Grand Cards: Ultimate Checklist: 2008 Topps Triple Threads

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ultimate Checklist: 2008 Topps Triple Threads

It's a fun coincidence that I reached the Triple Threads installment of the "Ultimate Checklist" on the same day that two separate blogs talk about the football version. To sum: Sports Cards Uncensored is not a fan. Maybe the baseball version is better, or maybe, as this was really my first foray into "high end" cards, I just don't know better.

Either way, I like Triple Threads. I understand the gripes that people have--sticker autos, small pictures, bright colors, artificial scarcity etc. but I actually think that these cards look nice. That said, as I only care about the Granderson's from the set, you would never see me buy a pack of the stuff for $150+ Here's the rundown on the product:

Granderson has what amounts to two version of the same card: 187a and 187b. The difference between the two is the die-cut area for the jersey swatches. "a" is shaped like stars, while "b" spells out "DET". Here are two standard versions of the card for comparison.
From Curtis Granderson Collection
From Curtis Granderson Collection
These cards are numbered to 99. A "Sepia" version of the card, which adds in some refractor technology is numbered to 75, and uses different swatch materials (note the patch):
From Curtis Granderson Collection
"Emerald" versions are numbered to 50:
From Curtis Granderson Collection
and Gold Versions are numbered to 25.
From Curtis Granderson Collection
Note how as the numbers get scarcer, the desirability of the swatches gets greater. Further down the list a "Sapphire" version is numbered to 10:
From Curtis Granderson Collection
Followed by two "1 of 1" versions--the "White Whale" and the "Platinum" Actually, the "White Whale" has four versions, featuring the 187a and 187b shapes as well as the MLB logo and Baseballs.

In all, 187a and 187b amount to 14 different Granderson cards from this set, none of which are particularly easy on the pocketbook.

Triple Threads also features the "Double Cards" that have become staples of the High End market. Those come in two flavors. The first just attaches the cards of two different players. In Granderson's case, he is matched up with Former Tiger uber-prospect and current Florida Marlin future star Cameron Maybin in Rookie Stars Auto #2. Here is the Gold Version:
From Curtis Granderson Collection
With the Double Cards like this, only the Red (#/50), Gold (#/25), Sapphire (#/10) and Platinum (1/1) versions exist.

The other type of Double Card is a "Combos Double" (#32) relic card of a group of players, past and present, spelling out something relevant--"Tigers" in this case. While I do not own any of these cards (sadly), and none are up on eBay, I will say that they are a vast improvement over last year's version. Gone are the small pictures of the players replaced by larger shots and refractor technology. I LOVE these cards. The Double Card features pictures and relics from Magglio Ordonez, Al Kaline, Ivan Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Ty Cobb and Gary Sheffield. Nice.

They are also done up in a single form ("Relics Combos #12), spelling out TIGERS with two relics from each of Ordonez, Kaline and Granderson. I happen to have the highest numbered version and featured it on one of my earliest posts.
From Curtis Granderson Collection
Both the Single and Double relic cards use the same color rainbow as the Granderson-only cards, but with different numbering. The highest starts at #/36 and progresses with /27, /18, /9, /3 and 1/1.

Add all of it up and Granderson can be found on 32 "Different" cards in 2008 Triple Threads. That is a ton of cards for a high-end product like this, making the quest for the Granderson "rainbow" in this release expensive and seemingly futile. However, if you check out my collection, you'll notice that I'm chugging along nicely.

If you're a bit confused, don't worry. This release and all of the others that I've covered in the "Ultimate Checklist" posts can be found in the "Ultimate Checklist," where every Granderson card discussed up to this point is in easy-to-understand checklist form and any card that I have is linked to a picture of the card from my collection.

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