Topps Fire Review and Sammy Sosa Doesn’t Look Like Sammy Sosa

A single plain white envelope (PWE) came in the mail Saturday. It had two cards inside from Jarrad in Missouri.

We will get to the mailday in a moment. On my way back from the post office I stopped at Target in search of some Topps Archives.

Archives has long been a must-have retail product for me. In the past I’ve pulled an autograph every four blasters (or so it seems…I haven’t actually kept track).

You’re guaranteed one or two autographs per hobby box, which are now running in excess of $100. That’s absolutely crazy for a hobby box of Archives. I haven’t, and won’t pay that price. Instead, I get my fix on a handful of blasters each year.

It’s surprising Topps is still pumping out Archives because it’s been neglected. Heck, last year it showed up in retail stores MONTHS before hobby was released. That’s unacceptable, and thankfully I stopped buying hobby of this product years ago.

There’s more to my Archives soapbox, but it will have to wait for another day because my Target had zero in stock. This was surprising because my Target is always kept up to date on new releases.

What was on the shelves was Topps Fire, which made a surprise entrance to the market. Fire is a retail-only release that Topps just springs on collectors with no notice.

If you’re looking for products with good resale potential….stay far, far, far away from Topps Fire. It’s resale is about as good as 1991 Fleer. I kid, I kid. Kind of.

For those that like futurist design and something way different from the other releases, Fire is great. I enjoy the design and I buy a few blasters each year. I picked up three this time, and the 2019 Topps Fire design is likely my favorite so far.

The first Cubs card I pulled was Willson Contreras. As someone mentioned on Twitter, the yellow background works great because of the sleeve Contreras used to wear to honor his native Venezuela. It is kind of difficult to flip through a stack quickly to find players because the names are sideways. That’s about the only nit pick I have. Love the small team logo in the upper right corner.

The next base card was Kyle Schwarber. Maybe it’s good I pulled the Contreras first, because as much as I like the Contreras yellow background, I dislike the light green background here.

My hit! Javier Baez and it’s a Parallel. Pet peeve time. I hate parallels like these that are not numbered. Much like the Legends in the Making from Topps, which it took me several months to realize there were parallels to those cards. Same here with Topps Fire. There’s already so much going on in the design of this product, to have unnumbered colored parallels is just confusing.

On to the Mailday. Jarrad sent me this 1997 Denny’s oddball Sammy Sosa card. His note he included reads, “Enjoy the card, but I swear it doesn’t look like him.”

Well, the fist-pumping Sosa is actually Sosa and that’s where my eyes took me first. Then, I looked to the right. That’s not Sammy Sosa! Jarrad’s eyes are not deceiving him. It doesn’t look like Sosa because it’s actually Jose Hernandez (I think – someone correct me if I’m wrong).

Jarrad tossed in a bonus card. This relic is a nice one! Dexter Fowler from 2016 Topps Update.

One Million Cubs Project Stats

Saturday’s (8/24/2019) Cards: 5

Saturday’s (8/24/2019) Packages: 1

January’s Cubs Count: 9,343

February’s Cubs Count: 8,980

March’s Cubs Count: 15,704

April’s Cubs Count: 11,651

May’s Cubs Count: 7,273

June’s Cubs Count: 7,690

July’s Cubs Count: 10,803

August’s Cubs Count: 10,795

Total Trades/Donations: 217

Trade States of Origin:
Arizona (2)
Alabama (4)

California (18)

Colorado (4)
Connecticut (12)


Florida (9)

Georgia (3)

Idaho (3)
Illinois (18)
Indiana (5)

Iowa (2)


Kentucky (2)

Maryland (8)
Massachusetts (7)

Minnesota (3)


Missouri (3)



New Hampshire
New Jersey (11)

New Mexico (3)
New York (19)
North Carolina (5)
Ohio (11)

Oregon (3)
Pennsylvania (5)

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota
Tennessee (6)
Texas (7)

Vermont (2)

Virginia (2)
Washington (5)

West Virginia (5)
Wisconsin (12)

Countries of Origin

Canada (1)

Korea (1)

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