Maybe I’m in the minority because I love Leaf baseball cards. Leaf has some of the best looking cards especially when it comes to autographs and relics.
Some of the prospect products have inscriptions with the autographs that say things like, “Can’t wait to play at Wrigley Field,” or “#1 Draft Pick.”
Leaf Ultimate Draft was released recently, and I looked at the checklist and was pleasant surprised by the Chicago Cubs that are a part of the set.
First round draft pick Ed Howard and second round draft pick Burl Carraway are in the 2020 Leaf Ultimate Draft set. Additionally, prospects Richard Gallardo, Cory Abbott, and Miguel Amaya are joined by former Cubs superstar Sammy Sosa. There is one other prospect, formerly with the Cubs, Pedro Martinez, that is on the checklist though he is now with the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Martinez was on the Rays checklist for the break I was in, but it’s a card I will seek out to add to my Cubs collection (he’s pictured in a Cubs blue on his cards).
When Real Breaks announced last week it would be breaking a case of Leaf Ultimate Draft, I was excited. Real Breaks fills its breaks in extremely quick fashion. So, I had to set a push notification so I could type in Cubs as quickly as possible. When the post went I live I typed in Cubs immediately…maybe 30 seconds after it went live. I beat out the next person who typed Cubs by about five seconds. This is less than a minute after the post went live. That’s how fast their breaks fill.
Just a day before this break I found an Ed Howard from the Leaf Gold Rookies checklist from this product on eBay. It’s a beautiful card, and I have the Cole Roederer from the set released two years ago. I put an offer in for the Howard for $25 and it was declined (it was listed for around $35 shipped). First pack in the case break….BOOM!
Ed Howard! Leaf Gold Rookie. It truly is a beautiful card, and Howard has a really nice signature. While the front of the card is great, I am not a fan of the card back. No bio, no trivia, no statistics. Nothing, really. I am curious why Leaf produced the cards with so little on the back.
I could have gone home happy after the Ed Howard pull, but we had many more boxes to break. And then…another big hit. Brennen Davis is my favorite Cubs prospect along with Roederer. And here I get a Davis autograph numbered 32/50.
Richard Gallardo was signed by the Cubs in the international free agent signing period in 2018 as a 16-year old pitcher. He signed for $1 million and was the #5 ranked international prospect that summer. Gallardo has only appeared in 13 professional games in the United States (11 games in the Arizona Rookie League and 2 games with the Eugene Emeralds).
Despite his lack of track record in the game of baseball, there are 89 Richard Gallardo baseball cards that have been produced according to Trading Card Database.
Three cards was plenty, but I had one more hit in the case. A Cody Abbott autograph numbered 42/75. Abbott was much more advanced than Gallardo as the 2017 second round draft pick is on the brink of reaching the big leagues. Abbott pitched for double-A Tennessee during the 2019 season.
All in all it was a really fun break, and it leaves me in search of a couple cards from the set. I will be looking to snatch a Pedro Martinez, even though he is now in the Rays organization. I will also be on the lookout for Burl Carraway.