2003 Topps Gallery Box Break

Sometimes, not even I can explain the things that I do, and purchasing this box falls perfectly in line with this sentiment. I do love me some Topps Gallery, but these boxes aren’t exactly a bargain at $70, considering the long odds at pulling anything really sweet. The only autographs in this set are numbered to 25 and the checklist has like 4 people on it. There’s Artist Proof relics in this set as well, and they happen to be pretty nice looking. They remind me a little bit of Topps Tribute relics, and they too are a tough pull, since there are also only 25 copies of each card.

WIth a base set this nice looking, Gallery is clearly a set collectors product, right? Right. So why did I buy it if I am not a set collector? The answer is simple. “I dunno.”

Maybe it has something to do with this particular year being the “Museum Edition”, but then again, maybe not. What does that even mean? Were these cards literally taken from museums? I highly doubt it. They did auction off the original artwork on eBay, which I guess you could consider a museum of the absurd, but it’s still a stretch.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the greatest hit of my life came from this release’s sister set, Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Edition, but who really knows for sure?

Hey look, a foil wrapper. There were 24 of these babies in this box, and all of them surrounded glorious miniature stacks of cardboard. Let’s take a look, shall we?

BASE CARDS:

What a fine looking base set. I can say that without a doubt, that I think the Topps Gallery base set was pretty consistently good-looking for the bilk of its production run, and this design is definitely up to snuff. I believe the Ichiro is a base variation short print, since I read somewhere that he isn’t wearing black sleeves on the standard base card. Sweet!

ROOKIES (FIRST YEAR):

I am not amused, not even a little. Marte was probably a nice pull in ’03, but certainly not now. That overhyped bust ship has sailed.

RETIRED SHORT PRINTS:

Pretty standard fare here. I really lie the Mattingly, and he is one of the few Yankees that I don’t absolutely loathe. It was hard to hate the Yankees when Donnie Baseball was there. They were absolutely terrible for the bulk of the 1980’s.

ARTIST PROOFS:

Artist proofs can be found at a rate of one per pack, so these are hardly rare. I didn’t have the greatest of luck as far as player selection is concerned, but did manage to score the Mauer above, and the Jeter you will see below. I scanned it with the base card so you could see a side-by-side comparison of base vs. artist proof.

There’s a new guy at work who’s from New York, and is a big Yankees fan. We’ve been going back and forth for weeks now about Jeter being overrated. I don’t really have an opinion on it either way, but it’s one of those comments that immediately gets under the skin of any Yankees fan, and I always love anything that has such abilities.

GALLERY HERITAGE INSERTS:

This is turning into a Jeterific post, which is a shame. I’ve had that kind of luck lately, where I’ll end up hitting two decent cards of one player in the same box, or in back-to-back boxes. Anyone else have that problem? If you’ve been following my box breaks closely, you’ll notice a few players that you saw not that long ago, coming up later on in this post.

GALLERY ORIGINALS RELIC:

Oh Raffy, you broke my heart man, and just like a woman scorned, I never want to see you again. The whole steroids issue is hot again, with Barry’s recent conviction…

GALLERY HERITAGE RELIC:

Speaking of Barry’s conviction! It looks like this guy might be right behind him, which is a real shame. Clemens was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers of all-time in my opinion, and now it looks like he too will end up on the outside of The Hall looking in. If you recall, I pulled a Clemens relic in that hypocritical Goudey box from a few weeks ago.

Well, this break turned into ‘Roidfest 2011 in a real hurry, but it’s not over yet. Each box of Topps Gallery Museum Edition also came with a box topper pack that contained a coin relic from that particular player’s country of origin. There are some duds on the checklist, like Rodrigo Lopez, but there are also studs like Ichiro and Albert Pujols. Who did I pull?

CURRENCY CONNECTION BOX TOPPER:

Andruw Jones… again. He too made an appearance in that same Goudey break as Clemens.  If ‘Roidfest were a rock concert, Jones could be its opening act. There isn’t an evidence that he’s ever used anything, but the bulk of his career was played at the peak of steroid use in Major League Baseball. The Bleacher Report makes its case HERE, and I find it hard to disagree with their logic. Jones could open for Raffy, who would in turn warm the stage for Clemens. The coin itself is pretty cool, and I really like the concept of these cards. Jones is from Curacao, which is part of the Dutch Antilles, and this is a one cent coin. Big money baby!

BEARD-O-METER RATING:

On the lower side of average, which only applies to Sutcliffe’s beard, and certainly not his skills on the mound.

While I like the looks of this set, I don’t feel that the price point justifies the box contents. Granted, in 2004, the hobby wasn’t what it is today, and I’m sure relic cards sold for more than $1 on eBay. In 2011 however, they don’t, which just makes it not worth it. If I were a set collector however, I could see how this could be a worthwhile purchase since the base set is gorgeous, and it’s rather small too, weighing in at 200 cards. It would probably take you forever to track down all 50 short prints though, especially at a rate of 5 or 6 per box. There’s also a serious lack of ink in this set, which is always an issue for me. As I mentioned earlier, there are autographs in the set, they’re just rare as all get out. Check out this beaut that Cardboard Icons pulled last year. His break was one of the reasons why I purchased this box. Would this set have scored higher if I’d pulled an autograph? Yeah, probably. Does that make me a bad reviewer? Yeah, probably.

Bottom line is if you like to build sets, which I do not,  and are a fan of artsy-fartsy cards, which I am, you would probably enjoy busting Topps Gallery Museum Edition. If you’re a fan of boxes that deliver 3-4 hits per, and a guaranteed autograph is among them, this probably isn’t the box for you.

Move along now, there’s nothing more to see here.

-b

6 responses to “2003 Topps Gallery Box Break

  1. Is the Mauer AP for trade? I have some (what is the plural?) Markakii for trade…

  2. If the Edwin Snider is for trade, let me know. I don’t know what I have Orioles-wise. Probably not much. (Wow, that’s enticing, eh?)

  3. Good thing Andruw Jones wasn’t born in Yap. Could you imagine trying to craft a card around rai?

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