Topps Home Run Challenge cards bring fantasy element to 2018 Topps

If you’ve ripped into packs of 2018 Topps Series 1, odds are that you’ve seen one insert that you may not realize is a bit different than the rest.

It’s the Topps Home Run Challenge, which is a new contest card (one per hobby box) that weaves some fantasy baseball elements into your collecting experience in one simple way — predicting home runs.

The Jake Lamb card you see here? It’s what I found in a box of 2018 Topps that I ripped yesterday, so I opted to see what it was all about.

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Robbie Ray’s hot streak could translate into hot auto cards — because he doesn’t have many

Which card do you chase when there’s a player on a hot streak and emerging from the pack — but when he doesn’t have much ink?

This collector would lean toward the earliest.

That player is Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray, and he’s a guy who posted an 8-15 record last season — but with 218 strikeouts, a mark that was fourth-best in the National League.

This year?

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Gallery: 2017 MLB spring training & batting practice caps from New Era


A new baseball season is nearly here with the first spring training games set to air later this month and that’s when we’ll see the newest players on their new teams.

And many of them will be wearing new uniforms — well, at least new caps.

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Holding Honus: Arizona D-backs’ MLB Play Ball charity auction includes an unusual bonus


A series of charity auctions during the MLB Winter Meetings will raise money for a New Jersey youth baseball field in memory of former New York Mets public relations executive Shannon Forde and one will give a card collector a big, memorable moment.

One of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ auctions among more than 80 active as part of the Play Ball initiative will give the winner a chance to meet someone legendary in the history of baseball cards.

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Dansby Swanson’s arrival offers hope for struggling hobby-favorite Braves


The Atlanta Braves have the worst record in baseball but they’ll be one of the most-watched teams when it comes to hobbyists the rest of this season thanks to a call-up that appears to have paid off pretty well on Wednesday night.

Former No. 1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson arrived and went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in his big-league debut. The home-state star’s promotion is about more than just performance, though, as less than 10 months ago, he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization — and now he’s immediately one of the faces of a franchise aiming to rebuild. It’s a franchise with plenty of hobby favorites in the past and it doesn’t hurt that there’s a new stadium coming next year, too.

Now, the questions come about cardboard. Will this Rookie Cards now be included in 2017 Topps Series 1 and 2017 Topps Heritage? We don’t know that yet — but we do know he’s among today’s Topps Now stars on a call-up card — not once but twice.

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Max Scherzer’s historic game prompts key hobby question

Max-Scherzer-USAWashington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer did something last night that had only happened three other times in MLB history.

He struck out 20 batters in a game.

It’s a feat that only Roger Clemens, who did it twice, and Kerry Wood have done before, but in both of those pitchers’ cases there’s an iconic early baseball card to chase. For Clemens, his 1984 Fleer Update card is the one to own. For Wood, it’s his 1997 Bowman Chrome.

For Scherzer?

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Buzz Poll: Does trade to Atlanta help or hurt Dansby Swanson’s cards?

SwansonThe No. 1 overall pick in this year’s MLB Draft appears to be traded to the Atlanta Braves as part of a package for Shelby Miller agreed to on Tuesday night.

So now Dansby Swanson‘s first Bowman Chrome autographs, which officially arrive tomorrow in 2015 Bowman Draft, show him with his old team, immediately perhaps making them less appealing to collectors on both sides of the trade.

Sure, Swanson is from Georgia — that’s a plus — but Buzz has to wonder what collectors think of the move. Or, does Topps consider issuing a second version of a Swanson 2015 Bowman auto with a Photoshopped Braves uni — remember, the Diamondbacks version is just that — somewhere in 2016 packs?

Tell us what you think with our poll or in a comment below.

Follow BlowoutBuzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz.

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Dansby Swanson & Brendan Rodgers are first signers for 2015 Bowman Draft baseball coming in December

Who will be signing for 2015 Bowman Draft? That’s a question that’s been on the minds of many collectors the last few months and Topps provided two answers on Thursday morning.

The first two signers will be Dansby Swanson and Brendan Rodgers.

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