Topps Project 70 Power Rankings – Week One

Topps Project 70 has really appealed to me since it’s release on Wednesday. The project, which will boast a total of 1,020 cards, is now one week and nine cards into its run. Below is my Topps Project 70 rankings for wek one.

We have seen a little bit of everything from artists such as Ermsy and Ben Baller to rapper Snoop Dogg.

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A couple cards I love, and a couple cards are just so-so in my opinion. What’s great about this project, and art in general, is what one style a person loves another may hate. And we have seen this already in just three days. Here are my Topps Project 70 rankings.

1) Fernando Tatis Jr. by Ermsy

Topps Project 70 Fernando Tatis Jr. by Ermsy

I wrote about my thoughts on Ermsy’s 1955 Topps version of Fernando Tatis Jr. It was quickly my favorite card of the initial release. Three days into Project 70 and it still remains my favorite card to date.

2) Ken Griffey Jr. by Bobby Hundreds

Topps Project 70 Ken Griffey Jr. by Bobby Hundreds

At first glance, the 1990 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Bobby Hundreds was by far my least favorite. It seemed so tired and lazy. But…then I read Hundreds’ take on the project and how he will interpret cards throughout the series. He was a collector like many of us in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and fell in love with error cards. Hundreds placed several errors on this card. Can you pick them out? Now I can’t wait until his next release as I try to pinpoint the errors.

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3) Francisco Lindor by Keith Shore

Keith Shore’s name became synonymous with Project 2020 after his Ken Griffey Jr. card sold 99,000 copies. It’s now thought of as the card that crashed Project 2020’s momentum and crazy market prices. I really like Shore’s art, and this Lindor styled in the 1985 Topps design immediately reminded me of the iconic Dwight “Doc” Gooden rookie card from that set. This is also the first Topps card featuring Lindor as a New York Met.

4) Mookie Betts by Ben Baller

This card took me a moment to appreciate. I wrote about my thoughts on Ben Baller’s Mookie Betts in the 1988 Topps design this week. All in all, I think this card continues to drop in my rankings as more cards are released.

5) Tommy LaSorda by Mister Cartoon

It’s nice to see Tommy LaSorda get some cardboard love after his recent passing. The card is designed in the style of 2021 Topps. It almost looks like a playing card, and I like the large Dodgers logo in the upper left corner. Unlike the actual 2021 Topps cards, the name plate is readable.

6) Babe Ruth by DJ Skee

Over time this card might stick near the top. Done by DJ Skee in the style of 2018 Topps it’s a great contrast with Babe Ruth on a current Topps design. The backdrop of Yankee Stadium and career statistics are an excellent touch and I like the caps in the bottom right corner.

7) Derek Jeter by New York Nico

It’s a fairly bland card using the 1961 Topps design which is one of my favorite vintage offerings. I like the rookie star, but overall it’s a boring card in my opinion.

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8) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by JK5

Topps Project 70 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by JK5

A lot going on here. When card art takes Topps Fire and puts it on steroids. This card is a bit overwhelming for me, and horizontal cards are my least favorite cards in existence. So, 1956 Topps, the design used here just doesn’t do it for me. This card could be a bottom 10% card once this series wraps up.

9) Ronald Acuna by Snoop Dogg

Topps Project 70 Ronald Acuna by Snoop Dogg

Like many others I was really excited to see what Snoop Dogg would offer in this project. Even though it ranks last of the nine cards released during the first week, I do appreciate the work. But I would appreciate it far more as an album cover other than a baseball card. This card may be the most divisive card of the release along with Bobby Hundreds’ Ken Griffey Jr. Some love it. Some hate it. As a work of art I enjoy it more than the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ranked higher, but as a baseball card I just can’t get behind this one.

One day before Project 70 released I would have never thought I would be this interested. I am looking forward to seeing the different takes on cards throughout the series, especially what else Bobby Hundreds does with his error cards, which Cubs cards will be released, and what other artists will be offering up.

Critiquing Topps Project 70 Card Gallery 1

Project 2020 by Topps was a smashing success. Topps collaborated with artists to give their interpretations on 20 different iconic baseball cards. It was such a success that the company unveiled Project 70 celebrating the 70th anniversary of Topps baseball cards. This time around there will be far more artists and far more cards to interpret. Once the final card from this project is released the checklist will total 1,020 cards.

A total of 51 artists will each release 20 cards in Project 70. The 51 artists is a nod to the first Topps baseball card set released in 1951. Topps will be releasing three cards each weekday and will be available to purchase for 70 hours.

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The first three artists of Project 70 are familiar names as both Ben Baller and Ermsy gained a following from their contributions within Project 2020. Ben Baller even did a Topps Chrome collaboration that was sold online. The third artist, DJ Skee, has an impressive music resume and is known as the first DJ to discover and play the music Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Kendrick Lamar on the radio.

Babe Ruth, Mookie Betts, and Fernando Tatis Jr. are the first players to grace a Topps Project 70 card.

Card 1 – Mookie Betts by Ben Baller

Card number one is Mookie Betts by Ben Baller. The 1988 Topps design is something that has grown on me over the years. Still, it’s my least favorite design of the decade, probably because it’s not over used like the more popular designs of the 1980’s. The image of Betts is a bit quirky, almost like he’s directing traffic or wishing a fly ball stays in fair territory. The backdrop with the Hollywood sign is a great touch. Dodgers is prominently displayed on the top of the card and Mookie Betts is clearly spelled out in the bottom corner. Ben Baller even puts his own trademark in the bottom right corner.

