2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg Superfractor Autograph Pulled — 4 Years After the Redemption Expired

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2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg Superfractor Autograph

You know that moment in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for those who have only seen the movie) when young Charlie Bucket unwraps the chocolate bar and discovers the Golden Ticket.

Now imagine Willy Wonka coming up from behind and whispering in Charlie’s ear, “Sorry, kid, you’re too late. I already gave my factory to Veruca Salt.”

Now imagine it’s today and you pull the 2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg Superfractor Autograph (from 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball). Someone just did.

And it’s a redemption. That expired back in 2013.

The announcement came via the Collectors Universe message boards in an October 11 post along with a picture of the redemption. At the bottom is the expiry date in bold — September 30, 2013. That’s approximately three years after 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball came out.

The collector, who goes by the screen name Beck6, did contact Topps to see if anything could be done. They were told that they could not given the redemption is expired. According to the thread, the Topps rep also said that the Strasburg Superfractor Autograph could have been given out as a replacement.

The actual card does exist somewhere. As the original poster points out, the Superfractor appears to have been graded by BGS on November 7, 2013. It has a final grade of 8.5 with a 10 for the signature. The November 7 date is just over a month after the redemption card expired.

It’s not known if Topps had the card graded themselves (BGS does not give out customer information) or if it was by someone else. Topps did acknowledge at their 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention Q&A that they did have some 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Kris Bryant Refractors graded for the purpose of using them as replacements.

Strasburg-Mania and the Hobby

If you were ripping packs and boxes of baseball cards in 2010, there was a good chance you were hunting for Stephen Strasburg. He dominated the hobby that year.

One could also argue that he changed the game. When the first 2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg Superfractor was pulled (from 2010 Bowman Baseball), it was quickly sold for over $16,000. Less than a month later, it sold again for over $21,000. Superfractors as a whole have never been seen in the same light and are among the top cards in the entire hobby. Marquee players sell for thousands, if not tens of thousands.

2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Superfractor Stephen Strasburg

In baseball, if you remove all price barriers and caveats for rarity, a modern player’s first Bowman Chrome Superfractor Autograph is likely to be the card to have. They’re like the Mona Lisa or the actual Holy Grail of today’s baseball card world.

Big Before It Arrived

Topps knew that Stephen Strasburg and his Superfractor Autograph were going to be a big deal. They were both focal points in the product’s original sell sheet sent to dealers. Strasburg is the only player shown on the cover page.

2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball Sell Sheet Page 1

A mock-up of the Superfractor is the first card shown on page two.

Like most initial marketing materials in the hobby, the card is a digital representation, not the actual card. Obviously, it was not ready in time to be included live in packs.

Redemption Card Blues

If you’re on Twitter, Facebook or any message board, redemption horror stories pop up on a regular basis. From waits that are measured by years, not just weeks to weak replacements to contact attempts being ignored by customer service, every story is a little bit different. But when redemptions become a problem, the outcome is rarely good.

It’s easy to pass blame in these situations. And it may be deserved. But chances are if you ask any collector, card shop owner and, yes, manufacturer, all will probably be unanimous in wishing they didn’t exist. This is one of those instances taken to an extreme.

 

The collector isn’t necessarily out entirely. Shortly after posting about his pull in the Collectors Universe forum, another collector offered $200 for it. That’s a huge difference compared to what it was originally good for. But it still demonstrates that the redemption card itself isn’t worthless.

2010 Stephen Strasburg Superfractors Checklist

Bowman and Bowman Chrome are a couple of brands that have several layers to them. Between Prospect inserts, Rookie Cards and autographs, that means a player can have a few different Superfractors in a given year. Each is still a one-of-a-kind card. Strasburg is one of them.

He also has Superfractors in a couple of other products.

Here’s a full 2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg Superfractor checklist.

2010 Bowman Baseball

Prospects Superfractors #BCP1
Chrome Topps 100 Prospects Superfractors #TPC1

2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Superfractors #205
Rookie Autographs Superfractors #205

2010 Bowman Draft Baseball

Draft Picks Superfractors #BDP1

2010 Bowman Platinum

Dual Relic Autographs Superfractors #SH (with Jason Heyward)
Relic Autographs Superfractors #SS

2010 Topps Chrome

Superfractors #212
Rookie Autographs Superfractors #212
206 Chrome Superfractors #TC32

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks or by email.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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9 comments

  1. Tom 11 October, 2017 at 11:47

    I pulled a (Mets broadcaster) Gary Cohen Auto redemption card out of 2017 Topps Archive earlier this year. Auto cards were in the packages as a friend pulled one from a hobby box. I went to Topps site to redeem the card and was told the code was already redeemed. After about a month of back-and-forth emails I was told there was nothing they could do and no replacement will be issued; as far as they were concerned, the card code as redeemed and sent out.

    I pulled my redemption card, and I scratched it, so I know it’s legit. Topps refusing to acknowledge the situation is a larger reflection of how they are as a company: It’s all business and in some situations they just don’t care about the customer because they don’t have to.

  2. pbean 11 October, 2017 at 16:32

    seriously ….. Topps sticking to a “contract” and not even offering to help a collector out with a redemption like that ? :( ….. we need to have the same rules with redemptions as there are for gift cards ….. NO expiry dates !!! ….. plus a potentially $10,000+ card was graded ….. hmmmmm, what collector got that one as a perk ? :(

  3. Smurf 12 October, 2017 at 03:23

    How about I pulled a redemption, a 1/1 Marcus Mariota from 2015 Topps High tek football 3 months ago in a break. It’s due to expire next month. When redeemed Topps said the card had already been redeemed. There’s a live video showing it pulled fresh!!!! They won’t do anything but give a $5 mystery card as a replacement. Where do live cards go, and who gets these nice replacements? Panini might take forever, but at least they offer a higher value replacement.

  4. IAmNotARobot 12 October, 2017 at 08:37

    Redemptions are the bane of the collecting world; basically, it’s a promise to deliver on something that should have been included in the original package but is only available for a limited timeframe. Sure, it may help a company try to sell all of it’s product. But I personally feel let down whenever I pull one. Who wants to wait another 3 months to a year (or longer ….or never) for something you should be holding straight out of the pack. Plus, there’s a chance for damage in the mail or possibly lost mail. Collector’s want to latest and greatest and aren’t willing to wait (apparently), and companies do their best to appease them. I blame Shaq for all this. His exclusive contract with one company forced the hands of other companies, and that in turn opened a door to redemption hell.

  5. Jonathan Iwanski 12 October, 2017 at 16:09

    When will companies figure out we’ll all start buying products with the amazing marketing tag “No Redemptions In This Product!”?

  6. Joseph 12 October, 2017 at 23:05

    I wasn’t aware that Shaq had anything to do with redemptions. They really are a pain in the butt.

  7. Kevin Casey 13 October, 2017 at 07:46

    I hunted a Harper super for months…only to find out Topps kept it as a replacement. What a low and undermining attempt at false advertising. How are we, as collectors, suppose to chase our dream cards when in fact the company just plain don’t put them out in circulation?! When I contacted Topps about this I was sent a vague and “auto-reply” type email saying that THEY reserve the right to keep ANYTHING they produce. So them not honoring an “expired” redemption is cheap and of low class, but nothing new for that team. I hope I see a change because Panini at least try to work with us!

  8. colin 15 October, 2017 at 16:19

    i too pulled a 2013 topps chrome brian quick auto and scratched it and they said it was already redeemed…when obviously I scratched it…thankfully its only a 10 cent card anyway

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