Category Archives: Baseball

Beckett 20 Questions … either/or edition

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We’re a picky bunch when it comes to collecting — we choose sides with teams, leagues, players and more.

For this month’s 20 Questions in Beckett Baseball, we want you to choose sides with players. Who do you dare to choose in these 20 scenarios?

1. Frank Robinson or Brooks Robinson?

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2-ozzie

2. Jose Canseco or Ozzie Canseco?

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Topps readies 2015 Ginter X online-only baseball set

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you thought you were done with Allen & Ginter this year, you’re not.

Topps teased 2015 Allen & Ginter X online on Wednesday, and it’s an online-exclusive edition of the brand printed with a black background and the 10th anniversary stamp on the base cards.

It’s set to arrive on Sept. 9 with seven base cards and one mini card per pack as well as two hits per 16-pack box. Autographs will be found in every second box.

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Tweeting Retail: 2015 Topps Chrome hanger box

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds busted a hanger box of 2015 Topps Chrome … and here are the results. Read More »

Shoeless Joe Jackson reinstatement could mean more baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

One of baseball’s banned legends might appear on more baseball cards soon — if a big announcement comes from Major League Baseball on Tuesday.

He’s “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and he’s one of the Black Sox players banned from the game for life — and beyond — for throwing the 1919 World Series. The “eight men out” presently will not appear on any officially licensed MLB trading cards — just like any other members of MLB’s Ineligible List.

That’s a group that includes Pete Rose, who has admitted to gambling on the game and his team. It includes Benny Kauff, who was banned in 1921 for stealing a car and receiving stolen cars. It includes “Shufflin’ Phil” Douglas, who once wrote a drunken letter offering to join the Chicago Cubs and walk out on his New York Giants because he hated manager John McGraw.

Jackson landed on the list along with Eddie Cicotte, Chick Gandil, Lefty Williams, Swede Risberg. Fred McMullin. Hap Felsch and Buck Weaver. The only baseball cards they can appear on today are made by Panini America and other non MLB-approved companies.

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New batch of Will Ferrell MLB auctions give fans all the cowbell they need — and much more

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With Will Ferrell‘s Ferrell Takes the Field special less than two weeks away, there’s a whole new selection of signed items available via MLB Auctions on MLB.com — and there’s one thing that it won’t need.

More cowbell.

A series of 10 fully licensed and autographed MLB cowbells showing Ferrell– one for each team he played for during a single game in spring training earlier this year — are among the items up for grabs. Also in the lineup? A signed Will “Campy” Ferrell bat, three pairs of his game-used/issued pants and even a series of signed jumbo prints of his popular Topps baseball cards from 2015 Topps Archives.

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Box Busters: 2015 Panini Immaculate Collection baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini Immaculate Collection in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps addresses 2015 Allen & Ginter Code Breaker Autographs

2015 Topps Allen and Ginter Michael Taylor Autograph Code Breaker Error

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Shortly after 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball was released, a handful of Code Breaker Autographs popped up. These were inserted accidentally and now Topps has addressed how they’re going to rectify the matter.

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2015 Panini Immaculate Baseball Day-One Dandies

2015 Panini Immaculate Baseball Kris Bryant Cleats

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2015 Panini Immaculate Baseball is one of those products that is big on memorabilia. In many instances, it’s big on big memorabilia.

And while autographs are in abundance as well, it’s the memorabilia that’s going to get much of the attention. When swatches and patches are interesting, it takes some of the pressure off who the player is. For instance, a lot of collectors don’t get too excited about a small and plain jersey swatch unless it’s from a top-tier star or Hall of Famer. But show them something unique from almost any player and it’ll get the proverbial thumbs up.

As a brand, Immaculate has carved out a niche for that. It started in basketball before moving over to baseball and football. The set’s checklist has plenty of pieces that go beyond the basic jersey swatch. They go beyond jerseys — period. Some of the most interesting cards use other pieces of gear. Cleats, batting gloves, fielding gloves and bat barrels are among the rarer and most intriguing hits in the product.

Leading up to the release, Panini provided a glimpse at a handful of cards. And while not every box is going to have a one-of-one jumbo patch or bat barrel, it certainly adds some intrigue.

2015 Panini Immaculate Baseball also has lots of autographs, particularly from young players and rookies. It is worth noting that most autographs use stickers, even with the product’s otherwise high-end feel.

So what’s actually being pulled from boxes? We’ve compiled a gallery with some notable early pulls we’ve spotted online as well as some of the more basic cards.

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1993 Cardtoons: When baseball met Garbage Pail Kids

1995 Cardtoons Base Barry Bonds

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Being a fan of both, I’ve always wanted to see a set that makes Garbage Pail Kids out of professional baseball players. This isn’t what I had in mind:

2015 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Series 1 Josh Donaldson Autograph

Because of licensing and wanting to keep a squeaky clean public perception, I’m not expecting an all-out GPK/MLB crossover any time soon. Actually, never is the most likely scenario.

