What is a Case Hit?

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I think we’ve defined and described pretty much everything underneath the card collecting sun on this blog! But sure enough, not too long into each week, I come across a new question or potential stumbling block for a new collector.

And, I love it!

Why? As a reminder for any of you who would consider yourself to be more seasoned, we all started somewhere, not to mention that cards are a whole lot more complicated these days than in years past.

So, while we might think something is common sense, just try to stop and smell the cardboard, and realize that there people out there who might be experiencing things a little differently.

With all of that said, the question today is, what is a case hit?

But before diving in, let’s first set the foundation.

What is a Hit in Sports Cards?

Before we can accurately define what a case hit is, we have to first break up the word and define what a “hit” is, and we might as well define what a “case” when it comes to cards while we are at it.

A “hit” in card collecting is a term used for the special cards found in a baseball card pack. Meaning, when opening a pack – and we’re just being honest here – most of those cards are going to be junk/filler/common cards that no one really has a need for other than when building team or complete setts. Thus, they’re not particularly special or valuable, and are run of the mill.

But also within those packs, sometimes there is in fact a special card, and that special card among the common cards is usually called a “hit.” Think of it along the lines of a prize. Here you have this cereal box full of, well, cereal, but within that box is sometimes a really cool surprise. That’s the hit.

This can be a relative term, meaning if you have a pack of say ten cards, and nine of them are junk and one of them is just OK, then you might consider that one decent card as the hit of the pack. This usually comes into play if you’re talking to someone and they ask what your hit was, and you’d probably say something like “Well I didn’t receive an autograph or a jersey card, but I guess this numbered parallel card was my hit.”

Another scenario—when opening hobby boxes or even retail boxes, there might be guaranteed hits in the form of a promised auto or relic card or memorabilia card within. In that case, the term “hit” more accurately describes whatever that promised card ended up being.

What is a Case of Cards?

Easier to describe, a case of cards is a way to describe delivery or purchase or hobby or retail boxes. For instance, think of the different ways most people buy cards—either as singles, or as a pack of cards that contains singles, or boxes that contain packs. Beyond that though, a case is a way to purchase multiple boxes.

For instance, here is a 12-box case of 2022 Topps Series 1 from Dave & Adam’s.

Sometimes you might also here the term “inner case“—and all that means is of a 24-box case of cards, it is most likely made up of two inner cases of 12 boxes each.

So, putting all of that together—if we know a hit is a special card pulled from a pack, and we know a case of cards contains a lot of packs…

What is a Case Hit?

A case hit is typically the rarest of best card pulled from a case of sports cards. This can be based on the stated odds of the case, or simply on personal opinion when comparing all of the hits from a particular case.

For example, 2021 Mosaic Football is said to have “brand new case hit inserts: Busted, Glass Mosaic, Storm Chasers, Masquerade Ballers.” Here is what a Storm Chasers card looks like:

2021 Panini Mosaic - Storm Chasers #SC-10 - DK Metcalf - Courtesy of COMC.com

How do You Know if You Have a Case Hit?

When it comes to determining whether or not you pulled a case hitm here are some things that I like to do when ripping a pack or a box of cards.

First, while not always easy it’s a good idea to check out the odds inserts, variations etc. before opening a pack of cards. Now again I know the excitement brought on by simply finding somewhere to buy baseball cards, and perhaps you race to the car to open them on a whim, and don’t really care about the odds at that point.

But, getting familiar ahead of time probably makes it more likely to spot something special when the time comes.

For instance, going back to the above example of 2021 Mosaic Football, which of these are insert cards and which are case hit inserts?

2021 Panini Mosaic - Stare Masters - Silver Prizm #SM5 - Tom Brady - Courtesy of COMC.com 2021 Panini Mosaic - Straight Fire Mosaic - Silver Prizm #SF1 - Patrick Mahomes II - Courtesy of COMC.com
2021 Panini Mosaic - Glass Mosaic #GM-1 - Kyler Murray - Courtesy of COMC.com 2021 Panini Mosaic - Busted #BU-14 - Tony Gonzalez - Courtesy of COMC.com

Other than the fact that I named them just paragraphs before, it might not be that easy when you’re in the midst of opening a pack, right? Of course, if you’re opening a box and you hit, say, two Stare Masters, you could probably assume it’s not a case hit.

So, secondly just do a double-check after you open the cards just to make sure you haven’t pulled anything special that is flying under the radar.

Read More: Tom Brady Cards to Collect

Even when I feel like I have a good handle on a set and know what cards to look for, there seem to be some certain variations that have subtle differences, and thus, or might not be easily spotted. So, check the variations and SP list after you open just to compare. You can also simply look anything up that appears to be special on eBay to see if any others have been listed, and at what prices.

Which brings us to the third point—if you do in fact have plans on selling the card, make sure to comp it beforehand. And in order to paint the most complete picture of the card’s market, be sure to search for it by set name, card number, player name, or all the above.

Also, take an extra step if it’s a newer release especially, because the first one or first couple that hit eBay – if they are in fact case hits – those sellers may not even know themselves what they have, and therefore they might not price accordingly, or, might not use the correct keywords or terminology to maximize the visability of that card.

Some other products, like Hit Parade, might make spotting the “case hit” easier. For example, this 2021/22 Hit Parade The Rookies SYS Basketball Edition Series 1 Hobby Case /10 posted on Dave & Adam’s states “Each Case hit will have a BLUE STICKER.”

So, hopefully that helps you spot your next case hit!

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