Topps Project 70 baseball card Mookie Betts by Ben Baller

Card 2 – Fernando Tatis Jr. by Ermsy

Card number two is my favorite, likely because I have become a big fan of Ermsy’s artwork. Ermsy does Fernando Tatis Jr. in the 1955 Topps design. What I like most about this piece is Fernando’s face stretched across the card. It looks like his outstretched nose and lips wrap around the left arm of Tatis in the foreground image. The name plate, position, and team names at the bottom perfectly contrast with the artwork. While I’m only buying Chicago Cubs cards that may be released in this project, I was tempted to place an order for this card.

Topps Project 70 baseball card Fernando Tatis Jr. by Ermsy
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Card 3 – Babe Ruth by DJ Skee

The third card Topps Project 70 baseball card is Babe Ruth by DJ Skee. There’s a lot to digest with this card. First, it’s the legend from the early 20th century on a 2018 Topps design. That is one of my favorite things about rehashing old designs, or retired/deceased players. New players on old designs, and legendary Hall of Famers on new designs. The career statistics are a great touch, and how about the New York backdrop in the background.

Topps Project 70 Babe Ruth baseball card by DJ Skee

Overall, I am a big fan of the Topps Project 70 baseball cards. I grew tired very quickly of Project 2020, and had very limited interest because the checklist was set at the beginning and it was the same 20 cards over and over. With Project 70, it’s a surprise as Topps is holding back the checklist. This will drive me to the Topps website on a daily basis to check out the latest three cards released…and my hopes that one of them is a Chicago Cubs baseball card.

Baseball Card Rookies and Stars for 99 Cents with Free Shipping

Baseball cards are extremely hot right now. And we are still weeks away from Spring Training and Opening Day. The market is only going to rise further on baseball cards in 2021. Do you want to get in on the craze at an extremely low cost buy in?

I have you covered. My eBay Store is loaded with singles for only 99 cents with FREE shipping. Not only that – if you buy three or more cards you’ll receive an automatic 10% discount at checkout. See a whole bunch of cards you want to buy at these low prices? If you stack 50 or more cards you will receive 20% off at checkout.

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I’m not talking about commons from the “junk wax” era. These are Hall of Famers, superstars, rookie cards, and hot top prospects. Take a look at my variation listings for 2019 Bowman Chrome.

Or how about the sought after Bowman Mega Box “Mojo” refractors? More than 100 are available for around two dollars a piece with free shipping. Note: Fernando Tatis Jr. is not listed for sale and shown for stock image purposes only.

Trent Grisham Bowman rookie cards available for 99 cents….free shipping.

You can find several Topps Heritage Minors singles and inserts in my eBay Store. Much like these Discs from the 2017 set.

Oddball cards are well stocked, also. Like these cards that were inserted into Baseball Cards Magazine in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

You might even find some hot young superstars for 99 cents such as Ronald Acuna Jr.

Take a stroll through my eBay Store and the 99 Cents Singles category boasts more than 1,000 listings that includes around 3,000 cards total. Don’t forget about those volume discounts!

Parkside Cards Negro League Centennial Draft Class Set Review

Perusing the Blowout Forums one day I stumbled upon a thread about a new trading card set from Parkside Cards. The set is titled Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues with a checklist of the 15 black baseball players drafted in 2020.

The description from Parkside Cards’ website reads in part…

To honor those men from 100 years ago, and before Jackie Robinson bravely shattered the color barrier, we have taken the fifteen men selected in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft that would have been forbidden from playing then and placed them in appropriate Negro Leagues uniforms.

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Once I saw these cards, and that two Chicago Cubs draft picks were on the checklist I ordered immediately. The Cubs drafted Ed Howard with their first round pick, and Jordan Nwogu in the third round of the MLB Draft.

The price tag on these sets is $39.99 plus shipping and tax, which came out to about $50. You will receive the complete 15-card base set plus one autograph. There are also randomly inserted foil cards.

As I opened the box, the first card on top was one for my Cubs collection: Ed Howard. Howard is card number one in the set and is pictured wearing a Chicago American Giants uniform.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Ed Howard Chicago Cubs Baseball Card

Card nine in the set is the second Cubs draft pick, Jordan Nwogu. The 88th overall pick is pictured in a Leland Giants uniform, a team that was founded in 1901.

Negro Leagues Centennial Draft Class Jordan Nwogu Chicago Cubs Baseball Card

Four of the 15 players featured in the set were drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. Jordan Walker was the team’s first rounder, picked 21st overall. Walker is pictured in an Atlanta Black Crackers uniform.

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Oddly enough, the Black Crackers were originally known as the Atlanta Cubs upon their founding in 1919. Jordan Walker is a Georgia native from Stone Mountain.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Jordan Walker St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Card

The Cardinals drafted Masyn Winn with the 54th overall pick and he is seen here wearing a St. Louis Stars uniform.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Masyn Winn St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Card

Tink Hence is a great baseball name, though “Tink” is just a nickname. His given name is Markevian. Hence was taken with the 63rd overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. He’s wearing a St. Louis Giants uniform, one of the founding members of the Negro National League in 1920.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Tink Hence St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Card

Finally, Leonard Charles Jones IV, or L.V. for short, is the fourth Cardinal on the checklist. Taken with the 152nd overall pick, Jones is sporting the uniform of the barnstorming Kansas City Monarchs.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class LV Jones IV Baseball Card St. Louis Cardinals

From the New York Mets, Isaiah Greene is wearing the uniform of the Brooklyn Royal Giants.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Isaiah Greene New York Mets Baseball Card

Baron Radcliff was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s matched up with the Philadelphia Stars for his baseball card.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Baron Radcliff Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Card

The Newark Eagles were formed in 1936, but had a few different iterations in the Negro Leagues. The Eagles were formed out of the consolidation of the Newark Dodgers and Brooklyn Eagles.

