Thursday, January 17, 2013

30 Year Top 50: 2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights

#8- I am generally not a huge fan of the Chrome lines that Topps rehashes out every year, but I have to tip my cap to them with the 2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights set.  The set features a brilliant list of rookie cards which have allowed this set to quietly become one of the best sets released during the past decade.

2005 Topps Update & Highlights Ryan Braun

When Topps issues a Chrome version of a set I generally yawn.  The Chrome lines of Topps cards started in 1996 with the release of the 1996 Topps Chrome set.  The Topps Chrome cards looked exactly like the regular 1996 Topps cards except they had the Chrome effect.  To show collectors who do not dabble in the world of modern cards the difference, the card above is the Topps Update & Highlights version of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.  This card was later placed in the Topps Chrome Update & Highlights set too which is pictured below.  

2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights Ryan Braun

I am not sure why, but collecting the same cards over again, but with different finishes never excited me.  There is generally a monetary difference between the base set and Chrome sets, but it is usually caused by a few select rookie cards.  I always managed to add the Chrome rookie cards that I wanted for my collection without opening a bunch of packs or sinking money into a box.  Instead, I could always find the cards as singles on the secondary market.  The game changer for the Topps Chrome sets started in the mid 2000's when Topps started placing autographs and a wide variety of parallels into the sets.  The changes caused collectors to flock towards the Chrome products, and in particular, the 2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights set.

2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights Jered Weaver 

As I mentioned before, the Topps Chrome Update & Highlights set started off with a set of great rookie cards.  The rookie cards included Ryan Braun, Jered Weaver, Ryan Zimmerman, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Kemp, and several others.  The Chrome single cards rookie easily surpassed the Topps Update & Highlights base set singles.  Within the Chrome Update set the different parallels then added even further value to the rookie cards.  

2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights Black Matt Kemp

There were several different variations on the rookie cards.  The most basic parallel card in the Topps Chrome Update set is the refractor card which has been a constant throughout the Chrome sets.  There were also Chrome Black and Red parallels which were limited in production to 250, for the black, and 65, for the red.  These parallels are highly coveted by collectors and they often sell for a premium.  For example, a basic Matt Kemp Topps Chrome Update card can be found for around $10 on Ebay or CheckOutMyCards.  The black parallel of the Kemp card usually reaches prices north of $100.  

2005 Topps Chrome Update Andrew McCutchen Autograph

The 2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights set also featured autographed rookie cards.  There are roughly 17 autographed rookies in the set and the two best cards belong to Reds outfielder Jay Bruce and Pirates star Andrew McCutchen.  While both are sticker autographs, they are in high demand and often fetch for a nice price on the secondary market.  A raw copy of the Bruce might fetch around $30 while the McCutchen card hovers just south of $100.  

Overall, this is my second favorite 2005 release.  There is one more 2005 set that ranks above this one in my opinion, but the single rookie cards in this set are a can't miss for any baseball card collector.  The fact is, that this set started strongly when it was released, but has continued to gain steam and popularity as the players have reached the majors and have played there for multiple seasons.  While some might look at the value of the cards in this set as excessive and high, the value in the case of the 2005 Topps Chrome Update & Highlights set is well worth with it.  

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