Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Product Review: 2013 TriStar Hidden Treasures Platinum Autographed Baseball

Recently TriStar released the 2013 Hidden Treasures Platinum Autographed Baseball edition and had two Grand Treasures to hunt down included. The basics of this product are pretty interesting. Each box will provide an Autographed Baseball of a Hall of Famer or a "Star" including a Unique Inscription. Each ball is number to 36 or less, which makes these autograph balls even more interesting and unique in their own way. A case is broken into 12 boxes, 6 of those boxes will contain a HOF Autographed ball with 1 of those being a deceased player. The other 6 boxes will produce 6 Special & Unique inscriptions of Star players. There are only 120 cases produced leaving us with 1440 Autographed Baseballs. Not bad odds in the grand scheme of things and could land a decent HOF player in those odds. And rounding out the product are the Grand Treasure Autographed Balls to find of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.
Now we've found that when a product comes out with their version of "Star" this could mean anything, and is very subjective to whom is placing this label on the player. TriStar never has a checklist released and you basically have to go by what you see on the box or seen other collectors pull out of the boxes. The box shows Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial and the Ripken Family on the Hall of Famers side. The Inscriptions side shows Dave Parker, Pete Rose, Craig Biggio and Randy Gumpert.
Other players listed on the back of the box include; Ernie Banks, Bob Gibson, Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn and Ted Williams for the HOF players. Another listing of Inscribed balls shows Sparky Lyle, Mookie Wilson, Lance Berkman, Willis Hudlin and Tracy Stallard. Some of the inscribed autographs show "Greatest Game Ever" and "Ruth's 500th Slider", which both are a little skewed in the sense of Star players but knowing this we were still interested.

Now an autographed baseball with inscription are usually cool and provide some info on the player signing the ball. Of course there is a chance to pull that Tracy Stallard that gave up Maris's 61st HR which really wouldn't mean much as a collector, but still a bit cool in the baseball historian way.

So we decided to break open a box and see which ball we would end up with. We pulled a Tommy Brown Autographed Inscribed Baseball numbered 12/36.
The interesting thing about Tommy Brown is that he is the youngest player to hit a home run in the major leagues at the age of 17 in 1948. This is inscribed on the autographed ball which is the longest inscription we have seen in a while. He inscribed this just below his autograph and also included the date and the pitcher he hit is off of. In his case it turns out is was a well known player Preacher Roe. For not landing a HOF player this is one of the best inscriptions we have seen and had in our own collection.
The TriStar card goes on to provide other information on Tommy Brown like; Hit 3 Home Runs in a game (1950), Played in the 1949 World Series, and also in the minor leagues he reached base 20 consecutive times.
The other quality aspect of the TriStar products are the holograms of authenticity and the individually numbered holograms of the ball you have received. These add value to us as collectors and are worth it in the long run for these types of autographed collectibles.
Overall we find the Platinum Hidden Treasures provide the best value and fun for receiving an autographed baseball. Again you have to know going in that you could end up with a ball like this or that Stallard, but it is the chance you take on these products. Balls numbered to 36 or less is another advantage in this product and again add value to what you are buying. The cost of between $89-99 per ball is not that bad considering the product and chance of an HOF player. Definitely will be buying more of this in the future and hope to land that HOF player sometime soon.

Gambler Overall Rating: out of 5
Cost: 4/5
Autographs: 5/5
Concept: 4/5
Inscriptions: 4/5
Design/Packaging: 4/5
Fun Aspect: 3.5/5

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