Ever since SP Legendary cuts, which is not TRULY high end, but pretty spendy for 12 packs of cards, I have had a taste for the upper-tier sets that come out each year.
I started out with Sweet Spot 2008, which I assumed was the MOST that I would ever spend for one pack. I was thrilled to pull a Sweet Spot auto of Hideki Kuroda out of my very first pack, and loved it. Never mind that I totally defied the 1:6 odds of hitting it...which ultimate resulted in me buying more and more Sweet Spot packs and being utterly perplexed that I could not repeat the feat.
Alas, there were more expensive packs to be had.
Ballpark. Okay, this stuff was just ridiculous. I am proud to say that I bought one and only one pack of 2009 Ballpark. Multi-swatches just were not enough of a payoff for my pretty penny. Some people really love swatches that have front and back subjects. I am mostly just annoyed by it, especially with the extra card that comes with it that implores you to keep it with the card as proof of authenticity. I threw it away. Rouge swatch.
Sweet Spot 2009 came out, and my luck was absolutely terrible, as I pulled nothing but bland and uninspired swatches pack after pack. Plus the prices of 2009 skyrocked so quickly that it was not even worth my money. Pretty sweet looking base cards with the baseball stitch-raised design, but base cards are pretty pointless in this box anyways.
Onward I went to 2010 Topps Finest (or is it 2009??) Anyways, LOVE these cards. I bought the dual-box, so it guaranteed some nice refractor cards and two Rookie Letter Patch auto refractors that are fantastic looking. I had two problems with this set, in that glossy, shiny cards are impossible to keep clean of fingerprints and are often suffering the wears of the manufacturing process, with scratches and dents etc. Plus you get a bit worn on serial numbered parallels. But since I was only getting the two boxes, I was pretty happy with what I got, put my nine favorite in a binder and called it good.
NOW Topps Tribute comes along, and while I have had plenty of fun sniping some great auto-relics off of eBay, I think there is just a part of me that needs the thrill of the unknown. Yeah I know that whatever I pull will most likely only net me 1/2 to 2/3's what I paid for it at the the shop, but again, since I am only looking to complete a hybrid page of autos and relics, I don't really care what I pull because I plan on keeping it.
So I must confess that I started with two packs....that then became four packs. I could not help myself. The cards are really beautiful, even if they do attract fingerprints and there are definitely some factory flaws as well.
Here, then, are the highlights of a couple of the packs. While the relics and autos are off the market (unless you REALLY can convince me) I am not particularly attached to the base, and some are quite nice. So make yer offers!
Here are some shiny old-timers.
Stargell, McCovey and what I guess is Tributes answer to the obscure subset..Rivalries or something like that.
Here is a smattering of current talent as well as my "always pull this guy" old timer Dizzy Dean. He is my Shin-Shoo-Choo, and my Aramis Ramirez (whom by the way I pulled ANOTHER relic of last night) of the HOF group.
Typically I don't get too fired up about relics, but being a fan of the "Flying Dutchman", if this truly is part of a Honus Wagner game-used jersey, then I am thrilled to have it. Eddie Matthews Jersey just looks and feels old, plus the color-scheme is really nice on this card.
Pack 3 had a nice Kung Fu Panda Auto Relic that is suspiciously missing here.
Pack 4? Well, let's just say that it was a sign that I am to call it quits on Tribute for the year. You play with matches, you get burned!