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Thirteen years later, the franchise moved to Houston where it lasted for two years before moving to New Orleans. They are being represented by Astros draft pick Zachary Daniels.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Zach Daniels Houston Astros Baseball Card

Hopefully Zavier Warren has a much longer baseball career than the organization he represents on this card – Milwaukee Bears. The Bears joined the Negro National League in 1923 and folded part way through the season.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Zavier Warren Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Card

Another franchise that did not last long, though longer than Milwaukee, was the Washington Potomacs. Sammy Infante, a Washington Nationals draft pick, represents the Potomacs. This team was formed in 1923, but moved to Wilmington, Delaware just a few years later before closing up shop.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Sammy Infante Washington Nationals Baseball Card

Carson Tucker is the second highest draft pick in this set after being taken with the 23rd pick by the Cleveland Indians. Howard is the highest pick at 16th overall. Tucker is wearing the uniform of the Cleveland Buckeyes.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Carson Tucker Cleveland Indians Baseball Card

Mackenzie Wainwright was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. His uniform on this card represents the Cincinnati Tigers, who shared Crosley Field with the Reds for four years in the 1930’s.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Mackenzie Wainwright Cincinnati Reds Baseball Card

Alerick Soularie was taken with the 59th overall pick by the Minnesota Twins. He’s wearing a Seattle Stealheads uniform, a team with a short, but interesting history. The Stealheads, also known as the Steelers, were founded by Abe Saperstein. Yes, the same Abe Saperstein that founded the Harlem Globetrotters.

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The Steelheads drew players from the Harlem Globetrotters baseball team and played in the West Coast Negro Baseball Association in 1946. That league lasted only three months.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Alerick Soularie Minnesota Twins Baseball Card

Soulairie was also the foil card I received in a separate envelope in my package. There are three variant foil sets in blue, gold, and purple. Here is the Alerick Soulairie blue foil.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Alerick Soularie Minnesota Twins Baseball Card

Werner Blakely was taken 111th overall by the Los Angeles Angels. He sports a Philadelphia Royal Giants uniform. The Royal Giants were a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles and even traveled to Japan twice (1927 and 1932).

2020 Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Werner Blakely Los Angeles Angels

The Angels draft pick was also my autograph hit. The bright blue sharpie really pops on these cards. According to Parkside’s website, the blue autographs are limited to just 69 copies.

2020 Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class Werner Blakely Los Angeles Angels

All in all, I give this set an A+ for creativity, history, design, and eye appeal. Since base sets are limited to just 1,500 I would buy one fast before they sell out.

The Definitive Guide to 2021 Topps Rookie Baseball Cards

Much like the initial sighting of a Robin signals the first sign of spring, so to does the release of Topps baseball cards. Topps Series One is scheduled to hit stores on February 10. The long awaited checklist was released today. The Topps checklist is jam packed with rookie baseball cards of up and coming stars. Here is your definitive guide to 2021 Topps rookie baseball cards.

This year is much different than any other season because of the Covid-shortened season in 2020. Opening Day was delayed and that meant players making their debut would not get a rookie card in Topps Update. Many former hot prospects climbed the ladder and made their big league debut in 2020.

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As many anticipated in the hobby the rookie checklist in 2021 is very strong. If you are unfamiliar with prospects and young players, here is a guide to help you identify the hot rookies this year.

The prospect rankings used in this article are from MLB Pipeline. Since the Top 30 team rankings have yet to be published, I will use team rankings for 2020. In some cases a player had already exhausted his prospect status when MLB Pipeline updated their rankings in the middle of 2020, so I had to go back and use the 2019 ranking. Examples of the latter include Deivi Garcia, Alec Bohm, and Jo Adell.

Before I break down the prospects by team, let’s take a look at the amount of top prospects with a rookie card in 2021 Topps Series One. A total of TWENTY rookies in this product are ranked in the Top 100 prospects in baseball, or were just ahead of their big league debut. That is a tremendous amount of top prospects in a single Topps set.

Top 100 Prospects

Twenty rookies in the 2021 Topps Series One set are currently ranked in the Top 100 prospects in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, or were ranked just before debuting. For a further breakdown check out MLB Pipeline for rankings and scouting reports.

2021 Topps Series One Jo Adell Rookie Card

#5 ranked prospect (2019) – JO ADELL – Angels
Jo Adell was one of baseball’s hottest prospects recently. He made his big league debut in 2020 and struggled, but remains one of the game’s more promising players.

#10 ranked prospect (2021) – NATE PEARSON – Blue Jays
Pearson ranks as one the top pitching prospects and debuted for the Toronto Blue Jays last season. Pearson broke into the top 10 in MLB Pipeline’s most updated prospect rankings heading into the 2021 season.

