The Beckett Blog

TRISTAR’s Obak returns at The National by Chris Olds

Obak is back once again.

TRISTAR‘s tobacco card-styled Obak baseball set, which arrived last year about a century after its namesake, will return for 2010 with a debut at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, Md. , early next month.

This year’s Obak set marks the 100th anniversary of the originals and each and every card will be printed on old-style recycled cardboard to give the throwback cards an even more distinct look and feel.

Each 20-pack hobby box will include four autographs (numbered to 125 or less), two parallels, one T212 mini parallel card, three short-prints and one T4 Cabinet Card. Each 24-box case will include one Hot Box that will have 10 autographs and a mix of 25 other “hit-type” cards.

See more — with a gallery of images — after the jump.

Among the younger stars included in this unlicensed set are Jason Heyward, Austin Jackson and Carlos Santana, while some of the legends include Cal Ripken Jr., Johnny Bench and Roger Clemens.

Other autograph inclusions are Nolan Ryan, who signed on-card, Dale Murphy, Jose Canseco, Drew Storen and Desmond Jennings. There also is a Stephen Strasburg presence in this set as he appears on a T4 card that uses a drawing of the star rookie like the Obak card from last year.

Among the new inclusions this year are T212 mini autographs — which will have the autographs on the back of the card, while another one-per-case card will be cut autographs.

This set, which was highlighted by an Allen & Ginter-type approach by including historical figures, does that set one better by making sure that those legends are tied to the game itself. This year, there will be a game-changers subset that will include some notable non-players.

There are image variation cards to be found along with slogan variations and color parallels — all things that play off the old-time tobacco-card aesthetic. Purples will be 1/1s, while Reds are limited to five, Greens to 25 and Blacks to 50.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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