Sittin’ on Chrome

Retail is crazy man, insane really.  I remember not that long ago when we would all laugh and joke about spending (read wasting) a Jackson on a blaster from Topps or Panini at your local Target or Wal-Mart.  We would go as far as saying, I spent $20 bucks on cards from COMC or Sportlots or eBay and got a whole bunch of fill in the blanks that I needed for my PC!!!  Yeah, I was one of those guys…but something happened. 

What was it? 




Social Media? 

No. It was Gary Fuckin’ Vee!!! 

Well, not really.  It was a bit of all of those things…(side note, I have nothing against Gary Vee or what he has brought to the hobby, any interest in the hobby in my mind is a good thing) every one of those, plus more than what I mentioned.  I’m sure of it. 

Crazy times ya’ll.

So with retail evolving into sneaker heads land and lines waiting for new releases or limited editions of whatever’s new, my thirst for retail has grown.  Grown more out of the FOMO category more than anything else, but also just enjoying a good cheap rip once in a while.  I like to open cards.  I would venture to say we all do, or at least the vast majority of us…I need to do a better job of not speaking for others…I never depended on anything from Target to build a collection around, just something that was inexpensive that I could open on a Tuesday night…fill some need for instant gratification…and go on with my life.  A few years ago I began hording boxes.  I’d buy a box or two but not open them, you know?  Just buy them.  

Saving them for a rainy day. 

Saving them for a day that didn’t go as I had planned.

Saving them for a long week of work.

Saving them for something to write about on a blog I abandoned.

Saving them for something cool to break. 

I could pick up blasters of cards that I’m not super interested in, but like to have just to get an idea of what they look like…I like design and I like sports, so sports cards fill both of those buckets for me…but also the rip factor. 

That has obviously come to a screeching halt during the past six plus months, but I have still managed to accumulate a few tasty samples from Target and Wal-Mart as well as from my LCS’s Hoody’s and The Sports Room. 

The first two locales for an acquisition are great because the’re based on MSRP…no ‘flippity flip flipper-life’ markups.  There’s no LCS overhead cost markup or anything else that would make the box more than they should be.  Trust me (you know this too), retail boxes should not be going for these nutso upticked prices.


The hobby shops are a bit of a different story, there’s a markup.  The great folks over at Hoody’s though, didn’t do too much for this box of Topps Chrome 2020 I picked up a couple months ago.  $35 for a $20 box.  Nothing too egregious I guess…? 

The packs are lovely aren’t they, Mr. Pete Alonso and some honeycomb corners for the exciting Sepia Refractor Pack. Let’s see if this was worth the $35!

Here are the results of the box and the ‘bonus sepia pack’



Joey Gallo and Bobby Bradley

AJ Puk ’85 Insert and Luis Urias



JD Martinez and Austin Nola

Robel Garcia Prism Refractor and Ian Desmond



Archie Bradley and George Springer

Jean Segura Refractor and Trevor Story



Paul Goldschmidt and Lucas Giolito

Austin Riley ’85 Insert and Jose Altuve



Freddie Freeman and Nicky Lopez

Dansby Swanson Refractor and Charlie Blackmon



Matt Olson and Rafael Devers

Mike Yastrzemski Future Stars and Michael Fulmer



Randy Arozarena and Kevin Newman

Babe Ruth Decade of Dominance Die-Cut and Sam Hilliard



Fernando Tatis Jr. Refractor

Aaron Civale Refractor

Orlando Arcia Refractor

Luis Arraez Refractor


All this writing reminds me of one of my favorite all-time MC’s, MASTA ACE! Here’s Sittin’ on Chrome…the namesake for today’s post. Enjoy the jeep thumping mid-90’s bass heavy joint.

2013 Topps – Packs 1 and 2

It’s been difficult of late to get in front of a computer and complete a post for the blog.  The last few weeks have been overwhelming for me with late nights and weekends at work which is about to come to an end.  My deadline is nearly complete at work and i should have a few moments at night for some new posts after the child has gone to sleep.  My lunch breaks have been the only time i can do some blog writing, but eating and typing on a smart phone ain’t that easy, plus a little messy.

So, to get back posting i wanted to open a pack from the 2013 Topps jumbo box i ordered a while ago from Dave and Adams card world.  In the past, i would get the box and just rip through it, sifting through each card so quickly and not taking the time to enjoy each card.  I have decided to follow the self controlled approach of fellow Portland metro area blogger Basketball Card Blog and open one pack every day or two.  My initial attempt failed, so i opened two packs.  Hey, it’s been a while.  I will exhibit some self control and open just the two jumbo packs for tonight.  100 cards.

