eBay Set To Offer PWE Shipping Option

At long last it appears that eBay will be offering an option for buyers and sellers of trading cards to have an option of plain white envelope (PWE) shipping.

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My first inkling of this epic news was the morning of November 5, 2020, when great trade partner and fellow #TeamPWE member, Josh, linked me to a tweet from the hobby famous BrentnBecca.

This is big news for the hobby, as you may have expected from Brent’s usage of 10 exclamation points in that single tweet. The biggest part of this news is for 75 cents you also get tracking. Many sellers have stayed away from selling PWE on eBay out of fear of unscrupulous buyers claiming “non-receipt” taking advantage of the lack of tracking in a white envelope.

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Brent also shared a link to an ECommerceBytes article with details of what this new eBay white envelope shipping option entails. Here are the highlights of the alleged spoiler alert by eBay.

  • Trading card value less than $20
  • No more than four raw trading cards per envelope or two cards in top loaders
  • No graded cards
  • Envelopes no larger than 6.125″ x 11.5″ or smaller than 3.5″ x 5″
  • Weighs up to 3 oz.

The only thing that really stood out to me is the contents of the envelope stating four cards or two cards in top loaders. That seems a bit odd since weight (under 3 oz.) covers what the contents can be.

This news gave me different emotions, both good and bad. Here are my thoughts to the potential addition of a PWE shipping option.

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The Good

This is great news for the hobby in general. Buyers will have more options to buy cheap trading cards without having to fork over $3 to $4 in shipping costs. Instead of paying $5 for a $1 card, it may only run you $2. With tracking, this will bring many more sellers to eBay offering low dollar cards with this option. Sellers can move more cards, and buyers will have more and cheaper options. It gives sellers security to send cards in a PWE without fearing for non-receipt claims by scammers.

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The Bad

Strictly selfish on this one. Over the past two years I have been selling low dollar cards in PWE on eBay. My rate of non-receipt claims is roughly 2 out of every 1,000 transactions. I have also gotten the profit margins down to a science where I buy pre-stamped envelopes at a cost of 38 cents per envelope. One of my most popular eBay Store categories is “99 cents free shipping.” Based on my stamps/envelopes cost, my net profit margin on a single 99 cents card sale is roughly 20 cents.

If forced to use eBay’s PWE option, this will wipe away all profits on my PWE sales and that category becomes a loss. One option I have is to charge 75 cents per card which would require me to manually update shipping charges on nearly 3,000 listings.

In the interim, my plan will be to continue sending cards under $5 in my pre-stamped envelopes. Anything around $5 to $15 will be sent using the new 75 cents with tracking option.

One final negative is the result of something I mentioned as a positive. More sellers will be entering the PWE market, meaning more competition for sales. Good for the buyer, bad for current PWE sellers.

All in all, I believe the good outweighs the bad for the hobby as a whole. I do look forward to having this option added because there are many cards in the $7-12 range that I could benefit selling PWE with tracking.

2020 Topps Update: It Is What We Thought It Would Be

“They are who we thought they were.”

Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green

It was October 2006 on Monday Night Football. Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals. The Dennis Green coached Cardinals were not a very good football team coming into their Monday night game with a 1-4 record having lost four in a row.

But Arizona looked great against the Bears on this night…for most of the game. The Cardinals held a 20-0 halftime lead, and a 23-3 advantage with under a minute to play in the third quarter. And then the Bears woke up.

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Mike Brown picked up a Matt Leinart fumble just before the end of the third quarter and ran in for a touchdown to make it a 23-10 game. That score held until about five minute to play. Again…the Bears defense came through with a fumble recovery returned for a score by Charles “Peanut” Tillman. Arizona clung to a 23-17 lead.

Arizona’s offense could not stall and were forced to punt. Remember Devin Hester? Most teams kicked the ball away from arguably the NFL’s greatest return man in history. But, not the Arizona Cardinals. Hester returned the punt for 83 yards and with the extra point the Bears took a 24-23 lead.

Still, the Cardinals had almost three minutes of clock to work with. Arizona made it into field goal range for Neil Rackers setting up a game-winning 40-yard field goal. Rackers missed. Bears win. Dennis Green angry.

One of the greatest postgame quotes of all time was made by the late coach Green, which is exactly what I think back to when I looked at the 2020 Topps Update checklist, just changing the words around a bit.

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It is what we thought it would be. The Topps Update checklist is bad, and we knew it would be. I think many of us were holding out hope that Topps would surprise us and include some rookie cards of players that were called up in the shortened 2020 baseball season. Our wish was not granted, and we are left with another Randy Arozarena rookie (which will carry the product), another Trent Grisham rookie card (now in a Padres uniform), and a handful of players that names looked as foreign to me as the Kazakhstan national bandy team.

The Cubs checklist includes players like Jharel Cotton who did not appear in a single Chicago Cubs game and was released on September 5. It also includes the team’s third string catcher – Josh Phegley. To be honest, I think it’s neat that these players are included. I would rather have flagship cards of Cotton and Phegley than another Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo.

Fact is, we knew 2020 Topps Update would be a lot different since the season did not begin until July after the deadline for players who debuted to make it into this product. There was also no All Star Game in 2020, and All Star cards and Home Run Derby cards are a large part of the Topps Update checklist. Topps did get creative with the latter using past All Star Games and Home Run Derbys.

Below you will find the 2020 Topps Update checklist. What do you think?

