With 2013 Gypsy Queen releasing, Sam at The Daily Dimwit, who is a big Gypsy Queen fan himself, put together a case break of the product. I'm a Cubs fan, and one thing I know about Sam is that he has quite a knack for pulling Cubs hits, so before anyone else had the chance, I had to claim my boys.
Each case contained 10 boxes, and each box "should" contain two autographs and two relics. There are also photo variations, mini autos, cards embedded with coins, and lots of other crazy ideas that Topps came up with.
Anyway, Sam did not disappoint, as the Cubs were responsible for 3 out of the 39 hits (one box was short), including the big hit for me, a redemption for an autographed card of Hall-of-Famer Billy Williams.
If I remember right, this was the first hit of the break, kicking things off in a BIG way. Williams was the 1961 Rookie of the Year, and elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, after playing on a legendary Cubs roster with names like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Ferguson Jenkins. His number 26 was retired by the Cubs in 1987.
However, the card is no longer mine. Before the break even finished, a friend of Sam's got in contact with me via Twitter, inquiring about the card. Now, my policy is that nothing in my collection is off-limits, as long as the right deal comes along. He offered me another Billy Williams auto in exchange for this one, and I took the deal. I'll be sure to post that one when it gets here.
And yeah, I'll also be purchasing another Billy Williams redemption off of Ebay, because I still really want this card.
My other two hits were of the same guy, Matt Garza, but luckily the cards were different. I got a regular sized relic and a mini-framed relic, both with different colors of fabric. I never understood why Topps does both of these with Gypsy Queen, but whatever.
I must say, I like when card companies serial number their parallels, as long as those numbers were low. Previously, their sepia minis were the only ones numbered, with green and black minis defined solely by their per-box ratio. This year, however, they numbered their green minis to 99 and their black minis to 199. Like the hits, I was lucky enough to pull three such cards: Anthony Rizzo sepia 33/50, Bruce Sutter green 23/99, and Andre Dawson black 82/199.
There were also plenty of minis, including box-topper photo variations of Starlin Castro and Ernie Banks. I do like how they scrapped the different backs this year. I thought they were unnecessary, and like it so much better when they just change the color on the front instead. It just makes it easier to determine what's what.
I also got a full team set of the Cubs. There are a total of 13 cards, with 12 base cards and one SP of Bruce Sutter. With Sam being an Astros fan, he was lamenting how there is literally only ONE card from his hometown team in the set. I don't know if he counted, but it would piss him off to no end to know that there are THIRTEEN Cubs to his ONE Astro.
Lastly, there were also some inserts. In order to prevent people from getting ten of the same card, he dispersed the duplicates evenly among the participants. As I was putting this together, I realized that there were no Cubs inserts, which seemed a little weird. Thirteen base cards and no inserts?
Sure enough, that's the case. Still, Topps made up for it with their inclusion in the hits. They have autographs of Williams, Rizzo, and Brett Jackson, relics of Garza, Castro, and Fred McGriff (who is not included in the base set), and a unbelievable triple auto relic card of Banks, Williams, and Ryne Sandberg. But no regular insert cards.
I also got a total of 26 other base cards that were shared from other people's duplicates.
I love doing case breaks when I am able to, simply because there's a pretty good chance of you walking away with something. In this case, luckily enough, I came away with a pretty impressive pile of Cubs.