#11 ranked prospect (2021) – CASEY MIZE – Tigers
The number one overall draft pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft: Casey Mize. His much anticipated debut for the Detroit Tigers took place in the shortened 2020 season.

#12 ranked prospect (2021) – CRISTIAN PACHE – Braves
Pache made his big league debut with the Atlanta Braves at the age of 21 on August 21, 2020. Pache turned 22 this past November. The outfielder only appeared in two games and went 1-for-4 at the plate in Atlanta.

2021 Topps Cristian Pache Rookie Card

#13 ranked prospect (2021) – DYLAN CARLSON – Cardinals
Carlson launched three home runs as a rookie in 2020. The outfielder also landed seven doubles, but hit just .200 as a big league freshman.

#15 ranked prospect (2021) – SIXTO SANCHEZ – Marlins
Sixto Sanchez came up with the Philadelphia Phillies before a trade to Miami. Sanchez not only spent time in the big leagues with the Marlins, he even logged postseason innings in the MLB Playoffs. The 22-year old pitcher went 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA last year in 39 innings.

#18 ranked prospect (2021) – IAN ANDERSON – Braves
Another Braves prospect that hit the show in 2020 was right handed pitcher Ian Anderson. Anderson was brilliant as a rookie going 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.

#19 ranked prospect (2021) – LUIS PATINO – Padres
Now with the Tampa Bay Rays as a piece in the Blake Snell trade, Patino broke into the top 20 prospects this year. Patino appeared 11 games, with one start, for the Padres in 2020. He struck out 21 batters in 17.1 innings.

#23 ranked prospect (2021) – JOEY BART – Giants
The heir apparent behind the plate to Buster Posey is Joey Bart. His highly anticipated debut in San Francisco occurred on August 20, 2020. He hit .233 in 103 at bats, but struck out 41 times.

#24 ranked prospect (2021) – TARIK SKUBAL – Tigers
Skubal was hit hard in his first MLB season. He logged 32 innings with a 5.63 ERA. Skubal did have a 37K/11BB rate in his eight games – seven as a starter.

#34 ranked prospect (2019) – ALEC BOHM – Phillies
Bohm was the Phillies’ third overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Making his big league debut on August 13, 2020, Bohm appeared in 44 games for the Phillies. The corner infielder looked impressive on the big stage sporting a .338/.400/.481 slash line, 4 home runs, 23 RBI while drawing 16 walks and striking out 36 times.

#40 ranked prospect (2021) – NICK MADRIGAL – White Sox
Madrigal will provide hits and he proved that in his rookie season. The Oregon State product hit .340 in 29 games, and only struck out seven times in 103 at bats.

#42 ranked prospect (2021) – SPENCER HOWARD – Phillies
Howard pitched 24.1 innings in 2020 and sported a 1-2 win-loss record with a 5.92 ERA. The second round draft pick out of Cal Poly debuted on August 9, 2020.

#51 ranked prospect (2021) – TRISTON MCKENZIE – Indians
Triston McKenzie was very impressive in his rookie campaign. The Indians hurler started eight games with a 3.24 ERA. McKenzie struck out 42 while walking just nine batters in 33.1 innings.

#57 ranked prospect (2021) – KEIBERT RUIZ – Dodgers
The future backstop of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Keibert Ruiz. Ruiz had just turned 22 when he made his Dodgers debut. The catcher appeared in two games and went 2-for-8 at the plate and hit his first big league home run.

#62 ranked prospect (2019) – DEIVI GARCIA – Yankees
Garcia was quite impressive as a Yankees starting pitcher in his debut. He is still 21 years old (turns 22 on May 19). In six starts last season, Garcia went 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA and struck out 33 batters while walking only six.

#77 ranked prospect (2021) – RYAN MOUNTCASTLE – Orioles
Mountcastle launched five home runs his rookie season. The outfielder/first baseman appeared in 35 games and hit .333 while drawing 11 walks to his 30 strikeouts.

#91 ranked prospect (2019) – LUIS GARCIA – Nationals
2020 was the year of Luis Garcia much like the NBA of the 1990’s with Charles Smith. Three, that’s right, THREE, players by the name of Luis Garcia appeared in the MLB during 2020. Two of them made their debuts. This particular Luis Garcia is a shortstop for the Washington Nationals. Garcia just turned 20 when he debuted on August 14, 2020. Over the course of his 40 games, the youngster hit .276 in 134 at bats.

#91 ranked prospect (2021) – DANE DUNNING – White Sox
Now with the Texas Rangers, Dane Dunning’s rookie card will have him as a member of the Chicago White Sox. Dunning landed in Chicago a few years ago in the Adam Eaton trade and made his first big league appearance on August 19, 2020. Dunning sports a spotless 2-0 win-loss record with a 3.97 ERA.

#93 ranked prospect (2021) – BOBBY DALBEC – Red Sox
In only 23 games as a rookie Bobby Dalbec hit eight home runs. This will be Dalbec’s age 25 season coming off his rookie season shortened by Covid in which he slashed .263/.359/.600.

#95 ranked prospect (2021) – TYLER STEPHENSON – Reds
Stephenson, a catcher, hit .294 in his brief time as a Cincinnati Reds rookie. He did hit a pair of home runs in the eight games he appeared.