2020 Topps Update Checklist

U-1 Bo Bichette – Toronto Blue Jays RD
U-2 Adam Engel – Chicago White Sox
U-3 Turner/Difo – Washington Nationals Combo
U-4 Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels AS
U-5 Starlin Castro – Washington Nationals
U-6 Mike Moustakas – Cincinnati Reds
U-7 Bregman/Alvarez – Houston Astros Combo
U-8 Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants AS
U-9 Ken Griffey Jr. – Seattle Mariners HR
U-10 Anthony Alford – Toronto Blue Jays
U-11 Chris Owings – Colorado Rockies
U-12 Aaron Bummer – Chicago White Sox
U-13 Jose Martinez – Tampa Bay Rays
U-14 Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins HR
U-15 Aaron Judge – New York Yankees AS
U-16 Phillip Diehl – Colorado Rockies RC
U-17 Josh Fuentes – Colorado Rockies
U-18 Felix Pena – Los Angeles Angels
U-19 Yasmani Grandal – Chicago White Sox
U-20 Francisco Cervelli – Miami Marlins
U-21 Kyle Lewis – Seattle Mariners RD
U-22 Cody Stashak – Minnesota Twins RC
U-23 Cheslor Cuthbert – Chicago White Sox
U-24 Buck Farmer – Detroit Tigers
U-25 Josh Taylor – Boston Red Sox RC
U-26 Kyle Gibson – Texas Rangers
U-27 Kyle Ryan – Chicago Cubs
U-28 Eduardo Nunez – New York Mets
U-29 Aristides Aquino – Cincinnati Reds RD
U-30 Yasmany Tomas – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-31 Curt Casali – Cincinnati Reds
U-32 Drew Pomeranz – San Diego Padres
U-33 Alex Verdugo – Boston Red Sox
U-34 Justin Verlander – Houston Astros AL
U-35 Kyle Farmer – Cincinnati Reds
U-36 Robinson Cano – New York Yankees HR
U-37 Yoenis Cespedes – Oakland Athletics HR
U-38 Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels AL
U-39 Kevin Plawecki – Boston Red Sox
U-40 Antonio Senzatela – Colorado Rockies
U-41 Josh Lindblom – Milwaukee Brewers
U-42 Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs AS
U-43 Alex Blandino – Cincinnati Reds
U-44 Jorge Alcala – Minnesota Twins RC
U-45 Zack Wheeler – Philadelphia Phillies
U-46 Jose Suarez – Los Angeles Angels
U-47 Jose Peraza – Boston Red Sox
U-48 Sandy Leon – Cleveland Indians
U-49 Jared Walsh – Los Angeles Angels
U-50 Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies AS
U-51 Matt Davidson – Cincinnati Reds
U-52 Kyle Higashioka – New York Yankees
U-53 Brad Miller – St. Louis Cardinals
U-54 Alex Avila – Minnesota Twins
U-55 Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers AS
U-56 Lane Thomas – St. Louis Cardinals
U-57 Yoan Lopez – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-58 Erick Mejia – Kansas City Royals RC
U-59 Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies HR
U-60 Brendan McKay – Tampa Bay Rays RD
U-61 Jedd Gyorko – Milwaukee Brewers
U-62 David Ortiz – Boston Red Sox HR
U-63 Terrance Gore – Los Angeles Dodgers
U-64 Alex Bregman – Houston Astros AS
U-65 Yoshi Tsutsugo – Tampa Bay Rays RC
U-66 Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals AL
U-67 Michael Fulmer – Detroit Tigers
U-68 Greg Garcia – San Diego Padres
U-69 Derek Holland – Pittsburgh Pirates
U-70 Skye Bolt – Oakland Athletics
U-71 Jesus Aguilar – Miami Marlins
U-72 Drew Butera – Colorado Rockies
U-73 Todd Frazier – Texas Rangers
U-74 Harper/Segura – Philadelphia Phillies Combo
U-75 Pedro Martinez – Boston Red Sox AS
U-76 Edwin Encarnacion – Chicago White Sox AL
U-77 Jalen Beeks – Tampa Bay Rays
U-78 Joe Jimenez – Detroit Tigers
U-79 Sean Poppen – Minnesota Twins RC
U-80 Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers AS
U-81 Junior Guerra – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-82 Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers AL
U-83 Trent Grisham – San Diego Padres RC
U-84 Yusmeiro Petit – Oakland Athletics
U-85 Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners AS
U-86 Josh Harrison – Philadelphia Phillies
U-87 Zack Greinke – Houston Astros AL
U-88 Craig Kimbrel – Chicago Cubs AL
U-89 Brian Johnson – Boston Red Sox
U-90 Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers AL
U-91 Julio Teheran – Los Angeles Angels
U-92 Jacob deGrom – New York Mets AL
U-93 Tyler White – Los Angeles Dodgers
U-94 Jesus Luzardo – Oakland Athletics RD
U-95 Domingo Santana – Cleveland Indians
U-96 Logan Morrison – Milwaukee Brewers
U-97 Donovan Solano – San Francisco Giants
U-98 Jose Iglesias – Baltimore Orioles
U-99 Cesar Hernandez – Cleveland Indians
U-100 David Price – Los Angeles Dodgers
U-101 Nick Dini – Kansas City Royals RC
U-102 Kevin Ginkel – Arizona Diamondbacks RC
U-103 Michael Hermosillo – Los Angeles Angels
U-104 Grayson Greiner – Detroit Tigers
U-105 Jake Newberry – Kansas City Royals RC
U-106 Meibrys Viloria – Kansas City Royals
U-107 Eric Thames – Washington Nationals
U-108 Taylor Ward – Los Angeles Angels
U-109 Pedro Strop – Cincinnati Reds
U-110 Mark McGwire – St. Louis Cardinals HR
U-111 Rich Hill – Minnesota Twins
U-112 Nik Turley – Pittsburgh Pirates RC
U-113 Devin Williams – Milwaukee Brewers RC
U-114 Josh Phegley – Chicago Cubs
U-115 Brad Peacock – Houston Astros
U-116 Robinson Chirinos – Texas Rangers
U-117 Cameron Maybin – Detroit Tigers
U-118 Frank Schwindel – Detroit Tigers RC
U-119 Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels AL
U-120 Stevie Wilkerson – Baltimore Orioles
U-121 Ichiro – Seattle Mariners AS
U-122 Tino Martinez – New York Yankees HR
U-123 Neil Walker – Philadelphia Phillies
U-124 David Ortiz – Boston Red Sox AS
U-125 Chris Martin – Atlanta Braves
U-126 Jhoulys Chacin – Minnesota Twins
U-127 Ryan Weber – Boston Red Sox
U-128 Jonathan Davis – Toronto Blue Jays
U-129 Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
U-130 Richie Martin – Baltimore Orioles
U-131 Alex Reyes – St. Louis Cardinals
U-132 Daniel Descalso – Chicago Cubs
U-133 Chris Iannetta – New York Yankees
U-134 Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees AS
U-135 Brandon Dixon – Detroit Tigers
U-136 David McKay – Detroit Tigers
U-137 Touki Toussaint – Atlanta Braves
U-138 Tommy Pham – San Diego Padres
U-139 Greg Allen – Cleveland Indians
U-140 Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers AL
U-141 Jonathan Villar – Miami Marlins
U-142 Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels AL
U-143 Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians AS
U-144 Betts/Torres – American League Combo
U-145 Ronald Acuña Jr. – Atlanta Braves AS
U-146 Andrew Knizner – St. Louis Cardinals
U-147 Robinson Cano – New York Mets AL
U-148 Pete Alonso – New York Mets HR
U-149 Nick Solak – Texas Rangers RD
U-150 Ken Griffey Jr. – Seattle Mariners HR
U-151 Jairo Diaz – Colorado Rockies
U-152 Sam Haggerty – Seattle Mariners RC
U-153 Robert Stephenson – Cincinnati Reds
U-154 Mariano Rivera – New York Yankees AS
U-155 Zach Davies – San Diego Padres
