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Bob D’Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.

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Collect call: 2013 Topps Tier One baseball

Posted Sep 16, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Oct 8, 2013 at 05:41 PM

When you buy a high-end product that contains a very limited amount of cards per box, you are basically rolling the dice. You could come up big, or you could be disappointed.

That’s the caveat when buying Topps Tier One baseball. This year’s hobby box contains three cards and has a price in the $80 to $90 range, so, at nearly $30 per card, a collector could find 1/1 relics, autograph cards, bat knob cards, dual autograph relic books, Prodigious Patches or even cut signature cards.

Topps is promising two autograph cards and one relic per hobby box, and the box I opened was true to that claim. The cards are printed on slightly thicker stock, and the autographs are on-card versions, which I love. Both autographs were intriguing.

The first auto I pulled was an On The Rise card of Cubs outfield prospect Brett Jackson. He was Chicago’s first-round pick in 2009, but this season he has been plagued by a calf injury and has been toiling in the minors.

However, the autograph is bold and in blue ink and basically reads “BJack.” The card is numbered to 99.

The second autograph comes from the Crowd-Pleaser subset, one of 91 cards. This is a red ink auto of Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig, numbered to 25. The script looks more pink than it does red, but that actually makes it look more attractive to me. The layout is horizontal, and the signature and cutout photo of Craig is placed against a black background, which offers a very nice contrast.

Heading into Monday night’s game, Craig was hitting .315 with 13 homers and 97 RBIs.

The third and final card was a Legends game-used card of Nolan Ryan, numbered to 99 and featuring a white uniform swatch.

So, kind of a subdued box break. The Ryan card is of course a plus, and Craig is certainly a “name” player.  The Jackson and Ryan cards have vertical layouts, with feathering used to good effect.

So roll the dice if you feel lucky and can afford it. Some collectors will come up big, and others will come up average. I’d call this break average.


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