Thursday, May 31, 2012

Barry Larkin Collection 133: 1999 Fleer Brilliants - #103

Barry Larkin
Year:  1999
Brand:  Fleer Brilliants
Card number:  103

The Fleer Brilliants set is another set that I didn't know anything about until I opened a box of the product for one of my group breaks.  As it turns out, the set is actually quite nice (though some sticking of some of the cards occurs - a problem common to many late-90s sets).  Luckily, this particular Larkin card escaped the sticking issue and is in great shape.

In an interesting twist, I find the back of the card to be much more aesthetically pleasing than the front.  I guess it's the black background or the fact that Larkin appears to be playing baseball in front of a black hole that simply doesn't interest me.  The back of the card, however, features plenty of color - plus an action photo and a team logo to go along with a small informational blurb about Larkin.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Barry Larkin Collection 132: 2002 Fleer Box Score - All-Star #252 - #0744/2950

Barry Larkin
Year:  2002
Brand:  Fleer Box Score
Subset:  All-Stars
Card number:  252

The 2002 Fleer Box Score set featured 125 base cards (of which Larkin was not included) and then 185 serially numbered cards that you could only get in special hobby boxes.  Each hobby box included on small box of serially numbered cards (of a different theme - All-Stars, Hall of Famers, etc.).  This particular Larkin came from the All-Star box and is numbered out of 2950 on the back of the card.

You can't exactly tell by the scan, but the star n the front of the card is actually quite sparkly.  I like the fact that the bottom of the front of the card shows all the years that Larkin was an All-Star.  It fits with the theme nicely.  I would have liked the serial number on the back to have been gold stamped rather than the black ink, but otherwise this is a nice card.  The only other thing that would have made this card better would be that Larkin actually performed well in All-Star games.  A .118 average?  Ouch.  2 for 17 with 2 RBIs, 1 stolen base, and 3 strike outs isn't overly impressive!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Barry Larkin Collection 131: 2003 Fleer Authentix - #90

Barry Larkin
Year:  2003
Brand:  Fleer Authentix
Card number:  90

The 2003 Fleer Authentix set features cards that are designed to look like tickets (at least one the front of the card).  The Larkin card features a random section, row, and seat number (though the three numbers are the same for all the Larkin cards - a missed opportunity for a boatload of 1 of 1s if you ask me)!  The bottom of the card features a bar card along with the same section, row, and seat numbers which is supposed to represent the "stub" portion of the ticket.  The entire theme is further completed by the slightly perforated line separating the ticket from the stub.

The back of the card shows a schematic of the Reds' home ball park - Great American Ball Park.  There is also a year's worth of statistics and a rather asinine % of Team Totals line.  I have no idea why anyone who cared what percentage of the Reds games Larkin appeared in couldn't do that math themselves...nor do I have any idea why Fleer felt the need to include that information for us.  Despite the goofy stats line, the rest of the card is quite nice - I appreciate the fact that the card plays well with the set's theme (even if the design itself isn't nearly as nice as some of the Larkin cards in my collection).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Barry Larkin Collection 130: 2000 Pacific Aurora #37

Barry Larkin
Year:  2000
Brand:  Pacific Aurora
Card number:  37

The 2000 Pacific Aurora set features two different versions of this Larkin card.  The common version (shown here) has the red background.  There also exists a version with a pinstripe background that is short printed (which as of the time I wrote this post I do not own).

As I mentioned above, this particular card features a red background (with subtle designs) with two main photos.  The first, a head shot of Larkin while there is smaller action shot of Larkin in the upper right corner.  The team logo and script player name complete the front design.  Surprisingly, despite all the different things going on with the card, I think the entire concept comes together quite well.  I particularly like the heavier card stock - combined with the gold foil script name, this card "feels" nice.

The good design continues on the back - and while I would prefer more statistics I love the third photo and large team logo.  Another thing that I love about Pacific cards is that they label what the set is right in the card number circle.  I think all card companies should be required to do that - it's too confusing otherwise!  Kudos to Pacific for that one.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trade Stack 39: A New Stack Begins (with 5 Hall of Famer Cards)!

