Gift Ngoepe has MLB-approved baseball cards before historic debut

No matter what he does, Gift Ngoepe‘s first play for the Pittsburgh Pirates will be a historic one.

The team called him up on Wednesday — after nine seasons in the minors — making him the first MLB player born in Africa. You know, the entire continent.

And thanks to the World Baseball Classic and Topps he’s already got a modest amount of MLB-approved cardboard for collectors to chase.

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Eric Thames’ surprising start prompts look back at key cardboard

A new season’s new emerging names are doing just that.

Your MLB home run leader right now is Eric Thames of the Milwaukee Brewers, who has smacked seven longballs so far. The latest came as part of a 3-for-4 day Monday against the Cubs in Wrigley Field.

The 30-year-old entered this season with 21 homers in his previous three big-league seasons — his last being in 2012 with the Mariners. He hit 12 of those homers as a rookie with the Blue Jays in 2011 but struggled with a career average that’s up to .259 with his .405 start this year. How far off the radar was he? Thames spent the last three years playing in Korea’s KBO League — where he hit 124 homers in 390 games.

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First Buzz: 2017 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

What: 2017 Bowman Chrome baseball cards
Arrives: Sept. 6
Box basics: Three autographs per one-pack HTA Choice box (12 boxes per case);
Two autographs per 12-pack master box (two mini boxes per master box; 12 masters per case)

What’s buzz-worthy: Topps offers a new format for Bowman Chrome with HTA Choice boxes that are autograph-only with their own features or a traditional release that includes standard cards and more via the traditional mini-box format.

Keep reading for more info as well as a full gallery of images.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Feb. 18)

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The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Breaks from around the collecting world and a couple collecting debates that might make you think.

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Buzz Poll: What do you collect when it comes to cardboard these days?

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A new year is almost here and Buzz has a few questions for you about your collecting habits.

Simply put, we want to know more about what you collect and here are 10 questions we hope you’ll take a few minutes to answer.

See the rest of the questions after the jump.

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Buzz Break: 2016 Bowman Draft baseball cards (jumbo box)

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From time to time, Buzz will break a box of something and post the results here. Like this and want to see more? Or maybe there’s a box you’d want to see busted? Send Buzz an email at BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com.

mickey-moniak-2016-bowman-draftThe box: 2016 Bowman Draft baseball cards (jumbo box)
Where to buy: BlowoutCards.com

Packs per box: 12
Cards per pack: 32
Cards in this box: 384
Base set completion: 
200 of 200 (100 percent)
Duplicates: 73

Base cards of note – Mickey Moniak, A.J. Puk, Delvin Perez, Kyle Lewis, Joshua Lowe, Alex Kiriloff, Bobby Dalbec, Bobby Ray, Ian Anderson, Tyler O’Neill, Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, Bo Bichette, Braxton Garrett, Corey Ray, Forrest Whitley, Gavin Lux, Joe Rizzo, Will Benson, Zack Collins (and others)

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Dec. 7)

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The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: New Topps Dynasty baseball cards and some bold Black Friday-inspired breaks from around the sports and non-sports world.

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Get the 2016 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball checklist here

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The wait for many of the details is over.

Topps released the final checklist for its 2016 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball cards on Thursday, giving prospectors a final rundown of who’ll be signing on for the 15th edition of the popular brand.

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Gallery: Who’s signing for 2016 Bowman Draft … so far

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The arrival of 2016 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects is less than two weeks away and Topps has begun teasing players whose autographs will be found inside its packs.

One of them will be No. 1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak, a high-schooler who hit .284 with 28 RBI in 46 games in his first season as a pro.

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Black November Wave 6 is here — and here are five deals to consider

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If you hadn’t noticed, there are a number of boxes with discounted prices now over on the mothership as BlowoutCards.com’s Black November Wave 6 hits today.

Many of the discounts were dramatic enough that Buzz had to sit down and ponder the possibilities in many of the boxes and cases — and here are five boxes that caught this collector’s eye.

2008 Upper Deck Goudey baseball hobby box2008-goudey-jeter
This one is a fun retro box to rip with its 1930s design and it’s one that has some serious potential when it comes to autographs. Signers in these two-hit-per boxes include Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Gordie Howe, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Nolan Ryan, Sidney Crosby, Tiger Woods, Johnny Bench, Dan Marino, Julius Erving, Ken Griffey Jr., Willie McCovey and plenty more. It will take some luck to find some of them, but they are in there along with a Clayton Kershaw Rookie Card and plenty more among the base cards and inserts.

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First Buzz: 2017 Bowman baseball cards (updated with gallery)

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What: 2017 Bowman baseball cards
Arrives: April 26
Box basics: One autograph per 24-pack hobby box (12 boxes per case);
Three autographs per 12-pack Jumbo box (eight boxes per case)
Checklist: Click here to view

What’s buzz-worthy: Topps celebrates the 70th anniversary of Bowman with a number of throwback inclusions as well as buyback cards while offering up the newest crop of rookies and prospects with plenty of color.

