Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 Topps Chromes Give Collectors What They Want

2009 Topps Chrome is live and once again collectors can’t get enough of this annual favorite. Couple that simple fact with Topps delivering 2 autographs per box, all of which are hard signed, and you have the making of a winner. Capitalizing on this year’s flagship brand design, Chrome replicates some of the best cards from Series 1 and 2 with the Chrome motif. In year’s past Topps has, often times, utilized different photography for this brand but despite the recycled player images collectors won’t be disappointed. The only drawback I can see for Chromies, is those that are also set collectors. With a modest 220 cards comprising the base set I’m sure some people will be clamoring for a bigger checklist.

What Chrome lacks in set depth in makes up for in rookie quantity. Making up almost 25% of the base set, collectors will have the opportunity to hunt down 50 rookie cards including Andrew McCutchen, Colby Rasmus, Brian Duensing, Kenshi Kawakami, Dexter Fowler and many more top prospects. As if that wasn’t enough young potential talent to chase, Chrome packs out with 100 players from the World Baseball Classic. While not a personal favorite of mine, I know they are extremely popular with other people, but at the same time I think most collectors would agree that cutting that insert down to 50 cards and beefing the base set of equal quantity, would be a welcome change for next year.

As is always the case with this brand, Refractors and their myriad of variations, are a big demand. Today’s player collectors have learned to appreciate the maddening nature of the parallel chase and Chrome Refractors epitomizes that quest. Falling at a rate of 1:3 packs, each Hobby box should deliver a minimum of 8, not including refractors for the WBC inserts and autographs.

As stated previously each Hobby box of 2009 Topps Chrome will deliver 2 hard signed autographs and ours didn’t disappoint. Whenever you pull 2 pitchers in the Oakland A’s organization chances are pretty good you’ll do well value wise in the long-run. First pull was Trevor Cahill. A hard throwing righty, Cahill has impressive pitching numbers despite having only a 6-12 record this year for Oakland, proving once again that wins is probably the most over-rated statistic to judge pitchers by. With a 4.86 ERA he has a 1.23 strikeouts to walk ratio and a 1.438 WHIP through 146 innings of work. Cahill has the potential to be a mainstay in the A’s rotation for years to come. The other autograph we pulled was of Brett Anderson a young lefty who has been dubbed “Brandon Webb light”. To put things in perspective of how good this kid is, In 225 1/3 career innings, all compiled before he turned 21 in January, Anderson had walked a grand total of 48 hitters while striking out 243. That is less than two walks per nine innings while fanning 9.7. It’s those kind of numbers that make a MLB GM stand up and take notice.

With a current SRP of around $65 there is solid value in the content and tremendous upside on the player checklist. Chrome is always a fun break and this year’s product didn’t disappoint.
Set Specs:

Pack out configuration: 4 cards per pack, 24 packs per box, and 12 boxes per case
SRP: $4 per pack, $65 per box

Base Set: 220 total cards (170 veterans, 55 rookies)
Inserts: World Baseball Classic (100 cards)
Parallels: Regular refractor 1:3 packs, Blue #’d to 199, Gold #’d to 50, Red #’d to 25, and Superfractors #’d 1-of1
Printing Plates: 1,360 1-of-1’s
Autographs: 20 different RC’s falling at 2: Hobby box

Damage Report: None. Odd enough thou, the curling tendancy, while evident, isn’t effecting all of the cards.
What we found: 96 total cards including 76 cards from the 220-card base set, for a set completion percentage of 34.5% with 0 doubles)

10 Regular Refractors- Derek Holland RC, Mike Lowell, Francisco Liriano, Cole Hamels, Anthony Clagget RC, John Lester, Elvis Andrus RC, Ian Kinsler, Luis Durango WBC, Concepcion Rodriguez WBC.

2 Blue Refractors- Max Rameriz WBC #70/199 and David Wright #179/199

2 Autographs- Trevor Cahill RC Refractor #125.499 and Brett Anderson RC

See the Break Gallery


Play at the Plate said...

I'd be happy with that box....the Holland, Andrus and Kinsler refractors would make any Rangers collector happy. Thanks for the review.

JD's Daddy said...

Yeah, I have had a good time with these, so much that I have one more box on the way. I have been fortunate to pull a Tommy Hanson auto, and both a blue and regular refractor of Ricky Romero. I am not a big fan of the WBC cards, but overall there is a pretty good element of surprise opening these packs. Careful with smudges though! :)

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