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My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 3

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment


Card #3 on the list could end up being one of those iconic cards when all is said and done. It’s a 2011 Bowman #BP1 Bryce Harper Prospects Autograph graded PSA 10. This is Harper’s first certified autograph in his Washington Nationals uniform. Topps has cashed in on the Harper craze with lots of different autographed cards in 2011, but this will always be his first.

What else needs to be said about Harper at this point? He cruised through A and AA this season. He had a great month in the Arizona Fall League, which I saw him play in several times. To top it off, National officials were quoted as saying he will make the club out of spring training. This guy is the real deal and a great investment. If someone asked me what player would be the most solid investment to pay off in the next year, I would say Bryce Harper hands down. The Nats fast tracked him to the majors by moving him from catcher to outfield, his bat is doing the rest. I would not be surprised at all if he’s in the Nats’ Opening Day lineup.

If you’re going to purchase a copy of this particular card, I’d go with PSA graded versions. It seems that Harper used a bad pen when signing these, so it’s very hard to find copies that have a nice dark autograph. Most are streaked. BGS copies have 8 or 9 autograph grades most of the time, thus detracting from their value. I personally think the autograph grade is a crock and a money grab by Beckett, but some people like it. If you can find a gem mint BGS copy with a 10 autograph grade, it will command a premium.

2011 Topps Value Box Case Break

November 11, 2011 Leave a comment

As you may have read in one of my recent posts, I’ve opened quite a few of the 2011 Topps retail value boxes. These are the ones that come with 5 retail packs of Topps Update, 1 hobby pack of Bowman Chrome, 1 Diamond Giveaway code card and a special Bryce Harper red, silver or gold Bowman Chrome #BCE1 refractor. I’d had pretty good success with these buying them from retail, so I bought a couple cases on eBay.

I opened the first case the other day it didn’t yield much, not even a gold Harper refractor. However, even opening a bad case still yields some nice stuff. You still get 16 Harper refractors and 25-30 code cards.

I was working from home this morning and decided to let my girlfriend open the second case while I worked. I was monitoring progress as she went and some decent stuff was coming out. The first few things I’ll highlight are from the Bowman Chrome hobby packs.

[Pictured Below] Ike Davis, Franklin Gutierrez and Julio Teheran base refractors. Conner Crumbliss prospect refractor /500. Jacob Turner purple prospect refractor /799. #BCE1 Bryce Harper gold refractor. The other Harper’s yielded 5 silver and 10 red.

Topps Value Box Case Break

Now for the hits from the Topps Update packs…

[Pictured Below]Johnny Bench Cognac Legends SP. Sandy Koufax Diamond Legends SP. Matt Kemp Hope Diamond /60. Paul Molitor Base Legends SP (needed for my master set). Miguel Cabrera All-Star jersey card. 28 Diamond Giveaway code cards.

Topps Value Box Case Break

It was one of the last boxes that supplied the second most valuable card I’ve pulled from a pack. Well, my girlfriend pulled it, but you get the point. I was on a conference call concentrating on the conversation and she hands me a redemption card. I wasn’t 100% focused on what was happening and just sort of glanced at it. I remember telling her a week ago when we were opening a couple boxes of Bowman Chrome that a redemption card would be good because it would probably be Brett Lawrie. Sure enough, this redemption was for Brett Lawrie. I didn’t completely read the redemption at first because I was on the call and was honestly pretty distracted by excitement over pulling a Lawrie. The picture below says it all. Unreal!
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2011 Bowman Chrome Brett Lawrie Orange Refractor Autograph

Bryce Harper 2011 Bowman Platinum Superfractor 1/1 Sold

November 3, 2011 1 comment

We now have a good idea of what the 2011 Bowman Chrome Bryce Harper Autographed Superfractor will sell for once it surfaces. His 2011 Bowman Platinum Autographed Superfractor sold for $4,550 last night.

The Bowman Chrome will definitely go for more, just how much more we’ll have to wait and see. It’s not going to reach Strasburg levels, but it will bring a pretty penny.

2011 Bowman Platinum Bryce Harper Autographed Superfractor

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball 2-box break

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Wow. It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted to this blog. Sorry for the absence. I hope to get back at this and update much more frequently.

