2017 Biggest Pulls: 13-20

Fading favorites and a star on the rise

Not long ago, I commented on the contrast between my fortunes in 2017 and 2016 on Twitter.

And, with the best card I pulled in 2016 selling for just $30, this is indeed the case. It took one last big score from a case break to do it, but I pulled 20 cards in 2017 that topped my best from 2016. And now you get to read about each and every one of them! Settle in, this might take a while…

20. 2017 Bowman Mega Jason Groome Autograph BMA-JG
$35.00

Jason Groome was expected to be the top pick in the 2016 draft. But concerns about signability, among other things, caused him to drop all the way down to the Red Sox at number 12. Still, he was a big name and was poised to be at least as big a deal in 2017 as the actual top pick, Mickey Moniak. And while Moniak had a disappointing year for a #1 pick, Groome fared even worse. His fall started early, with this $35 already being well below what this card had initially been selling for. By the end of the year, the selling price was half that and just about all of his other autographs were well below $10. As always, timing is everything.

19. 2017 Topps Chrome Christian Arroyo Blue Wave Refractor Autograph RA-CA 72/75
$36.25

Speaking of which… The Aaron Judge boom was in full swing by the time the Judge-adorned 2017 Topps Chrome hit and prices doubled as a result. With jumbo boxes now over $200 each, it would take something big to make it worth it. This was not that something big, but it was the best I got in the box. It’s a nice card, don’t get me wrong, but nobody was paying big bucks for Christian Arroyo in 2017. Well, except for the Rays, who dealt Evan Longoria (actually saving most of the big bucks he’ll be due over the next few years in the process) for him in the offseason. And Rays collectors, well, they don’t pay big bucks for anything, so at least I avoided that mess. Even before that though, the other Arroyo autograph I pulled in 2017 (Topps Gallery) didn’t even come close to cracking the top 50. So if you’re looking for one, I know a guy…

18. 2017 Bowman Draft Quinn Brodey Gold Wave Refractor Autograph CDA-QB 43/50
$40.00 (Estimated)

Things are looking up from here on out starting with this beauty. I’m still not a fan of how Topps uses the wave pattern these days, but I can’t complain about this card. I watched this break a few days after the fact, but it was still as suspenseful as watching it live. First, the Quinn Brodey 70th anniversary autograph was pulled. A little while later, they showed a hint of gold. And while I know thinking “Quinn Brodey Quinn Brodey Quinn Brodey” didn’t influence the result, it was still a thrill to hear “Quinn Brodey” on the video. The $40 price probably won’t hold, but most sold so far have been around there. Add in the other Brodey autograph and that’s not a bad return on an $11 3-case break slot.

17. 2017 Topps Chrome Update Andrew Benintendi Red Refractor HMT35 20/25
$45.00

What a tough break for Andrew Benintendi. Unlike some other big rookies coming into the 2017 season, Benintendi actually delivered. And yet he was still overshadowed by Aaron Judge. It was enough though to make Benintendi a solid #3 Rookie of 2017 and kept his card prices high enough that his good cards were something to get excited about. And a red refractor of a Red Sox Rookie? That’s just a thing of beauty. But that price… If it had sold for the $60 I was hoping for, I would have no trouble letting it go. And if it was only worth about $30 like the purple mega Bellinger, I probably would have kept it. But to go right in the middle… With red refractors normally numbered to 5, cards like this don’t come around very often. But it’s usually best to get out early on hot rookies. That leaves me with a purple refractor from a bonus pack of 2017 Bowman Chrome included with a break slot as my best Benintendi RC. I guess that’ll do.

16. 2017 Topps Heritage High Number Aaron Judge Clubhouse Collection Relic CCR-AJU
$45.44

By now, I have loads of Clubhouse Collection Relics gathering dust. The “A Real One autograph or relic card in every box!” promise usually means that you can count on getting plenty of relics. And yet, in my improbable 2017, I hit four autographs in four hobby boxes between Heritage and Heritage High Number. So it fell to retail to deliver the relics, which it certainly did. I didn’t quite believe it when I saw Aaron Judge looking back at me on a relic from a 2017 Topps Heritage High Number retail blaster, but there it was, pinstripe and everything. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect base relic. Logically, I knew that Aaron Judge memorabilia would be plentiful in the coming years, so I listed it to make back the price of the blaster. Instead, it went for twice that, after fees. Aaron Judge is just the gift that keeps on giving.

15. 2017 Topps Chrome Aaron Judge Xfractor 169
$50.00 (Estimated)

Walmart got in on the Mega Box concept with 2017 Topps Chrome, kind of like what Target had with Bowman but completely different. Walmart’s mega boxes were mega sized and mega priced, despite only containing 12 packs, 10 4-card Topps Chrome packs (3 more than a $20 retail blaster) and 2 exclusive 5-card Xfractor packs. I only ever saw two of these boxes and pulled this Aaron Judge Xfractor out of one. I briefly considered selling it, but the $20 price at the time seemed a bit low. Last I checked, it was selling around $50. I figured I could keep one good Judge (this was before I realized that the silver pack one was worth anything, or even remembered that I had an extra one after buying the set…), so it’s still here.

14. 2017 Bowman Yoan Moncada Rookie of the Year Favorites Autograph ROYF-YM 026/150
$56.00

As this card implies, Yoan Moncada was expected to make a run at Rookie of the Year. And, unlike some of the players in this set, he was even eligible. But before the year even started, he switched Sox in the trade that sent Chris Sale to Boston. Sale had a superstar season for the Red Sox while Moncada was decidedly average in 54 games with the White Sox after starting the year in AAA and having a dismal debut with Chicago. Early on though, there was enough hope to push this card past the $50 mark. Even with him shown with the wrong team…

13. 2017 Topps Chrome Update Luis Castillo Red Refractor Autograph HMT63 14/25
$61.05

All of the red I got in 2017 Topps Chrome Update had me seeing green, but getting just over $100 for my pair of red refractors (pulled from consecutive boxes, no less) left me feeling like I dropped the ball. Still, more than $60 for this red refractor autograph of Reds Rookie Luis Castillo isn’t a bad haul. All told, I spent just $216 (thank you, Target discounts) on 2017 Topps Chrome Update, had $144 in sales, and finished two 100-card base sets and one 20-card Rookie Cup insert set (plus an extra base Judge RC). Target’s exclusives were good to me in 2017 and we haven’t even gotten to the big hits.

2017 Biggest Pulls: 21-32

2017 Biggest Pulls: 33-50

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