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update:  5/27/12

As I'm sure you all know, I'm a set collector first.  However, there is one player whose cards I actively seek out whether or not he's featured in whatever set(s) I'm working on at the time - and that player is Barry Larkin.  If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you've probably seen some of my various Barry Larkin Collection posts where I highlight one card from my collection.  

One of the ways that I acquire new Barry Larkin cards is to either purchase of trade for lots of cards.  Of course, while I do end up with a bunch that I need, I also inevitably end up with a bunch of duplicates.  What better way to get rid of my duplicates than to add them to the trade stack?  I don't know if there are other Larkin collectors out there or not who frequent my blog - but if there are (or if you'd like to become a collector of the newest Hall of Fame member, here's your chance)!  For Trade Stack #39, we begin with not one card (as usual) but rather a collection of five different Barry Larkin cards.  

As you can see from the scan below, there is a nice mix of Larkin cards included in the newest stack including an oddball Larkin card.  Please note that I won't be able to mail out the cards for about a week...but I hope to be able to check my email so that I will at least know whether or not the stack is claimed.  As always, the first to leave a comment stating which card (or cards) they will send me from my want list gets the full stack!

Barry Larkin - Reds
1989 Score:  #31
1992 Fleer Ultra:  #191
1992 Post Cereal:  #23
1994 Topps:  #250
1996 Score:  #362

Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  You must leave a comment on the trade stack post in order to claim the card - no more claims via email!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!

Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 34:  1 card by Potch
Stack 35:  9 cards by Cool Breeze
Stack 36:  11 cards by Kev 
Stack 37:  6 cards by Tunguska
Stack 38:  12 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 39:  ?? by ??

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Delivery Time! Trollin' For Trades

About a month ago, I sent Troll (from The Collective Troll blog) a whole bunch of 2009 Topps cards.  I don't think they were part of any formal trade but I knew he needed 'em (and I didn't).  Flash forward about a month and that small box of cards was worthwhile - the magnificent Troll managed to send me the last card I needed for my 2010 Topps set - this History of the World Series card featuring the Yankees winning (booo!).

When I saw the card, I couldn't help but laugh a little bit because this particular card has been involved in at least three different trade talks since the set was released two years ago.  In fact, there is one trade that was agreed to (and I mailed my half) in which I was to have received this card (along with a few others).  Obviously, I got totally stiffed in that deal as not only did I not get the cards I was supposed to but I mailed my half off in good faith.  If it weren't for the hundreds of great trades that I've made over the same time period, I might be inclined to think all people are scummy.  Luckily, I know it's only a small (but annoying) fraction of people that are scummy.

Troll also managed to find a 2009 Allen & Ginter mini that I still needed.

I'm ever so slowly closing in on completing the 2009 mini set - in fact, I only need the following to complete the various sets:
2009 Allen & Ginter Needs:
Inventions of the Future (minis): FI5Extinct Creatures (minis): 1, 5Creatures of Legend, Myth, &Terror (minis): 5, 7, 14, 15Cabinet Boxloader: CB6, CB9, CB10Regular back mini: 28, 30, 47, 53, 73, 134, 159, 176, 205, 208, 264, 271, 277, 307
Thanks a lot for the trade Troll!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - check out my want list and make an offer!  P.S.  Congrats for rockin' that Statistics final!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nachos Grande: Gone Fishin'

After a month or so of 3+ posts per day, I have decided that if I don't slow down my posting a bit I'll end up totally burnt out (like some of these people I suppose).  As such, you'll probably see my blog popping up on your blog roll a bit less often than normal, but rest assured, I still plan to continue blogging and card collecting.

I have to admit that 2012 hasn't been nearly as much fun for me on the blogging front because I haven't been completing many trades.  Why haven't I been trading?  Well, mostly because no seems to have any of the cards that I still need...and the fact that I have yet to purchase a single pack of 2012 product.  However, with the release of Allen & Ginter around the corner - and with my plan to purchase a case, I'll finally have some fresh trade bait!

