2005 Topps Chrome Series 1 Baseball Review

Since 1996, Topps' various Chrome lines have been the benchmark for all things shiny in the hobby. While Bowman Chrome has taken a lot of Topps Chrome's thunder in recent years, the base shiny set keeps on chugging. Beginning in 2004, autograph rookies began appearing in packs to keep the rookie collectors happy while still offering the traditional separate parallel for the set collectors. While I haven't had the budget in the past to collect Topps Chrome (or any Chrome set for that matter), building a set is still somewhat affordable and attainable.

The base set consists of 234 cards, which will continue with a second series. There is a good mix of superstars and rookies. My box yielded 74 singles without any doubles, meaning it'll probably take about four to five boxes to complete the base set. Included at a rate of one-per-box are one of 14 first-year autographs. While it does make finishing the complete set a lot tougher, it does add to the chase as they are all rookie cards. My box contained Brandon Moss, a Red Sox prospect selected in the 8th round of the 2002 draft.

Topps Chrome has all but abandoned adding new insert sets. Instead the chase focus is on multi-leveled parallels, ranging from fairly easy to one-of-a-kinds. Refractors are a Chrome-brand original that debuted with the set back in 1996. Their rainbow finish makes them some of the nicest looking cards ever made. Refractors fall 1:6 packs with my box containing the expected three. Black Refractors are similar except for their black borders. They are also numbered /225. Coming in 1:10 packs, I got two Black Refractors.

While I didn't get any All-American Red Refractors, I did manage to land a Gold Super-fractor, which also happened to be the first 1/1 I have ever pulled from a pack. The Gold Super-fractors look very similar to the Dufex foil cards Pinnacle Brands put out about a decade ago. Inserted into 1:1,234 packs, I beat the odds. To add to the excitement, it's a rookie card of Cubs prospect Sean Marshall.

Overall, 2005 Topps Chrome Series One isn't about surprises. It's not even that complicated once you sort out all the different parallels, which isn't hard to do as they all look very distinct. Sure, my box was enhanced by the fact that I beat the odds getting a 1/1, but even in a worst-case scenerio this set is good fun.

2005 Topps Chrome Series 1 Baseball Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 20
Cards per pack: 4
Total cards: 80

Cards in set: 234
Singles: 74
Doubles: 0
Triples+: 0

Inserts: 6

  • Refractors (1:6): 3 (135. Casey Blake, 136. Matt Holliday, 188. Juan Gonzalez)
  • Black Refractor (1:10; #/225): 2 (61. Al Leiter [060/225], 72. Bartolo Colon [116/225])
  • All-American Red X-Fractor (1:50; #/25): 0
  • Gold Super-fractor (1:1,234; #/1) 1 (218. Sean Marshall [1/1])
  • Printing Plates (1:310): 0
  • 1st Year Refractor Autograph (1:100): 0
  • 1st Year Black Refractor Autograph (1:250; #/225): 0
  • 1st Year All-American Red X-Fractor Autograph (1:779; #/25): 0
  • Printing Plates Autograph (1:4,960): 0
  • Dem Bums Autograph (1:1,816): 0

 

2005 Topps Chrome Baseball Card #249 Shane Costa FY RC Autograph
2005 Topps Chrome Baseball Card #249 Shane Costa FY RC Autograph
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2005 Topps Chrome New York Mets Baseball Card #230 Kole Strayhorn FY RC Auto
2005 Topps Chrome New York Mets Baseball Card #230 Kole Strayhorn FY RC Auto
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2005 (CARDINALS) Topps Chrome Update #229 Tyler Greene FY AU A RC Auto
2005 (CARDINALS) Topps Chrome Update #229 Tyler Greene FY AU A RC Auto
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2005 (PADRES) Topps Chrome Update #236 Cesar Ramos FY AU B RC Auto
2005 (PADRES) Topps Chrome Update #236 Cesar Ramos FY AU B RC Auto
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2005 Topps Chrome New York Yankees Baseball Card #440 Derek Jeter
2005 Topps Chrome New York Yankees Baseball Card #440 Derek Jeter
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2005 Topps Chrome Baseball Card #250 Tony Giarratano RC /1770
2005 Topps Chrome Baseball Card #250 Tony Giarratano RC /1770
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2005 Topps Chrome Minnesota Twins Baseball Card #231 Kevin West FY AU RC /1770
2005 Topps Chrome Minnesota Twins Baseball Card #231 Kevin West FY AU RC /1770
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2005 Topps Chrome Update Baseball Card #237 Chaz Roe RC Auto
2005 Topps Chrome Update Baseball Card #237 Chaz Roe RC Auto
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2005 Topps Chrome Update Baseball Card #230 Eli Iorg FY AU A RC Auto
2005 Topps Chrome Update Baseball Card #230 Eli Iorg FY AU A RC Auto
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2005 Topps Chrome Baseball Card #251 Tyler Pelland RC /1770
2005 Topps Chrome Baseball Card #251 Tyler Pelland RC /1770
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2005 Topps Chrome Update #231 Craig Italiano FY B RC Auto
2005 Topps Chrome Update #231 Craig Italiano FY B RC Auto
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2005 Topps Chrome San Francisco Giants Baseball Card #234 Nate Schierholtz
2005 Topps Chrome San Francisco Giants Baseball Card #234 Nate Schierholtz
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