Monday, March 29, 2021

2010 Topps Month Part 5: 206, National Chicle, and Attax

Three 2010 Topps sets remain that featured Griffey pulls, and only one of the remaining sets still exists in some form. Let’s start with that one: 2010 Topps 206.

My biggest complaint about the vintage nouveau movement in sports cards is that we as modern collectors have very little connection to these often ancient brands. Sets like Archives and Heritage are exceptions, but I know nobody who longs for the days of Goudey and National Chicle.

That said, T-206 is an exception; and we have Honus Wagner to thank for that. Even non-collectors know about this set, so I don't narrow my eyes quite as much at the reintroduction of this brand compared to some of what we’ve gotten in the last 20 years.

Obviously Topps 206 is based on the American Tobacco T-206 brand that included perhaps the most famous baseball card of all time:

We all know the story and the history and the overblown auction prices (now surpassed by recent  rookies of modern stars from multiple sports), so I’ll save you that bit. I will say that I like the design of the original set and wish Topps had stuck more closely to it here.

Also this was not the first time Topps would make a 206 tribute set. They've been revisiting this concept since 2002. Pacific even got the jump on them by a few years with their PS-206 minis way back in 1999. Personally my favorite so far is the most recent: 2020 Topps 206; but that is not why we are here today:

2010 Topps 206 #120

The design similarities are there, mostly in the text. The stylized border breaks up the monotony here. Personally I’d have preferred to see Topps go all-in on the mini aspect for the sake of authenticity. Printing these in the standard card size takes away from that a bit. Topps has put out a much more satisfying 206 tribute set since this one - again, see the online-exclusive 2020 Topps 206 for reference.

The original T-206 set had the well-known “Piedmont” back, so Topps took some liberty here for the regular base card and saved the branded backs for the mini parallels. Sadly Junior would not homer in Minnesota in 2010, so Sammy’s asterisk-laden record remains *somewhat* untarnished.

2010 Topps 206 #120 Bronze

It wouldn’t be a Topps set without a whole lot of parallels. Apart from printing plates this is the sole standard-sized base parallel with the vast majority going to the minis (which I think is just fine). The bronze is a little drab (the Chrome Refractor versions in 2010 Topps Chrome are stunners, but there’s no Griffey!), but at 1 per pack these are relatively cheap, so in the binder it sits.

2010 Topps 206 #120 Mini
American Caramel Back

I only have one mini from 206, and I wish it was the Piedmont just for the sake of that Honus I’ll never own. At 1:4 they are similar in scarcity to the 2:5 retail-only Piedmont backs, so I do plan on tracking one of those down someday.

Fun Fact: there is currently one on eBay for $.99 with a shipping cost of $6.00. I would buy this were it not for a sneaking certainty that it would arrive in a simple PWE and the seller would pocket the balance of the shipping cost. I am avoiding this auction on pure principle.

Here are the Griffeys I need from 2010 Topps 206:

#120 Printing Plates (four colors)
#120 Mini Piedmont
#120 Mini Polar Bear
#120 Mini Old Mill
#120 Mini Cycle #/99
#120 Mini Carolina Brights 1/1
#120 Mini Framed Mini Printing Plates (four colors)

Again, I want that little Piedmont card, but the rest can wait.

Okay, this next one is just a big barrel o' fun:

2010 Topps National Chicle #17

Chicle is a naturally-occurring gum derived from trees, and it is the stuff that makes chewing gum, well, chewing gum. Most companies use a form of edible (not really, tho) synthetic rubber nowadays, but it all started with tree stuff. Weird, but in a good way, not unlike this set.

2010 Topps National Chicle is actually a pretty cool concept wherein artists got to create card images in numerous styles. In some ways it appears to be a predecessor of Project 2020 and, more recently, Project 70.

The artist for Griffey’s card, Monty Sheldon, chose to focus on Junior’s totally infectious smile for his card, and who can blame him? They also gave Junior card #17 which was his uniform number during his 41-game stint in Chicago. Whether that was by design or a happy accident is anyone’s guess.

2010 Topps National Chicle #17 Bazooka

Like most vintage-nouveau sets this one featured parallels that were defined by what was on the backs. The only one of those I have is the Bazooka Back, one of the easier gets at 1:8.

