I have never seen a "hot box" opened before, besides the stacked ones that Beckett gets from the manufacturers. I didn't even believe they really existed. Kinda like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and friendly border agents.
Until I opened one.
I wandered into my local shop and saw they had the new 2011 Gypsy Queen cards. I was intrigued, but he didn't have any opened to look at. The price was okay, and he said it was going to go up. So I jumped and bought an unopened box on his shelf. Joshua and I opened it up, and were surprised to get first one hit, then two, then another . . . until we had found seven hits in the box, plus a short-printed mini. The box doesn't even say how many you are supposed to get, but the word on the street is four hits per. So I don't think I did too bad, especially considering the hits I got.
First, the basic hits. A Ryan Howard jersey, and a Jose Bautista autograph. I love the fact that these are on-card autographs. Somehow knowing that the player actually sat in front of that card and signed it seems a lot better than someone signing thirty-gazillion stickers.
Next, a Nelson Cruz auto and game-used jersey. Again, on-card autograph, and a nice red jersey instead of the basic white or gray, and it is numbered out of 25.
Next, a Cal Ripken, Jr. mini relic. This is exactly like the Allen & Ginter or T206 mini relics, encased in a hard plastic shell. Gotta love getting a Ripken.
Next, a Brian Matusz cyan printing plate, 1 of 1! I think my son has pulled a 1 of 1 before, probably a plate, but the best I've done is a 2 of 3. Pretty cool! But wait, there's more...
That's right. I got a second printing plate, this one a yellow "press plate" of Ryan Kalish. These are for the gold-framed parallel set, I believe. Oh, yeah, and one more.
An A.J. Burnett stamp card, numbered out of 10. I'm not sure what Arkansas River Navigation has to do with A.J. Maybe it's a birth-year thing like Heritage coin cards.
I also got a sepia mini of Tom Seaver in a Mets uni, numbered to 99, a few black minis, four Gypsy-back minis (think "A&G-back minis"), and six gold-frame cards numbered to 999. Not a bad haul! I will probably put some or most of the hits on eBay, so if you are interested in one, let me know by Sunday evening.
Here are some more scans of the cards so you can determine if you want to buy a pack or ten of 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen. The first is the back to the Gypsy card at the beginning of the post. Not the normal witty blurb. Is this some kind of Gypsy tarot card?
The Great Ones insert set
Gold framed parallels, #/999