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The box: 2011 TRISTAR Obak cards (hobby box)
Where to buy: BlowoutCards.com
Packs per box: 24 (plus one jumbo T4 box-topper)
Cards per pack: 6
Cards in this box: 144
Base set completion: 103 of 110 (94 percent)
Notables on base cards – Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Trout, Nolan Ryan, Josh Gibson, Andre Dawson, High Jennings, “Old Hoss” Radbourn, Hack Wilson, Jack Chesbro, Pete Gray, Ernie Harwell, Kennesaw Mountain Landis, Cap Anson, Johnny Vandermeer, Paul Goldschmidt, Gary Sanchez, Will Clark, “Cool Papa” Bell, George H.W. Bush, Whitey Ford, Hank Greenberg, Stan Musial
Insert cards: 30 (gallery of all inserts and some base is below)
Short-prints (Nos. 111-120) (2) – Cecil Travis, Roy Gleason
Mini (23) – Mike Trout, Roy Gleason, Josh Gibson, Whitey Ford, Zach Britton, Manny Banuelos, Eddie Grant, Cap Anson, Hank Greenberg, Nolan Ryan, Bobby Thomson, Stan Musial, Ken Griffey Jr., Kennesaw Mountain Landis, Jack Chesbro, Stan Musial, Joe Carter, Doc Powers, Cal Ripken Jr., Whitey Ford, Charles Gehringer, Paul Waner, Cole White
Brown Mini (1) – Hank Greenberg (/75)
Gold parallel (1) – Phil Rizzuto (/50)
Orange parallel (1) – Zack Britton (/10)
Green parallel (1) – Nolan Ryan (/25)
T4 box-topper (1) – Joe Carter & Bobby Thomson (/50)
Brown Autographs (1) – Roy Gleason (/50)
Orange Autographs (2) – Ron Blomberg, Bobby Borchering (/75)
Cut Autographs (1) – Johnny Podres (/5)
What’s Buzz-worthy: This brand is arguably one of the best lessons in baseball history ever made in card form and this was its final release in a three-year run for baseball. Its 110-card basic set is comprised of several subsets that have a historic niche — History in the Making, History’s Greatest Players, Minor League Players of the Year, Major League Bests, Rookies of the Year, Rookies of the Year, Historic Home Runs, Can You Believe, Famous Nicknames, Game-changers, No. 1 Draft Picks, Major League Firsts, U.S. Presidents and Serving Our Country, which is a look at players in their military years. There were just 75 cases of this one made — just 1,800 serial-numbered boxes — and I was shocked to see it return to the Blowout store. Why? Mike Trout. For all of the trivia and history in these boxes, the presence of Trout in the autograph sets (about 200 cards signed) and the History in the Making subset helped make these vanish faster than you might think. The mini set here isn’t actually a full parallel set — it’s just 24 cards — but it’s all a release that includes some big names you probably don’t even know. At least from a historical (not necessarily financial) perspective. Every box includes four autos — one a cut — and this one delivered pretty well on the interesting side here. Roy Gleason recorded a three-run double in his only big-league at-bat but what gets him the nod here? He’s the only U.S. combat veteran and former MLB player to receive special Congressional recognition and the Purple Heart to go with his 1.000 perfect batting average. … Obak was a brand known for exploring the quirks of baseball and how it came to be and this one is right there with it with cards for Cooperstown namesake William Cooper, softball creator George Hancock, bunt inventor Dickey Pearce, All-Star Game creator Arch Ward, one-armed big-leaguer Pete Gray, and Elston Howard noting he was the inventor of the batting donut. There are tons more stories to be found in this set and in the other releases. Visually, there are some lacking cards here since there are so many historic figures, but there’s enough in theses boxes with inserts and parallels (and you get most of the base set) that it’s worth your time. The toughest part about oBak? Finding boxes to rip.
Product Grade: B+
Box Grade: A-
Fun Grade: A
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