2009 Topps Tribute

What I pulled--
Blue Parallels – Ichiro (#66/219), Tris Speaker (#147/219), Justin Morneau (#166/219)
Black Parallels – Nolan Ryan (#49/99), Lance Berkman (#34/99)
Gold Parallel – Mark Teixeira (#27/50)
Black Relic Parallel – Chipper Jones white jersey (#8/50)
Dual Relics – Evan Longoria bats (#61/99)
Blue Dual Relic Parallel – David Wright gray jersey/white jersey (#18/75)
Autograph Relic – Ryan Braun bat (#63/99)
Black Autograph Relic Parallel – Evan Longoria (#9/50)
Gold Autograph Dual Relic Parallel – Aramis Ramirez (#5/25)

Topps Tribute returns to the market after a five year hiatus, but from looking at the cards, it looks
like Topps hasn’t missed a beat.

The concept behind Topps Tribute is simple…five super high-end cards per pack, six packs per

box, price point for a pack roughly $50. If you can afford it, it is worth it (and I recommend buying
the whole box – more on that in a minute, though). Each pack comes with one parallel card and
one relic, multi-piece relic, autographed relic or multi-autograph numbered no higher than 99,
giving six hits per box. The player list for the set, as the name implies, skews heavily towards
retired players, although the hits are overwhelmingly current players, as my break will attest. The list of players in the list of
hits, though, is extraordinary, with Aramis Ramirez basically being the worst player on the checklist.

The actual base cards are a thing of beauty. Printed on thick stock, with gorgeous photos and elegant font type, these cards
jump out even more in the various numbered parallels. The parallel levels move over to the relics and autographs as well,
and, when coupled with the varying number of relics in some player’s cases, make for a wonderful assortment of hits when a
box is finished being broken. And that is really how this product should be broken. It might be tough to drop $50 on a pack and
pull a Chipper Jones autograph, but when you open the whole box and see the results, even without that amazing pull of a
lifetime, the results will make a collector smile.

My one gripe with Topps Tribute, and it is a decent sized gripe, is that the number of retired player hits should be higher per
box. The theme of the set is retired players, yet all of my hits were of current stars. Yes, there is nothing to be upset about when
pulling autographs of Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria out of the same box, but in a break like this, I want to see at least one of
the Hall of Famers that take up a large portion of the base checklist, even if it is a single piece relic.

That one complaint aside, I strongly recommend grabbing a box of Tribute. Even with the large price tag, these boxes are flying
off shelves. The huge hits, including names like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle, are rather plentiful. And the chance to pull
something that is the hit of a lifetime is very real with this product.

And isn’t that reason enough?…….