Hobby Musings: Ripping TRISTAR Hidden Treasures Houston Championship Edition – The Houston Astros made franchise history in 2017 with their first World Series title. That championship helped spark greater interest in what was already a strong market for their sports memorabilia. TRISTAR subsequently conducted signings with many of the team’s coaches, players and franchise legends to help meet collector and fan demand. One fruit of that labor was the sealed hobby product TRISTAR Hidden Treasures Autographed Baseball: Houston Championship Edition. Featuring an autographed baseball in every box, the checklist includes players like Carlos Correa and Justin Verlander. Past Houston greats like Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell are featured in the product as well. Also possible are redemptions for signed memorabilia like jerseys and larger photos.
I was able to get a box of this at the National this year. TRISTAR gets an A+ for presentation with the product as the box had orange confetti surrounding a golden sealed bag. Besides looking cool, it also helped build the break anticipation a little bit longer as it wasn’t apparent right away who had signed the baseball. Once opening the bag, I discovered a World Series baseball signed by Astros manager A.J. Hinch. As is often the case with a baseball like this, Hinch signed right below the World Series logo.
In addition to the baseball, there was an information card notating that it was indeed Hinch, along with some of his notable accomplishments. This is typical (and often helpful) in Hidden Treasures products as the cards help give collectors a little more information. The baseball also came affixed with an authentication sticker.
All in all, this wasn’t a bad box. Hinch World Series balls signed like this have gone for roughly $70 and up recently on eBay. The product is a little bit on the pricier said as some of the bigger online retailers are currently selling at around $100 and up. At that price, it’s a bit of a gamble. However, given the very strong checklist and some difficult signatures to obtain like Verlander, it’s a gamble that can pay off in a hurry.
The Hidden Treasures line is one I’ve often found myself returning to over the years. The first time I can remember buying it is at the Robert Morris show in Pittsburgh back in 2003. I also scored a sweet deal back at the Cleveland National in 2014 for a sealed case of football 8x10s that yielded Kurt Warner and LaDainian Tomlinson among my pulls. By far, my best Hidden Treasures pull came on a baseball pack I bought that had a George Brett signed ball. While I’ve had some disappointing pulls from the product, I’ve found that I’ve typically come out even in the long run with the nice pulls.
KS: How was TRISTAR’s Hidden Treasures line originally conceived?
EB: The unique and innovative TRISTAR Hidden Treasures product line was first conceived by our founder and CEO Jeffrey Rosenberg, who is a longtime collector of signed memorabilia. He wanted other collectors of memorabilia to have a similar opportunity to be able to find incredible items of authentic signed memorabilia just like those that open packs of trading cards have the opportunity to find a special signed card in a pack. His concept quickly caught on and thrust TRISTAR to the forefront as the innovator of packaged goods signed memorabilia products.
KS: TRISTAR is typically associated with its various autograph signings. How important is a packaged product like this for the company?
EB: The packaged goods line is very important to TRISTAR as the company strives to provide collectors with a product line they can feel confident purchasing and opening knowing they are acquiring high quality authentic sports memorabilia.
KS: The checklists feature a large variety of signed items from various players. Where do you get all the signed memorabilia from for the products?
EB: TRISTAR acquires the vast majority of its products for its packaged goods products from its own signings and a small amount from other authenticated signings it participates in.
KS: How do you acquire some of the bigger finds/prizes like the Babe Ruth signed baseballs?
EB: The vintage collection items primarily come from the 35+ years of our founder’s collecting and obtaining the best pieces of memorabilia from his travels and collection acquisitions across the world.
KS: Out of all the Hidden Treasures releases, what do you think is the biggest/coolest item that has been included?
EB: TRISTAR has allowed collectors to obtain the rarest and highest valued items in the history of sports memorabilia collecting in its product lines including the rare and highly valued T206 Honus Wagner, 1915 M101 Babe Ruth rookie card and the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card.
KS: What are some Hidden Treasures releases we can expect in the future?
EB: The future from TRISTAR will bring the most innovative products in the sports memorabilia industry. You have to stay tuned to our social media and your distributors and retailers to find out what is next!
For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.