Until then, I'll still do my best to keep you entertained with various posts - perhaps I can use some of this time to whittle down my pile of Barry Larkin cards that are waiting to be scanned and written about for my Larkin Collection series.

I should also mention that I'm going to have sporadic access to the internet over the next week or so (which will also contribute to a slowing down of the blog).  Please bear with me - I will respond to each of you who writes to me when time allows.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Group Break #5: The Final Post!

It's finally here - the final Group Break #5 post!  The break was long - but hopefully as much fun for all of you as it was for me.  Seven boxes is a lot, chances are I will scale back the sheer number of boxes in the future.  Every team ended up with at least 15 cards (except the Brewers).  Even better, most teams had in excess of 25 cards! We found 13 relics in the break and 57 serially numbered cards.

Actually, all of the above numbers are accurate before I open the final three Fleer Molten Metal packs.  Will we be able to add any other goodies to the various team stacks?  Only one way to know...

Pack 1 of 3:
65.  Marquis Grisson - Brewers

67.  Carlos Beltran - Royals
81.  Rusty Greer - Rangers
94.  Pat Hentgen - Blue Jays
115.  David Justice - Indians
Xplosion:  124.  Freddy Garcia - Mariners

The Brewers must have realized they were slacking - the Grissom is card #13 (by my unofficial count).  With two packs remaining, the Brew Crew needs two more cards to avoid being the only team without at least 15 cards in the break.

Pack 2 of 3:
28.  Geoff Jenkins - Brewers
30.  Vinny Castilla - Rockies
43.  Moises Alou - Astros
103.  Orlando Hernandez - Yankees
146.  Kerry Wood - Cubs
Heavy Metal Fusion:  30F.  Mo Vaughn - Angels

The Brewers picked up another pack remaining and they need one more - can they do it?  The Angels also picked up a nice card in the Heavy Metal Fusion insert (seeded 1:12 packs).

10.  Paul O'Neil - Yankees
23.  Matt Williams - Diamondbacks
73.  Jay Buhner - Mariners
87.  Johnny Damon - Royals
128.  Todd Helton - Rockies
Xplosion:  103.  Orlando Hernandez - Yankees

Nope, not 15th Brewer card - though 14 cards isn't a terrible total I suppose (especially for a "random" team).  The Yankees scored the final metal card of the break - I was really hoping for at least one Reds metal card (preferably of Larkin) but alas, no such luck.

Here's a scan of my spreadsheet just so you can see how the various teams compared.

Overall, there was a good spread of cards amongst most teams - hopefully you all enjoyed the break!  I'm sure I'll do another break before too long - but I think I'll rest a bit first.

Group Break #5: 1999 Fleer Brilliants - Final Two Packs

There are only two boxes with packs remaining in them for the group break.  This morning, we will finish off the Fleer Brilliants set.  Check back in a few hours to see the final packs out of the Fleer Molten Metal box.  At that point, the group break will be complete!

Second to last pack:
3.  Nomar Garciaparra - Red Sox
52.  Todd Walker - Twins
80.  Jay Buhner - Mariners
Blue parallel:  16B.  Jason Giambi - Athletics

Illuminators:  13 of 15 I.  Richie Sexson - Indians

When you are this close to the end of the break, any insert or parallel seems like icing on the cake.  Congrats to the A's and Indians for getting one last bit of sweet in.

Final pack:
28.  Manny Ramirez - Indians
89.  Edgar Martinez - Mariners
104.  Robin Ventura - Mets
105.  Edgar Renteria - Cardinals

128.  Gabe Kapler - Tigers

And that ends the sixth box of the break.  The Indians waited until the last possible moment (almost) to land a non-serially numbered insert card.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bryce Harper Auto in a 2012 Topps Archive Retail Blaster? Yes Please!

