2017 Bowman’s Best – Two Hobby Boxes + Bonus Break

Box Break: Road Trip Edition

We have all been there. All of us card addicts have anyway. Driving down the endless interstate on a long road trip, just counting down the miles. Then a little thought pops up. What could make this trip a little more bearable, maybe make the last 200 miles go by a little quicker? Then, before we know it, the GPS is taking us to the nearest card shop. Maybe it’s a little bit out of the way, but oh so worth it.

I found myself in that situation yesterday and was lucky to find Middle Georgia Sportscards and Collectibles in Warner Robins, GA. I’ve been to quite a few card shops in my day and this one was exceptional. Charlie was friendly, knowledgeable and from what I could tell, a genuine card nut. I haven’t opened any 2017 Bowman’s Best, so I settled on two (very fairly priced) boxes. This was a super fun break and I got some great stuff out of it. Check it out:

Base Rookies and Veterans

There are only 65 cards in this section of the base set, so there isn’t much room for anything other than veteran stars and rookies with big potential. Great looking base design and I pulled some great rookies and a few Orioles for my collection.

Rookie and Veteran Refractors

Here comes the shiny stuff!  I pulled Mancini, Bregman, Ichiro and Tapia base Refractors for my collection.  That Bellinger looks pretty nice next to the Atomic Refractor of fellow Dodger youngster, Corey Seager.  I finished up strong with a Gurriel RC Purple Refractor, serial numbered out of 250.

Base Top Prospects

There are 35 cards in this section of the base set, a lot of big name prospects as the name implies. I think I hit the base card jackpot here: Vlad Jr, Clint Frazier, Devers, Senzel and Royce Lewis.  Pretty good haul and a good chance that at least one of them will be a household name in the next 5 years.

Top Prospect Refractors

Kyle Wright is the theme here.  Atlanta’s First Round pick from 2017 showed up on an Atomic Refractor and Green Parallel numbered out of 99.  I also lucked out with Pitcher and First Baseman cards (separate card numbers, not a photo variation) of potential two-way star Brendan McKay.  No Baltimore prospects here, but I’ll take it.

1997 Best Cuts

This things are bright and gave me a serious 90’s flashback, especially the Piazza.  Best Cuts Atomic Refractors are supposed to fall two per case, so I was pretty happy to get one.  The picture is a little dark at the bottom, but that is Nick Senzel.  I was pretty happy to pull that Bregman, one of the few non-O’s that I collect.

Baseball America’s 2017 Dean’s List

Other than Torres, Acuna and of course Corey Seager, I’ve never heard anything good or bad about any of the others.  If I’m missing out on a big prospect here, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.  Cool looking insert, may have to go to SportLots for the Ryan Mountcastle.

Mirror Image

The first one I pulled was a neat change of pace, but these cards stress me out.  You can’t have them upside down like that.  I will be unloading these as fast as I can and that is all I have to say about that.

Raking Rookies

These are a little tougher pull and a small (10 card) checklist.  Probably my favorite of the inserts in this release.  These things are sharp and as far as collectibility goes, should have some staying power.

The Autographs

And now, what you have all been waiting for.  I’m pretty happy with what I got and the Mountcastle made my day.  I was going to buy it on eBay the other day, but something told me to hold on.  Drum roll please for Royce Lewis and Kevin Maitan Green Refractor #/99!!

Bonus Break

I couldn’t resist trying one box of 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition.  These are one card per box, encased and tamper sealed by Topps.  I guess now is as good a time as any, so here’s the big reveal.


If your reaction was “oh.”  That was about my reaction.  To be fair, this guy had a decent season in 2017.  If he could trade a few whiffs for walks, he might have a good career.  Maybe it was the bone spurs they just removed that was making him swing and miss last year.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this break.  It was a nice detour for me and it was great talking baseball with Charlie at Midddle Georgia Sportscards.  He gave me a business card and asked me to sign their wall next to the door on the way out.  If you find yourself on the road, driving through the heart of Georgia, stop in and check them out.  Please feel free to send any feedback via the Contact page, in the comments, or on Twitter @BaseballCardCen.

2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball Retail Break

BASEBALL IS BACK! I have been opening way too much 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball the last couple weeks and I just can’t stop. I am hoping this final Target binge will hold me over until the release of Topps Heritage at the end of the month. On this break, I opened up three blasters and four hanger boxes, a little over $100 worth, this time without the Target exclusive Derek Jeter Highlight cards. Since I have opened quite a bit of this already, there aren’t many cards I want that I haven’t pulled already, but there is one that I’ve had my eBay eye on and I’ve finally pulled it. Anyway, without further ado, here are the results:


I didn’t get a full set, but I did get quite a few doubles and some triples. All of the big Series 1 rookies (Hoskins, Hays, Andujar, etc.) and stars (Judge, Stanton, Kershaw, etc) were represented.  Another blaster or a few hanger boxes would have completed the set, but I don’t have the storage space to become a set collector. I have hoarded mass quantities of rookies and stars though, saving them for a break out year, monster spring, or Hall of Fame induction.

