I picked up a couple reasonably-priced 2015 Topps Strata boxes on (black friday) sale to roll the dice with pair of high-end boxes. Two cards per box. Say a prayer and here we go.
Archie Bradley is a decent pitcher, but nobody cares much for his autos. D-backs aren't in D-mand. This is a bad pull.
Jorge Soler, forgotten Cubbie castoff. Another bad pull.
Looked up this number: "Swatch of Jorge Soler game used jersey Washington Nationals VS Chicago Cubs 5/25/15. Original hologram# HZ633002"
Soler went 1-4 in a 2-1 loss to the Nats. So while it's nice to get a couple pinstripes, this wasn't a notable game for him.
This was a bad box. Neither card was a star player nor was either even serial numbered. Bummer.
Luis Gonzalez had a good career and this card is numbered 123/125. He has plenty of certified autos out there (perhaps too many), so this isn't worth much, but still a decent pull for me. Even if it's another D-backs card, at least he's a World Series hero.
Rickey really saved my ass here, salvaging an otherwise crappy pair of boxes. A Christmas Card would have been amazing, but 2/25 is fine too.. no complaints. Mets hit... sort of a rarity, as it seems he's usually pictured on the A's in his post-career cards.
At first I was underwhelmed by the relic piece, thinking it was just the plain white fabric on top. But then I realized the blue line in the middle isn't part of the card design but rather part of the patch! I assume it's from the blue piping (or whatever you call it) from the jersey as seen in the photos. Too bad there's no authentication hologram with this one, but still a very nice card.
Very happy to add another auto to my Rickey Henderson PC (this makes 3 for me [1st, 2nd].. all /25, funny enough, and my 1st since xmas 2015). The other above cards are up for trade if you're interested.
So yeah, boxes like these are definitely a crapshoot. Had I only gotten the first box, I would have been quite disappointed. But I doubled down and landed a nice card in the second box, and so I'm happy with the purchase. I could have easily ended up with 2 duds. Just the luck of the draw. Even with hitting the Rickey, the estimated eBay value of the cards likely wouldn't cover the price I paid for the 2 boxes (which again, were on a pretty good sale). It's obviously financially smarter to just buy cards you want on the secondary market, but there's definitely something to be said for the thrill of the rip.