And while not quite the same, 1993 Cardtoons Baseball does enter the same sort of satirical territory. Of course, it’s totally not authorized. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not fun and, in many ways, refreshing.

And then there’s the fact that the set was part of a court battle.

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Totally Fake Rookie Cards: 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. (Old-Kid version)

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The 1989 Upper Deck homage starring the real Ken Griffey Jr. in the latest video from Macklemore was a big hit on the Internet yesterday with the obvious comparisons between then and now a fun viral topic.

But, as far as we had seen, nobody had actually taken today‘s version of The Kid and put him into his famed Rookie Card frame.

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2016 Topps Legacies of Baseball: First look at new high-end hit-based brand coming in April

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A new brand of baseball cards is on the horizon for 2016 and it’s one that celebrates the stars of the past as well as today.

It’s 2016 Topps Legacies of Baseball and it’s a high-end brand set to arrive on April 13 with two autographed cards in every pack. It’s a baseball version of Valor with a touch of Fire, which we have seen in other sports in recent years.

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Yep, that’s a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. homage in Macklemore’s music video

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Kid is back … sort of.

Yep, that’s a 45-year-old Ken Griffey Jr. dressed as seen in his iconic 1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card in the video for “Downtown” (click to watch)  by Macklemore.

The future Hall of Famer appears in the Seattle-based rapper’s video — and the rapper appeared on his own baseball card earlier this year as a First Pitch celebrity in packs of  2015 Topps Series 1.

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Carlos Correa signs exclusive auto deal with Topps

2015 Topps Chrome Carlos Correa RC

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Houston Astros’ hot rookie has a new home.

Shortstop Carlos Correa signed an exclusive autograph and memorabilia deal with Topps, the company announced Wednesday.

As part of the deal, memorabilia autographed by Correa will be sold on Topps.com — a selection of jerseys, bats, baseballs and wall art. Terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed but it was described by the company as a “seven-figure deal.”

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2015 Leaf Ultimate Draft Baseball First Look

2015 Leaf Ultimate Draft Baseball

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

With its Metal and Trinity lines, Leaf takes prospecting to a place of more modern design tastes. And while firmly in the present, 2015 Leaf Ultimate Draft Baseball is more on the traditional side as far as overall look goes. But that’s not to say some changes haven’t been made.

Boxes come with seven cards, all of which are on-card autographs.

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Box Busters: 2015 Topps Chrome baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Chrome in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? How hot will their boxes be? Watch and find out …

Tweeting Retail: 2015 Bowman baseball cards

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds ripped a blaster box of 2015 Bowman baseball cards … here are the results. Read More »

Carlos Correa autographs added to 2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball

2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball Prime Positions Carlos Correa Autograph Superfractor

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

When Topps released the 2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball checklist, Carlos Correa was on it. But it was “only” a Rookie Card and a Prospect Profiles Mini insert. A Twitter post changed that.

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And the 2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball Autographs are…

2015 Bowman Chrome Logo

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Much like the first Bowman set of the year, the 2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball Autographs list is huge. Most are prospects appearing in the product for the first time. Collectors can expect a mix of recent draft picks, international signees and others trying to work their way through the minor league ranks.

As was started last year, 2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball hobby boxes have a pair of autographs instead of just one like in Bowman and Bowman Draft. Jumbo boxes come with five autographs.

Besides regular versions each of the 2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball Prospect Autographs comes with a variety of Refractor parallels.

For some of these prospects, this isn’t the first time they’ve appeared on autograph cards. Between USA Baseball and other prospect-driven releases, there are a few oplaces to find some of these signatures. However, it’s likely the Bowman Chrome cards will be held in the highest regard as they are their first in a MLB uniform.

In addition to prospects, rookies also have their own line of autographs in the product. Kris Bryant, Byron Buxton, Joc Pederson and Jung Ho Kang are among the players on that part of the checklist

See who has autographs in 2015 Bowman Chrome Baseball after the jump. We’ve also included pertinent info like existing cards, their draft year, other autographs and more.

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Tweet-break: 2012 Panini Golden Age baseball cards

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds ripped a box of 2012 Panini Golden Age baseball cards on Thursday night and here are the results … after the jump. Read More »

Latest Topps Wall Art line turns Chrome into metal

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s no secret that Chrome is one of the favorite card types for baseball card collectors, but the latest wall art line from Topps turns thing up a notch.

This time, the Chrome cards are printed on metal.

The company revealed the 2015 Topps Chrome Metal Sign line of wall art on Thursday, and it’s an offering of 10-by-14 metal prints for a selection of players who appear on the newly released 2015 Topps Chrome checklist.