U-156 Wilmer Flores – San Francisco Giants
U-157 Deivy Grullon – Philadelphia Phillies RC
U-158 Jason Kipnis – Chicago Cubs
U-159 Steven Souza Jr. – Chicago Cubs
U-160 Richard Bleier – Baltimore Orioles
U-161 Jake Marisnick – New York Mets
U-162 Giovanny Gallegos – St. Louis Cardinals
U-163 JT Riddle – Pittsburgh Pirates
U-164 Sam Travis – Texas Rangers
U-165 Kyle Wright – Atlanta Braves
U-166 Adolis Garcia – Texas Rangers
U-167 Yoshi Hirano – Seattle Mariners
U-168 Keynan Middleton – Los Angeles Angels
U-169 Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals AS
U-170 Travis Shaw – Toronto Blue Jays
U-171 Bryse Wilson – Atlanta Braves
U-172 Tyler Wade – New York Yankees
U-173 Edwin Encarnacion – Chicago White Sox
U-174 Logan Forsythe – Philadelphia Phillies
U-175 Diego Castillo – Tampa Bay Rays
U-176 Brock Holt – Milwaukee Brewers
U-177 Andy Burns – Toronto Blue Jays RC
U-178 Jarrod Dyson – Pittsburgh Pirates
U-179 Jeff Hoffman – Colorado Rockies
U-180 C.J. Cron – Detroit Tigers
U-181 Mitch Moreland – Boston Red Sox
U-182 Josh Tomlin – Atlanta Braves
U-183 Steve Cishek – Chicago White Sox
U-184 Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers AL
U-185 Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals AS
U-186 Rowdy Tellez – Toronto Blue Jays
U-187 Pete Alonso – New York Mets AS
U-188 Luis Severino – New York Yankees
U-189 Johnny Davis – Tampa Bay Rays RC
U-190 Ken Griffey Jr. – Seattle Mariners AS
U-191 Zack Greinke – Houston Astros AL
U-192 Ian Miller – Chicago Cubs RC
U-193 Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers AL
U-194 Justin Verlander – Houston Astros AS
U-195 Daniel Hudson – Washington Nationals
U-196 Nestor Cortes – Seattle Mariners RC
U-197 Zach Green – San Francisco Giants RC
U-198 Hunter Renfroe – Tampa Bay Rays
U-199 Adeiny Hechavarria – Atlanta Braves
U-200 Anthony Rendon – Los Angeles Angels
U-201 Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs AS
U-202 Asdrubal Cabrera – Washington Nationals
U-203 Austin Pruitt – Houston Astros
U-204 Eric Davis – Cincinnati Reds HR
U-205 Kenta Maeda – Minnesota Twins
U-206 Asher Wojciechowski – Baltimore Orioles
U-207 Jorge Lopez – Kansas City Royals
U-208 Randy Arozarena – Tampa Bay Rays RC
U-209 Cal Ripken Jr. – Baltimore Orioles AS
U-210 Gabe Speier – Kansas City Royals RC
U-211 Drew Smyly – San Francisco Giants
U-212 Jordan Lyles – Texas Rangers
U-213 Keury Mella – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-214 Kendall Graveman – Seattle Mariners
U-215 Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds AL
U-216 Sean Murphy – Oakland Athletics RD
U-217 Andrew Suarez – San Francisco Giants
U-218 Chapman/Olson – Oakland Athletics Combo
U-219 Zack Greinke – Houston Astros AL
U-220 Alec Mills – Chicago Cubs
U-221 Joe Panik – Toronto Blue Jays
U-222 Scott Barlow – Kansas City Royals
U-223 Chris Devenski – Houston Astros
U-224 Cy Sneed – Houston Astros RC
U-225 Jharel Cotton – Chicago Cubs
U-226 Franchy Cordero – San Diego Padres
U-227 Garrett Richards – San Diego Padres
U-228 Starling Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-229 Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins AS
U-230 Cal Ripken Jr. – Baltimore Orioles HR
U-231 Jordy Mercer – Detroit Tigers
U-232 Jason Castro – Los Angeles Angels
U-233 Mike Montgomery – Kansas City Royals
U-234 Gavin Lux – Los Angeles Dodgers RD
U-235 Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs AS
U-236 Bartolo Colon – New York Mets AL
U-237 Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers AS
U-238 Tim Locastro – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-239 Jefry Rodriguez – Cleveland Indians
U-240 Justin Verlander – Houston Astros AL
U-241 Tyler Heineman – San Francisco Giants RC
U-242 Ty France – San Diego Padres
U-243 Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels AL
U-244 Wade LeBlanc – Baltimore Orioles
U-245 Justin Verlander – Houston Astros AL
U-246 Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
U-247 Kole Calhoun – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-248 Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers AL
U-249 Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees AL
U-250 Omar Narvaez – Milwaukee Brewers
U-251 Nico Hoerner – Chicago Cubs RD
U-252 Alex Wood – Los Angeles Dodgers
U-253 Peter Lambert – Colorado Rockies
U-254 Taijuan Walker – Seattle Mariners
U-255 Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals HR
U-256 Ramirez/Lindor – Cleveland Indians Combo
U-257 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees AS
U-258 Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds HR
U-259 Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels AL
U-260 Kyle Crick – Pittsburgh Pirates
U-261 Trout/Upton – Los Angeles Angels Combo
U-262 Ty Buttrey – Los Angeles Angels
U-263 Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers AL
U-264 Aaron Judge – New York Yankees HR
U-265 Dario Agrazal – Detroit Tigers RC
U-266 Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates AS
U-267 Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals AS
U-268 Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox AS
U-269 Christian Yelich – Milwaukee Brewers AS
U-270 Dustin Garneau – Houston Astros
U-271 Kevin Pillar – Boston Red Sox
U-272 Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds AS
U-273 Devers/Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox Combo
U-274 Jordan Montgomery – New York Yankees
U-275 Brett Anderson – Milwaukee Brewers
U-276 Joe Kelly – Los Angeles Dodgers
U-277 Jose Altuve – Houston Astros AS
U-278 Austin Allen – Oakland Athletics
U-279 Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals AS
U-280 Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels AL
U-281 Joel Kuhnel – Cincinnati Reds RC
U-282 Christian Arroyo – Cleveland Indians
U-283 Tomas Nido – New York Mets
U-284 Buehler/Martin – Los Angeles Dodgers Combo
U-285 Billy Hamilton – San Francisco Giants
U-286 Chase Anderson – Toronto Blue Jays
U-287 Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox AS
U-288 Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees AL
U-289 Myles Straw – Houston Astros
U-290 Alonso/McNeil – New York Mets Combo
U-291 Trayce Thompson – Arizona Diamondbacks
U-292 Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels AL
U-293 Mike King – New York Yankees RC
U-294 Adam Plutko – Cleveland Indians
U-295 Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox AL
U-296 Mark McGwire – Oakland Athletics HR
U-297 Jesus Tinoco – Colorado Rockies RC
U-298 Magneuris Sierra – Miami Marlins
U-299 Jacob deGrom – New York Mets AS
U-300 Yordan Alvarez – Houston Astros RD

