Friday, November 18, 2011

A Different Kind Of Rainbow Collecting With 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball

Normally when collectors try to obtain rainbows, a complete set of all the parallels of one card, they concentrate on releases like Bowman Baseball, Topps Chrome or Topps Finest that contain a large number of colored and patterned parallels and refractors. 

If you follow this blog you know I’ve done a lot of posts on 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball Cards, a set of cards that was based on the 1962 release of Topps Baseball. That original 1962 release had plenty of errors and printing mishaps.  The current design team really captured the feel of that set for the 2011 release of Heritage, making it a fun set of cards to collect.

2011 Topps Heritage Baseball has green tinted cards just like those in the 1962 release for cards numbered 110-158 and 160 -196.  The green tints were also paralleled in a red tint for packs found at Target and blue tint for packs found at Walmart. 

Then there is a set of 100 Chrome cards, numbered to 1962, based on various cards from the entire 500-card set.  These were also paralleled as refractors, green refractors, black border refractors and regular black-bordered cards found in 3 pack blisters.

Separately, there really wasn’t much to collect as a run of parallels, 4 cards for the base and tints, 5 cards for the chromes.  But I did notice there was a small number of tint cards that also came in chrome versions. While the numbering is different in their tint and chrome versions, every other element of these cards is identical. 

So here is a different kind of rainbow, the 9 card 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball rainbow of Brad Lidge, front and back.

 Base Card

 Green Tint

 Red Tint

 Blue Tint

Non-Chrome Black Border

 Green Refractor

 Chrome #/1962

 Chrome Refractor #/562

 Black Border Chrome Refractor #/62

I mentioned there are only a small number of cards, 13 of them, which will work.  Here is the complete list.

Bronson Arroyo – 120 & C25
Miguel Cabrera – 150 & C4
Kyle Drabek – 114 & C24
Jonny Gomes – 148 & C29
Aaron Hill – 123 & C26
Omar Infante – 130 & C27
Paul Konerko – 195 & C34
Brad Lidge – 111 & C22
Mike Pelfrey – 183 & C32
Jhonny Peralta – 173 & C31
Babe Ruth Special – Babe Joins Yanks – 136 & C28
Freddy Sanchez – 188 & C49
Kurt Suzuki – 184 & C33

There is only one other player that appears in both the tint series and chrome, Mark Teixeira.  But you will not be able to build a rainbow because he appears on two different base set cards and his tint series cards use his base card #110

and his chrome and black border cards use his base card #400.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you another rainbow, one that spans different releases. Perhaps we should call it an Uber Rainbow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 SAGE 5 Star Football Box Break Recap and Review

Have you picked up a box of 2011 SAGE 5 Star Football yet?  If your answer is no, what are you thinking?  At an unbelievable 24 cards, all hits. with at least 40 autographs, SAGE 5 Star is, by far, the most voluminous Rookie Auto prospector box out there.

SAGE does not give odds of pulling hits, since every card is a hit, but they have released a detailed checklist, which I’ve used to approximate odds for you.  Please keep in mind these are not official odds and I might be slightly off, but I don’t think by much.  Figuring a production run of about 800 boxes, the odds of pulling this year’s holy grail, a Cam Newton Auto, are about 1 in 37 cards, about 1 in every 1.5 boxes.  Is there another product out there you can think of that provides those kinds of odds?

2011 SAGE 5 Star Football, incredibly, fits into our premium cards category.  You would think this would be an Ultra Premium, product, but at about $10 a card it is still within reach of most collectors. Each box contains 8 packs with 3 cards each. Each 8 pack box contains 40 autographs on 24 cards with one triple autograph card on average.

Here are the cards we pulled from the box.

Single Signatures
 First Round Picks - Mark Ingram, Aldon Smith

 First Round Pick - Julio Jones, Second Round Pick - Torrey Smith

Second Round Picks - Rahim Moore and Da'Quan Bowers

Sixth Round Pick - Allen Bradford, Undrafted - Currently on IR with the Houston Texans Lestar Jean

Double Signatures

 Mark Ingram & Casey Matthews, Aldon Smith & Ryan Kerrigan

 Charles Clay & Daniel Thomas, Chimdi Chekwa & Denarius Moore

 Doubles of Kyle Rudolph and Charlie Gantt

 Jordan Todman & Delone Carter, Luke Stocker & Charlie Gantt

 Mark Herzlich & Anthony Castonzo, Cecil Shorts III & Jeremy Kerley

 Shane Vereen & Stevan Ridley, Nate Solder & Shane Vereen

 Rob Housler & Sam Acho, T.J. Yates & Jeff Maehl

Jeff Maehl & Casey Matthews

Triple Signatures

Auburn Teammates - Cam Newton, Nick Fairley & Mario Fannin

Overall Look
For an unlicensed product (no team logos) these look good.  SAGE has done a nice job of getting a lot of the players in uniforms without any visible logos.  Clearly some care has been taken with the autos.  It was a rare occurrence that signatures went off the stickers used, which probably meant there was careful supervision of the signing processes.  Write-ups and stats on the backs of the cards work well.

Quality and Variety of Players
The most desirable Rookies are all here, 70 names of the recent Rookie class.  Only 14 of those players were undrafted, but eventually picked up by teams.  We pulled one player who is no longer with a team. All other players who are not on team rosters, only a handful, are either on a practice squad or on IR.

Do the Hits satisfy?
Even if you are not happy with an autograph card, there are 23 others.  We pulled 8 First Round picks, 6 second round picks, 2 third round picks, and 6 fourth round picks.  In total, we hit autos for 33 different players, almost half of those available in this product. Not too shabby.

Will you keep coming back for more?
This one box probably contained more autograph hits than all the other boxes of football cards we’ve opened this year combined.  The only thing that should dictate how much SAGE 5 Star you buy is your budget.  Get your hands on as many boxes as you can.

5 out of 5

2011 SAGE 5 Star Football is an amazing offering for rookie prospectors.