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Your Turn: Who’s the one active autograph to own?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Who the one active-athlete autograph to own in each sport?

It’s a simple question but one that doesn’t always have an easy answer. Some might say that the legends nearing the end of their careers are the one. Others might say the young phenom is the way to go.

My choices will end up in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly — the latest version of The Autograph Issue — but it wasn’t easy. For baseball, for me, it came down to one of the two autographs above. Perhaps your choice would be different.

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Here’s what the 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball Refractor rainbow looks like

2015 Topps Chrome Baseball Refractor Rainbow copy

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Mention Topps Chrome and thoughts are likely to go to shiny card stock and an abundance of colorful Refractors. Over the past two decades, that’s what the brand has carved out as its primary niche. Like recent years, the 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball Refractor rainbow presents one of the year’s bigger challenges for player collectors determined to get every card of their favorite.

2015 Topps Chrome Baseball base cards have 11 different Refractors to go with them. Pink and Sepia are both retail exclusives. The rest can be found in all types of packs. In addition to these, there are four one-of-one Printing Plates — one for each color of the commercial printing process.

The rainbow gets even bigger when collectors expand into the Rookie Autographs. In addition to the regular version, there are eight types of serial-numbered Rookie Autograph Refractors plus Printing Plates. These cover all of the basic Refractor colors except for Prism and the retail-only Pink and Sepia.

Get a look at the full 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball Refractor rainbow after the jump.

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BGS Diary: Allen & Ginter Mini Rip, Kris Bryant, Danica Patrick, Will Ferrell and even more make the grade

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

For the last few months, I’ve submitted a few cards a month to Beckett Grading Services to finally get some of the cards I like into slabs. Selecting which cards to submit has been easier said than done — and the results can be interesting, too.

Here is the batch I got back from BGS for June — so here is my latest BGS Diary entry. See which cards I decided to submit … after the jump.

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Immaculate Collection returns with more memorabilia than ever

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Immaculate Collection is back on the baseball field for another season beginning next week and it’s bringing all of its gear that collectors clamored for the first time around — and plenty more.

In previous stories, we have seen prepared mocks from 2015 Panini Immaculate Collection baseball cards but the company teased even more views on the rarest and biggest memorabilia cards in the product on Wednesday. This time, an array of jumbo prime pieces capturing notable parts of game-used (and probably in some instances player-worn) gear showcase not just a handful of players like last year but even more stars from the past and present.

It’s a who’s who with Yu Darvish, Barry Bonds, Tony Gwynn, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Luke Appling, Ichiro Suzuki, Byron Buxton and plenty more showcasing a what’s what of memorabilia. There are jerseys, fielding gloves, cleats and more with the varying brands and personal modifications showcased on cards.

In short, it’s what memorabilia cards should be all about in 2015.

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Complete 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball Variation details

2015 T Ch Var Stephen Strasburg Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball variations take a familiar approach with what has been used in Chrome and flagship Topps baseball over the past few years. But you won’t find any Sparkles here. Instead, it’s more of the festive and celebratory take. Celebrations, teammate fun and postseason fashion are the sorts of things collectors can look for.

The Photo Variations take a Refractor spin this time around as well. You’re not going to find any base cards with different images. It starts with basic Refractors and extends to Red Refractors and Superfractors as well.

Get all you need to know about the 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball variation short prints after the jump including a handy image reference.

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SCP Auctions to sell New York Yankees’ No. 42 jerseys for Jackie Robinson Foundation

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The jerseys of most-famous number in all of Major League Baseball worn by stars from the most-successful franchise in history are being sold by SCP Auctions.

A collection of 41 jerseys worn by members of the New York Yankees from 2010 to 2014 all bearing the No. 42 have been consigned to the Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based auction house by the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which is a non-profit organization founded by Rachel Robinson in 1973. Its efforts help fund higher education opportunities for those in need. Proceeds from this auction will go to such efforts.

“We are extremely honored and proud to partner with the Jackie Robinson Foundation for this worthy cause,” said SCP Auctions President David Kohler in a prepared release.

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Totally Fake Rookie Cards: 1969 Topps Kenny Stabler

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The late Kenny “Snake” Stabler might be best-known for his legendary days as a member of the Oakland Raiders — a Hall of Fame caliber career that included 15 years in the NFL, more than 27,000 yards and 194 touchdowns.

What collectors might not know about the former league MVP and star in the Silver and Black was that he was drafted not once but three times by Major League Baseball teams.

Why? Apparently the appeal of a left-handed pitcher with a strong arm was just as strong then as it is today.

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1952 Topps Mickey Mantle values continue to rise

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Another week, another record price for the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle.

For the second time in a month, a new high has been set for the iconic card.

