19 February 2017

No Stats on the Backs of These Cards

I try not to get sucked in by these, but every so often I wind up giving in and buying Topps Vault blank backs, encased cards usually distributed through the Topps eBay store. The fronts are the same as the base cards you pull from packs, the backs are generally blank, maybe containing a Topps Vault 1 / 1 hologram sticker with a serial number.

This Randa Markos card hails from the 2015 Topps UFC Champions set. Markos is one of the fighters I collect, but I have started to seek out other fighters more heavily, as I don't think she has any relics or autos out, and her recent record doesn't place her on most high-end card release checklists. She will be fighting Carla Esparza in a couple of hours at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne. Esparza is the #3-ranked Women's Strawweight contender, and is rumored to be taking the fight because she in financial distress and wants to avoid another top contender for now. Markos is not ranked in the top 15, so she's facing quite a challenge in this one.She really needs a win, as her recent record hasn't been all that impressive. The two do not like each other, so hopefully they put on a good show this evening.

Here's the back of the card. You can see the sticker. I think I got the corresponding certificate of authenticity in the package with the item. Apparently there isn't a database of serial numbers with item descriptions, so it's hard to validate these things. I don't think anyone is going to forge a Randa Markos card, though, but that could be a consideration if you're in the market for superstar items.

I thought maybe Topps had updated all of the blank back cards to these Beckett Grading Services holders, but it looks like the 2017 Topps Series 1 cards are in the same holder style as the Randa Markos card. All of the 2016 Topps Mini Baseball cards are in the Beckett holders. I guess maybe Topps didn't have a bunch of holders in the mini size, and made some agreement with Beckett to use their holders and labels for this set.

Jon Singleton is a player I collect pretty heavily, but his star has lost a lot of shine over the last couple of years, and he really needs to have a great Spring Training if he wants to continue with the Astros in any capacity, or make himself attractive to a team that is looking for a 1B/DH guy. It's hard to remember that he's still only 25 years old.


  1. Congratulations on adding that 1/1 Singleton to your collection. One of these days, I'll add a Topps Vault item to my collection. If I were to guess... I'd say the most likely item will be one of their player contracts. I've bid on a few of them, but always miss out.

    1. I like the player contracts. I've looked at a few of them myself. I try to stay away from the blank-backs, but I get sucked in by them on occasion, especially for subjects like Markos and Singleton who just don't get a lot of cardboard these days.

      It was pretty wild to see Markos beat Esparza in their fight. I kind of expected Esparza to come out and put on a clinic, but Markos did well and came away with a close decision. I wonder if beating the #3-ranked strawweight will lead to some more cards in her future? I also wonder why she doesn't sign or provide relics? She is plenty active on social media and there is a lot of IP-signed stuff out there, but nothing official from Topps.