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One of the anticipated insert sets in 2020 Topps Update is the prospects set.

Prospect Insert Checklist

PA-AB Alec Bohm – Philadelphia Phillies
PA-BD Bobby Dalbec – Boston Red Sox
PA-BDA Brennen Davis – Chicago Cubs
PA-BS Brady Singer – Kansas City Royals
PA-CM Casey Mize – Detroit Tigers
PA-CP Cristian Pache – Atlanta Braves
PA-CS Clarke Schmidt – New York Yankees
PA-CW Colton Welker – Colorado Rockies
PA-ES Ethan Small – Milwaukee Brewers
PA-EW Evan White – Seattle Mariners
PA-JA Jo Adell – Los Angeles Angels
PA-JB Joey Bart – San Francisco Giants
PA-JJ Josh Jung – Texas Rangers
PA-KR Keibert Ruiz – Los Angeles Dodgers
PA-LG Luis Garcia – Washington Nationals
PA-MG MacKenzie Gore – San Diego Padres
PA-NM Nick Madrigal – Chicago White Sox
PA-NP Nate Pearson – Toronto Blue Jays
PA-RM Ryan Mountcastle – Baltimore Orioles
PA-WF Wander Franco – Tampa Bay Rays

1985 Topps Baseball Autographs

85A-ARE Anthony Rendon – Los Angeles Angels
85A-DJ Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
85A-JM Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
85A-LR Luis Robert – Chicago White Sox
85A-MT Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
85A-PA Pete Alonso – New York Mets
85A-RDO Randy Dobnak – Minnesota Twins
85A-RM Ryan McBroom – Kansas City Royals
85A-SG Sonny Gray – Cincinnati Reds
85A-TA Tyler Alexander – Detroit Tigers
85A-TL Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants
85A-YD Yonathan Daza – Colorado Rockies
85A-YT Yoshi Tsutsugo – Tampa Bay Rays
85A-JRO Josh Rojas – Arizona Diamondbacks
85BA-HD Hunter Dozier – Kansas City Royals
85BA-TLS Tommy La Stella – Los Angeles Angels
85A-SC Shin-Soo Choo – Texas Rangers
85BA-JA Jim Abbott – Los Angeles Angels
85BA-YC Yu Chang – Cleveland Indians
85BA-JD Justin Dunn – Seattle Mariners
85A-ZG Zac Gallen – Arizona Diamondbacks
85A-RHE Rickey Henderson – Oakland Athletics
85A-RLA Ramon Laureano – Oakland Athletics
85BA-DL Domingo Leyba – Arizona Diamondbacks
85A-OM Oscar Mercado – Cleveland Indians
85A-MO Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics
85A-MA Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins
85A-KS Kyle Schwarber – Chicago Cubs
85A-MS Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
85BA-SN Sheldon Neuse – Oakland Athletics
85A-RD Rafael Devers – Boston Red Sox
85BA-MB Mike Brosseau – Tampa Bay Rays
85BA-JBU Jay Buhner – Seattle Mariners
85A-MCA Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
85A-JC Jose Canseco – Oakland Athletics
85A-PC Patrick Corbin – Washington Nationals
85A-JH Josh Hader – Milwaukee Brewers
85BA-DV Dan Vogelbach – Seattle Mariners
85A-JJ Josh James – Houston Astros
85A-AKA Anthony Kay – Toronto Blue Jays
85A-MK Mitch Keller – Pittsburgh Pirates
85BA-SL Shed Long – Seattle Mariners
85A-JMA James Marvel – Pittsburgh Pirates
85BA-AO Adam Ottavino – New York Yankees
85BA-JS Jorge Soler – Kansas City Royals
85A-GS George Springer – Houston Astros
85BA-GU Gio Urshela – New York Yankees
85A-BR Bryan Reynolds – Pittsburgh Pirates
85A-DGO Dwight Gooden – New York Mets

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20 Years of The Captain Checklist

20CA-00 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-01 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-02 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-03 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-04 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-05 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-06 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-07 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-08 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-09 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-10 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-11 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-12 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-13 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-14 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-95 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-96 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-97 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-98 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
20CA-99 Derek Jeter – New York Yankees

For the rest of the 2020 Topps Update checklist for relics, insert sets, and retail exclusives.

Overall, it’s a bad checklist in my opinion. It was also expected based on the abbreviated season. I will still try to find some retail blaster boxes, but I am staying far, far away from hobby boxes at the asking prices.

One of my Biggest Autograph Hits in Allen & Ginter X

This was my first year breaking Allen & Ginter X, Topps’ online exclusive. The product runs parallel to the standard version of Allen & Ginter, but a much sharper black background to the cards.

Topps limited customers to a one-box limit, which helped many collectors acquire a box. In past years I have passed on Allen & Ginter X, but decided to take the plunge and buy a box in 2020.

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It was to be a win-win situation with purchasing a box at $100 plus shipping. If sealed box prices soared in the secondary market I could make a quick flip. Or, if the flip wasn’t really worth it to me I would rip. Early on the secondary prices hovered around $200, which is only about a $25 profit after fees and shipping.

The box arrived a few days later than the initial tracking, so I had to wait until after the weekend to get ripping.

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Pack one. Card one. Bo Bichette rookie card. What a good start. Pack one. Card two. Yordan Alvarez rookie card. Dang, this is a really good start. Pack one, card three was a common. But…card four? Kyle Lewis rookie card! You’ve got to be kidding me. What a pack.

Before I show off the hits, and let me just tease the autograph hit was absolute fire…here are the Chicago Cubs cards that I pulled. The first Cubs card was Kid K, Kerry Wood.

The second Cubs card I pulled is my favorite – Javier Baez.

Then there was Kris Bryant.

My second favorite current Chicago Cubs player is catcher Willson Contreras.

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The first time I met Willson Contreras was in a Denny’s parking lot. I also met Contreras at Club 400 with Carlos Zambrano.

This box was filled with rookie cards like the aforementioned Bichette, Alvarez, and Lewis. I also pulled an Aristides Aquino rookie card. And….I pulled a pair of Cubs rookie cards.

Adbert Alzolay has appeared in 10 games for the Chicago Cubs the past two seasons making six starts. He is 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA with 44 strikeouts to 22 walks.

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Nico Hoerner is another big name rookie in the 2020 Allen & Ginter X set. Hoerner was the Cubs first round draft choice in 2018, and made his MLB debut the following year. In 68 games during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Hoerner has a .247/.309/.333 slash line.

Now to the big hits. My box had a red mini parallel of Miguel Sano. The red minis are hand numbered to five. The Sano is 4/5, and is earmarked to trade to Jenny in Minnesota.

Down to the last two packs and I had not pulled the autograph. As I opened the second to last pack, I could tell it was a mini framed auto. As I pulled back the card on top it was revealed to be….Bryce Harper.

Not only that….it was numbered /20. I’ve opened a lot of boxes and pulled some good autographs, and this definitely is among the top five best autographs I have pulled.

I put the Harper autograph on eBay and it sold within hours. With that sale, it paid for my box and then some. What a fun rip, and of course it made it better by pulling a great hit like the Bryce Harper autograph.

Happy Holidays – A Special Discount To My Readers

As we charge into the holiday season I wanted to give back and thank all of my loyal followers to the One Million Cubs Project. In doing so, I am offering a special 15% discount when you buy $20+ in items from my eBay Store.

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My eBay Store is stocked daily with new inventory. Everything from 1970’s baseball and football cards to Panini Prizm basketball cards, hot prospects, Hall of Fame singles, and more.

Here is the link to claim your 15% discount. Shopping in my eBay Store at this link will automatically give you the 15% discount at check out on purchases of $20 and up. Happy Holidays 15% Off $20 Purchase LINK. This discount is live from October 21, 2020 through December 11, 2020.

Happy Holidays and thanks for following my journey.

Back to Blogging

It’s been nearly two weeks since I last posted a blog entry. A good one as I celebrated reaching the half way point of collecting one million Chicago Cubs baseball cards.

About three months ago I finally decided to put my web cam and Blue Yeti microphone to good use by starting a video journal. Hobby Evolution was born as a daily live video journal chronicling my journey collecting, buying, selling, and trading baseball cards.

Hobby Evolution Video Journal

I’ve only missed one day publishing Hobby Evolution, and that was planned as I went out of town to visit family at my brother’s cabin this summer. The idea of Hobby Evolution was born out of wanting to get some use out of my camera and microphone, but mainly from a comment my friend Kin (a.k.a. Bean’s Ballcard Blog) made about how much simpler making video content was over blogging.

That statement could not have been more accurate, and while I enjoy doing Hobby Evolution every morning before work, it has led to laziness on my part to avoid writing. So, here we are.