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Organization Prospect Rankings

For those outside of baseball’s top 100 prospects, here we take a look where each rookie falls in their respective organizations. Again, based on when they lost prospect status we will use either 2019 or 2021 MLB Pipeline rankings.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Daulton Varsho – #5 Diamondbacks prospect in 2019
Humberto Mejia – #30 Diamondbacks prospect in 2021

Atlanta Braves
See top prospects

Baltimore Orioles
See top prospects

Boston Red Sox
See top prospects

Chicago White Sox
Codi Heuer – #23 White Sox prospect in 2019

Chicago Cubs
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

Cincinnati Reds
See top prospects

Cleveland Indians
Daniel Johnson – #18 Indians prospect in 2020

Colorado Rockies
Ryan Castellani – #15 Rockies prospect in 2019

Detroit Tigers
Isaac Paredes – #6 Tigers prospect in 2020
Beau Burrows – #15 Tigers prospect in 2020

Houston Astros
Cristian Javier – #9 Astros prospect in 2019
Brandon Bielak – #10 Astros prospect in 2019
Blake Taylor – unranked

Kansas City Royals
Brady Singer – #2 Royals prospect in 2019
Kris Bubic – #6 Royals prospect in 2019
Nick Heath – #28 Royals prospect in 2021
Edward Olivares – unranked

Los Angeles Angels
See top prospects

Los Angeles Dodgers
Mitch White – #9 Dodgers prospect in 2020

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Miami Marlins
Jesus Sanchez – #5 Marlins prospect in 2020
Monte Harrison – #10 Marlins prospect in 2020
Nick Neidert – #11 Marlins prospect in 2020
Eddy Alvarez – unranked

Milwaukee Brewers
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

Minnesota Twins
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

New York Yankees
Albert Abreu – #12 Yankees prospect in 2020

New York Mets
Andres Gimenez – #3 Mets prospect in 2019
David Peterson – #7 Mets prospect in 2019

Oakland Athletics
James Kaprielian – #12 Athletics prospect in 2020

Philadelphia Phillies
See top prospects

Pittsburgh Pirates
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

San Diego Padres
See top prospects

San Francisco Giants
Chadwick Tromp – unranked

Seatte Mariners
Evan White – #4 Mariners prospect in 2019

St. Louis Cardinals
Kodi Whitley – #14 Cardinals prospect in 2020

Tampa Bay Rays
No rookies in 2021 Topps Series One

Texas Rangers
Leody Taveras – #4 Rangers prospect in 2020
Anderson Tejeda – #8 Rangers prospect in 2020

Toronto Blue Jays
Santiago Espinal – unranked

Washington Nationals
See top prospects

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FULL 2021 Topps Series One ROOKIE Checklist

#10 Daulton Varsho Arizona Diamondbacks
#12 Joey Bart San Francisco Giants
#25 Sixto Sanchez Miami Marlins
#26 Bobby Dalbec Boston Red Sox
#32 Edward Olivares Kansas City Royals
#41 Deivi Garcia New York Yankees
#43 Jo Adell Angels
#53 Andres Gimenez New York Mets
#65 Isaac Paredes Detroit Tigers
#78 David Peterson New York Mets
#88 Albert Abreu New York Yankees
#92 Tarik Skubal Detroit Tigers
#103 Daniel Johnson Cleveland Indians
#113 Nate Pearson Toronto Blue Jays
#122 Nick Heath Kansas City Royals
#123 Beau Burrows Detroit Tigers
#126 Monte Harrison Miami Marlins
#139 Humberto Mejia Arizona Diamondbacks
#143 Ryan Mountcastle Baltimore Orioles
#144 Anderson Tejeda Texas Rangers
#145 Kodi Whitley St. Louis Cardinals
#151 Evan White Seattle Mariners
#153 Tyler Stephenson Cincinnati Reds
#167 James Kaprielian Oakland Athletics
#169 Brady Singer Kansas City Royals
#177 Ryan Castellani Colorado Rockies
#183 Cristian Javier Houston Astros
#187 Cristian Pache Atlanta Braves
#193 Brandon Bielak Houston Astros
#197 Nick Madrigal Chicago White Sox
#205 Luis Patiño San Diego Padres
#221 Chadwick Tromp San Francisco Giants
#228 Blake Taylor Houston Astros
#231 Dane Dunning Chicago White Sox
#238 Kris Bubic Kansas City Royals
#239 Ian Anderson Atlanta Braves
#243 Santiago Espinal Toronto Blue Jays
#244 Spencer Howard Philadelphia Phillies
#256 Keibert Ruiz Los Angeles Dodgers
#264 Leody Taveras Texas Rangers
#269 Jesus Sanchez Miami Marlins
#270 Mitch White Los Angeles Dodgers
#277 Alec Bohm Philadelphia Phillies
#285 Dylan Carlson St. Louis Cardinals
#298 Luis Garcia Washington Nationals
#311 Codi Heuer Chicago White Sox
#319 Triston McKenzie Cleveland Indians
#321 Casey Mize Detroit Tigers
#324 Nick Neidert Miami Marlins
#326 Eddy Alvarez Miami Marlins

What’s my grade for the rookie class of 2021 Topps? A+. This is a dynamic rookie class with plenty of talented baseball cards to chase. The only unfortunate part, for me, is that there are zero Chicago Cubs rookie cards.

Barstool’s Dave Portnoy’s Baseball Card Sales Skyrocketing

Dave Portnoy has taken Barstool Sports to the moon. And what he has done during the COVID-19 pandemic to help small businesses has been amazing. Seven years ago Topps put a trading card of Dave Portnoy in their annual Allen & Ginter baseball card sets. Barstool’s Dave Portnoy’s baseball card sales are skyrocketing.