Keep reading for more as well as a full gallery of images.

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Buzz Poll: Which 2016 MLB debut has impressed you most?

CrciGiBXEAAd_XZ.jpg-largeMore than 200 players have made their MLB debuts so far this season and one of the latest is the hottest prospect in baseball, Boston Red Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada.

He got his first hit last night in just his second game and that got us wondering which newcomers you think have been best. Take the Buzz Poll below …

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com. 

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on BlowoutCards.com

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

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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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First Buzz: 2016 Bowman’s Best baseball cards

2016-Bowmans-Best-baseball-12What: 2016 Bowman’s Best baseball cards
Arrives: Dec. 21
Box basics: Four autographs per box (eight boxes per case)

What’s buzz-worthy: Bowman’s Best is back once again with a mini-box format that delivers two autographs in six packs with this year’s top veterans, rookies, prospects and draft picks potentially found inside.

See a gallery and more … below.

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Futures Game MVP Yoan Moncada gets Topps Now tribute for 24 hours

artbb-16c2s-16tn-0238-1Houston Astros prospect Alex Bregman stole the show early in the All-Star Futures Game Sunday night in San Diego, but Boston Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada stole the show.

And to the victor go the spoils — the MVP award and the Topps Now card appearance.

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Need a 2016 Bowman Inception baseball card checklist? Click here …

16_Bowman Inception Baseball-swansonThis year’s edition of Bowman Inception is just a week away, and that means the latest round of Inceptioned insert cards, plenty of prospect autographs and maybe a few surprises.

Well, there won’t be as many surprises now since Topps has released the checklist.

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Who’ll be playing in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game?

starWho’ll be playing in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game that’s part of MLB All-Star Game festivities?

The answer to that arrived on Tuesday.

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eBay Buzz: Is his really a $500,000 Mike Trout baseball card?

MIke-Trout-2009-Bowman-Chrome-Draft-Superfractor-AuctionSo, what’s the best card of one of Major League Baseball’s top two players worth?

You could find out soon as Mike Trout‘s Superfractor from 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft is on the auction block. The asking price? A mere $500,000 Buy it Now — or best offer.

(No, seriously, go look.)

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Big weekend for Dodgers’ Corey Seager prompts collecting question

Corey-seager-2010-Bowman-Chrome--Blue-Refractor-RCLos Angeles Dodgers rookie Corey Seager‘s hot streak started Friday night and continued again on Sunday with his weekend tally including five homers in three games.

Not bad for a guy who was waiting (and waiting) for the call a year ago.

But Seager’s domination at the plate got Buzz wondering which way collectors are leaning on Seager ink. He’s pretty much a given to appear in forthcoming brands this year — so there are plenty more autos to come with an RC logo attached (including Tier One this week) — but he’s already got a rich autograph history. Even on Chrome.

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Julio Urias to make MLB debut for Dodgers Friday night vs. Mets

Julio-Urias-2014-Bowman-ChromeIt’s go time for Julio Urias.

The highly touted Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospect will make his major league debut on Friday night in New York against the defending National League champion Mets. He’ll be the youngest starter in MLB since Felix Hernandez back in 2005.

The 19-year-old from Mexico was 4-1 with an 1.10 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 41 innings this season for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Baseball America ranked him fourth overall on its 2016 Top 100 list — the best pitcher of the bunch. He’s actually in his fourth season as a pro after signing with the Dodgers as an international free agent in 2013.

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Kenta Maeda autographed RC will be found in 2016 Bowman Chrome

MaedaRCbowman-3It shouldn’t be a surprise that he’ll be included, but it should be a surprise when you pull him.

Topps announced on Monday that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda will have autographed Rookie Cards in 2016 Bowman Chrome when it arrives on Sept. 7.

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Buzz Break: 2016 Bowman baseball cards (blaster box)

2016bowmanBBblasterFrom time to time, Buzz will break a box of something and post the results here. Like this and want to see more? Or maybe there’s a box you’d want to see busted? Send Buzz an email at BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com.

Kenta-MaedaThe box: 2016 Bowman baseball cards (blaster box)
Where to buy: BlowoutCards.com

Packs per box: 8
Cards per pack: 10
Cards in this box: 80
Base set completion: 
34 of 150 (23 percent)
Duplicates: 0
Prospect set completion: 
24 of 150 (16 percent)
Duplicates: 0
Chrome prospect set completion: 
16 of 150 (11 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Notable players on base cards – Mike Trout, David Price, Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg, Yu Darvish, Nolan Arenado

Rookie Cards (7) – Jose Peraza, Brandon Drury, Max Kepler, Rob Refsnyder, Luis Severino, Trea Turner, Hector Olivera

Notable Prospects (both sets) – Kenta Maeda, Brendan Rodgers, Nick Gordon, Rafael Devers, Brady Aiken, Jhailyn Ortiz

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (April 27)

2016-bowman-baseball-7The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: 2016 Bowman, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Berrios & Superfractors.

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What’s the best way to start a Jackie Robinson baseball card collection?