There are autographed versions of these cards #/10, but they are signed by the artists who made them, not the player on the card. On top of that there were parallels printed on cowhide - 1/1 gimmicks to be sure, but what a gimmick.

Here are the Griffeys I need from 2010 Topps 206:

#17 National Chicle
#17 Umbrella #/25
#17 Artist Proof #/10 (signed by the artist)
#17 Umbrella Red 1/1
#17 Cowhide 1/1
#17 Printing Plate (four colors)

I am a huge fan of the “umbrella” Topps logo, and I even have it on a t-shirt. I’d love to land one of those someday, but the easiest of those is numbered out of only 25. I’ll just have to settle on the Target Throwback parallel from the flagship set which also features that logo.

Despite only having a handful of cards from this set I did learn while taking a closer look at Topps 206 that it was almost certainly a really fun pack rip. If you’re not familiar with the particulars of this one I suggest you jump on COMC and search “2010 Topps National Chicle” and check out all the great colorful chrome parallels, classic rookies cards reimagined with modern players, and one truly lovely relic design. I even sprung for the Gold Chrome Refractor of Lance Berkman while putting this post together. There’s no way it’ll be here before this post goes live, so here’s the COMC image if you’re interested:

2010 Topps National Chicle Chrome Lance
Berkman #CC48 Gold Refractor #/50

How 'bout that throwback uniform? And here’s a few more 2010 NC cards of note:

These are just a few of the cards BBCP names specifically as standouts from the set. The Babe card I already had just for the fact that he’s in a Braves uni and there’s not a lot of those. The others just sounded intriguing. Fun note: I spent more on this small handful of cards than the cost of a pair of 2010 Topps Triple Threads colored base parallels that I don’t have – a rare instance of me being a card collector and not just a Griffey one.

I also want one of these, but I don't have it yet:

This is awesome.

I read that this set was not popular with collectors which is probably why it ended up being a one-and-done, but I suspect maybe it was a little ahead of its time. I’m not going to lie and say there aren’t a few cards whereon the art comes across a little sloppy, but the good outweighs the bad here by a lot. This set is the closest baseball cards ever got to a full-on acid trip. Or maybe I just have bad taste. Any other 2010 Topps National Chicle apologists out there? I can’t be the only one…

Okay, final set from 2010 Topps:

2010 Topps Attax #70

You’ve got to hand it to Topps: they keep on trucking with the strategy game products. There are a bunch of different cards including cards with and without codes, foil variations in silver, gold, and sepia and “Legend” and “Champion” cards akimbo. There’s also a “Battle of the Ages” set apparently, but I don’t follow the strategy card game market very closely so I don’t have much information for you today apart from the fact that this Griffey exists? It is my understanding that the foil cards were only partial parallels, and knowing what I do about Topps in 2010, Junior probably doesn’t have any. Also whatever those numbers on the bottom mean, they’re all too low. There, I said it.

Topps Attax would stick around for another year, that year being 2011, the first in 21 consecutive years in which Topps made no Griffeys of any kind. It even came back for 2020 although I've never seen it mentioned anywhere outside of this very sentence. There are worse tragedies than this being the last Griffey Attax card.

So, that’s it. Every 2010 Topps set is officially in the books as of this post. How are you guys liking the monthly themes? Are they doing it for you, or would you rather I go back to randomposting sets all willy-nilly? And if you’re into the themes, do you have any ideas? Not that I’m running out of cards to write about (Griffey cards are quite prolific, obviously), but I am open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 22, 2021

2010 Topps Month Part 4: Heritage and Triple Threads

Heritage is awesome in the same way Archives is awesome: we get to see an officially-released card in an old Topps design we may otherwise have never gotten to see our player on apart from customs and oddballs. I seldom get excited about Heritage sets these days as they don’t do retired players – only current ones, so Griffey is never in the set. 2010 was the last time The Kid made an appearance, and as I got back into collecting in 2011 I’ve always avoided buying Heritage packs knowing full well there were no Griffeys to pull.

2010 Topps Heritage #430 SP

These were modeled after 1961 Topps, one of the tougher vintage set builds. Griffey’s card was short-printed - this is common for high-numbered Heritage base cards but rare for a Griffey base card.

