I went on a finest buying binge a couple of weeks ago and finally bought my Third box of 2008 Baseball product. My complaints about baseball are: Too many useless Rookies (You aren't too far behind Donruss Football products), Really really bad junk hits, and then of course value. Given my unflattering comments of Bowman Chrome products generally, you might think that I would hate Finest, you couldn't be more wrong.
I got this box of 2008 Finest for 69.99 plust 8 shipping or something to that effect. There are 3 mini boxes with 6 packs per box. I like this setup because you know what you are going to get hit wise and you don't have to bust a ton of packs to get that one auto.
The base set is nice. These cards do live up to the Finest name. Super glossy but not in a cheesy way, not flimsy at all, and the design is classy. Yup, classy.
Redemption(s): I had been impatiently waiting for this box because I was excited about the redemptions. I was hoping ot get the Fukudome or the Samardja. The Bruce wouldn't have been too bad either, although I am confused as to why he is so popular in 08 products given that he has a butt load of auto's out there from the last few years and he hit .254. Anyway , I got the redemption in the second pack I opened. I was a bit confused because I thought they were 1 per mini box not 1 per master box.
Now I have to mail the damn card in. I like the redemption codes much better. Davis did hit .285 with 17 HR's 55 RBI in 80 games. Maybe all of the rookies should be redemptions with 1 mini box or something, it would cut down on these shitty rookies that I seem to get. The all redemption would be for the Mid to higher end product like Finest. The problem is that the redemptions expire in April 2009. These need to be good for 30 months to give these boxes legs in the secondary market after the year of issue. One additional note, the redemption rookies should all be autos. They are rare enough where it doesn't seem like it would be too big of a deal to do so.
Autos: You get one auto per minibox. I was hoping for a Clement because he is a Mariner and I get to see all the Mariner games on the TV:
Thats a Joe Koshansky Black Refractor auto /99, a Daric Barton Refractor /499 and the Barton Regular. Barton is sporting a .243 career average. Koshansky is a 26 year old lefty with a .180 career average. These autos look nice, but they are pretty useless. Junk Auto's? Check!
Refractors: Oh the precious shiny. They come in Blue, green, Black, regular and Unmarked? What?
Unmarked: Maybe I am retarded, which I am, but I couldnt find a Refractor notation on the backs of these cards, but they were clearly refractors and different than the base:
Regular Base Refractors: I got six base, one Team Favorites and the three above.
Blue: /299 I got four including Dice-K. These Blue refractors are nice.
Green: I got one green Justin Morneau /199
Black: Two Black /99. Chone Figgins and Ryan Hanigan Rookie. hanigan (No capital H for you!) is a 28 year old Reds catcher with 36 games under his belt and a .274 average. Hmm. Useless Rookies? Check!
Gold: I love goooooold! and you will see why. The man needs no introduction:
/50 Griffey. I know its his 20th year card, but its still a Griffey Gold.
Verdict: I got useless rookies, useless rookie auto hits, in contrast I got a good redemption, and good refractors. However I liked this box and think that it has better perceived value than the Bowman Chrome stuff. Buying a master box of finest is like getting 3-4 boxes of Chrome with few base cards of course. Here is why. In every Finest box I have reviewed thus far, I have gotten low number rookie autos. In fact the first football finest had a blue and a green refractor auto out of /20 and /30. This one had a black refractor auto. In addition, the refractors have far outstripped the chrome boxes.
Value: That is where perceived value comes in. Sure I could buy 3 boxes of chrome and come up with similar cards I think, but each box of chrome is less likely to feel like it is as good as a finest minibox because there are so many more packs and the box stands on its own, whereas with a minibox, if it disappoints a bit, it seems as if it is a part of the master box and you look for the next mini box to make up for any deficiences in the previous one. Plus you cannot come close to getting three boxes of chrome for the price of a Finest master box. Thus, for me, it is no contest between the two. Plus, the finest cards seem to hold their actual value a bit better than the chrome counterparts.
So overall I liked this box and recommend you save your chrome money and buy a couple.