30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My 2 Cents: Beckett's Topps Tribute Break

A couple of weeks ago, Hockey Card Heaven posted about the "negativity" floating around our hobby. I enjoyed reading his article and agree with him when he says, "I'm in the hobby for fun".

So today I promise not to add any additional "negativity" to the blogworld. Instead, I'm just going to throw down the facts and of course my 2 cents, while trying to be as positive as I can.

Shall we begin?

Yesterday, Beckett posted their box break of 2 boxes of 2010 Topps Tribute Baseball. If you haven't watched it and want to, click here.

One box contained a 1/1 red parallel of Albert Pujols and the other box contained a redemption card for an autographed relic card of Stephen Strasburg.

These results have rekindled the fire against Beckett, who have pulled a number of insane pulls out of their boxes on video box breaks (Sports Card Uncensored posted a longer list last October in his blog if you want to check it out). Here are just a few of the highlights of their pulls:

A. 2007 Exquisite "1/1 Autographed Patch" of Adrian Peterson
B. 2007 Exquisite "1/1 Dual Legendary Cut" autographed card of Walter Payton & Brian Piccolo
C. 2007 Topps Sterling "Cut Signature/Jersey" of Joe Dimaggio

As mentioned earlier, I promise to try to make this as positive as possible. I've been collecting cards for 30 years and will continue collecting until it stops being fun. These crazy box breaks are frustrating to some extent, but I won't let it break me.

I know that the card companies and Beckett will never read my little blog, but I have several friends (like Charles @ Hoopography, G_Moses @ The Basketball Blog, and fellow bloggers over at Sports Card Radio) who I want to share my opinion with.

I think that card companies need to go back to handing out promotion cards, instead of boxes to promote their products. Collectors are spending their hard earned money on boxes in hopes of pulling decent cards. When Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, Razor, Press Pass, and all of the other card companies send boxes to Beckett, different trading card forums, and bloggers it might be in the collector's best interest, since they're usually given away as part of contests or as freebies. In fact, I've been on the receiving end of some of these contests. But after putting some thought into the topic, I'm starting to think this is wrong. Card companies should not be sending out boxes that have even a single "hit" in them for promotional reasons. These hits should be pulled by collectors who are paying for their boxes.

Every time Beckett or anyone else pulls a "hit", whether it's a common autograph or a 1/1 Pujols, it's taken out of the hands of a collector who's spending their hard earned money. And in my eyes, that's wrong.

So who's at fault? Is it Beckett's fault? Is it the card companies' fault? Is it my fault for accepting these cards as prizes in contests? Personally, I think all three have played a part in the drama.

But, the solution is simple. Card companies... quit sending out boxes (loaded or not loaded) to people. Go back to the days of sending out promotional cards to people. Beckett Media has enough money to purchase their own boxes. They don't need free boxes even if all/most of the cards get back into collector's collections. Bloggers and forums who don't have enough money might be out of luck, but at least you'd be preserving the integrity of the hobby.

I know that nothing is "that" simple. However, I think it's a start in the right direction. If any of you have a better idea or can improve on mine, I'd love to hear your feedback.

This hobby is ours and it's suppose to be fun. Thanks for taking the time to read my 2 cents.


  1. Nice post. I 100% agree. The Topps Tribute box break should be the last straw. Insane.

  2. Well put my friend.

    We need to start taking our hobby back and throwing the bums out.

    I'm not a negative person either. But sometimes it just seems like you have to make a stand.

  3. Well said! Those crazy Beckett Box breaks happen so often I just expect it. I never watch them, but I read about them on the blogs. Beckett may not pack out the boxes, but they are just as guilty as Topps or whoever sends them the loaded boxes.

  4. I just went back and checked the Beckett Blog post. G_Moses... I'm glad you took the high road. The ball is in their court, however I don't think Beckett will be turning down the card companies boxes any time soon.

    I also really liked voluntarheel's idea. He suggested to Mr. Olds that Beckett not only turn down free product. But instead, travel around the country & buy boxes from the card shops that carry their magazines.

    Then post a review or have a customer pop the box. This idea kills two birds with one stone. It gets rid of the free boxes that steal paying customer's hits and helps local card shops.

    Kudos to Voluntarheels!

  5. I was going to post about the same thing, but you said it better than I could. Beckett box break videos are pointless. Why do we all have to play the game of sitting through a video of them opening pack after pack , when they could just as easily show off some promo cards that represent the set. Hell, you do that and those promo cards would become pretty sought after themselves. They could give those away in contests. They could send out promos to bloggers and we could review them. That has to be cheaper than sending out stuffed boxes, right?

  6. TJ - Yep, shipping is another aspect that I didn't even consider. Card companies could use the money they save from giving out free boxes and paying for shipping on these products to add more value to boxes by adding additional cards, inserts, or hits.

    As for posting it on your blog, I say do it. I saw G_Moses' blog and copied him. There's nothing wrong with spreading the word.

    Unfortunately, in the overall scheme of things... most people aren't going to do anything about it. The idea of free boxes are just too intriguing, especially with this economy. I don't see Beckett, bloggers, or other card outlets turning their backs on free product.

    However, there's a dim light at the end of the tunnel. G_Moses has wrote a letter to Panini telling them not to send anymore free product for him to review. I was pretty impressed by that. Maybe more bloggers (and even Beckett) will follow his lead).