2010 Topps Heritage Chrome #C148 #/1961

While most of the Chrome versions could be pulled from standard Heritage packs, the last 50 cards, including the Griffey, were actually seeded in 2010 Topps Chrome. I am putting them here as it makes more sense to me, but technically this is a 2010 Topps Chrome card.

2010 Topps Heritage Chrome #C148
Refractor #/561

Far be it from me to pass up a perfectly good opportunity to use my beloved light box:

Mmmm that's the stuff... If you like this one you should see the black refractor numbered out of only 61.

This would be a good example of how NOT to take a photo of a card you plan on listing on eBay for hundreds of dollars. It's a damn nice card, though, right?

2010 Topps Heritage Stamp Album Page Box Topper
Seattle Mariners (w/ Ichiro, Felix Hernandez)

These were the box toppers in 2010 Heritage, and as you can see they got really into stamps with this set. The bit along the bottom on the back suggests we should enjoy the baseball stamps pictured on the front which is something I would absolutely love to do. They look great if the picture is accurate, and I like where cards cross paths with other hobbies, especially coins and stamps.

And Griffey does appear in the Framed Stamps insert on two cards, each of which he shares with one other player, namely Zach Duke and Miguel Montero. Interesting pairings, I guess. Those cards are numbered out of 50 each and seeded at a spirit-crushing 1:193 packs (case-hit), so they're not easy pulls by any stretch; and given the choice I'd still prefer that black refractor over BOTH stamp cards.

I was pretty intrigued by the stamp cards, so I bought one just to be able to show it to you folks here. It cost $17 shipped which is a lot for a blog talking point, but the box topper sold me and and I needed to experience these things for myself.

I expected the card to be thicker with a deep inset cutout to accommodate the stamps. What I got was a card roughly the same thickness as the regular base cards - maybe even a little bit thinner.  The whole front of the card is coated in clear plastic with black printing on the corners. The stamps are in there, and if there is any inset it is less than paper-thin. It's even a little hard to tell there are physical stamps in there as opposed to just images of stamps. In all it looks way more like a regular old card than I was expecting.

Now even if you bought a whole hobby box of this product (thereby guaranteeing a topper that requests your enjoyment of the stamps), there was still only a 1:8 chance of getting a single stamp card. So printing the equivalent of "Hey, enjoy collecting all these stamps we're throwin' atcha, Lucky!" is maybe getting our hopes up a bit? It's like when 1997 Pinnacle Zenith included those diamond protector cards in every pack despite the fact that next-to-nobody pulled the diamond parallels. Didn't you feel it just a little bit more when there wasn't a diamond? Do they really have to rub it in?

Maybe if the stamps were not meted out in random pairs (say, one stamp per card instead of arbitrary pairings), and numbered out of 200 instead of 50, then they could be a box hit and we could all have a shot at enjoying the stamp thing. A few tweaks and I bet this concept would have caught on a little more.

As for the topper itself the design is fantastic, but I hate storing big, awkward things like this; and yet did it make me want to find some stamps of my own? Yes, yes it did. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

Here are the Griffeys I need from 2010 Heritage:

Chrome #C148 Black-Bordered Refractor #/61
Framed Stamps #/50 (w/ Zach Duke)
Framed Stamps #/50 (w/ Miguel Montero)

Again those framed stamps things are bizarre as are the guys they chose to pair with Griffey. If it’s stamp cards you’re after, there are some very nice Griffey-centric philatelic offerings available including the 2015 Topps Coin/Stamp Birth Year insert set and the 2016 Update 500 HR Club Stamp relics.

I'm giving Topps the business over the stamp debacle, but overall I really do like 2010 Heritage. The '61 set is a personal favorite among vintage Topps designs (I treasure my 1961 Eli Grba and Coot Veal cards). And to be fair they did do the framed stamp thing again for the 2011 Heritage set, but there was no Griffey in 2011 Heritage (or any 2011 Topps product for that matter), so does it really even exist? Up for debate...

On to Triple Threads...

