Posts Tagged ‘2010 Topps Chrome’


Welcome to 2011 – USA Products Year In Review, A Quick Analysis

The new year is here and we are seeing some changes to the USA Baseball market & products.  2010 was undoubtedly the year of “Topps Has Issues”, as they made their first full-year leap into the USA license.  It wasn’t all viewed as a failure though, since we are looking at some good prices and nice overall cards released.  Follow along as I make a quick analysis of the 2010 USA products and what trends we’re seeing on the eBay market.

The Good

Many people were worried about sticker autographs and how Topps would implement the USA players into Bowman Chrome, but it was received well.  The chrome autographs sold well, especially top players like Bubba Starling and Lance McCullers.  All parallels were limited enough to hold future value and we all know the saying “Chrome Is King”.

Perhaps the best use of the chrome design and stickers were the 16U autographs in Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects, which featured an American Flag background.  The players might now be hyped yet, outside of Alex Bregman and Matt Olson, but we can be sure to see some players become “the” guy to get by the end of 2011.  The parallels stayed the same as the 18U chrome autographs, which was a smart move by Topps.

The nicest looking cards of the year go to the USA Box Set patch autographs, which feature the Collegiate and 18U players.  Somehow, the 16U players did not make it into that set, but the value of the other teams make up for that in the long run.  Even without a Bryce Harper type player (Sorry folks, Bubba Starling is no Harper), the prices are up across the board. The top player in the set is bringing almost $200 already, which wasn’t seen in years past.  In fact, the past years boxed sets from Upper Deck didn’t have a player above $100 not named Bryce Haper.

With the cards being limited to 50 copies and featuring multiple patches & multiple colors, these are sure to see some future gains come draft time.

The Bad

Oh, where to do I begin with this one.  There are so many issues with the various releases that I could write a book.  The amount of swing-and-miss ideas, checklists & designs, as well as glaring mistakes are astounding.

Topps Chrome Collegiate Autographs – The fact that these were done on paper stock with horrible quality photographs, made these cards to forget.  I felt sorry for anyone buying these early of top players George Springer and Jackie Bradley Jr., because they were sure to drop in prices.  Topps could have at least done these as chrome autographs, since they were also on-card.  Sigh.

Bowman Platinum Collegiate Autographs – More issues from this release as Topps dropped the ball.  First off, the retail product came out over a month before the hobby product, which had negative effect on the sales and reception of the new product.  Sure, some cards featured patch autographs, but the amount of parallels were ridiculous and the quality control was just horrendous.  I would be shocked if anyone made money investing in these cards. Double Sigh.

The Ugly

The 2010 Ugly Award goes to the 2010 USA Box Set base set and autographs.  Not only was this product planned well in advance, but Topps was able to get all players to sign on-card.  For many hobbyists, this would be a good thing, but every other aspect of the release was just beyond horrific.

The design of the cards were minimalistic and the photography quality was like a home printer job.  The parallels for each player were increased in print run (Red Autos went from /25 to /99 and Green Autos went from /2 to /25) and a 1/1 parallel was added…..which has silver ink on a white paper background.  Talk about a disaster!

Add in that all parallels were hand numbered (great for forgers, ugh!) and it was by far the worst USA release of the year. For all of that anticipation and waiting for a popular set, Topps squarely kicked collectors in the junk.  If it wasn’t bad enough, Topps also offered just the base set w/ no autographs in retail stores for $9.99 per set.  That alone speaks volumes to the sheer amount of press cranking they did this year as a whole.

The Future

When a new year starts, it’s customary to have some resolutions set to improve and change aspects that weren’t to your liking.  So, we can all hope that Topps has some serious new years resolutions in place for 2011 and their USA product line.  The line has some serious hobby history and hopefully Topps will keep that alive. Here’s a toast to 2011, the Draft, and the good ol’ Stars & Stripes!

Want to vote on the BEST and WORST 2010 USA Baseball Sets?

Head over to FreedomCardBoard.Com and give your thoughts in the Baseball Forum.


Market Note: 2010 Topps Chrome USA Auto Checklist Error

Well, after many times posing the question to Topps, it seems Jason Esposito is NOT in 2010 Topps Chrome as a USA Autograph.  You can stop your eBay searches.  He was shown on the checklist as card #USA-6 but it seems he did not sign any cards.  A hobby friend also sent a text message to Jason and he personally confirmed that he did not sign any of these cards for Topps.

It seems that Jason Esposito will have sticker autographs in Bowman Chrome though, so you can get your Vanderbilt autograph fix there.  For now, the only autograph of him is pictured above, from the Falmouth Commodores.

Esposito was a replacement player for the 2010 USA Collegiate roster when Anthony Rendon went down with his ankle injury.


eBay Market Watch: 2010 Topps Chrome USA Autographs

It’s the first week of the 2010 Topps Chrome release and the USA autographs have shown up on the market.  For cards that are being called “case hits”, they sure have been underwhelming in ending prices.  In fact, my previous speculation post seems just about spot on.  Now, we just have to see where they eventually settle.

As of today….

22 have ended at auction, with Jackie Bradley Jr. and George Springer leading the way.  No surprise here.

100+ are currently listed, with more surely to follow.

Did Topps drop the ball on these cards?  Absolutely.  It’s great that they are on-card autographs, but the card stock, design, and lack of serial numbering is damaging.  Even if they produced 350 copies of each autograph (rough estimate by running the case production numbers), Topps could have serial numbered them.

It’s also worth noting that two of the likely top 10 picks in the 2011 draft – Sonny Gray and Gerrit Cole – are seeing some low prices (and they continue to drop).

As a collector, are you buying these autographs?  Are you disapointed with the overall product?  Share your thoughts!


The First 2010 Topps Chrome USA Autograph Hits eBay…

Within two days, the market will be flooded with USA autographs from the underwhelming 2010 Topps Chrome Baseball. Somehow, ahead of schedule the first USA card is listed by a seller in Atlanta, Georgia.

Behold, Sonny Gray, in all his 1975 Topps ugly glory. The cards do seem to have on-card autographs, which is nice. No sign of serial numbers though, which isn’t so nice.

2010 Topps Chrome USA Autograph Sonny Gray