Sunday, March 21, 2010

2003 Topps Finest Master-Box Break

Anything older than 2004, I consider old school. I started collecting that year, and I’m making it a goal to collect everything I can from 2004. I’ve always been a big fan of Topps Finest and the multiple mini-boxes (the fun doesn’t stop after one box!). The earlier years were dominated by base cards and few refractors, but I’m not really too upset about that. Let’s roll.

Each master box came with a “10th Anniversary Uncirculated Parallel Card”.
Finest Gold X-Factor #75: Chipper Jones (Numbered to 199) What do you get when you cross a beautiful card with a Hall-of-Fame player? A beautiful card with a Hall-of-Fame player. Although I'm a bit ticked that Topps sealed it. Sure it's a nice card, but it's only numbered to 199.

Box 1:
Pack 1:
#40: Mike Piazza Before Topps started recycling base designs in 2008, Finest had beautiful base cards. This year’s is no exception. The photography is always pretty good, especially for a card with no background support for the player. The scan doesn’t do the cards justice, either.

#99: Pedro Martinez
X-Factor #55: Bartolo Colon (Numbered to 99) Right off the bat, I pull a beautiful X-Factor. Unfortunately, it’s of Bartolo Colon. Some things are too good to be true.

#31: Tim Hudson
#13: Brian Giles

Pack 2:
#65: Ken Griffey Jr.
#100: Alex Rodriguez What’s weird about “old school” cards is A-Rod in a Rangers or Mariners uniform. It looks a bit… off.

#35: Vladimir Guerrero
#39: Phil Nevin
#55: Bartolo Colon

Pack 3:
#42: Tim Salmon
#38: Frank Thomas
#84: Omar Vizquel
#5: Lance Berkman
#18: Ivan Rodriguez

Pack 4:
#58: Edgar Renteria
#74: Moises Alou
#62: Luis Gonzalez
#95: Albert Pujols The king himself.

#68: Doug Mientkiewicz

Pack 5:
#17: Aubrey Huff
#83: Johnny Damon
#50: Ichiro Suzuki
Finest Relics Jerseys FRJ-LW: Larry Walker First hit of master box, and the guaranteed hit of the mini-box. I’ve always liked Larry Walker, and I think he has the numbers to get himself a few votes for the Hall of Fame. Do I think he’ll get in? Hell no. But I wish he did.

#15: Rich Aurilia
#36: Jeff Kent

Pack 6:
#39: Cliff Floyd
#27: Magglio Ordonez
#110: Byron Gettis (Auto) Whoa, two hits! There aren’t any big rookies on the checklist (the biggest name is Andy Marte, and we know how is career turned out), and I’m not really too disappointed in the autograph. I expected it.

#57: Pat Burrell
#89: Roger Clemens

Box 2:
Pack 1:
#34: Hee Soep Choi
#3: Todd Helton Now this guy I would bet money that he makes the HOF. I don’t care that he played in Coors… he has been extremely consistent and played great defense (voters pee themselves over that) throughout his career. If he doesn’t get more than 50% of the vote on his first ballot, I’ll slap every member of the BBWAA in the mouth.

#14: Ryan Klesko
#46: John Olerud
#93: Edgardo Alfonzo

Pack 2:
#82: Greg Maddux
#100: Alex Rodriguez
#43: Shawn Green
#66: A.J. Burnett
#96: Carlos Delgado

Pack 3:
#78: Kevin Brown
#60: Alfonso Soriano
Finest Moments Refractors Autographs FMA-DL: Don Larsen Don’t you love it when luck is on your side when you break boxes? Not only is this a Yankee (and a Yankee I especially like), it’s a beautifully designed card and the autograph sticks out. I’m not sure what the odds are on pulling a “Finest Moments” autograph, but I’ve kissed this card about four times now. Five. Six.

#19: Eric Hinske
#14: Ryan Klesko

Pack 4:
#40: Mike Piazza
#24: Jay Gibbons
#62: Luis Gonzalez
#54: Carlos Beltran
#7: A.J. Pierzynski I should make it a rule to scan a Pierzynski card in every break I post.

Pack 5:
#11: Barry Zito
#99: Pedro Martinez
#38: Frank Thomas
Uniform Relics FRJ-AD: Adam Dunn To me, the relic seems better with the stripe barely fitting into the space. It represents that you almost missed the stripe, but luck brought it on your card, and not that other guy’s down the street.

#31: Tim Hudson
#59: Rafael Palmeiro

Pack 6:
#58: Edgar Renteria
#50: Ichiro Suzuki
#70: Adam Dunn
Refractor #13: Brian Giles It was hard to identify refractors in this set, especially when it was easy to spot them in 2009 Topps Finest because they colored the darn borders.

#55: Bartolo Colon

Box 3:
Pack 1:
#26: Kerry Wood
#23: Andruw Jones
Refractor #81: Randy Johnson
#37: John Smoltz
36: Kazuhisa Ishii

Pack 2:
#85: Jeff Bagwell
#52: Torii Hunter
#92: Phil Nevin
#94: Bret Boone
#67: Mike Sweeney What every happened to Sweeney? Well, after playing some successful seasons with the Royals, he was released and signed with the A’s in 2008 for the second time in his career. He got injured a mere two months into the season and was ultimately released at the end of the campaign. Sweeney has been playing in the Mariners’ organization since 2009.

Pack 3:
#4: Mike Lowell
#49: Gary Sheffield
#30: Jason Giambi
#79: Josh Beckett
#98: Scott Rolen

Pack 4:
#63: Manny Ramirez
#10: Derek Jeter Jeter just looks so natural on a baseball card. And I just drooled.

#9: Roberto Alomar
#12: Jimmy Rollins
#16: Jim Edmonds

Pack 5:
#48: Mark Teixeira
#21: Darin Erstad Don’t you remember when Darin Erstad used to get base cards in exclusive sets?

#71: Shea Hillenbrand
Finest Jersey Relics FRJ-SS: Sammy Sosa Ugh. The last hit left a sour taste in my mouth. It’s up for trade.

#8: Jose Vidro
#51: Tom Glavine

Pack 6:
#97: Jose Contreras (RC) Jose Contreras’s rookie card. Yup. That’s about it, folks.

#86: Carlos Pena
#1: Sammy Sosa
#76: Bobby Abreu
#32: Edgar Martinez

I’m not gonna lie, I’m very pleased with the box. The hits were great (besides Sosa, but it would have been a great hit back in 2003) and the base cards were nicely designed. Topps Finest is one of my favorite products of all-time and their 2003 effort just enhances my opinion. Now I’m going to go make out with that Don Larsen card. I'll post pictures, don't worry.


  1. Ahh, those are some nice looking cards. I've never seen Finest from that year before.

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  3. all the players you named here are the cards you have or whats in each pack?