Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Absolutely Sharp Relic


In my last post I mentioned blaster boxes and packs starting to pop up online and in some cases in person near me. My family snagged some cards for me off the Target app for Father's day and I added a bit more to my stack to open with my 4 year old son, who legitimately enjoys opening packs and showing me the cards he opens. Obviously I enjoy it as well and am excited that packs are starting to become available again. In this case, I saw 2021 Absolute Baseball sitting on the Target app, and initially passed it up, but a few days later when it showed up again I decided I would try it out, despite the lack of logos. I was intrigued mainly by the relic cards in this product as well as the variety of inserts. Overall it was great to be opening packs again, but I have some constructive criticism as well.

The base design is fine. There's a very apparent lack of variety in color on the base cards in this product. Lots and lots of blue and red and a few cards with black, orange and yellow. Without logos, this really sticks out. I'll stick with, this design for the base cards is... OK. 

I'm glad to add a Freeman card to my collection. First of 2021 and only 2nd since 2017. I've got a lot to catch up on, even just with Freeman base from the past several years. I pulled multiple Ripken cards in this box and I'm pleased with that too. My son knows who Babe Ruth is from a children's book, so it was cool to show him that card.

I think the backs of the base cards actually work pretty well. Same image of the player on the back as on the front. I usually prefer more stats on the back of cards, but the design here works.

The rest of the post I'm going to share all of the insert designs I opened in order of my least favorite to favorite, and I'll end by talking about the relic card I pulled from my box. Let the insert countdown begin, and it was a variety in this box.

7. Rookie Class

These actually scan a bit better than they look in person. It's hard for me to get past that big bare logo-less hat on the Casey Mize. And it's hard to tell in the scan but the Mize is a green parallel. Normally I'm all about parallels but the green parallels don't add anything to these cards, base or insert. I'm assuming Mize is the highest regarded of these four players. Bart is blocked by Posey and could possibly be in trade talks? Giants fans tell me if I'm wrong there. 

Pulling four of these from one box, was hoping for a Bobby Dalbec. Glad to swap for one if someone out there has one available.

6. Extreme Team

Not sure what is going on here, looks like a flame behind Lindor maybe? The background doesn't fit with the border, the colors just don't fit together here. New team for Lindor but what would a break be without a Lindor insert? When I open packs, I tend to pull Lindor.

5. Statistically Speaking

An insert set called 'Statistically Speaking' should have some kind of statistic on it, right? I actually like the design on this one. The black and white works with the red. I'd take off the 6 lines coming into the picture and then I'd really like the design. I admittedly did not know much about Ken Boyer and I now know he won MVP in 1964 with 119 RBI and was an 11x All-Star. The back does have these statistics and I guess that's where they come into play. Happy to send this card to a Cardinals collector who I am sure would appreciate an insert card of Mr. Boyer.

4. Prospects

If I had just opened the Franco I might have rated this higher. I like the simplicity of this Prospects insert set, and I like how the Rays uniform looks with the gray border. The Rutchman is a green parallel. I guess I'm giving into the hype train and putting this #4 because I opened a card of Wander. You know what, I think I'm wrong on the order of this one.

3. Unsung Heroes 

Something about the Heroes text fading into the background just works. The green parallel on the Goldschmidt doesn't work. The A's are a team I never have a problem with, just a classic baseball brand that I'm generally happy to see do well.

2. Power

I'm a fan of cards with lightning. It makes me think of the Thunder and Lightning basketball inserts from the 90s. Easy decision to put this here in the rankings. If I'd pulled Devers it would be easy #1 for me. I'll be adding that one to the want list right away. The Killebrew is a green parallel and it honestly takes away from the look of the card. It's again nearly impossible to tell in the scan.

I can get behind this card back, as well. Can almost hear the crack of the bat.

1. Icons

No other choice when I pull Cal and Griffey. The Cal is a keeper for sure and I'm betting someone out there would enjoy having the Griffey showing his classic swing. The George Brett is also a fine card. These three also wear the lack of logos very well. 

One thing I'll say for Absolute blasters - if you enjoy inserts, you'll get a bunch. 

And one of the reasons I opened a blaster, a chance at a nice looking relic, and the box did not disappoint there. 15 inserts, 1 relic, 5 green base parallels out of 40 cards in the blaster.

This card is thick, and it looks sharp. Three jersey swatches, a nice color schema and a solid player in Dustin May. Can't complain about this one. 

Glad to be able to open some packs again. What have you opened recently and where did you get it? 

And to those of you going to The National, have fun and stay safe!


  1. Nice May relic!

    Someone just sent me my first look at this year's AbMem with a few Dodgers. They're ok for an unlicensed product. Panini really needs to dial it down on the inserts though. Too many and half of them have no thought to them whatsoever -- pick a word, make it an insert!

    1. More non-base cards than base. Pretty crazy. I like inserts but like you said, if they are executed well.

      The May relic is thick. Honestly I’m not sure I even have a top loader to put it in.

  2. Even though it's an oft used photo, Babe is probably the best looking card here. You wouldn't even notice it's lack of logo unless someone pointed it out.

    1. Agreed, one of the best base cards I opened, for sure.

  3. I would love to trade for the Boyer and any other Cardinals from the box. I have a stack of Freddie Freeman cards I can send your way. If you are interested in working out a trade, shoot me an email to ray at dollsconcrete dot com

    1. Absolutely, I’ll set the Cardinals to the side for you. I’ll shoot you an email with what I have. Thanks for reading and for reaching out!