Yesterday I detailed some of the reasons why I do not open boxes of Topps Chrome. While each box guarantees two autographs, the quality of the autographs often leaves collectors short on their return out of the box. Other products in the same price point yield better autographs with better names. At the end of the post I shared a nice lot of Chrome autographs I picked up on the cheap. My first lot featured 4 cards which cost me right at $10 shipped. Today I am featuring a second lot of cards from the 2014 Topps Chrome set, which also cost me right around $10 shipped.
So here's my breakdown on this lot. First off, let's remember that this is ten autographs for ten dollars. How many of these autographs are worth a dollar? Aaron Sanchez, I've made a post about him recently, has a very bright future with the Jays and I like him, as a pitcher, a little bit better than Marcus Stroman. Worth a dollar? Yes. While Romero, Jimmy Nelson, Erik Johnson, Seigrist, and Ethan Martin are not household names they all have the chance to be decent big leaguers for the foreseeable future. Each has been successful in the high minors and failed to be consistent in their stints in the Majors. Worth a dollar? Yes. I think Jose Ramirez, Abraham Almonte, and Tony Medica could also all have a decent stay in the Majors, but will likely all be utility players of some sort. Worth a dollar? Probably. Onelki Garcia appeared in three games for the Dodgers. I think it might be his only claim to fame. Worth a dollar? I might have overpaid by a few cents here.
What does this all mean? Topps Chrome has become a product of extremes. You might land some really awesome Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera autograph that is numbered to 5 and will sell on Ebay for hundreds of dollars. More likely you will pull an autograph like the ones above. You could pull a player who has a bright Major League future like Aaron Sanchez. I've also seen Yordano Ventura autographs from Chrome sell for next to nothing too. You could pull an autograph of a player who will be an average Major League player for the next decade. I could see Ethan Martin or Jimmy Nelson being someone's fifth starter for a few years. You could also land a total dud of an autograph like Onelki Garcia.
In my opinion, Topps Chrome has gone from a smaller, fancier, shinier version of the base Topps set, to a set that feels like a Bowman Draft box break. Want to know how well you did? Wait five years........I am not sure how this product lost it's way over the years, but I remember people opening these boxes and just chasing the refractors. Maybe Topps should dump the autographs in this set if the best they can do is produce a huge hoard of autographs that sell for less than $5. Until then, I am just going to skip opening any packs or boxes of this product and enjoy a few nice, big, cheap lots of autographs. I will let you know how I did in five years.....