Friday, March 6, 2009

Holy Unbelievable Retail Heritage...And Another Variation

First off, just wanted to let you know that a fourth 2009 Topps Heritage super short print variation have been discovered, and the price is already getting up there:

2009 Topps Heritage Fred Lewis Variation

Now let's get to some crazy Topps Heritage stats. I finally got my first case of 2009 Topps Heritage delivered today. It's a case of 8 retail boxes of 24 packs each. I had not seen any retail odds yet, so I first took a look at the pack odds before opening any:

2009 Topps Heritage Retail Odds

So out of an average 192 pack retail case like mine, I should get approximately the following:

64 Short Prints
19 Chromes
6 Refractors
A decent shot at 1 Black Refractor (1 in 250 Packs)

So what did I actually get:

65 Short Prints (pretty close)
0 Chromes, yes zero!
17 Refractors (Holy Cow!)
4 Black Refractors (Double Holy Cow!!)

I have another case from the same distributer that I will open tomorrow. It will be interesting to see if this case is a fluke or if Topps somehow really messed up the retail distribution of chromes, refractors and black refractors. Here are the black refractors that I pulled (each is serial numbered out of 60):

2009 Topps Heritage Ryan Doumit Black Refractor
2009 Topps Heritage Andre Ethier Black Refractor
2009 Topps Heritage Rich Harden Black Refractor
2009 Topps Heritage Dustin Pedroia Black Refractor

Have a Drink on Mr. Gehrig, Or Maybe Not...

Ran across this interesting item the other day:

Lou Gehrig Free Drink Card from 1929

Looks pretty cool, but I'm a little skeptical on the authenticity. Seems odd to me that a bar and grill would offer a coupon for a (presumably alcoholic) drink in print right in the middle of prohibition (1920-1933). Also one of the fine posters on the PSA boards pointed out the following link that shows the current building at 93 Starr St. was not built until 1931.

93 Starr St. Building Record

There could have been a previous building there, but still another point to be skeptical about. I couldn't find anything about this card on the web. I did see someone saying that they had a Babe Ruth card like this with the exact same promotion on the back, but they were asking if anyone knew anything about that card as well. Anyone know anything about this card?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another Brave (Former), Another Heritage Variation

Well, Brentandbecca confirmed that there are no black back variations in the 2009 Topps Heritage set, but they did find another super short print variation, this time of John Smoltz. There is both a Braves and a Red Sox version of the Smoltz card, with the Boston variety being the much rarer card. That is three super tough variations so far. Wonder how many more there are.

Both 2009 Topps Heritage John Smoltz Variations

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Brave Old World

Who really thought there would not be some type of twist in 2009 Topps Heritage? It was only a matter of time before some type of variation card showed up, and this one happens to be very similar to another Atlanta Brave variation card from 2008 Heritage. You might remember there was a John/Jon Smoltz variation last year, well this year it's Tom/Thom Glavine. This variation is based on the the #70 card from the 1960 set which had the Milwaukee Braves Lew Burdette's name mispelled as "Lou". It will be interesting to see what this goes for, because as of right now it is the only example that has surfaced:

2009 Topps Heritage Tom/Thom Glavine Variation

2009 Topps Heritage Thom Glavine Variation

Holy Bicentennial!!!

1976 was a memorable year for many reasons. It was the 200th anniversary of the United States. It was the year that I bought my first pack of baseball cards. And I'm sure there are many other important things that happened in 1976 too. It was probably about the time that Randall "Pink" Floyd and Wooderson were hitting the Aerosmith show in Houston, but that's another story. This story is about a sports card collector named Felicia. If you don't frequent the PSA message boards, you probably wouldn't know that Felicia recently mailed out unopened 1975 cello packs (some with stars on top) to collectors who had recently lost their jobs. Talk about a great act of generosity. Felicia also had an entire case of unopened 1976 vending boxes. If you want to get an idea of how valuable even one 1976 Topps vending box is, take a look at this and multiply by 24!

1976 Topps Baseball Unopened Vending Box

As we all know, purchasing vintage unopened material is a bit of a crapshoot. Sometimes it pays off and quite often it doesn't pay off. Even if the item is genuine, the printing technology was not nearly as good as it is now so many cards were off center or had printing defects. That is a major reason why there are very few PSA 10 and even PSA 9 samples of stars from the 1976 set. I was able to find this nice example of a PSA 9 Pete Rose that recently sold, so this will give you an idea of what kind of value a great 1976 card holds:

1976 Topps Pete Rose PSA 9

Unfortunately for Felicia, she ran into quite a few beaters like these. This is just a small sample of what she found, and she's only opened two of the 24 boxes. The centering and corners on these are HORRIBLE!!! [note: heavy sarcasm!]