Much like how every other plan for 2020 has gone up in smoke, my focus and goals for the year continue to change, err….evolve. Heading into the fourth quarter of the year, my goal of collecting 500,000 Cubs baseball cards was already met. With the extra time going into pumping up my eBay Store I wanted to establish some daily sales goals. Through two weeks, I am crushing my goals I set, and have aimed for a higher number the rest of the way.

With my focus for the rest of the year on sales in my eBay Store, I have fallen behind in regular blog updates. Trades continue to be made, and Cubs cards continue to arrive…but I’m lagging behind with my blog updates.

This must change, and I need to find my writing rhythm again. I am going to find that balance of trying to write a new blog post each day in addition to tending to my eBay Store and trades for the One Million Cubs Project.

Stay tuned!

Milestone Met: The 500,000th Chicago Cubs Baseball Card

My first Chicago Cubs baseball card was probably from 1989 Topps. That’s the first Cubs baseball card I can remember, at least. I received the complete Cubs team set from 1989 Topps after my mom sent in a certain about of cereal box UPC codes and $5 (or something like that) for shipping and handling.

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Those exact Cubs baseball cards are long gone, and the actual chase to collect one million Cubs baseball cards would not begin until December 2017. The first recorded trade as part of the One Million Cubs Project was a swap of White Sox cards for Cubs cards.

In less than three years, the count went from an initial 50,000 to 500,000 cards. The 500,000th Cubs baseball card was registered on October 5, 2020 sent by Brian in Arizona. A 1990 Upper Deck Cubs checklist featuring Andre Dawson.

1990 Upper Deck Andre Dawson Cubs baseball card

It was like it was meant to be. A card from my youth of a player I loved as a child. While Ryne Sandberg was the fan favorite on the Cubs teams of the late 80’s and early 90’s for many of my friends, I was always rooting for other guys like Jerome Walton, Shawon Dunston, as well as Dawson.

Brian and I have actually met in person as we arranged a meeting on the back fields of Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona this past spring at Spring Training. We watched the Cubs minor leaguers work out and talked for almost two hours.

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Brian reached out to me via Twitter last week and said his package was due to arrive on Monday, but it was probably too late to be the package of Cubs cards that hit the milestone number.

Going into the day my Cubs card count stood at 499,763. Just one or two trade packages should push me to that 500K mark. Two packages arrived in my mailbox. One from Brian, and the other from another multiple time trade partner: Jeffrey in Wisconsin.

Jeffrey sent a 330-count box and it felt full, so I thought this might be the package that pushes me to the number. He included some really cool cards like this Stadium Club Adbert Alzolay rookie that I did not have in my collection.

2020 Stadium Club Adbert Alzolay Cubs rookie card

One of my favorite Cubs cards of all-time (my personal Top 10) is the 1984 Donruss Rated Rookie Joe Carter. It was always a card I wanted growing up, but couldn’t afford. If I were to hoard a single Cubs card this would be the one.

1984 Donruss Rated Rookie Joe Carter Chicago Cubs baseball card

The final count in Jeffrey’s box was 232 which pushed me so close to the 500,000 milestone. After Jeffery’s box was counted the total stood at 499,995. Only FIVE cards needed, and that will arrive in Brian’s package.

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After counting out the first four cards from Brian’s package, the next card up was the milestone card. It happed to be a Cubs legend: Andre Dawson. A 1990 Upper Deck checklist with Dawson on the front. A great card to be number 500,000.

The updated Cubs baseball card count now stands at 500,022 with an almost full three months ahead to add to that count heading into a new year. My goal for 2021 is a moving target currently set at 650,000, but already reaching the 500,000 mark that number for next year will likely increase to around 675,000. Stay tuned!

2020 Topps Heritage Minors Checklist Opinions

Topps Heritage Minors has become one of my favorite baseball card products. It ranks up close to Allen & Ginter for me as well as the big league Topps Heritage.

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Over the last couple years the price tag has risen on Topps Heritage Minors. Until a couple years ago a case of 12 boxes would run you between $400 and $450 – a great price. I was expecting an increase, but when the 2019 product ran upwards of $750 by the big online retailers I was out.

Fortunately, Topps offered boxes on their website in the $45 range so I was able to buy 12 boxes at a better price. Monitoring this year’s prices the best deal I have found a week before release is $625 for a case. That’s still a bit steep for me, so I will wait to see if Topps has better prices on their website during the week of release. I wouldn’t bet on it as Topps has followed suit in increasing prices to capture more of that profit. Topps is a business and I don’t blame them one bit.

The checklist is now out ahead of the October 7 release of 2020 Topps Heritage Minors. Here’s a look at the base set and short print checklist.

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2020 Topps Heritage Minors
Base and Short Print Checklist

