I am not endorsing any particular brand of beer, but its a good night to enjoy an ice cold brew. It's been a relaxing day around my house watching baseball (results were poor) and my wife cooked an awesome dinner with brats and a hot German potato salad. It was either this song or perhaps Ice Cube's Good Day. I try to appeal to a broad audience. Sorry Ice Cube.
So, this weekend I am giving blog space to a Chrome set. Before in the past I have spent time putting down the metallic rehash sets issued by Topps and have often avoided picking up these cards. This year, I am being open minded. I will get more into my different reasons for buying into this product as the weekend progresses.
First up this weekend is my newest autograph from the brand new Topps Chrome set. Any time Topps puts out a product with on-card autographs I am always willing to listen. Topps Chrome has on-card autographs, so that was my first attraction to the set.
2013 Topps Chrome Carlos Martinez Autograph
While I am not thrilled that the Chrome autograph checklist looks very similar to a lot of other Topps products this year, I was really happy with the design of the cards in combination with the on-card autograph. The whited out bottom space combined with the blue ink autographs is really nice. I know that this is one of those "rainbow" products where Topps made eight different colored cards for each autograph, each with a different print run, but to me the base autograph is perfect.
Afterall, your buying a Chrome card, not an orange, blue, or sepia card. After picking up a Carlos Martinez autograph for a 5 spot, I went ahead and added to other Chrome Autographs to my collection in a trade. I was able to pick up one Cardinals favorite and an International League favorite too. The IL favorite first:
2013 Topps Chrome L.J. Hoes Autograph
L.J. Hoes has played the last few years in Norfolk for the Orioles Triple A team. He's a pretty nice player. Hits for a good average and walks a lot. Last season his on-base percentage was over .400 and the previous year it was in the .370 range. The Orioles traded him to the Astros in the Bud Norris deal and the team promptly promoted Hoes to the Majors. L.J. kind of lost his way with the walks and strikeouts, but who didn't on the 'Stros this year.
Notice, similar to the Martinez card the bottom of the base card has the clear whited-out area for the players signature. This is a really nice card design for the autographs. Really good quality for collectors. Kudos to Topps also for just leaving L.J. in his Orioles uniform and not airbrushing him into an Astro.
The best one is last:
2013 Topps Chrome Shelby Miller Autograph
Miller has a great autograph and I love the red trim on the card, paired with the blue autograph, and Chrome finish. This might be the best Miller card Topps has put out all year and it's probably also the cheapest and easiest to find.
Overall, while the selection may be poor, especially if you've already hit up a few Topps sets this year, the design of this year's Topps Chrome autographs is outstanding. I had thought that Bowman Inception was the run away best looking autograph issued by Topps this year, but I may reconsider for a few minutes after flipping through a couple of these cards.