Friday, September 9, 2011

Box Break: 2011 Topps Chrome Hobby

I preordered this box a little while back and had almost forgotten about it until I got the shipping notification. I started to get cautiously excited knowing the debacle that 2010 Topps Chrome was.  It had been nearly 2 weeks since I opened any packs (which is a long time for me!) so it was good to smell that new card smell again.  So I ripped a few packs and was pleasantly surprised to see that the cards were of a pretty high quality.  No pringle warping, no surface gouges, no dinged corners, no off-center or miscut cards and hardly any roller marks that plagued last year's edition.  I am happy to see that Topps fixed these issues for this years release.  Even the non-card collectors that work there know that those cards were of totally crappy quality!

I'm going to list the "lesser" inserts here:

Topps Heritage Chrome: Nelson Cruz, Carlos Quentin, Neil Walker, Brandon Beachy

Nothing to really write home about here...

Topps Chrome Throwbacks: Aroldis Chapman, Freddie Freeman, Felix Hernandez, Brian McCann

I know the back of the package says Vintage Chrome, but I hardly consider 1996 Topps Chrome to be "vintage".  I'll just call them throwbacks since Pepsi can call their 1990's designs throwbacks!

Refractors: Brandon Beachy, Carlos Pena, Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Cashner, Ichiro, Vernon Wells, Jonathan Sanchez, Jorge Posada

The Refractors from this box produced the exact amount of cards allotted for the box.  The odds were 1:3 packs.    I really cleaned up on Brandon Beachy and overall Braves in this break.  The Jorge Posada card is kinda funny because it says he is a Designated Hitter but the picture is of him in catchers gear chasing a foul pop up

My Astros lucky streak continues with this Sepia Refactor.  I particularly pull a bunch of Parallels of JA Happ.  I think I got an Orange parallel from 2010 Bowman, a Blue from 2011 Bowman and now this Sepia Refractor.   I could take or leave this version of refractor.
I think the Atomic refractors are kind of neat but to me they just look like a zoomed in version of the flagship Diamond Anniversary parallels.
Blue Refractors make their return.
This gold I was happy to get since they are numbered out of 50.  I'm not really thrilled about the player because he hasn't played in nearly a season and a half.  Oh well, you can't win them all.
My first promised autograph is actually the refractor version.  Somehow the scanner didn't pick up the rainbow coloring.  I thought that Crow was once a hot Starting Pitcher prospect and it wasn't that long ago.  KC fans help me out here, I'm interested to know why he is pitching out of the bullpen.  Did he totally tank as a starter?
Here's my second promised autograph of the box.  This was probably the second best autograph (in my opinion) I could have pulled next to Zach Britton.  Earlier in the season, Pineda was lighting it up and a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year.  The league caught up to him but he is still a very solid pitcher and seems he will form a tough 1-2 punch with King Felix for years to come.

I'd give this box a 4.5 out of 5.0 score only because I pulled 2 Orioles from the entire box (Markakis and Derek Lee base cards).  Otherwise I was very pleased with the results and I think the cards look great in Chrome.  The flagship was only so-so in my book but be chromed, they look a little more dignified.  I'm still scratching my head about the double team names around the baseball and logo though.

All cards are for trade except the Pineda.  I want to hang onto that card for a while, unless I get an offer I can't refuse.


  1. I'll trade for the Nelson Cruz Heritage. I'll see what I can find for you.

  2. I'll shoot you an email about that Davis

  3. Crow is just young. They planned on moving him into the rotation. But with Soria questionable (both health and results) Crow may stay put. I'd be interested in trading for him. Let me look at what I've got to offer and I'll email you.