by Rich Klein
In some ways the 2011 Topps USA Team Box Set is one of the easiest to review. Unless you are not only a devoted prospector, but read Baseball America cover to cover, these names won’t mean much to the average collector. Thus, the only real action with these sets is to buy, open to see what autographs are inside and hold until the time we start seeing these guys in the majors. Not all will get there, but a few will likely be stars.
This year’s boxes are on the market, selling via leading on-line "retailers" at the $80-90 level. When I checked with my local store (Triple Cards, Plano, TX) the owner expected to be selling these sets at $100 per and thought he might see decent sales at that level. He states that his customers like the autograph assortment and most of them wait to see which players develop into big leaguers with value. Packaging indicated that there were seven autograph cards and three relic cards in each box.
I liked this design; very basic with white borders surrounding the player's photo. The USA Baseball logo as well as the player's name and USA National team info is on the bottom. The back contains biographical information to go with a brief informational blurb about the player.
Here is what we got from our box:
Base Set: Complete Set
Triple Jerseys (#d to 240): Zach Collins, Carson Kelly, David Lyon
Autographs: Brian Johnson, Carson Kelly, Michael Lorenzen, Walker Weikel
Autograph Red (#d to 99) Walker Weikel
Autograph Gold (#d to 25) Alex Bregman
Thus, our box advertisement was not totally accurate, but I doubt many collectors would complain because in reality we received more than our box promised. We got eight autograph cards and five relic cards with a total of 11 "hits" instead ten. Beyond the good feeling of getting more than advertised, the best advice with this product is to buy and hold to watch these young guys work their way up the ladder.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]