During Memory Lane’s Summer Break Auction, a PSA 7 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle closed at $99,185 including the buyer’s premium. According to Memory Lane, this is more than $40,000 higher than the previous record for a PSA 7 Mantle sold publicly. It’s also a huge jump from the $20,000 to $30,000 they were consistently selling for just five years ago.

This sale comes on the heels of a PSA 8 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle going for $400,950, another record.

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2015 Topps Chrome Baseball — Hobby vs retail odds rundown

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2015 Topps Chrome Baseball has several different configurations based on where you’re buying it. If you’re heading to your local card shop, you’ll find hobby and jumbo boxes. If you don’t have a hobby store nearby, you might come across it in the card aisle at Target, Walmart or another retail location. These have packs, larger Value Packs and blaster boxes.

To make each attractive in their own way, each 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball configuration has its own highlights. For hobby and jumbo, many will gravitate towards the promised autographs. Those that like colorful Refractors might look to retail for their exclusive colors.

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2016 Topps baseball cards: New approach is apparent with first look at set

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

First there was a tease, now there are the details.

Topps released the basic breakdowns and even more images for 2016 Topps Series 1 baseball card set on Monday, and it’s clear that the forthcoming release of the hobby’s longest-running and most-popular brand is a departure from the norm.

What hasn’t changed is that collectors can expect one autograph or Relic in every 36-pack hobby box or one autograph and two Relics in every HTA 10-pack Jumbo box when it arrives on Feb. 3.

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Panini revives baseball brand with 2015 Contenders coming in October

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With a college license in hand, Panini America is reviving a popular brand from the past with the NCAA logos at the forefront.

The brand is 2015 Panini Contenders, and it will arrive on Oct. 7 packing many of the game’s young stars in their college, international and USA Baseball uniforms. It’s a brand that’s been on the bench since 2011 when Panini entered the baseball ranks as part of its licensing deal with the MLB Players Association.

Collectors can expect six autographs and eight cards per pack, 24 packs per box and 12 boxes per case. A basic set size and a preliminary checklist was not revealed for the product.

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2015 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Baseball Cards First Look

2015 Leaf Perfect Game Baseball

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Prospecting is all about patience. It’s not about who’s hot today, but rather who is going to be big a few months or even a couple of years down the road. With that in mind, there’s a good chance that most collectors won’t know many of the names in 2015 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Baseball. And that’s largely the point. The all autograph product focuses on high school players, most of whom are likely years away from having a chance of breaking into the majors.

Each box has a ton of autograph content with single-pack boxes delivering a total of 25 signed cards.

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Topps adds another variable to wall art … autographs

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ wall art lines of the last two years have given collectors an immediate look at happenings on the field and new more-impressive views with oversized pieces that bring its brand to collectors’ walls.

Now, the company is adding one more enticing element into the mix.

Autographs.

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English Teen Chases Vintage Baseball Cards

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Owen Randell, a native of England, with his American grandfather Joe Kroes.

By Mike Payne

Of the thousands who attended the 36th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago recently, it’s likely few travelled as far as 13-year-old Owen Randell.

It’s a long way from England to Chicago.

Randell was attending his first National with his grandfather, Joe Kroes, a resident of upstate New York. The 13-year-old from West Sussex, England, was visiting his grandfather in the States (Joe’s daughter is Owen’s mother) and, since Owen wanted to add to his vintage baseball card collection, Kroes thought it would be a great opportunity to head to Chicago and attend the industry’s biggest event.

Besides, Owen had already taken the tour of Fenway Park – home to his beloved Boston Red Sox. So while the two made the trip from New York to Chicago, Owen’s adventure began when he left his hometown south of London to fly to America.

So how does a kid smack in the middle of England’s Premier League soccer fan base come to checking out daily MLB highlights online – which Owen does through ESPN, MLB and YouTube? “I just started watching baseball when I would come over and visit family in the U.S.,” says Owen. “I really like it.”

A typical day for Owen consists of all the things kids his age do – school, sports, family. The big difference is while his friends are talking about the latest exploits of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Owen is checking to see how Big Papi fared the night before or looking into baseball’s rich history to get a better understanding of how the game itself has become so much a part of American history.

“Yeah, they’re not all that interested,” he says about his friends back home.

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Carlos Correa and Joey Gallo among the 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball rookie short prints

2015 Topps Chrome Carlos Correa RC

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Topps has confirmed that five key rookies were last-minute additions to 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball. And all five are short prints.

When the product was first announced, the base set was advertised as having 200 cards. However, when the final checklist was released, it reached 205 cards with the final five players all being recent call-ups.

Although 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball isn’t scheduled to release officially until August 19, it is already showing up in some retail locations. As some began to open the product, they quickly discovered that the five high numbers were tougher to pull. This was confirmed by the card maker on their Topps Talk podcast.

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