JackieRobinson-memorabiliaToday’s the day where everyone in Major League Baseball dons No. 42 as a tribute to the man who changed the game — and America — forever.

Jackie_Robinson_Day_LogoOn this day back in 1947, Jackie Robinson became a baseball and social pioneer, breaking MLB’s color barrier and helping change how the game was played. His actions undoubtedly helped with the civil rights movement, which had its landmark legal act nearly two decades later.

Collecting Robinson isn’t easy on a budget, but there are a few options for fans.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (March 23)

BGS-blackThe Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: BGS Black grading hauls, Heritage Supers, case-breaks & more

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First Buzz: 2016 Bowman Inception baseball cards

16_Bowman Inception Baseball-schwarberWhat: 2016 Bowman Inception baseball cards
Arrives: July 6
Box basics: Four autographed and one autographed Relic in every box.

What’s buzz-worthy: Bowman Inception is back with a new array of colors for top rookies and prospects and five hits in every box without a high-end price — and new this year are veteran autographs signed on-card.

Keep reading for more and a full gallery of images.

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Mickey Mantle cards sell for more than $750,000 via Memory Lane Inc.

item_37205_1Demand for The Mick continues to be an all-time high.

A run of high-grade Mickey Mantle Topps and Bowman baseball cards from 1951 to 1969 sold for more than $750,000 this weekend in a Memory Lane Inc. auction.

“The Empire State Collection” consisted of 21 PSA-graded cards and, according to the company, 14 of them set new record-highs for their condition.

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Does getting a 1/1 autographed yourself hurt the card’s appeal?

MatzinkOne Blowout member did something unconventional by most collectors’ standards and has sparked an interesting debate about collecting over on the forum.

He got his 2015 Bowman Chrome Mini Superfractor of Steven Matz autographed in-person. It’s since been JSA certified, yet he asks the question “Did I ruin this card?”

In a poll on the site, 55 percent of those who answered said it looks awesome but he killed the value of the card. Just 30 percent said it was a good idea and the rest say he ruined it.

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Just For Fun: Can you identify which years these vintage baseball card photographs were used?

MantleWhen someone says “1952 Topps Mickey Mantle” there’s simply one image that comes to mind for collectors — the image of the Oklahoma-born slugger looking over his right shoulder where his Louisville Slugger resides.

The blue hues and the yellow bat — the results of colorized images back in those days — are dramatically different than what we often expect from the cardboard of today, yet they are the basis of everything, too.

Seeing one of these memorable card images recently got Buzz wondering whether fellow collectors would be able to identify photographs from memorable vintage baseball card sets — but without the accoutrement that make 1952 look like 1952 or 1965 look like 1965.

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The Bowman Critic examines the 2015 Bowman’s Best checklist

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The Bowman Critic
 is one who spends countless hours examining checklists and box scores to see who should be emerging on collectors’ want lists soon. After the checklist for 2015 Bowman’s Best checklist arrived — click here to view it — there’s even more to say.

Keep reading for The Bowman Critic’s pros and cons about this release, which is set to arrive on Dec. 23.

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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.

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on BlowoutCards.com

Buzz Gallery: 2015 Bowman Draft Chrome autographs

2015BowmanDraft15aWe’re less than a day away from the prospecting crowd’s main focus each year and this latest crop of new draft picks on their first MLB-approved cardboard will be one watched intensely

The brand is 2015 Bowman Draft and it arrives redemption-free on Wednesday with autographs for 31 of the 35 first-round picks. For prospectors, this is perhaps the biggest day of the year … every year.

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Get 2015 Topps baseball checklists right here in The Checklist Zone

ChecklistFor 2015 Topps baseball products that don’t get a standalone story here on The Buzz (click on Checklist Zone at right) when a final checklist is released, we’ll place a link to a PDF of the set’s checklist right here. (Click here if you need 2015 Topps football checklists.)

You’ll be able to find all of them in PDF form as released by the company and all in one spot. (If traffic statistics show us you guys like this format, we’ll expand it in other directions. If not, Buzz will focus on other stuff.)

Keep reading to see the checklists posted so far.

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Aroldis Chapman could be hobby hit as closer for Los Angeles Dodgers

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Update: The trade was never finalized with Chapman facing some off-field issues.

Cuban fireballer and four-time All-Star Aroldis Chapman is likely on his way to Los Angeles after the Dodgers traded a pair of prospects for him on Monday.

What does it mean for Chapman’s baseball cards?

Well, it should mean good things with the Los Angeles spotlight shining bright — no matter how rough things might get for the seemingly always under-achieving team that has won its division the last three years only to be prematurely bounced from the postseason.

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The Bowman Critic examines 2015 Bowman Draft checklist

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The Bowman Critic is one who spends countless hours examining checklists and box scores to see who should be emerging on collectors’ want lists soon. On days like today where the checklist for 2015 Bowman Draft arrived — click here to view it — there’s even more to say.

Keep reading for The Bowman Critic’s pros and cons about this release, which is set to arrive redemption-free on Dec. 9.

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