A hobby box can range anywhere from $170 to nearly $200, depending on the seller. As usual, a hobby box contains two mini boxes, with seven cards to a pack. Topps promises one autographed relic and a relic card per mini box, with one of them being a triple relic. Collectors also will find three base cards and two numbered cards.
The base set for this 10th anniversary product is 100 cards and contains current players and retired stars. There are parallels in amethyst (numbered to 354), emerald (250), amber (125), gold (99), onyx (50) and sapphire (25). There also are 1/1 versions in ruby, along with 1/1 printing plates.
But if you’re buying Triple Threads, you are not looking to build a set. It’s the rookies and the big hits that are tantalizing.
There are parallels, of course, with sepia (numbered to 75), emerald (50) and black with silver ink (35). Cards that are 1/1s include ruby, wood, White Whale and printing plates.
Walker’s season, by the way, ended when the Mariners announced this week that they were shutting the 23-year-old down after he threw 169 innings this season, striking out 157 while walking just 40.
Walker’s signature is on-card (no sticker), and the swatches include the Mariners’ northwest green color in the position and number cutouts (P and 32). The other swatch is white and is to the right of the Mariners’ logo.
This is also a sepia parallel, numbered to 27. The uniform swatch is two inches long and an inch wide.
There were four serial numbered cards spread across the hobby box, two to a mini box. The cards I pulled were Paul Goldschmidt (amethyst, numbered to 354), Sonny Gray (emerald, 250), Freddie Freeman (amber, 125) and Kris Bryant (gold, 99).
I didn’t pull them, but there are some really high-end relic cards. Bat Nameplates are 12 different 1/1 book cards that feature the panel from a bat barrel on one side of the book and uniform swatches on the other. Big names from the past include Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly and Mark McGwire.
Bat Knobs are also 1/1s, which highlights the end of the bat. This 10-card set boasts Gwynn, McGwire, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk and Ken Griffey Jr.
The premium card that would get me excited would come from the Cut Above subset. This is a nine-card set of cut signatures, all 1/1s, and all from Hall of Famers. Look at this list: Bob Feller, Eddie Mathews, Early Wynn, Willie Stargell, Hal Newhouser, Warren Spahn, Ted Williams, and two depicting Joe DiMaggio. The odds of pulling such a card? One in 4,820.
Here is an interesting item on the back of the mini box, where Topps lists the odds of pulling a card and also gives the disclaimer (for example, “Joe DiMaggio is a registered trademark of DiMaggio, LLC”). In capital letters, Topps notes that “Only the name and image of Ted Williams have been licensed by Ted Williams Family Enterprises, Ltd. … Memorabilia and/or cut signatures have not been obtained through Ted Williams Family Enterprises, Ltd.”
It takes up three lines, but hey, you’ve got to have those disclaimers in order. I get that.
A new addition to Triple Threads this year is the Triple Thr3Ds subset. There are 25 cards, which have three swatches and a 3-D design that is labeled lenticular. That means printed images have an illusion of depth, with the ability to change or move as one views the photo from different angles. That’s a nice concept on a baseball card; reminds me of the old Kellogg’s 3-D cards from the early 1970s — but without the cracking that was so prevalent with that set.
Triple Threads has been consistent through the years in its concept. Collectors can pull nice cards and even hope to pull bigger ones. It’s a high ticket item, but the rewards can be great. As with any expensive product, you roll the dice.