1 Wander Franco – Charlotte Stone Crabs
2 Alex Kirilloff – Pensacola Blue Wahoos
3 Kody Hoese – Great Lakes Loons
4 Sherten Apostel – Down East Wood Ducks
5 Alexander Canario – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
6 Gilberto Jimenez – Lowell Spinners
7 Brenton Doyle – Grand Junction Rockies
8 Hunter Bishop – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
9 George Kirby – Everett AquaSox
10 Victor Mesa Jr. – GCL Marlins
11 Victor Victor Mesa – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
12 Sean Hjelle – San Jose Giants
13 Bo Naylor – Lake County Captains
14 Julio Rodriguez – Modesto Nuts
15 Gabriel Cancel – Northwest Arkansas Naturals
16 Jake Sanford – Staten Island Yankees
17 Ronny Mauricio – Columbia Fireflies
18 Brandon Marsh – Mobile BayBears
19 Grae Kessinger – Tri-City ValleyCats
20 Drew Waters – Gwinnett Stripers
21 Ian Anderson – Gwinnett Stripers
22 Logan Gilbert – Arkansas Travelers
23 Grant Gambrell – Idaho Falls Chukars
24 Dominic Fletcher – Kane County Cougars
25 Heliot Ramos – Richmond Flying Squirrels
26 Taylor Trammell – Amarillo Sod Poodles
27 Alek Thomas – Visalia Rawhide
28 Brent Honeywell – Durham Bulls
29 Tommy Henry – Hillsboro Hops
30 Tyler Stephenson – Chattanooga Lookouts
31 Jordan Balazovic – Pensacola Blue Wahoos
32 Logan Driscoll – Tri-City Dust Devils
33 Simeon Woods Richardson – Dunedin Blue Jays
34 Hunter Greene – Dayton Dragons
35 Tahnaj Thomas – Bristol Pirates
36 Jordyn Adams – Inland Empire 66ers
37 Jordan Groshans – Lansing Lugnuts
38 Mason Martin – Bradenton Marauders
39 Jose Garcia – Daytona Tortugas
40 George Valera – Lake County Captains
41 Ezequiel Duran – Staten Island Yankees
42 DL Hall – Frederick Keys
43 Luis Garcia – Harrisburg Senators
44 Keibert Ruiz – Oklahoma City Dodgers
45 Orelvis Martinez – GCL Blue Jays
46 Matthew Lugo – Lowell Spinners
47 Geraldo Perdomo – Visalia Rawhide
48 Nick Lodolo – Dayton Dragons
49 Tyler Freeman – Lynchburg Hillcats
50 Matthew Liberatore – Bowling Green Hot Rods
51 Jesus Sanchez – New Orleans Baby Cakes
52 Max Lazar – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
53 Liover Peguero – Hillsboro Hops
54 Corbin Carroll – Hillsboro Hops
55 Bryse Wilson – Gwinnett Stripers
56 Monte Harrison – New Orleans Baby Cakes
57 Andres Gimenez – Binghamton Rumble Ponies
58 Brice Turang – Carolina Mudcats
59 Ivan Herrera – Palm Beach Cardinals
60 Mark Vientos – Columbia Fireflies
61 Ryan Mountcastle – Norfolk Tides
62 Kris Bubic – Wilmington Blue Rocks
63 Ryan Rolison – Lancaster JetHawks
64 Brayan Rocchio – Mahoning Valley Scrappers
65 Brailyn Marquez – Myrtle Beach Pelicans
66 Shane Baz – Bowling Green Hot Rods
67 Niko Hulsizer – Charlotte Stone Crabs
68 Alek Manoah – Vancouver Canadians
69 Brent Rooker – Rochester Red Wings
70 Sixto Sanchez – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
71 Jackson Kowar – Northwest Arkansas Naturals
72 Daniel Espino – Mahoning Valley Scrappers
73 Grant Lavigne – Asheville Tourists
74 Aaron Bracho – Mahoning Valley Scrappers
75 Brennan Malone – AZL Diamondbacks
76 Michael Busch – Great Lakes Loons
77 Adam Kloffenstein – Vancouver Canadians
78 Keoni Cavaco – GCL Twins
79 Kyle Muller – Mississippi Braves
80 Glenallen Hill Jr. – AZL Diamondbacks
81 Leody Taveras – Frisco RoughRiders
82 J.B. Bukauskas – Jackson Generals
83 Matt Wallner – Cedar Rapids Kernels
84 Antonio Cabello – Pulaski Yankees
85 Matthew Allan – Brooklyn Cyclones
86 Quinn Priester – West Virginia Black Bears
87 Anthony Volpe – Pulaski Yankees
88 Ryan Weathers – Fort Wayne TinCaps
89 Peyton Burdick – Clinton LumberKings
90 Cal Raleigh – Arkansas Travelers
91 Blake Walston – Hillsboro Hops
92 Gunnar Henderson – GCL Orioles
93 Kyle Isbel – Wilmington Blue Rocks
94 Austin Beck – Stockton Ports
95 Daniel Johnson – Columbus Clippers
96 Miguel Vargas – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
97 Parker Meadows – West Michigan Whitecaps
98 Bryce Ball – Rome Braves
99 Yusniel Diaz – Bowie Baysox
100 Daz Cameron – Toledo Mud Hens
101 Brandon Bielak – Round Rock Express
* Luis Rodriguez – AZL Dodgers *
102 Daniel Lynch – Wilmington Blue Rocks
103 Riley Greene – West Michigan Whitecaps
104 Braden Shewmake – Mississippi Braves
105 Aaron Ashby – Carolina Mudcats
106 Sam Huff – Down East Wood Ducks
107 Brock Deatherage – Lakeland Flying Tigers
108 Matt Manning – Erie SeaWolves
109 Royce Lewis – Pensacola Blue Wahoos
110 Forrest Whitley – Round Rock Express
111 T.J. Sikkema – Staten Island Yankees
112 Luis Patino – Amarillo Sod Poodles
113 Marco Luciano – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
114 Spencer Howard – Reading Fightin Phils
115 Vidal Brujan – Montgomery Biscuits
116 Kristian Robinson – Kane County Cougars
117 Grayson Rodriguez – Delmarva Shorebirds
118 Ke’Bryan Hayes – Indianapolis Indians
119 Oneil Cruz – Altoona Curve
120 Jazz Chisholm – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
121 Dylan Carlson – Memphis Redbirds
122 Luis Campusano – Lake Elsinore Storm
123 JJ Goss – GCL Rays
124 Deivi Garcia – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
125 Brennen Davis – South Bend Cubs
126 Tarik Skubal – Erie SeaWolves
127 Nolan Jones – Akron RubberDucks
128 Trevor Larnach – Pensacola Blue Wahoos
129 Alec Bohm – Reading Fightin Phils
130 Triston Casas – Salem Red Sox
131 Tim Tebow – Syracuse Mets
132 Daulton Varsho – Jackson Generals
133 Travis Swaggerty – Bradenton Marauders
134 Jhoan Duran – Pensacola Blue Wahoos
135 Evan White – Arkansas Travelers
136 Miguel Amaya – Myrtle Beach Pelicans
137 Edward Cabrera – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
138 Josiah Gray – Tulsa Drillers
139 William Contreras – Mississippi Braves
140 Lewin Diaz – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
141 Isaac Paredes – Toledo Mud Hens
142 Bryan Mata – Portland Sea Dogs
143 Clarke Schmidt – Trenton Thunder
144 Estevan Florial – Tampa Tarpons
145 Luis Gil – Tampa Tarpons
146 Jonathan Stiever – Winston-Salem Dash
147 Ethan Hankins – Lake County Captains
148 Khalil Lee – Northwest Arkansas Naturals
149 Brady Singer – Northwest Arkansas Naturals
150 Ulrich Bojarski – Lakeland Flying Tigers
151 Freudis Nova – Quad Cities River Bandits
152 Jordan Brewer – Tri-City ValleyCats
153 Jeremiah Jackson – Orem Owlz
154 Jorge Mateo – Las Vegas Aviators
155 C.J. Chatham – Pawtucket Red Sox
156 Cole Winn – Hickory Crawdads
157 Jared Oliva – Altoona Curve
158 Gabriel Rodriguez – AZL Indians
159 Seth Beer – Jackson Generals
160 Michael Toglia – Boise Hawks
161 Terrin Vavra – Asheville Tourists
162 Ildemaro Vargas – Reno Aces
163 Bobby Dalbec – Pawtucket Red Sox
164 Jonathan India – Chattanooga Lookouts
165 Greg Jones – Hudson Valley Renegades
166 Owen Miller – Amarillo Sod Poodles
167 Luis Matos – AZL Giants
168 Josh Lowe – Montgomery Biscuits
169 Jackson Rutledge – Hagerstown Suns
170 Elehuris Montero – Springfield Cardinals
171 Chase Strumpf – South Bend Cubs
172 Kameron Misner – Clinton LumberKings
173 Francisco Alvarez – Kingsport Mets
174 Hudson Head – AZL Padres
175 Bryson Stott – Williamsport Crosscutters
176 Gabriel Arias – Lake Elsinore Storm
177 Miguel Hiraldo – Lansing Lugnuts
178 Hudson Potts – Amarillo Sod Poodles
179 Shane McClanahan – Montgomery Biscuits
180 Canaan Smith – Charleston RiverDogs
181 Triston McKenzie – Akron RubberDucks
182 Andy Pages – Ogden Raptors
183 Edward Olivares – Amarillo Sod Poodles
League Leaders
184 Ildemaro Vargas – Reno Aces
184 Yoandy Rea – Connecticut Tigers
184 CJ Abrams – Fort Wayne TinCaps
185 Luis Castro – Lancaster JetHawks
185 Mason Martin – Bradenton Marauders
185 Jose Rojas – Salt Lake Bees
186 Michael Gettys – El Paso Chihuahuas
186 Mason Martin – Bradenton Marauders
186 Yadiel Hernandez – Fresno Grizzlies
187 Bailey Ober – Fort Myers Miracle
187 Norwith Gudino – Augusta GreenJackets
187 Brandon Marklund – Lexington Legends
188 Paul Campbell – Montgomery Biscuits
188 Zac Lowther – Bowie Baysox
188 Dylan File – Biloxi Shuckers
189 Joe Ryan – Montgomery Biscuits
189 Tarik Skubal – Erie SeaWolves
189 Kris Bubic – Wilmington Blue Rocks
190 Michael Gettys – El Paso Chihuahuas
190 Jose Rojas – Salt Lake Bees
190 Luis Castro – Lancaster JetHawks
191 Johneshwy Fargas – Richmond Flying Squirrels
191 Nick Heath – Omaha Storm Chasers
191 Khalil Lee – Northwest Arkansas Naturals
192 Nolan Kingham – Florida Fire Frogs
192 Domingo Robles – Altoona Curve
192 Tommy Parsons – Springfield Cardinals
193 Nate Griep – Biloxi Shuckers
193 Matt Eckelman – Altoona Curve
193 Tad Ratliff – Wilmington Blue Rocks
194 Abiatal Avelino hits walk-off – Sacramento River Cats
195 Cristhian Adames hits go-ahead Home Run – Sacramento River Cats
196 Enderson Franco seals the series with five-out save – Sacramento River Cats
197 Sacramento River Cats Celebrate! – Sacramento River Cats
198 Bobby Bradley’s home run lifts Clippers – Columbus Clippers
199 Ryan Lavarnway blasts two home runs – Columbus Clippers
200 Bradley Zimmer hits go-ahead three-run homer – Columbus Clippers
201 Adley Rutschman – Delmarva Shorebirds
202 Bobby Witt Jr. – AZL Royals
203 Josh Jung – Hickory Crawdads
204 Jarren Duran – Portland Sea Dogs
205 MacKenzie Gore – Amarillo Sod Poodles
206 Cristian Pache – Gwinnett Stripers
207 Joey Bart – Richmond Flying Squirrels
208 Jeter Downs – Tulsa Drillers
209 Casey Mize – Erie SeaWolves
210 Xavier Edwards – Lake Elsinore Storm
211 Andrew Vaughn – Winston-Salem Dash
212 CJ Abrams – Fort Wayne TinCaps
213 Jarred Kelenic – Arkansas Travelers
214 Shea Langeliers – Rome Braves
215 Nick Madrigal – Charlotte Knights
216 JJ Bleday – Jupiter Hammerheads
217 Jo Adell – Salt Lake Bees
218 Brett Baty – Brooklyn Cyclones
219 Nolan Gorman – Palm Beach Cardinals
220 Nate Pearson – Buffalo Bisons