Who is Dave Portnoy? What is Barstool Sports? And why are Dave Portnoy baseball cards selling for outrageous prices?

The Barstool Sports Story

Portnoy launched Barstool Sports in 2003 in a print format that was distributed in the Boston area. It went to an online blog format in 2007. Since its inception, Barstool has covered print, blogs, podcasts, and has a 24-hour Sirius XM channel, Barstool Radio 85.

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Calling himself, “El Presidente,” Portnoy has a huge following and fans of Barstool Sports are known as “Stoolies.” One of the most popular segments is Portnoy’s pizza reviews. A few quotes coined by Portnoy originated in these reviews such as “One bite….everybody knows the rules,” and “Alright, Frankie.” There’s even an app where you can review pizzas and view videos of Portnoy’s reviews. One of my favorite pizza spots in Madison, Wisconsin, Salvatore’s Tomato Pies, was reviewed in 2019.

The Barstool Fund

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Portnoy and Barstool formed the Barstool Fund. As of this writing, the Barstool Fund has raised almost $30 MILLION to support small businesses across America. You can donate to the Barstool Fund and you can also purchase merchandise where 100% of the net proceeds benefit small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

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With Barstool’s growing popularity, Topps included Dave Portnoy in its 2014 Allen & Ginter set with a regular base card along with jersey relics and autographs. Another Barstool blogger, Kevin Clancy (KFC), was included in the set.

Barstool’s Dave Portnoy’s Baseball Card Sales

One night last week I pulled out a random monster box of baseball cards to sort through and pull any valuable cards. One row of cards was from the 2014 Allen & Ginter set, and I stumbled upon a couple Dave Portnoy cards. Thinking I could sell them for a dollar, I set them aside. Later on, I decided to check eBay comps to see if they might sell for a little more…like $5.

Barstool's Dave Portnoy's Baseball Card Sales From 2014 Allen & Ginter Are Skyrocketing

I was correct the Portnoy cards would sell…but I was way off on price. Barstool’s Dave Portnoy’s baseball card sales sales were averaging around $100. A base card. $100. You read that correctly. Then, I tweeted out my shock and dismay over the Dave Portnoy card market which led collectors everywhere to pull out their common boxes from seven years ago.

Here’s a PSA to folks opening up Allen & Ginter and get upset because they pulled an autograph from a blogger they’ve never heard of. Even the random jersey relic cards are selling in the hundreds.

Barstool's Dave Portnoy's Baseball Card Sales from 2014 Allen & Ginter Are Skyrocketing

Since this was all revealed recently and collectors are scouring through old boxes, many Portnoy cards have hit eBay and the sold prices are dropping to an average of about $50 for the base card. Still…many of these cards have been tossed aside like a junk wax 1988 Donruss Paul Noce.

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There is a market for everything out there, and Dave Portnoy Allen & Ginter sales was certainly the hobby shocker of the month for me.

Ebay Shipping Update: Standard Envelope (PWE) With Tracking Almost Here

Near the end of 2020 eBay announced a new shipping option in the trading cards category. With the constant increases in USPS postage prices many trading cards are not worth it to sell because shipping along in a bubble mailer with tracking can now run close to $3.50. Buyers do not want to pay $5 for a $1 card.

By sending cards in a standard plain white envelope (PWE) sellers can move low dollar cards and cut shipping expenses down from $3.00 to $3.50 to a $0.55 stamp. This in turn can save buyers money spending $1.50 to $2 on a card instead of $5.

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One of the biggest obstacles for many eBay sellers in offering PWE as an option is the lack of tracking. An unscrupulous buyer could claim they never received the envelope and receive a refund due to no tracking. This is a semi-rare occurrence and personally my average before December 2020 was one non-receipt claim for every 1,000 PWE shipped. It was well worth the extra sales and chalk it up as a cost of doing business.

When will eBay be rolling out this PWE with tracking option? It appeared to go live for the first time the morning of January 25, 2021. I monitored it throughout the day as it was glitching at first and not allowing me to actually select the standard envelope option. Other eBay users commented that it was not available on their end.

By the afternoon it seemed to be working out. Here’s how it works. When you list an item and reach the shipping options, under package details use the drop down box (it is typically defaulted to first class package), and look for eBay Standard Envelope for Trading Cards up to $20.

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After you select that option and back out it will show you the shipping cost and tracking included. I have seen two different costs associated with the standard envelope option. One was $0.71, while the listing used here for reference shows $0.91.

Once saved, I previewed the listing for this 1973 Topps Ronnie Shanklin football card. In the listing under shipping it shows eBay Standard Envelope.

To this point, it is not allowing me to select eBay Standard Envelope on existing listings. The option has only been available when I create a new listing. In my experiment to try the standard envelope with tracking it would only allow me to select this as a shipping option, but once at the actual shipping screen it was not available. Some of the main questions still exist regarding this upcoming shipping format namely how will the tracking labels look and what size will they be? We should soon find out. Stay tuned…

The Sad Story of Bobby Murcer, Scott Crull, and an ABC Mistake

Scott Crull was a very sick 12-year old boy in the summer of 1977. Even though young Scott lived on the south side of Chicago in Calumet City, he was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. His favorite player was Bobby Murcer, who had been acquired by the Cubs prior to the 1977 season from the San Francisco Giants in a deal that sent Bill Madlock to the bay.