The reason I felt compelled to blog today was because of my 2-box break of 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball. I went to my LCS, Showtime Sports Cards, in Tempe, AZ this afternoon because I needed supplies. My mission was to get 660 ct. boxes and 5,000 ct. monster boxes. I succeeded in that mission, but also made my way out of the shop with the boxes of Bowman Chrome.

The only Bowman Chrome I’ve opened to date has been from the retail Value Boxes that Topps put out a couple weeks ago. They come with 5 retail packs of Topps Update, 1 hobby pack of Bowman Chrome, 1 Diamond Giveaway code card and a special Bryce Harper red, silver or gold card. I’ve opened about 20 of those and have had some luck. I pulled a Matt Moore base autograph along with a couple other lower tier base autographs. I’ve pulled two gold Harper’s as well. The retail Topps Update packs have even yielded an autograph, a few jersey cards and a couple hope diamond parallels.

Anyway, as you’ll see below, I’m very happy with my 2-box break. Not pictured are a blue refractor of Johnny Cueto, a base prospect refractor of Chris Carpenter, 10 base refractors (most notable was Albert Pujols), the standard allotment of Throwback, Bowman Future and Bowman’s Best and a couple Brett Lawrie base prospects.

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Box Break

Christian Colon PC eBay purchase


After pulling the Bryce Harper 2010 Bowman Chrome Wrapper Redemption USA Autograph a few weeks back, I knew I would have to get the Christian Colon for my PC. I picked one up last week for just over $70, far less than a Bryce Harper sells for. In fact, you could buy 20 Christian Colon’s, or 1/5th of all Colon’s, for the price of a Harper. Not that I’m comparing Colon to Harper in any way. I’m just saying.

The card is in nice shape, decently centered and the autograph, to me, stands out far better than the one on the Harper card. I’m thrilled to have this card in my collection. I have lower numbered Colon cards, but this one will be far more valuable than any Upper Deck USA issue in the long run.

Bryce Harper Bowman Chrome Autograph Redemption 034/100 Sells for $2500+

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The Bryce Harper 2010 Bowman Chrome Redemption USA Autograph numbered to his jersey number, 034/100, just ended on eBay for $2,550.00. Here is the eBay auction.

The previous high for this card was $1,200.00 on February 4th. This goes to show that collectors are willing to pay a very large premium for certain numbers. I’m sure the 001/100 and 100/100 will bring some pretty nice cash as well.

Time will tell if this sale will push the sale of less desirable numbered copies even higher. There are currently two others listed on eBay, both offered for $1,899.00 Buy It Now with the Best Offer option added.

Bowman Chrome Wrapper Redemption 38 Pack Break

February 8, 2011 2 comments

Well, they finally arrived. I missed the UPS guy a couple days in a row and finally had it held it held at the UPS facility and picked it up on the third day. The first thing I’ll say about these is I’m really disappointed in how these were shipped by Topps. The 38 packs were all put into a large padded envelope loose to bounce around during shipment. This obviously caused damage to many of the corners on my base cards. I know some people that had a larger number of packs coming to them received theirs in a box.

The bonus on these is that Topps initially stated there would be 5 cards per pack, but there ended up being 10. There are 11 per pack when you hit an autograph. There are 11 different packs, all with the same collation. I ended up with three of each pack so I was able to build 3 110-card base sets. Of the other five packs, one was the Strasburg pack, so that was a nice bonus to get an extra of him.

Now for the good stuff. Autographs are coming out of these packs at an average of around 1:18. Did that hold true for me? Yes, I got two autographs in my packs. I was sort of expecting a better ratio than that but it’s pretty much the same as buying a hobby box at those odds. The picture below shows an example of the black bordered base cards and one of my autographs, a Matt Barnes Team USA Chrome Autograph numbered out of 99.

I paid $255 for 684 empty 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball wrappers on eBay back in December. I remember thinking “What have I done?” when I opened the priority mail box full of wrappers. I promptly went through them and repackaged them in an envelope to send off to Topps. I figured that this would be money well spent considering the amount of great low numbered autographs available in these packs. Little did I know it was going to pay off way more than I ever imagined. There is obviously one card everyone is hoping to pull from this product, the Bryce Harper Team USA Chrome Autographed numbered to 100. Well, as you can see below, I pulled it! This is far and away the most valuable card I’ve ever pulled from a pack. The $255 gamble back in December is going to pay off nicely once I decide to sell the card. I can tell you this much, it will not be until after Baseball America releases their 2011 Top 100 Prospect list.