Grand Cards: Three Times The Charm?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three Times The Charm?

The much-maligned Topps Triple Threads has hit stores, and amidst the complaints about $200 per pack costs, a tired concept, and the continued, inexplicable use of sticker autographs on a high-end product, the simple pleasure of these cards has been lost.

I will never buy a pack of Triple Threads, because this product, more than any other, is why the secondary market exists. For all the crap that people give to Triple Threads, the cards are actually quite nice--they're just not as great as people expect them to be given their cost. Fortunately, markets have a way of sorting these things out.

For Curtis Granderson, 2009 marks the third year that he is in the set. In 2007 he was a "Rising Star"

2007 Topps Triple Threads Curtis Granderson Emerald (#45/50)

Ditto for 2008:

2008 Topps Triple Threads Curtis Granderson Sapphire (#02/10)

As you can see, there is a common theme here. With all the parallel versions that Triple Threads throws out there, both 2007 and 2008 feature cards with die-cut windows that either show three stars (like the ones above) or the letters DET.

So what does 2009 have in store for Curtis? Is his star still rising? Nope:

Looks like it is already risen. From my eBay perusal, these are the three different versions of Granderson's Triple Threads cards this year. As always, there are a bevy of colors to choose from, each of which are serial numbered differently. I've got to say, as with years past, I like these cards. Yes, they have problems. No, they are not worth $200 per pack. But I'll admit, I'm a sucker for the die-cut windows and the shininess and the like. The action shot in the picture spot is nice, as is the "Granderson" sash below it. The "TIGERS" card is excellent--right up my alley. I'm even on board with the "112 RUN" card, although that's a bit of a stretch, considering it neither 1) led the league or 2) was a career high. The "2X3BLDR" card is a disaster though.

The downside is that the numbering on these is on the low side (it appears as though the highest numbered is to 18), which means that the prices will be artificially inflated and I'll probably be left out in the cold. Oh well. These are the kinds of cards that are nice to have, but aren't the collection centerpieces that Topps markets them to be. And so, the third time is a bit of a mixed bag for us Granderson collectors. The cards are now fancier and nicer, but harder to get and odder. Looks like they'll make the list of "if I can find at a bargain," but won't add too much stress to my life.

How about you? Triple Threads Thoughts?


  1. Markakis is in the exact same boat as Grandy. Rising Star in '07 & '08, and this year has pretty much the exact same cards as Curtis. I've already been outbid on each one of them at least 3 times, and quite honestly, don't like them as much as the '07 & '08 varieties.

  2. There are lots of reasons for me not to like these cards: card is too "busy," photo is too small, packs are too expensive, die-cut "feats" that are spelled out are often too stupid.

    But it's a well-made card and I wouldn't mind having a couple in my hands. It's just that I never see myself buying a pack of it. Ever.