Monday, October 17, 2011

the big gamble and the burning question

Topps puts out many sets throughout the year. I'm willing to bet Triple Threads is the one that gets the least amount of attention around here, and with good reason too. It's hobby only (try finding a hobby shop these days), its definitely not cheap and sometimes the risk isn't worth the reward. I've always had a tough curiosity with this product. Sure we've all seen cards online or at shows and maybe even we've bought some cheap online (I know I have) but it isn't the same. There is something about busting a box and pulling the cards yourself, hoping for the best to appear in your grubby hands.

Well this years set comes out and the curiosity got the better of me. Its not hard to see why most of us don't bust this set. $200 for 14 cards is really tough to swallow and even harder on our wallets. At my local shop, after some cash (well, a credit card), some trade fodder and some hours owed at a later date, I found myself with a box of 2011 Triple Threads. Thankfully he was able to work out that trade/work/cash deal, otherwise this is WELL out of my price range for a box of cards. I've seen these busted at the store last year but not this year. If you aren't familiar with how its packaged, it's a small box, with two smaller boxes inside. Inside those are a blank, shiny silver pack holding your cards. Each 'pack' has three base cards, two parallel base cards and two relics/autos or combination thereof. We all know the base cards are numbered to 1500 and the parallels get smaller numbers from there. Here are the base cards:

Nothing to blog about but NO ONE is buying this set for the base cards. They don't look bad, just too much border going on. I should note that the Pee Wee Reese was traded to me for an Adrian Gonzalez by the shopkeep (Sox sell better than Dodgers 'round here). The Jackie is going to the PC. Here are the parallels:

I did pull a Derek Jeter numbered to 99 but that was also traded to the shopkeep. I like the green of the Stanton and think they probably should have went with that color for the base set. Now onto the hits:

I really can't complain here. I really can't. Two relics of guys I collect (Cobb and Tulo), a great up-and-coming player (Gonzalez) and....Hank Conger. The Cobb and Conger came in the same pack and the Tulo/Gonzalez were in the first pack. I did manage to trade for this too:

Don't know much about him except that it wouldn't sell in the shop so I got it for a good deal (thats where Jeter went towards).

Overall, was the risk worth the reward? Did I end up winning in the end? Did I beat Topps?? Probably not but this did produce one of the best pulls I've ever pulled from a pack of cards. This Cobb certainly rivals the 2009 T206 Ruth bat relic I pulled and may even be better due to it being numbered so low. How do you think I did? I did even better online for stuff I was actually seeking out from both Marquee and Triple Threads, which I'll show once it all gets here. Some up and coming Jays, a new guy that started a new PC for me, and some other various (a Met, a Phille and two Cubs and a few others) cards I got almost embarrassingly cheap.

Oh and two things: The dope I was going to get that Marquee Drabek from reposted the card but this time with a starting price of $19.99. Second; when someone sells a Triple Threads relic card, it only has three pieces in there. I have no idea why they feel the need to point out that it has 27 windows or whatever. Its three damn pieces! I guess my Cobb is an eight piecer! (if periods count)

The burning question stems from this very card:

Sure its possibly my best pull ever but how am I to know thats bat in there? How do I know its not Patty from accountings desk in there? Now, I'm not one to call Topps a liar or to say that they are just screwing us with these relics. How am I to tell that this was once part of a bat that Ty Cobb once used to probably hit one of his 4189 hits? How are we to tell that they aren't just chopping up old office furniture and calling it a bat piece? I mean sure it's a long shot and certainly they could be in a heap of trouble if found out but one has to think, "How many bats do they have from guys like Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, etc?" Eventually they have to dry up right? I mean a current player all they presumably have to do is say "Hello, Ken Griffey Jr, we are making trading cards with bat pieces, please hold and swing each of these 12 bats for us." and call it a day. Is it right? No but far cheaper. I don't know maybe I'm just being a conspiracy theorist but its just something I think about here and there when I get an old timer relic. I'm willing to bet that relics are the real deal but somewhere in the back of your mind you have to doubt it even for just a little.


  1. I'd say the Cobb made it. Without that card you're not going to break even. Not that you're looking to sell, but I had a hard time taking the gamble on $30-50 packs in 2006, let alone these $200 wallet breakers.

  2. I'll agree: you did WELL, but the risk/reward here is too much for me.

    And I'm with you: the Cobb is nice, but most likely old furniture.

  3. Oh yeah: and screw the guy with the Drabek!

  4. Greg- thanks! It was quick but a fun bust. The top three cards are the red base and the bottom two are the parallel base. The middle holds the hits. It was fun to reveal the top two then the bottom two, then the third card then the hits.

    Ryan- I think the Cobb did make it and no, I'm not selling but yeah the gamble is huge and normally I wouldn't but I was able to wrangle a deal to make it work.

    Carlcrawford- I really hope that its not a chair leg. I really really do. It could have been far worse. The Drabek seller did lose out because I did get one for under what I offered him, including shipping. Not as nice but it'll do.

  5. I think Triple Threads isn't as much of a gamble anymore with the extra two hits. This year's stuff looks really good.

  6. I like the Cobb hit for sure, it would just kill me though to find out that it really was some old furniture.

    I hear you on the Drabek as well, what goes around will come around for that always does!!

  7. Sadly, I'd be happy to pull the Rangers base/parallels. I'm glad you were able to get a deal on must have been nice to see that Cobb come up.