Bobby Murcer wasn’t a power hitter by any means, but the rightfielder did have some pop in his bat. Murcer launched 27 home runs during the 1977 season, but fell off the following year only hitting nine home runs during the 1978 Cubs campaign.

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The Chicago Cubs were in the thick of the National League East race on Monday August 8, 1977. Philadelphia held a one game lead over the Cubs, while Chicago was a game and a half up on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh is where the Cubs would spend the next couple days in a battle with the buccos.

Unfortunately, the Pirates would take two out of three in Pittsburgh and the Cubs would take even more lumps in the next series against Philadelphia back at Wrigley Field. The Phillies swept the Cubs in a four-game series and would go on to claim the East division crown.

August 8, 1977 was a roller coaster for both the Chicago Cubs and the Crull family. For the Cubs they entered the week in the thick of the division race and in the driver’s seat to control their own destinty.

Things were not as optimistic in the Crull household as 12-year old Scott was sick with a terminal illness. Though his body was dying, his spirit was not. And he looked forward to an exciting week of Cubs baseball beginning with the Cubs and Pirates on ABC’s Monday Night Baseball with legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson calling the play-by-play.

Bobby Murcer Chicago Cubs
Bobby Murcer

Through a family friend, the Cubs set up a phone call on that Monday afternoon between Bobby Murcer and Scott Crull. The call meant a lot to Scott and the Crull family.

“This was a nice thing of the Cubs to do, and I want to say they don’t know how much it meant to him. This whole experience is hard to cope with. You just can’t write how much it meant.”

Mary Crull – 8/9/1977 Chicago Tribune
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Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Then Bobby Murcer stepped to the plate against Bruce Kison in the second inning and hit a solo home run. Murcer did it again in the fourth inning. And then the Cubs scored four runs in the seventh inning to take a 6-4 lead. But in the ninth inning, the Pirates rallied and Ed Ott hit a two-run triple to centerfield for a walk-off win.

Things weren’t so great back in Calumet City, either. After Murcer’s second home run a note was sent to ABC broadcaster Keith Jackson and the Cubs radio broadcast team. According to Chicago Tribune reports there was a note at the bottom of the memo stating the boy was dying of cancer, but that part was not meant for broadcast. After sharing the story of Murcer’s pre-game phone call to the boy, Jackson ended the story with: “Scott Crull is dying of bone cancer.”

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Scott Crull did not know he was dying. He found out with the rest of the country on ABC’s Monday Night Baseball.

Scott Crull died weeks later, on August 22, 1977, at the age of 12.

Scott Crull died of cancer weeks after a phone conversation with Bobby Murcer and learning he was dying of cancer on ABC's Monday Night Baseball

Bobby Murcer went on to play six more seasons in Major League Baseball, ending his 17-year big league career in 1983. Murcer passed away in 2008 at the age of 62. Cancer also claimed Bobby Murcer.

Selling 99 Cent Cards on Ebay: Is It Worth It?

The most common question I am asked regarding the One Million Cubs Project is, “do you count duplicates?” The answer is, yes. Fun fact: there are only around 200,000 unique Cubs cards produced since the 1870’s.

When it comes to my eBay Store, I often get asked if selling cheap cards is worth my time. Short answer is, yes it is. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. The long answer is a little bit longer, but keep reading and I’ll explain my process and how and why it’s worth the time.

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Time Is Of the Essence

It takes a lot of time to organize and sort baseball cards. It also takes a lot of time to list those baseball cards to sell on eBay. A silver lining to the whole pandemic quarantine is that I have all the time in the world. When people say, “I just don’t have the time,” it usually means they are not willing to make the time. Sure, there are extenuating circumstances in everybody’s lives, but for the most part we can all set aside a little extra time for things we are passionate about.

Hear me out. One thing I really took for granted was how much tedious parts of the day took, and how we can utilize that extra time even if it’s 10 minutes here and there. My office is roughly 10 minutes from my house. Ten minutes to work, 10 minutes home for lunch, 10 minutes back to work, and another 10 minute drive at the end of the day. That is 40 minutes per day that has been freed up because I now work from home. Not only that, I get to the office early so that’s an additional 10 minutes. Trash day? Another five minutes that is subtracted from my morning routine when working from home I can just step away from my desk and take it to the curb.

It all seems silly, but that equates to about five hours per week of extra time. But it all comes down to how you manage, or better yet, prioritize your time.

Also…I don’t have kids. That’s a huge time saver. So, if you have a kid or kids you automatically have a lot less time than I have to devote to eBay baseball card sales.

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Is It Worth That Time?

Allow me to crunch the numbers and give you better insight into how my eBay Store works. Many people ask how I make money on 99 cent listings with free shipping. First, I’ll break down the fee structure. With my store subscription I receive 51,000 free buy it now listings per month and my final value fee through eBay Managed Payments is 11.5% plus $0.30 per transaction.

2019-20 NBA Hoops Premium Stock Silver Pulsar Basketball CardCollection

If someone buys a single 99 cent card with free shipping my net eBay payment after fees is $0.58. You might be scratching your head now because after postage, envelopes, and supplies that’s a net loss. But…it is not. I purchase old, unused postage that is pre-stamped on the envelope at a cost of just $0.38 per envelope. Now, I am sitting on $0.20. The cost of top loaders has increased drastically and for the most part I am buying new or used for between $0.08 and $0.10 per top loader shipped. My net profit on a single 99 cent card is about a dime. Is it worth all that work for a measly dime? Yes, read on…

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Volume Discounts

Consider the 99 cent singles sales as a loss leader in my eBay Store. And even though it’s a “loss leader,” I am still making a net profit. Profit is profit. Before you say, “but time is money,” all I have right now is time and the time I am spending on my eBay Store would only be spent watching TV.

