Friday, November 19, 2010
I know, you're already asking yourself before reading this, why did this guy get a retail box of 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball? Well, I didn't just buy a box, I bought three cases. I pre-ordered these back in July for a really good price, well before Strasburg got hurt and the price plummeted. It was also long before I knew how bad the odds would be on the retail packs. I had faith that Topps would continue to release retail products with decent odds as they've been doing for a couple years. The odds are horrendous on retail this year. Pulling a prospect autograph, which are one per box in hobby, are 1:191 packs in retail. Even pulling a prospect or USA non-autographed refractor are 1:110 packs. Just insane!
I decided I'd open one box before I started selling these off a box a time. The first thing I noticed after opening a couple packs was that the top card in each pack was scratched. Scratched actually puts it mildly, more like gouged. They look like someone ran a nail down the front of each card. I have 24 like this, one for each pack in the box. I already sent them all back to Topps for replacement. The good news is that the other two cards in each pack were free of defects.
Enough of the bad news. As I started ripping packs I started getting good cards, defying the odds on the back of the packs. I first pulled Jason Heyward and Carlos Santana rookie refractors (1:6 packs). The next card that came was a Corban Joseph Autographed Prospect Blue Refractor (1:2,850 packs). I would have been happy at this point if nothing else came out of the box. Next came the A.J. Vanegas Team USA Autographed Refractor (1:1,620 packs) and an Andrew Cashner Gold Refractor rookie (1:837 packs). Amazing!
I figured this box was all a fluke but decided to open one more to be sure. I was right, nothing came out of the next box other than the four expected regular refractors and a couple purple refractors. The box did yield a Stephen Strasburg base rookie as well as a Jason Heyward and a Starlin Castro. I decided to stop at that point as I realized I had simply run into a hot retail box with that first one.
Hopefully this information is somewhat helpful to people reading. My advice - go with hobby boxes as they're down around $40 per box now and you're guaranteed an autograph per box. Don't count on being as lucky as I was with that first box of retail.