Saturday, May 21, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #4

If you possess a sharp memory, you may recall that one of the visible elements of the $30 card lot was a 2010 Topps factory set. Heading into this purchase, I wasn't sure this would be included in the final tally, since the seller had a disclaimer stating that the cards in the photographs were not necessarily in the lot.

As it turned out, they were.

The box cover lists the extras in this factory set as an exclusive five-card pack and the then-hallowed Stephen Strasburg rookie #661. I was skeptical about the presence of each of these extras, and frankly, it would not have surprised me if these were missing from my set. Not a huge loss; after all, I already collected 2010 Topps completely through donations. Add to this my opinion that this All-Star set seems about the weakest of all factory sets, so if the cards were missing, it wouldn't be that big a deal. It isn't like I'd be hunting for one of those weirdo Mantle relics that came from a pair of dress socks or something like that.

Well, I finally got a chance to sort the cards this afternoon. The plastic wrapping on the box was obviously missing, and when I first thumbed through the cards, I found that they were not in numerical order. I am not sure how common this is, since the last factory set I bought was a 1992 Score back in, you guesses it, 1992. Those cards were out of order, too, but I distinctly remember the disorder having a pattern to it that made the sort go pretty fast, like a run of cards might have been something like #653, 643, 633, 623, 613, 603, 593...
Upon final analysis, I found the base set to be completely intact. I should also mention that there was no unopened pack of five bonus cards sitting anywhere in the box either.

No matter, the bonus cards were there. Right in the last stack I found these Angels All-Star cards, commemorating the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

It should be noted that, of these five players, Torii Hunter was the only one chosen for either the 2009 or 2010 game. (He was on both rosters, actually, but was injured for the 2009 game.) Pretty weak bonus, if you ask me.

And the Strasburg? Well, that was found, too. It's nice not to have one of the draw cards cherry picked from a factory set. And if you weren't aware, there were actually two different Strasburg #661 cards produced last year. The first one below is from the factory set, and the second is the one I pulled from my hobby box of 2010 Topps Update Series

As you can see, the front photos are a little different. The backs of the cards are virtually identical, save for the Topps tracking code number in the fine print and what my eye detected as very slightly different shades of red in the design elements. As far as I can tell, neither of these is more desirable than the other, as they both have similar ending prices on eBay.

So, now I have two complete 2010 Topps sets without ever having bought a single pack of cards. I'll bet the Topps sales staff would love to hear that, right?


moremonkeys138 said...

Every Topps factory set comes random like that. They are usually parted in the middle for series one and two (if after 1992) and in those the cards are seemingly random. I'm guessing it just has to do with how they are printed on the sheets. I have actually gotten a few sets that were brand new and missing cards. Guess Topps never had great quality control.

Retrofan said...

There were actually i think 5 different 661's produced (not including the parallels). It was crazy.

The Angels In Order said...

Do you plan on keeping those 5 Angels All-Star cards?