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Opinion on 2020 Topps Heritage Minors Checklist

One glaring omission from this checklist is the name Jasson Dominguez. Dominguez is the 17-year old uber prospect for the New York Yankees. He has made a few checklists in other releases, so I thought it would be a no-brainer that he would be the highlight of 2020 Topps Heritage Minors. It was not to be.

The Chicago Cubs get four names on the checklist in 2020. This has been around the average for the Cubs through the years of Topps Heritage Minors. Cubs prospects in this year’s set include: Brennen Davis, Brailyn Marquez, Chase Strumpf, and Miguel Amaya.

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I’m exicted for another Brennen Davis card and Chase Strumpf also appears in Heritage Minors for the first time. I was hoping for a couple other names and maybe a player that hasn’t made many (or any) other card appearances.

The highlights on the checklist are mainly in the short print set with the likes of Bobby Witt Jr., Adley Rutschman, and Joey Bart. Like many other releases most eyes immediately go to the autograph checklist. Here it is for 2020 Topps Heritage Minors.

2020 Topps Heritage Minors
Autograph Checklist

ROA-AP Andy Pages – Ogden Raptors
ROA-AR Adley Rutschman – Delmarva Shorebirds
ROA-AV Andrew Vaughn – Winston-Salem Dash
ROA-AVO Anthony Volpe – Pulaski Yankees
ROA-BB Brett Baty – Brooklyn Cyclones
ROA-BS Braden Shewmake – Mississippi Braves
ROA-BST Bryson Stott – Williamsport Crosscutters
ROA-BWJ Bobby Witt Jr. – AZL Royals
ROA-CC Corbin Carroll – Hillsboro Hops
ROA-EL Ethan Lindow – Clearwater Threshers
ROA-FA Francisco Alvarez – Kingsport Mets
ROA-GHJ Glenallen Hill Jr. – AZL Diamondbacks
ROA-HB Hunter Bishop – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
ROA-JA Jacob Amaya – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
ROA-JD Jarren Duran – Portland Sea Dogs
ROA-JJ Josh Jung – Hickory Crawdads
ROA-JJB JJ Bleday – Jupiter Hammerheads
ROA-JR Jackson Rutledge – Hagerstown Suns
ROA-KC Keoni Cavaco – GCL Twins
ROA-LP Luis Patino – Amarillo Sod Poodles
ROA-MLA Max Lazar – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
ROA-MV Miguel Vargas – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
ROA-PB Peyton Burdick – Clinton LumberKings
ROA-RG Riley Greene – West Michigan Whitecaps
ROA-SH Sam Huff – Down East Wood Ducks
ROA-SL Shea Langeliers – Rome Braves
ROA-TS Tarik Skubal – Erie SeaWolves
ROA-VB Vidal Brujan – Montgomery Biscuits
ROA-WW Will Wilson – Orem Owlz
ROA-XE Xavier Edwards – Lake Elsinore Storm

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There are a few names that pop up right away as the chase autographs. Possibly number one on that list at this time is Bobby Witt Jr. Other names that will be popular include: Adley Rutschman, Anthony Volpe, Riley Greene, and Francisco Alvarez.

All in all for me, Topps Heritage Minors is a fun rip if I can get it in the $40-50 price range per box. It’s also a really great product to store in a box and revisit a year or two down the road. In fact, I recently pulled out my entire case of 2019 Topps Heritage Minors. The only cards I pulled at the time were the Cubs. Everything else: hits and all, went into a monster box. It was a lot of fun pulling some big name base cards out, and seeing what autographs and parallels I pulled. Stay tuned if I take the dive on a case of 2020 Topps Heritage Minors this week.

And For That Reason, I’m Out: 2020 Topps Chrome Sapphire

This week Topps rolled out another one of its online exclusive releases: Topps Chrome Sapphire. Sapphire is not a fly-by night release like others as it’s been around a few years now and has gained a bit of popularity over the years.

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Topps first released the Sapphire line in 2016, and it has changed immensely in both distribution and price in five years. The launch year was priced at a whopping $1,500, but you received the complete set of 700 cards plus 13 parallels numbered /5, AND two superfractors. There were only 250 sets made available.

The following year, Sapphire still carried a price tag of $1,500, but some value was added in the form of rookie autographs. Once again Sapphire was sold in complete sets of 700 cards limited to 250 available with 2 superfractors and 13 parallels. Additionally, you received FIVE rookie autographs.

