Look for the price for a 2016 Strata baseball hobby box to be in the $85 to $100 range, depending on the retailer.
This year’s Strata offers one autograph and a relic per box. Lucky collectors will pull an autographed relic, which fall in every other box; I consider myself lucky, since the pack I opened contained a Clearly Authentic autograph relic card of Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
The card was printed on thick stock and has a generously large, three-color swatch. It is numbered to 125 and is one of 25 different subjects in the subset. Pedroia’s signature is covered by a sheet of clear acetate, which gives the card a slick look on the front. What’s also notable about Clearly Authentic is the MLB Authenticated logo that is placed near the middle of the relic.
Interestingly, in the main subset there are no Blue Jays (where’s Jose Bautista?) or Rays (Evan Longoria is MIA), and there is only one member of the World Series champion Royals (Miguel Almonte), but there are four Cubs and three each of the Yankees, Red Sox and Braves. However, Joey Bats does appear in a different subset (Clearly Authentic).
Some of the higher-end cards collectors could find in Strata are the 1/1 cut signature cards, which feature players like Ty Cobb, Buck Leonard, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth and Ralph Kiner. Dual autographs are numbered to five and combine players like Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw, Hank Aaron and Mike Trout, and Carl Yastrzemski and Nomar Garciaparra. The combination of Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro also seems to be a nice pairing.
Topps Strata is an attractive-looking set with a clean look. It’s pricey, but there are some fine possibilities that could make it worth opening your wallet.