I want to talk a bit about the base cards and their parallels from recent super-premium Topps sets. I have nothing against them as cards, but I do not chase them for a few reasons: First, they are thick as kingdom come, so they ruin binder pages. You pretty much have to store them in a box. Second, they all look more or less the same whether they come from Triple Threads, Tribute, or Tier One. As all these brands start with a “T” and the brand logos are often just big, stylized “T’s” it can be hard to tell what you have until you flip the card and squint to read the set named in the legalese box at the bottom. And finally - let’s be honest - these are the lowest cards on the totem pole in terms of pulls, and they’re only there to take up space between the relic hits which is why people buy these products to begin with.

2012 Topps Tribute #65

That doesn’t mean all recent Super-Premium base cards from sets like these are bad. There are a few exceptions such as 2012 Tribute (above) which happens to be very pretty (it reminds me of 1993 Flair). But I know zero people who are tripping over their own feet to land the rainbow (although I’m sure y’all are out there). Maybe if you're lucky enough to start with the 1/1 you may be motivated enough to chase down the rest, but that's it.

With all that out of the way, let’s look at the base card from 2010 Triple Threads as that is the only Griffey we got from this set (that’s right – no triple, no threads).

2010 Topps Triple Threads #29 #/1350

I really appreciate the effort he’s giving in this image. This is a man who just swung his whole butt off. You can practically hear the grunt in this photo.

There is one aspect I like here, and that’s the texture. Topps mixed gloss with a soft matte coating here for a card that’s at least a little interesting to handle. Not sure it makes up for the total lack of Griffey hits, but it’s something…

Here are the Griffeys I’m missing from 2010 Topps Triple Threads:

#29 Sepia #/525
#29 Emerald #/240
#29 Gold #/99
#29 Sapphire #/25
#29 Platinum 1/1
#29 Framed Printing Plates (four colors)

Many of these are around and for reasonable prices, but there are just so many better cards to chase. And about that platinum? It's gray. Flat, plain, concrete gray. This is especially biting as Triple Threads hits tend to be extremely cool. Seriously, why even put the guy in the base set if you're not going to give us any hits?? Nobody is building this base set. Just be real with us and leave him out entirely next time...

Three 2010 Topps sets left, and while I did a lot of bitching and moaning in this post about stamps and pointless base cards, there are some reasonably cool sets still to come including one everyone seems to hate but I think is just great. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 15, 2021

2010 Topps Month Part 3: Finest and Allen & Ginter's World Champions

There are seven sets left to cover for 2010 Topps month. They made more sets than that, but only seven of those remaining had Griffeys in them. We’re going to be swiping left on those things. It's not personal, but... well, yeah, it's a little personal I guess.

As for the seven Griffey-having sets we’re going to take them in order of hobby importance. The first non-flagship set we will look at is Finest, one of the most important and well-regarded products Topps makes. We will be ending with Topps Attax, a strategic deck-based card game that barely matters at all.

I’m happy to report I’ve already done a write-up of 2010 Topps Finest, and you can read it here:

2010 Finest: 18 Years Later, Still the Finest

I’ll hit the high points real quick for you: Junior was the last member of the original 1993 checklist to still appear in the base set in 2010. I’m a huge fan of the gigantic team logo background, and they did exactly right making the 1/1 parallel purple because nothing is better than a purple refractor. Nothing. OK, maybe a child’s laughter, but only just barely.

Only three of the eight Griffeys from 2010 Finest sit in my collection, and here they are:

2010 Topps Finest #65 Base, Refractor, & Blue Refractor #/299

And given the current prices of pretty much every refractor at any level, I am grateful to have them. Still want that purp, tho.

Here are the Griffeys I need from 2010 Topps Finest:

#65 Green Refractor #/99
#65 Gold Refractor #/50
#65 Red Refractor #/25
#65 Purple Refractor 1/1
#65 Framed Printing Plates (four colors)

Allen & Ginter has become one of the big perennial releases from Topps, so I’m parking it here behind Finest but before Heritage which hasn't had a Griffey in it since 2010.

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter's World
Champions #212

This is not my favorite year of Allen & Ginter. These were clearly designed for the minis, and they simply slapped the exact same image - mini dimensions and all - on the standard-sized cards. I don’t have that big a problem with it, but the resulting base card is essentially a mini with extra-wide side borders. If they had extended the background or resized it to better fill out the card I would probably feel differently. All that negative space along the sides just seems like a terrible waste of paper.

Of course I have no complaints about easy-breezy backwards-cap, black-bat Griffey shot. That shit is perfecto.