Changes were made to Topps Chrome Sapphire for the 2018 release. It became much more affordable, and it changed drastically from the first two years selling as complete sets.

In 2018, Topps Chrome Sapphire was sold in boxes for $200. Each box came with 100 base cards, three rookie autographs, and three parallels.

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Another big change occurred in the set the following year. For 2019, Topps issued Chrome Sapphire in packs. For just $50 you received four packs of eight cards with a guaranteed rookie autograph.

It’s amazing to see the changes in both how Sapphire has been released as a product, as well as the pricing that accompanies it. Take a look at the below chart for Topps Chrome Sapphire from 2017 to 2020.

This year the big change occurred in the price tag. You still receive four packs of eight cards with a rookie autograph…at a price tag of $300. A six times markup from the year prior. The only added value this year is in addition to a guaranteed rookie autograph, you get a parallel as well. The price per card for essentially the same product rose from $1.56 to $9.38.

But, that’s not the reason I didn’t buy 2020 Topps Chrome Sapphire. Just like the Ben Baller Chrome boxes, I was looking at Sapphire strictly to flip. My target for net profit on a flip like this is in the neighborhood of $125. That is because there is some risk involved selling sealed wax on eBay. You open yourself up to returns and cancellations if the market drops from your sale price, or potentially scammed by someone that wasn’t happy with the contents upon opening. To take that risk, I need there to be enough profit.

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Initial listings on eBay were priced as low as $470 per box and that was just from Montgomery Club members ahead of the general public raffle. Once the general public received notifications and confirmed orders, more listings were posted. In the near term I feel that box prices will settle around $400, maybe lower. Of course, the long term value remains to be seen dependent on the performance of the players in the 2020 rookie class. And for that reason, I’m out.

Cardboard Gold and Columbia Hobby Review

This is NOT a paid endorsement or advertisement for Columbia Hobby. Simply a review of the company and their products from one customer’s view point.

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“Is this brand (Cardboard Gold) legitimate?” That’s paraphrasing a tweet I recently read from someone in the hobby that I follow on Twitter.

I provided my opinion on Cardboard Gold, and the company that was selling 500 top loaders with 500 penny sleeves on eBay. The company is Columbia Hobby, and I’ve been a customer for supplies for a few years.

It all began a couple years ago when I was buying used top loaders in bulk. My aim was to pay four cents per top loader shipped in a medium flat rate box. On occasion (pre-COVID) I was able to find deals for flat rate boxes of top loaders for between 2 and 3 cents each shipped. Often, though, people were charging between 5 and 10 cents.

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Top loaders became a need and I was unable to find them used at a good price. A little perusing on eBay led me to Columbia Hobby. An entire case of 1,000 top loaders for around $55 shipped. That comes out to 5.5 cents shipped for brand new top loaders. Columbia Hobby found a new customer.

Fast forward to the spring of 2020 and a world struck by a pandemic. Prices of top loaders skyrocketed as the demand far outweighed the now limited supply. Top loaders were now selling for upwards of 20 cents per shipped by most suppliers such as Columbia, BCW, and Ultra Pro.

My sales have increased which has also led to an increased need in top loaders. Fortunately, many of my fellow hobbyists have jumped in and helped me out by giving me deals on used top loaders and offering lots up for trade.

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Recently, I have been visiting the aforementioned suppliers on a consistent basis in hopes that a fresh stock of top loaders have arrived. When I went shopping online a couple weeks ago you could order a case of top loaders from BCW…but the estimated ship date was December 31. Yes, more than a three months wait.

Then I saw the tweet with the Cardboard Gold listing. I offered up my seal of approval in tweet form then immediately went to eBay to snag a half case of top loaders from Columbia Hobby. The shipped price for 500 top loaders and 500 penny sleeves was $56.99, so almost exactly double the price of pre-COVID pricing. Still, at 11 cents per top loader it’s the best deal you can find at the moment with no waiting.

How I Lost Money on Baseball Cards

We often see people in the hobby flaunt their big wins. Profiting hundreds of dollars on the flip of a Topps online exclusive, clearing retail shelves, or buying low on Luka Doncic and Patrick Mahomes only to flip for a big win.

But where is all the transparency? We can learn more from our mistakes than from our victories in many cases. I’m just as guilty with articles on how to MAKE MONEY on baseball cards, or how much I made on this Craigslist collection (and still see sales almost daily from this collection), or taking advantage of discount sealed wax during Blowout’s Black Friday sales.

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There are losses, too. Would you believe a hobby case of 2017 Bowman was less than $800 at presale? AND….I LOST money on my case! I also lost money buying a hobby case of 2015 Bowman Draft for just $500. Had I set those two cases aside a couple years I could have made big money, but I didn’t.

This article is about how I lost (well, I’m going to lose) money on a case of 2020 Allen & Ginter which was released last week. Full disclosure: I bought my case at retail price for $1,535 and knew I was going to lose money. Why? If you want to rip and flip cases you need to get near wholesale pricing. Find someone with connections and you can make it happen. In fact, had I waited about 12 hours I could have bought a case for $1,300.

When I was ripping and flipping cases back in 2016 and 2017 I was getting near wholesale prices from a breaker who lived near me. Hobby prices were also much different three years ago, and I was also moving base commons and insert cards on Sportlots. In fact, I was able to make about 30% back on my case by simply selling commons and inserts the week of release.

Why did I buy a case of Allen & Ginter fully knowing I was going to lose money? One word: entertainment. Allen & Ginter is tied to many memories and it’s always been a fun rip for me. So, even though I will likely lose a little the entertainment value will make it worthwhile.

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Before I ever bought a case of baseball cards my line of thinking was they would be loaded with hits, and you can never lose money. I learned that is false fairly quickly. Allen & Ginter has been very good to me in terms of hits. Unfortunately, the 2020 purchase was about the worst.

Every case of Allen & Ginter I have purchased in the past has had a “case hit” and I’ve been able to sell a card for $300 to $500. Not so this time. My biggest hits were the two guaranteed RIP cards and they were the regular size cards numbered /99 of Clayton Kershaw and Pete Alonso. The Kershaw sold for $100 almost immediately, and the Alonso sold for $118.

The next highest priced sale? Would you believe it was a regular relic card of a reality star named Johnny Bananas. It sold for $50 within about two hours of listing.

I pulled a pair of 1/1 printing plates that sold for $25 (Trevor Hoffman) and $20 (Tommy LaStella).

A Fernando Tatis Jr. mini framed relic sold for $20, and a Keston Hiura mini framed autograph went for $30.

The rest is a bunch of low dollar sales, and as of this writing my gross sales total $724.12 on 91 transactions. After fees and shipping that net margin is a loss of nearly $1,000 and most of the higher value hits have already been sold. Ouch.

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One of the reasons I wanted to share how I lost money on my hobby case of 2020 Allen & Ginter was because of a sales listing on the Blowout Forums. It was loaded with hits like a Jose Canseco mini framed auto numbered /25, five EXT minis, three A&G back no numbered cards, a stack of autographs, relics, and even a Nick Senzel N43 autographed box topper /15. Plus, the seller was throwing in a complete base set all for $300. It was 1/5 the cost of my case and it was loaded with far greater hits. I’ve been debating with myself on whether or not to purchase the lot in an attempt to make a dent in my Ginter losses this year.