The goal here is volume sales and to promote buyers to shop my store and buy more than a single card. I offer two volume discounts. The first is a simple 10% three or more cards. This is a very popular option that rewards volume by not breaking the bank. A customer needs only buy three cards to capture a 10% discount. It’s a win-win for both the buyer and seller. For example, a three-card purchase at $2.97 becomes $2.67 after the 10% discount (which is automatic at checkout). The postage cost remains fixed at $0.38 for the three cards and one additional top loader is used for three cards. After fees, postage, and supplies the net profit on a three card purchase at 99 cents each is $1.48, or $0.49 profit per card sold. That 10% volume discount brings in 5x the profit.

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Is My Method Sustainable?

No. Eventually, and hopefully soon, the world will return to normal. My spare time will be spent traveling, visiting friends, going to baseball games, etc. This is the main reason why my One Million Cubs Project goal shifted at the end of 2020, and why I am focusing on my eBay sales for quarter one of 2021. I am taking advantage of the time afforded and will have to adjust my sales strategy by summer. But for now, yes it’s worth my time selling 99 cent cards on eBay.

Hobby Goals 2021: Buy, Sell, and Trade

Here we are two weeks into the new year, so I’m a bit behind in releasing my hobby goals for 2021. Before we get started on this year’s goals I want to preface this post by explaining how I set my goals. I discuss S.M.A.R.T. goals in my 2019 goals blog post.

Last year was such a blur with COVID-19 that all goals were put on the back burner. But…due to the pandemic my goals were achieved…and then some in 2020. Here are the S.M.A.R.T. goals for the hobby in 2020.

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Recapping 2020 Hobby Goals

The Purge was the title for 2020 hobby goals. Talk about creepy with what was about to come. How did I do? Bulk trades were going to be a focus on 2020, and up until the 11th hour in late March it seemed to be going as planned. I was set to make a couple big trades at the Chicago Sports Spectacular. However, with the pandemic beginning to rear its ugly head I decided not to attend one day before the start of the show. It would be cancelled later that day as vendors had already descended upon the city. Going forward there wasn’t much bulk deals to be done with quarantines, etc. Still, I was able to make 323 trades in 2020 that brought in 130,814 Cubs baseball cards.

Second was boosting my eBay Store inventory. Wow! Did I accomplish that or what. I was happy with 153 transactions in December 2019. With all the extra time 2020 afforded, I certainly accomplished building out my eBay Store and had almost 1,500 eBay transactions in December 2020. All told, my yearly transactions on eBay was 10,006.

Organization. Pass. I know this wasn’t accomplished. At the start of the quarantine, I did begin sorting my Cubs baseball card collection and made boxes for stars such as: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, etc. I even loaded up much of my Javy collection on Trading Card Database. When eBay offered up 50,000 free listings per month I jumped at the opportunity to fill my store and take advantage and that’s when organization took a back seat.

With an increase in trades during the year, I was able to meet and exceed my goal for Cubs baseball cards in 2020. That number was 500,000 and it was reached at the end of September. By the end of 2020 my collection numbered 525,912 Cubs baseball cards.

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Goals 2021: Ebay Sales

Since I reached the 500,000 goal in late September, I set a goal for the fourth quarter of 2020. That goal was a dollar amount in eBay sales. My focus turned from trading for Cubs cards to selling on eBay in the final three months of the year.

I more than doubled my daily sales goal for the fourth quarter and with the pandemic still raging as the calendar turns to a new year I am staying sales focused for the first quarter of 2021. I am pushing that sales dollar figure even higher and two weeks into the new year I am right near my target goal. I will continue to add inventory to my store and by the end of January baseball card sales should heat up with spring training in the near future.

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Goals 2021: Taking a Trip for a Bulk Trade

Steve in Cleveland, Ohio has been a source for some high volume trades and still holds the record for most Cubs cards acquired via trade (30,000). We had a conversation around New Years and he invited me out to Cleveland to check out the new space for Greenie’s Sports Cards. It’s not a card shop, rather their space for their online sales inventory. My plan is to take a trip out there this summer.

Beau with Steve from Greenie’s Sports Cards

Another bulk trader, David, has a large amount of Cubs cards and we hope to meet up sometime in February for a trade. I also have a vendor from the St. Louis area that will be trading Cubs for Cardinals whenever a Chicago Sports Spectacular gets back on the calendar. There are also two shops I want to visit. Mike Sommer from Wax Pack Hero has some space in Bloomington, Illinois and Tom from Real Breaks will be opening a shop this year in Wisconsin.

Chicago Cubs baseball cards

Goals 2021: 700,000 Cubs Baseball Cards

It’s an optimistic number: 700,000. That means I will need to crush my annual average of around 130,000 Cubs cards acquired per year by getting 175,000 in 2021. With the above mentioned bulk trades in the works I believe this can be accomplished. Even by focusing on eBay sales during the first few months of the year I feel optimistic about hitting 70% of my goal in the One Million Cubs Project by the end of this year.