They really are sticking with the writing-numbers-out-in-words like the address on the front of your great aunt's house. I get the schtick, but I don't particularly care for it.

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter's
World Champions #212 Mini

I am far from the miniphile some of my fellow card bloggers are, but this image makes a lot more sense to me on the mini than on the standard-sized base cards.

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter's
World Champions #212
Mini A&G Back

Heh, I like this guy. Doughy, jolly, a hint of mischief. This is my kind of guy. Cool hat, bro.

As with most throwback mini sets the parallel is often on the back with an identical front. Personally I would prefer something simple on the front like a little color, foil, or chrome. Does that make me basic?

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter's
World Champions #212
Mini Black Border

The black-bordered minis are often kind of plain and ugly, but these are saved by filigree and pretty corners. They are also the scarcest 2010 A&G cards I have at 1:10.

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter's World Champions
This Day in History #TDH27

I feel like A&G inserts don’t get as much credit as the myriad mini parallels, but I tend to really like their inserts. This one focuses on an historically significant event that happened on a given player’s birthday, though not necessarily in the same year. Few are baseball-related as you can tell from the event referenced on Junior’s card. My favorite of the bunch is Carlos Lee who was born on the same date Lizzie Borden was acquitted. LOL what?

Here are the Griffeys I still need from 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter’s World Champions:

#212 No Number /50
#212 Bazooka Back #/25
#212 Framed Cloth #/10
#212 Wood 1/1
#212 Printing Plate (four colors)
#395 Exclusive Mini (from Rip Card)

Again I am in no rush to grab any of these, but the cloth and wood cards do seem pretty neat. Also not to sell short my love of everything Griffey, but his is not the 2010 A&G card I like best:

It’s not even close. That is just a fabulous card anyone who isn’t a Colts or dirty, dirty Falcons fan can appreciate. Who Dat.

(By the way, this post coinciding with Drew's official retirement announcement was purely a coincidence, and a bittersweet one at that. God bless you, #9)

Five 2010 Topps sets to go. Thank for reading!

Monday, March 8, 2021

2010 Topps Month Part 2: Chrome

Baseballcardpedia says that there are 105,000 boxes of 2010 Chrome which is four times the quantity of the same product in 2009. This should make the building of a PC master set for a given player a lot tougher, but that didn’t seem to stop Josiah Karpenko who has officially crowned himself 2010 Topps’ daddy.

Card collectors have a lot to work with these days. It’s not like the ‘70’s when it was just the Topps base set (and a random Kellogg's set every now and then), or the 80’s when it grew to three brands’ base sets, or the ‘90’s when the market exploded and you suddenly had hundreds of base and insert sets. Even after the late-90’s/early-2000’s crunch there was still a ridiculous quantity of options afforded to card collectors via sub-brands from “the big three.”

Nobody collects every version of everything – there’s just too much out there. So everyone has their focus, and given the myriad options we all have we get to pick and choose what we collect: set-builders, rainbow-builders, player collectors, team collectors, condition/PSA 10 chasers, insert-builders, and even a few non-standard focuses like cards with photos of pitchers batting, cards that show players’ waving their hats, players with funny names, players named “T.J.” (I suspect that one’s uniquely mine), and everything in-between. No two collectors are exactly alike.

There’s even enough out there that you can have sub-focuses within your focus. Obviously I am primarily a player collector, but the sub-collections within my Griffey collection are things like Jr/Sr cards, Jr/Buhner bromance cards, Griffey cameos, one of every base card, Griffey master sets of certain brands I like, and throwback designs just to name a few.

Enter Josiah Karpenko whose focus everybody in the Griffey groups knows well: Griffey’s 2010 Topps sunset card. Like, every version of it. Josiah has been building a very respectable Griffey collection outside of the 2010’s, but all that seems to take a back seat to his 2010 master set focus.

Josiah's 2010 Topps Super Collection

I mean just look at this thing. I’m quite proud to have helped him, too - that used to be my 2015 Cardboard Icons Red Jumbo #/10. I got my hands on a full set and only wanted to keep a few of them, not including the 2010. It was an extremely rare case of selling a Griffey of which I only had one. I broke my own rule, but it was worth it to see all those 2010 cards together, albeit at Josiah’s house.

