I went to Wal-Mart this morning to pick up some random stuff. I had no intention of purchasing cards, I swear, but what kind of person would I be if I didn't just take a peek at the selection? To date, I've not been able to find any substantial amount of 2010 Topps Chrome Baseball value racks. I'd had no problem finding football but baseball had eluded me. There was a full hook this morning so I grabbed four of them.
The offering is exactly the same as the football version. Each rack comes with three retail packs of 2010 Topps Chrome Baseball (4 cards per pack) and one bonus pack of three orange refractors. The price is $8.95 per rack, just like football.
Every break that I've read online speaks of the poor quality of Topps Chrome Baseball this year. I can confirm these claims. The first thing I noticed was the curve of the retail packs. All the cards have the familiar chrome curve to them, but worse than usual. Football didn't seem to have this problem, at least not this bad. The surface defects of the cards I've reading about is there too. There are lines, scratches and dimples on the surface of at least half the cards. I can handle refractor lines, they've always been around. The scratches and dimples are just poor quality control by Topps. The centering on some of these cards is pretty bad too.
On to more important things, the cards. I think I did really well on the orange refractors. The highlights were Mickey Mantle, Carlos Santana, Starlin Castro, Ike Davis and Joe Mauer. In the retail packs I didn't fair as well, the highlight was a Stephen Strasburg. I also pulled four refractors and four x-fractors. Check out all of the pictures below as well as the pack odds.
Speaking of the pack odds, I did find my refractor pulls from the retail packs a bit strange. Odds for refractors and x-fractors are 1:3. I pulled four of each in twelve total packs, clearly beating the odds. Purple refractors are 1:12 but I did not receive one of those. I pretty much saw these same rates in the football value packs too.