This was an exciting pull. I mean, anything Puig-related is exciting right now. But can we stop for a second and talk about what a weird photo this is? I haven’t been collecting for long so I could be way off base here (pun intended), but this picture seems pretty unorthodox. He’s not batting, throwing, sliding, in position, or being congratulated by teammates. He’s mid-run and it’s a little goofy. I like it – it’s different.
Rob Brantly isn’t necessarily a big name, and if this was a hobby box I’d probably be disappointed. This is why I led with Puig. But this isn’t a hobby box. It’s a retail blaster. And the odds of pulling a rookie auto in a blaster are 1:200. 1 in 200 packs! And it’s not like this is my 15th box either. I’ve only opened one other Chrome blaster. Beginner’s luck I guess.
I love these Dynamic Die Cut inserts. This is my first one and I really like the design. It’s very geometric and the honeycomb/speaker mesh/chain link fence background is sharp. The back of the card is neat too. It talks about Votto’s “Dynamic Distinction” which is his strike zone radar. The odds on this are 1 in 24 packs.
This is a B.J. Upton Chrome Connections Die-Cut Insert. The odds on this are 1 in 12 packs. I don’t like it quite as much as the Dynamic Die Cuts insert because the cut seems aimless – like someone at Topps took a giant pair of those scissors with teeth and went to town on a B.J. Upton card. The fact on the back is awesome though:
Close Connection: Only two sets of brothers have ever homered in the same inning, with one being a walk off – and both played for the Braves. Tommie and Hank Aaron did it in 1962, as did B.J. and Justin in 2013.
I. love. X-Fractors. Again, I find the geometry of the design to be very aesthetically pleasing. I don’t love the Yankees, but it’s a testament to X-Fractors that I enjoy this card despite the Yankee on it. If you click on the image and look closely at the pattern that makes the X-Fractor I think you’ll appreciate the design that much more. The odd on this are 1 in 6 packs.
As you probably already know, retail blasters come with a bonus pack of 4 purple refractors. I scored some alright players here. The Beltran photo is funny to me – I like to think he glitched in a video game and is hovering around the field in that position. Bumgarner’s face is hilarious too. He looks like some sort of evil rabbit. I think Topps purposely chooses some photos where guys are making ridiculous faces. I’ll probably do a post on those soon. P.S. I’m a big fan of the Marlins logo.
These refractors are 1 in 3 packs. I think it’s obvious when you’ve got a refractor on your hands but just in case you’re unsure it says “Refractor” below the card number.
These two cards wouldn’t be a hit for anybody except die-hard Astros fans probably. I’ve had trouble pulling any ‘stros since I’ve been collecting so this was a nice finishing touch on an amazing blaster box.
Bonus: Here’s a quick run-down of the notable cards I pulled in my first Chrome blaster (that I opened before I began the blog): Purple Refractors: Sergio Romo, Will Middlebrooks, Justin Verlander, Dexter Fowler; Refractors: Alex Wood, Yoenis Cespedes; X-Fractor: Yadier Molina; Chrome Connections: David Price; 1972 Chrome: Yu Darvish.