It’s not like I was going to attempt the master set – not once that Superfractor was spoken for, at least. Josiah is passionate about his impressive sub-collection.

So I’m going to turn it over to JK a lot in this post because the man has a knowledge and passion for these cards that few can match. 

On to the cards:

2010 Topps Chrome #28

Chrome doesn't scan all that well, so I'm going to give you a lot of this:

A note to my fellow card bloggers: get yourself a light box! They're like 15 bucks shipped and will up your game a ton.

I’m going to take a survey today: do you prefer your Chrome base cards with white borders or chrome ones? 2002 was the last year we got fully chromed-out base borders, and it’s a solid look. The refractors are fully-chromed out in 2010 though that has not always been the case. Just curious how everyone else feels about these. Please leave your preference in the comments below.

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Refractor

See? Chrome border for maximum refraction.

I’m going to let y’all in on a little secret today: back when I was getting back into Griffey cards (somewhere around 2011) I was buying Griffey lots on eBay for anywhere between ten and twenty-five cents per card. I had a lot of catching up to do, so it was the most efficient way of grabbing cards from all the years I had missed. And they were still cheap - this was key.

There was one lot in particular that turbo-charged my collection more than any other, and I almost balked at it. I think it ended up costing around two bucks per card, and the final price was around $180 – way more than I would normally spend. Price per card was everything to me back then, but this one was different in that they were all premium cards. The lot included every Tiffany from 1989-1991 (except the 1989 Topps Traded which I got later), a ton of ‘90’s inserts, mid-2000’s relics, a few short prints, and most of the 2010 Topps Chrome refractors you’re about to see (the ones that are mine, anyway). And every card came in a lovely, thick screw-down case. To this day it is the greatest lot I’ve ever won.

Anyway, this refractor and the four that follow all came from that one lot. Given the timing of that lot someone had been collecting actively not long before they decided to sell off all those cards for an average of two bucks a pop. Were the same lot to go up on eBay today it would probably hit four figures. So much of this hobby has become about timing…

2010 Topps Chrome #28 X-fractor

The back just says "refractor," so here's the front.

X-Fractors are surprisingly gettable at a rate of 1:3 packs. I just love the look of these things, and I’m always surprised they aren’t numbered. The only kind of refractors I prefer are purple ones.

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Purple
Refractor #/599

Yes. YES. Like that.

Oh, geez. Daddy like da purp. These were some of the easier gets at 1:12 retail packs, and they're a heck of a value.

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Orange Refractor

And these were also relatively easy at three per Wal-Mart value pack. Remember finding those on shelves? Or anything? Salad days…

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Blue
Refractor #/199

Here is where things start to get hairy. The Blues were seeded at 1:58 Hobby and 1:191 Retail. With the large 220-card checklist all the refractors from here on out are big pulls.

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Gold
Refractor #/50

Courtesy of Josiah Karpenko

This is the last refractor I have from 2010 Topps Chrome, but it's also one of the most baddass. My scan looks like crap which I didn't realize before locking it away in the safe deposit box, so that photo is of Josiah's. 1:232 Hobby/1:775 Retail. That’s quite a stat line given the 220-card checklist.

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Red Refractor #/25
(courtesy of Josiah Karpenko)

1:370 Hobby only. Oof.

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Superfractor 1/1
(courtesy of Josiah Karpenko)

And finally 1:9265 Hobby only. Is this the first bonafide 1/1 we've ever had on the blog? I can think of several we've seen that are not quite as nice as this one, that's for sure. But a genuine Topps 1/1 base parallel? This does not happen a lot. Take it in...

Those insertion ratios sound pretty nutty, and according to Josiah that trait is unique to this year of Topps Chrome:

2009 & 2010 Topps are the only 2 sets during Griffey's career years that you can have a complete rainbow/master set of Griffey in M's uniform. However for Topps Chrome, when compared to the production of 2009, 2010 had roughly 4 times as many packages made. This caused all odd ratios to be so much higher making it multiple times harder to find certain variations.

For instance, the Superfractor in 2009 with 221 cards was 1:1,532 and a Printing Plate was 1:383. In 2010 with 220 cards, a Superfractor was 1:9265 and a Printing Plate was 1:1592.

