by Rich Klein
We all seem to move at warp plus speed in today's world. I was reminded of that when I somehow tossed away my phone yesterday and had to get a new one. The trip to the AT&T store indicated that there were no more candy bar style phones available and even their web sites were eliminating those old models. I ended up with a flip phone reminiscent of the old-school phones. It was reasonably inexpensive and serves exactly what I need (by the way, one downside of what I did was to eliminate all my saved phone numbers, so if you know me and want to respond,. please email me your phone number).
Now cell phones do not have much to do with baseball cards except to prove a point that we used to hear all the time when Topps management used to come visit us at Beckett headquarters. Namely, one of the most important aspects we can do as a company is establish and maintain our brand names. Now, there are occasional new products (or re-established, think Tier 1) but most of Topps products are designed to be steady so collectors can anticipate and collect their favorite product each year. Topps Chrome baseball is no exception to the rule as the product approaches their 20 year anniversary.
2012 Topps Chrome has silver borders and the veteran photos and backs are similar to the base set. Each box has 24 packs with four cards per pack. You'll get the usual array of refractors, X-Fractors and color parallels.
I remember even back in the 1990's there were four cards per pack so Topps has never really wavered from that protocol either over the years. When I dropped by my local card store (Triple Cards in Plano, TX) he was raising the price of this product to $84.95 per box which was his second raise after beginning at $74.95 per. In the time this product has been out he has sold through 10 cases. Leading on-line retailers are currently in the $80-90 range per box. It's a late summer release with two autographs per pack and considering this year's rookie class, it's not surprising that these have sold well.
How did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 79 of 220. A collector would need three boxes to finish a baas set as we picked up slightly more than 35 percent of the set in our box. We did not get any of the photo variations
Refractors: Matt Adams, Adron Chambers, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Brian McCann, Ivan Nova, Dan Uggla, Ryan Zimmerman, X-Fractors: R. A. Dickey, Dustin Pedroia, B. J. Upton
Blue Refractor (#d to 199): Ryan Zimmerman
Sepia Refractor (#d to 75): Kelvin Herrera
Gold Refractor (#d to 50): Mark Reynolds
Rookie Autograph: Tommy Milone
Rookie Autograph Black Refractor (#d to 100): Jordan Pacheco
Pretty standard stuff. No huge hits but as always, it's a little hit and miss. At least you do get the guaranteed autographs which is always comforting when you're laying down that much for what's considered a fairly standard product.
Pacheco's had a nice year, but he's 26. Same for A's pitcher Tommy Milone, who's 25. Neither is probably not ever going to be Hall of Fame material. One of the aspects of the 2012 baseball season (and the baseball card season) was with the emergence of the Oakland A's as a playoff contender this year with all their rookies needless to say they have signed a lot of cards for Topps products featuring young player signatures. If you think about something like that, back in 1989-91 Topps probably would have had produced a ton of Texas Rangers signatures as they brought an amazing group of young players at that time (Ivan Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzalez, Dean Palmer, etc). Thus if you are an Oakland A's fan, this might the best year you ever had to collect cards since the glory days of the late 1980's and now you get to chase autographs as well.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]