Japan star Shohei Otani sets sights on MLB in 2018 — and 2017 Bowman Mega Boxes are hitting Target again

Fans who watch the global game know the name Shohei Otani and now that he’s firmly set his sights on MLB — as soon as next year — collectors once again have a reason to seek out his cards.

And their shot at some American cardboard of the pitcher-slugger is coming once again.

His only American-made cardboard was mistakenly released in 2017 Bowman Mega Boxes that were only found at Target stores for a brief time early this year. He was originally set to appear on a World Baseball Classic card in 2017 Bowman but when he didn’t play, the card was pulled from the product.

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Buzz 12 in 12: Busting a 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter hobby box (Hour 3)

Do you like Buzz Breaks? Today’s your day then as we launch 12 in 12 — a series of a dozen breaks of past wax boxes and wax packs in a dozen hours. We’ll post one every hour on the hour all day long today … this is Hour 3.

12in12-logo-smallerThe box: 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter (hobby)
The cost: BlowoutCards.com

What’s inside this one? Keep reading …

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Jose Quintana trade puts spotlight on his few cardboard options

What’s rarer than a trade between the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox?

A big-leaguer with only five certified autographs in the year 2017.

That’s Jose Quintana and he was dealt to the Cubs on Thursday morning as part of a five-player deal that could make some prospectors unhappy — or spark added interest in the team that’s not the defending World Series champion.

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Japan star Shohei Otani arrives in 2017 Bowman Mega Boxes

Baseball fans who watch the international scene know the name Shohei Otani but now collectors have their shot at some American cardboard of the pitcher-slugger.

Topps has put him into its 2017 Bowman Mega Boxes that are only found at Target stores.

And the early copies to hit eBay are getting noticed, too. And it’s not alone.

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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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Weekend Update: Check out 14 top items on The Buzz last week

Ok, it’s not the weekend, but this further proves that Buzz’s fantasy baseball draft just took waayyyy too long yesterday. (Hear that, commish?) Here are several stories worth a look if you missed out. Check ’em out & subscribe at right if you want email updates.

This Week’s Big Hit?
We’re less than a week away from WrestleMania 33 in Orlando and Topps dropped the biggest mic of them all (“pipebomb” in WWE-Punk parlance) for collectors with the arrival of autographs from Undertaker for the first time in Topps packs — and just the third time in hobby history. Get all of the details on which brands get his legendary ink here.

Keep reading for more …

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World Baseball Classic continues with new Topps Now cardboard

The World Baseball Classic may be over but the Topps Now baseball cards are not.

A total of 10 new cards were revealed on the real-time cardboard platform on Friday, focusing on the members of the All-WBC Team and a trio of young stars on one squad who signed on for the newest autographs from the event.

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World Baseball Classic champions get their Topps Now moment

USA Baseball clinched its first World Baseball Classic championship late Wednesday night and now the new baseball cards are here.

How? Via Topps NowTopps‘ online platform for real-time baseball cards that capture moments as soon as possible on cardboard.

A dozen cards were revealed on Thursday with USA’s star pitcher Marcus Stroman the subject of two types of Relic cards — with and without ink.

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

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: The World Baseball Classic, legendary pulls in clearance boxes, Madison Bumgarner’s signing habits and more.

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Team USA’s World Baseball Classic final run gets Topps Now Relics

The USA Baseball squad is in the World Baseball Classic final for the first time.

And for the second time there are Topps Now Relic cards to commemorate it all. The first, of course, was revealed on Tuesday after Puerto Rico’s win to set half of the showdown in the international event.

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Relics grab spotlight in Topps’ latest World Baseball Classic cards

The first 2017 World Baseball Classic Relics are here.

Puerto Rico‘s win that advanced it to the final of the international event last night can be found on new Topps Now cardboard for the next 24 hours only — and there are a pair of Relics among today’s offerings.

One is a signed base card from team star Carlos Correa and the other is a first for the Now program — a game-used baseball Relic.

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Weekend Update: Check out 10 top items on The Buzz last week

It was a busy one on The Buzz this past week. Here are 10 stories worth a look if you missed out. Check ’em out & hit the subscribe button at right if you want email updates.

Big-ink Potential 
Upcoming release from Topps puts emphasis — and ink — on key cards of today’s stars. Get the details >> First Buzz: 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition

Keep reading for more …

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Topps’ World Baseball Classic cards extend to sets for remaining teams

The next piece in Topps’ World Baseball Classic cardboard puzzle is here.

With two teams already advancing to the semi-final round of this year’s international showcase, the 2017 Topps Now World Baseball Classic team sets are now here.

That means even more stars from the WBC squads get cardboard — and collectors get bonuses if the teams win it all.

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Weekend Update: Check out 10 top items on The Buzz last week

Ok, it’s not the weekend, but this was slated to be sent last night — further proving that it was a busy one on The Buzz this past week. Here are 10 stories worth a look if you missed out. Check ’em out & hit the subscribe button at right if you want email updates.

This Week’s Big Hit?
It seems that 2017 Donruss‘ arrival has collectors talking and there’s fun to be found inside its packs. Click here to start with variations and find links to checklists & more. After that, check out a Buzz Break of a hobby box right here.

Keep reading for more …

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World Baseball Classic Relics will add flavor to 2017 Allen & Ginter

Game-used Relics from the World Baseball Classic will have a new home later this year.

Topps revealed on Wednesday that it will include Relics from the WBC in 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter when it arrives in July.

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New Era has World Baseball Caps covered … for all but one team

The international all-star action of the World Baseball Classic is here with teams from 16 countries taking the field and appearing on Topps baseball cards, too.

The gear?

It’s in the plans to be coming to game-used cards, too, but for now fans will have to settle on buying their own caps and they’re available for 15 teams from New Era. 

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Topps Now has the World Baseball Classic covered on cardboard

Topps Now is the answer to the question of how the World Baseball Classic will be covered when it comes to baseball cards.

The real-time baseball card platform launched its 2017 Topps Now WBC set on Monday with cards from the Team Israel victory over Korea.

“We’re excited for the progression of the Topps Now program and bringing these cards to a wider audience of baseball fans,” said David Leiner, Topps’ GM and VP of North American Sports and Entertainment. “This program has been a lot of fun since its inception to see what great moments and milestones we can capture on cards. The World Baseball Classic is a natural fit because it offers great plays from international stars, and there are also players whose cards you might not be able to get anywhere else.”

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Could strong spring mean hot cards for Braves rookie Hector Olivera?

Hector-olivera-2016-topps-heritage-autoHe’s already joined the Topps Authentics team as one of the top players on the radar of the company’s memorabilia division, but a hot start this spring just might have him on the radar of more collectors soon.

He’s Hector Olivera, and he’s hit .438 (14-for-32) with just a single strikeout in 11 games this spring for the Atlanta Braves, where he’s likely to be in left field on Opening Day.

“We’ve seen him juice some balls, but we don’t know if this guy is going to be a nine-home-run guy or a 15-18 home run guy. We might not know that until later this year,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He doesn’t take things for granted. There’s nobody that works harder than him. He’s here early, he works, and as coaches, that’s what you want to see and what he gives us.”

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Top Cuban baseball star Yulieski Gourriel defects with eye on MLB

Cuban baseball star Yulieski Gourriel and his younger brother have defected from Cuba with an eye on playing in MLB.

Yulieski Gourriel has appeared on cards since the 2006 World Baseball Classic when Upper Deck made cards for him and other players in the event. He also appeared on cards from Topps in 2009 and 2013.

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


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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