of the cards from the 2001-04 Tribute run are still sought after by collectors. One especially interesting and very difficult insert set is the 2004 Topps Tribute HOF Signature Cuts set which featured "cut" signatures of 188 different Hall of Famers. That was the last year for Tribute, so this year's series marks its first appearance in five years.
The design of the base card is so simple yet elegant. The full-bordered cards have a glossy finish with the photo in the middle and the Topps Tribute logo in an upper corner. The backs feature a smaller photo of the front photo along with an informational blurb and career statistical information. The memorabilia and autograph cards feature the player photo on the left with either a team name or a space for the player's autograph on the upper right. The memorabilia pieces work on a left to right pattern depending on how many are part of the card. Those with one piece are placed toward the right of the card while the memorabilia on the three-piece cards takes up the center.
Now, let's see if the box delivered on the promise made on the outside of the box:
Base Cards; We received 17 total of which 11 were different. We even received a triplicate of Honus Wagner.
Blue Parallel (#d to 219): Tris Speaker, Tom Seaver and Matt LaPorta
Black Parallel (#d to 99): Wade Boggs, Eddie Mathews
Gold Parallel (#d to 50): Roy Campanella
Printing Plate Magenta (#d to 1): Josh Hamilton
Relic (#d to 99); Thurman Munson
Relic Blue (#d to 75) Jackie Robinson
Relic Black (#d to 50): Josh Hamilton
Autograph Relic (#d to 99) Duke Snider
Autograph Triple Relics Blue (#d to 75) Ryan Howard
Autograph Triple Relics Black (#d to 50) Chipper Jones
The best aspect about the Tribute Line is the preponderance of Hall of Famers and active stars and there is no doubt that the 2009 product delivered what it was supposed to. We received a relic card of a major Hall of Famer in Jackie Robinson and of our three signatures, one is of a beloved Hall of Famer in Duke Snider, another one is a possible future HOFer in Chipper Jones and the third signature is of major power hitter Ryan Howard, who also appears on his way to a Cooperstown worthy career. Not bad!