Putting that in terms of value, 2010 Topps Chrome was $4 a pack, meaning just to find one Superfractor you had to pay $37,060 and to find one Printing Plate cost $6,368. Let alone finding the specific Griffey out of the 220 cards.

Speaking of printing plates:

2010 Topps Chrome #28 Printing Plate Cyan 1/1
& Yellow 1/1 (courtesy of Josiah Karpenko)

Another rare sight: multiple plates from the same card. Two more and we can start printing our own cards.

I wanted to know how one gets to this point with a single card, and Josiah was kind enough to give us the backstory:

I met a Griffey collector in NC who had all these. It was the first time I ever had anything close to an actual Topps Chrome rainbow.

When I bought those, the most I had ever spent on a baseball card was $80. The next highest purchase came when I found the gold for $100.

After that, I decided I could start buying other Griffey cards for around $100, but after 2 years, I still never paid more than $150 for a card. That changed when I found the red /25 and bought it for $250. At the time I thought I was overspending, but I had to have it.

All those $100-$150 cards are almost certainly selling for a lot more these days.

Just under a year later, the Superfractor finally surfaced. But it wasn't only the super, it was the entire rainbow from base chrome, to blue, to super. After negotiations couldn't make the seller budge from selling just the super, I had to make the decision to buy the entire rainbow from him even though I already had the rest in my collection. The biggest purchase I still have ever made solely to own one card was made and the Superfractor was added to my set.

Then after another year of searching and asking through multiple groups and friends, one seller was willing to part with 2 printing plates which was the final purchase in the collection. far, right?

The cards such as silk /50, factory red /299, black /59, were all immediate buys once they surfaced for sale dating back 3 years. All that's remaining for the master set is the 4 Topps Printing Plates, 2 Topps Chrome Printing Plates, and the one I want most Topps Platinum 1/1.

So all Josiah needs to wrap this one up is SEVEN one-of-ones. If you happen to be the owner of any of those, reach out. I have a buyer...

I also asked Josiah for a little context as to why this card struck such a chord with him.

I really did

2010 being the very last year of his career, is also the last and only second time I ever got to see him play. My brother was called out of the stands the very first game of spring training to be the batboy for the Cincinnati Reds. Already being a Reds fan because of Griffey, I was able to go to multiple games with him as he was their batboy for 3 weeks. The last day he was there, they let him choose which team he would be there for, and it just so happened to be the Seattle Mariners. Seeing Griffey and Ichiro there was amazing. That year my brother and I bought so much 2010 Topps that I had many multiples, but always held onto one 2010 Topps #85 as it was the greatest year of baseball for me growing up. Those memories, Griffey's retirement, then having the opportunity to own the very last rainbow ever to exist of Griffey's career years made the hunt to finish it so much more enjoyable. But I couldn't settle for just the rainbow, the hunt became every single possible variation in existence that has that picture. 

It is also the year that has the most Topps variations out of all sets from 1989-2010. So with the master set getting close to being complete, it's fun to sit back and know that the most ever to be in one collection, belongs to me.

There you have it. Let's have on more look at JK's drool-worthy assortment of 2010 Topps Griffeys:

I love how the Superfractor is just hanging out next to a bunch of common base cards like it's NBD.

As you can see Josiah didn't stop at official releases. There are few customs, a PSA 10, a printing error, a Tribute to the Kid stamp, and even an autograph. I've been trying to think of other variations JK could add to his master set. A BGS black label? A PSA/BGS rainbow complete with half-grades, maybe? On second thought I've been down that road and I cannot recommend enough that you avoid it. But the black label would be pretty cool.

It doesn't even matter, though - this is already one of the greatest sub-collections I've ever seen. You could lose a few of these and it would still be one of the greatest Griffey sub-collections ever. You're a legend, JK. Don't ever sell.

There are three posts left in 2010 Topps month, but I'm not going to promise any more master sets or Superfractors going forward. My 2010 collection is actually quite scant as I just don't have the same passion for it as I do pretty much any set made before 2001. And even if I did, how would I top this one? Hell, it might even get kind of boring going forward.

I'm a terrible hype man.

One last shout-out to Josiah for making this far and away the best post of 2010 Topps month. Maybe I should have saved it for last...