I know the flagship card set from Topps has caused some heartache from the die hards, and i get it.  This is a set that all of us have put together at some point.  My first set was the 1986 Topps set which i still love to this day.  Being the collector that i am, i feel the urge to continue collecting and building the sets each year and continue with the tradition.  I can understand some of the negative energy about Topps, but i feel that if you are that opposed to it, don’t collect it.  Collect something else.  It will be alright.  This hobby should be fun and enjoyable.

As most of you have already started to tear in to the ’13 Topps cards, i won’t bore you with scanning cards you have already seen but rather focus on a couple of cards that stood out to me in the packs.  I may post a card you have seen a thousand times though…who knows…

The first one is the Jose Reyes card #331.  I never understood the desire to photoshop a players new team on a card when he hasn’t even played a game for them, not even a spring training game!  If the set came out in May and they wanted to show Reyes in a Blue Jay doctored jersey, i’d be cool with that.  It may make sense then.  We all know he played one season in Miami last year where he had a decent season on a crappy team, let’s see him in a Marlins jersey one last time!  Maybe i’m being overly picky on this one, but just a minor pet peeve for me.  I know companies have done this for a while and will continue to do it.  The one thing i can add is the photoshop work is pretty solid.  As someone who works with photoshop on occasion i know how difficult these things can be, luckily i have my wife to teach me new tricks…about photoshop that is…  The real issue though is the back of the card and A-Rod’s claim that Jose Reyes is “the world’s greatest player playing shortstop…and the most exciting…”  who knew?  Also, love the Career Chase stats on these cards.  Kind of snarky and fun.  Reyes is 996 SB away from Rickey Henderson’s all time record of 1,406.  Funny that this is the first card i chose as Rickey Henderson is my all time favorite player and childhood athlete idol.  I wear 24 in softball because of Rickey!

13 T Jose Reyes

Next up, Jose Altuve.  The problem with this card is the freakin jersey.  I HATE these mid ’80’s Astros jersey…that sounds really negative.  I grew up in San Antonio and was forced to watch endless amounts of Astros and Rangers games on TV.  I remember when these jersey weren’t trendy throw backs, just some ugly ass shirts the baseball club from Houston wore.  When i heard they were going to an old school look for the 2013 season, i thought for sure this is what they meant…luckily that didn’t happen and they went with a more subdued and honorable retro look.  Although, i’m sure they will whip these sherbert gems out every once in a while.  Sunday home games?  Back to the Astros and Rangers quickly.  I never became a fan of either team and never really bought in to the fact that you had to root for the local team.  I’ve always been a contrarian by nature so i picked my teams as i saw fit and avoided all affiliations with Texas teams, not hate, just not loving them.  Apparently Jose Altuve is short and he plays second base.  Seems about right i guess, most second basemen are vertically challenged.  He overcame his shortcomings in height and is a pro ballplayer, more than i can say for myself.

13 T Jose Altuve

The last two cars are the Adam Jones Cut to the Chase and Kenley Jansen parallel number to 62.  Ok, here’s a thing.  I have always had a color deficiency, not color blindness, but a deficiency.  All of these parallel cards confuse the hell out of me.  I never know what the color of the freakin card is.  I wish companies would put the color on the back under the serial number stamp or maybe a G for Green and R for Red because honestly i can’t tell.  If it wasn’t for the serial number i would have no idea what i have in my hand right now.  Two anecdotes on Kenley Jansen.  He has a ways to go to catch Mariano Rivera and he played baseball at Inland Empire…which i find to be a fascinating name for a town or city or whatever it is.  That could make a great road trip.  That Adam Jones card is quite nice and super easy to pick up with all the edges.  It’s glossy and shiny.  Has some visual texture to it as well.  I’m kind of diggin’ these.

13 T Kenley Jansen Black 3:62 13 T Adam Jones Cut to the Chase

Oh wait, one more card.  This guy, Adeiny Hechavarria.  Spell check hates his name and it took total concentration for me to spell it correctly, still not sure i got it right.  Anyways.  This kid is from Cuba.  A couple of summers ago, my wife and I ventured down to the island for 14 days and had a fantastic time.  Unfortunately we went during the baseball off season…summer…so i didn’t get to see any games.  Everyone there though loves Baseball and talking about the game.  I ended up meeting a guy there that was a big Phillies fan and ended up sending him some cards…no idea if he ever got them though.  that’s another post.

13 T Adeiny Hechavarria