2009 Topps HTA Jumbo box review

9 03 2009

I’m realizing just now that I promised to post this about a week ago and never got to it.  This is quickly becoming the number one rule of blogging for me:  Don’t make specific time references for anything ever.  Every time I do, it seems I let both myself and you down, and I don’t want to do that.  It’s too hard on both of us.

Funny, though, that my reaction to the box is about the same as my promise to post about it.  I was excited to get it, eager to break it, but once it was done, I kinda forgot about it, even though I still had more to do with it.  Today, with the spare half hour of time, I got some sorting done and even put a package together for mailing.  It was super productive.

One thing I noticed while sorting the cards is there are more damaged cards then I thought.  They fell into four general categories:

  1. Printer lines.  Both on the front and on the back
  2. Scuff marks.  It’s as if the backs and fronts were treated with sandpaper prior to packing.
  3. Lack of foil.
  4. Um, well, it looks like a few of them were attacked by a dull hole punch.

Those “hole punch” cards are something else.  I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for it – some machine or drunken disgruntled factory worker, perhaps.  The others are clearly factory problems, and I’ve got some emailing going on with Topps about what they’ll do about them.  More on that later, once I get an answer from their support.

Visual proof Corey Patterson made it on base last year

Visual proof Corey Patterson made it on base last year

I think it’s pretty clear from previous posts that I really like this year’s set.  In fact, I’m not sure what else I can say to regular readers to make you want to buy it more.  Cards like Hardy are just the tip of the iceberg, even though the bane of the Reds appears on it, too.  There’s no “iconic” card that we’ll look back on years from now and remember, but there’s plenty of great looking cards that you will enjoy looking at over and over again.


As far as the inserts go, they’re really hit or miss.  Most of the Legends of the Game inserts appear really dark to me.  Others like the Mize look awesome (and I realize now I didn’t pull it from this box, but already had it).  All the ones from my jumbo box had these odd printing lines on the back, so I’ll be sending them in for replacement.

The Turkey Red cards I really like, especially that Lincecum.  It’s my first exposure to the Turkey Reds, so that’s gotta help.  Otherwise, these may be old hat to the rest of you.  This is the one insert set that I know I’ll be trying to complete this year.

The Ring of Honor cards I just don’t get.  I’m not sure why I need an insert card of Tony LaRussa, especially one that looks like comes in Thanksgiving colors.  I was happy to ignore them last year, and I’ll be happy to ignore them again.  Hopefully they’re replaced by something better in Series 2.

ToppsTown?  Well, I only need one more of these.  I may as well try and find it and finish off the set.  From this jumbo box, I got 5 gold ToppsTown cards, which seemed unusually high.  I guess that make me lucky?

I was really hoping for one of the SP parallels for the main set, but came up short.  I believe they fall 1:2 Jumbo boxes, and I got the other one.  I’m still on the fence on these, but I’ll keep watching for them just all the same.


I do like the design for the autos and jersey cards this year.  From what I’ve read, I may be the only one.  I’ve now got jersey cards from both companies for Papelbon.  Yea.

Victorino was offered to me in fantasy baseball last year and is the only player ever to hit a HR, a double, and have two steals in a postseason game according to wikipedia.  I find it odd that someone would research such an obscure stat, but it must be cool for Shane to know he’s done something unique in the World Series.  Now you know, too, and can amaze your friends with your Victorino knowledge.


I’ve never hoped to not pull an insert before, but I got my promised manufactured patch card anyway.  It’s an A for A Waste of Time featuring Ty Cobb.

For some reason on eBay, the “A” seems to carry a premium over the other letters.  I actually emailed Topps about this, wondering if each “A” in GA Peach got it’s own numbered card, or if there were only 50 total “A’s,” which would explain the premium.  Topps says there’s one for each.  I’m not sure how to tell if I got the GA “A” or the “A” from Peach.  I do know I’ve spent too much time on this one.

Overall, it’s what you’d expect from a jumbo hobby box, I guess.  I paid extra for the knowledge that I’d get a full set, and I’ll have one once I send in some of the damaged cards for replacement.  Otherwise, the “hits” I pulled won’t make up for the difference between the Jumbo and the hobby box.  Looking on eBay, it seems you can buy two hobby boxes for the same prices as a Jumbo now.  I’d probably go that way and hope for good collation if I were you.

The box:

Base:  302 out of 330 (91.5%), including 84 duplicates and 53 damaged cards.  (Damaged cards aren’t considered part of the set (yet), but I did pull at least one of each card.)

Gold Parallels(all out of 2009): 10 – Lackey, Barton, Verlander, Ransom, Baker, Sabathia, NL ERA Leaders, Sowers, Sweeny, and Izturis

Black Parallel: 1 – NL Strikeout Leaders (18/58)

Legends of the Game(All had printer’s lines on the back):  10 – Young, Mathewson, Johnson, Sisler, Gehrig, Ott, Robinson, Yaz, Ryan, and Ripken

Ring of Honor: 10 – Rivera, Pinella, K. Mitchell, F-Rod, Larussa, Lidge, Snider, Luis Gonzalez, Carter, and Pettitte

ToppsTown: 5 – Cabrera, Quentin, Berkman, Chipper, and Lincecum

Toppstown Gold: 5 – Sabathia, Ichiro, F-Rod, Soriano, Cabrera

Turkey Reds:  10 – Lincecum, Mauer, Conor Jackson, McCann, Young, Ellsbury, Pence, Hart, Fukudome, McLouth

The following combine to fall 3 per Jumbo box:

  • Career Best Auto:  Shane Victorino
  • Career Best Jersey:  Jonathan Papelbon
  • Manufactured Patch card:  Ty Cobb “A” (12/50)

WBC Redemption:  1

Base set Parallels:  0




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