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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 Triple Threads baseball

Posted Nov 4, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Topps Triple Threads baseball is about the autograph and relic cards, but there is something to be said for its base design for the 2013 set.  I particularly like the smoky silver background behind the player on the card front; it makes the cutout photo of the player in action pop. There are some ornate silver foil borders around the card, too, and the player’s name and team is stamped in silver foil. Plus, the card stock is thick.

If you decide to collect the base set, there are 100 veterans and retired stars, plus an additional 71 autographed rookies and phenoms relic cards. There are parallels for both sets. The base parallels include amethyst (which is a fancy way of describing violet), numbered to 650; amber (125); gold (99); onyx (50); sapphire (25), and 1/1 ruby and printing plate cards. The rookie and phenom parallels have a slightly different parallel schedule: sepia, numbered to 75; emerald (60); black with silver ink (25); black with gold ink (10), and 1/1 ruby and wood parallels, along with 1/1 printing plates.

Each master box of Triple Threads contains two mini-boxes, with seven cards to a pack.  Topps promises one autographed relic card and a relic card in each mini box. One of the memorabilia cards will be a triple relic card.

Here is what I pulled:

The first pack had three base cards, an amethyst parallel of Carlos Gonzalez numbered to 650 and an amber parallel of Ian Kinsler numbered to 125.  The first hit was an autographed relic card of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, numbered to 18. The autograph is on a sticker, rather than on the card.

The second hit was a Unity single jumbo relic card of Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury, numbered to 36. There is a nice vertical uniform swatch, which fits nicely into the vertical design of the card.

The second pack also had three base cards and an amethyst parallel of Zack Greinke, numbered to 50. The second parallel was a gold card of the Angels’ Josh Hamilton, numbered to 99.

The hits included a Unity autograph jumbo relic of the Padres’ Jedd Gyorko, numbered to 50. The design of this card was horizontal, and the game-used swatch also was horizontal, a nice, dark piece of material. The second hit was a relic card of Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, numbered to 18. The uniform swatch is cut into four letters that could be interpreted as “pace” or “P ace,” as in the Phillies’ ace. Since the type on the back of the card alludes to Hamels becoming the ace of the staff, I will go with the second interpretation.

There is a nice hint of the Phils’ distinctive red pinstripe running across the bottom of the “p” and “c” letters.

The Machado card certainly was a nice one to pull, and the Ellsbury relic was decent, too. I don’t know too much about Gyorko, and the Hamels relic seemed a little confusing.
But overall, not a bad box.




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