1983 Topps

I got two doubles out of this bunch, Kenta Maeda and Daniel Murphy. One of the best and most popular players in the game, Kris Bryant. Topps paid tribute to the late Roy Halladay in this set as well, a nice gesture and a card I will keep in my collection. A pair of Mets rookies, Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario. Manny Machado and Bo Jackson round out the base 1983 cards. I also pulled one blue parallel of Jose Canseco. I love the throwback cards from Topps and like the 1987 cards last year, I kept quite a few of players I don’t typically collect.


Gold Parallels

Gold parallels are back, as always, serial numbered to the year. This year’s run is limited to 2018 copies and the gold wave looks fantastic. All three that I pulled are solid players, not guys that I collect, but still great cards.

Legends In The Making

This is my least favorite insert set, but they are plentiful. They aren’t horrible cards, and the blue and black parallels look pretty cool, but they feel like an insert set Score would put out. I’ve got at least the base and some blue and black parallels of the players I collect, so like the Golds, these will be sold for whatever I can get out of them.

MLB Awards

I pulled five of these and they are all good names. The Stanton Hank Aaron Award Winner card is particularly stunning. He had a monster year and I can only imagine the back yard home run derby that he is going to play with Judge this year. Rounding out the group are Jason Heyward, Gary Sanchez, George Springer and Nolan Arenado.

Topps Now Top 10

I don’t understand this set, seems a little self-congratulatory, but maybe someone likes it. MY guess is that the only reason anyone would buy these is to complete a master set. Luckily, I only pulled two of them this time.

Opening Day

This is a cool looking insert set with all the big stars pictured on Opening Day. I may be getting too far in the weeds, but since this is called 2018 Topps Opening Day, when 2018 Topps Opening Day comes out, will there be mass confusion? I like the concept for the insert, but when you already have a standalone series called Opening Day, naming an insert set Opening Day seems like an odd move. Either way, I’m ready for Opening Day! Also, I pulled three blue parallels and they really pop.

Player’s Weekend Commemorative Patches

These are manufactured relics that come one per Blaster Box…Some years they are great looking cards (see 2011 Topps Series 1) and other years they are a little bland. This one is about half and half. Great concept on the Player’s Weekend theme, but using the players’ nicknames and adding a little more color would have made these things just about perfect.

Rainbow Foil Parallels

Other than the fact that these cards like to take on a curved shape as soon as you pull them out of the pack, they are always a favorite. This years foils are no exception. Check out the shine on that Pat Valaika, it looks 10 times better in person.


This insert set is the coolest. Great mix of current stars, legends of the past, and rookies on a great design. I think these inserts will have some staying power in an otherwise forgetful card market. Out of the 12, I got a good mix including Anthony Rizzo, George Brett, and up and coming Second Baseman, Ozzie Albies.

Superstar Sensations

Another great looking insert set.  These remind me of chasing down Cal Ripken and Ken Griffey Jr inserts in the last 90s. I haven’t pulled any of the parallels, but the base insert are cool in my book. We might be losing Machado next year, but as long as he is an Oriole, I’ll keep collecting him. The bright orange looks pretty good on that purple background.

The Good Stuff

Photo variations this year seem easier to pull than last year’s Series 1, but not as plentiful as 2017 Update. I’ve been eyeing this Adam Jones on eBay and so stoked to have pulled it myself. I was really excited to pull another Independence Day Parallel, serial numbered to 76. Unfortunately this one is a checklist…fortunately it is a checklist featuring the World Champions from last year. Finally, we have the Home Run Challenge scratch off card. Topps is giving away parallel cards and a trip to the 2019 Home Run Derby.  Check out  the Topps blog for contest details. Definitely a fun idea for the code cards, but I haven’t had good luck with them in the past, so I am going to try and sell this one off.

Overall this was a really fun break, as Topps Series 1 Baseball always is. I am anxiously looking forward to opening some Heritage in about 2 weeks and all diving headfirst into all the madness that Ohtani has caused in the hobby this month.  Please feel free to Contact Me with any questions or suggestions for future content.  Thanks for reading and hold on for an exciting year in Baseball Cards!