You'll see my first blaster's worth of 2012 Topps Archives a bit later this week.  In fact, I typed the entire contents (plus plenty of scans) before I opened the second blaster.  As you'll see, it was a good thing too or else there'd be no way I'd have the ability concentrate after pulling this bad boy out of the other blaster...


Now, I'm no dummy - I've already listed it on eBay - you can see I put the Buy It Now nice and high (a guy can hope) but there have been a couple more listed since I posted mine so I doubt I'll get that.  It still should fetch me a pretty penny though - and help pay for my Allen & Ginter case that I want to buy in July!

You won't hear me say there's nothing good in retail blasters!  ...and the Reds just hit a walk-off home run to take their third game in a row against the Braves.  What a great day!

Delivery Time! A Few Reds (and Larkins) from Baseball Dad!

Have you felt like you have a certain knack for pulling cards of a certain team (or perhaps, you seem to never pull cards of a certain team)?  For myself, I seem to pull way more than my fair share of Dodgers and yet, I rarely seem to pull Pirates, Rays, or Reds.  Luckily, there are a few bloggers out there who also seem to pull their share of a certain team that they don't want (namely, the Reds)!  One such blogger is Jack over at the always entertaining All Tribe Baseball.

According to the note that Jack included, he "got all these Reds in just 2 packs - not one Indian though."  Well Jack, your loss is definitely my gain as 1)  I still haven't bought any 2012 products and 2)  I love getting Reds cards in the mail as a surprise!  Of course, when some Indians find their way to me you know who'll end up with them.

Besides the three base cards, Jack also threw in one of the bronze bordered cards of Johnny Bench.  I love the framed cards so you know I love this one of one of the best Reds of all time!

In addition to the Gypsy Queen cards, Jack also included a couple of assorted Reds - including this rather interesting Great Futures card of Aaron Boone.  

Finally, I also was able to add a few more Barry Larkin cards to my collection thanks to Jack:

Thanks for the trade - and, as always, if anyone else would like to trade check out my want list and make an offer!

Group Break #5: The Final Two Pacific Aurora Packs

We've almost made it to the end of the seven box break!  I know I'm getting a little weary from typing up so many cards...but it's been a fun break.  Personally, I like how each box offered something different.  The Pacific box happened to offer up a few nice inserts plus plenty of base cards for everyone.  Now, if only we could land one of those rare Tony Gwynn autos.  Here's hoping in the last two packs!

Pack 35:
32.  Magglio Ordonez - White Sox
49.  Neifi Perez - Rockies
85.  Todd Walker - Twins (x2)
111.  Scott Rolen - Phillies

115.  Jason Kendall - Pirates

Yep, two Todd Walkers in the same pack.  Oh well, the Twins needed more cards...

Pack 36:
28.  Kerry Wood - Cubs
57.  Luis Castillo - Marlins
86.  Michael Barrett - Expos
97.  Orlando Hernandez - Yankees
105.  Tim Hudson (short print variation)

116.  Warren Morris - Pirates

And so endeth the Pacific box.  No Gwynn auto - maybe next time.  I plan to finish off the final two group break boxes tomorrow!

Group Break #5: The Final Two Fleer Authentix Packs

The entire group break should be completed by tomorrow evening.  There are only four boxes with packs remaining - let's finish off the 2003 Fleer Authentix box right now.  Before we do that though, let's give a big thanks to Baseball Card Exchange - our group break sponsor.

Pack 23:
14.  Matt Morris - Cardinals
21.  Moises Alou - Cubs
52.  Mo Vaughn - Mets
95.  Paul Konerko - White Sox

101.  Joe Borchard - White Sox

Pack 24:
7.  Juan Gonzalez - Rangers
28.  Manny Ramirez - Red Sox

40.  Kerry Wood - Cubs
66.  Shawn Green - Dodgers
71.  Larry Walker - Rockies

A bit of a fizzle at the end of the box...  We should have had one more hit (the box promises 3) but we only ended up with two (plus a Ticket to the Majors card which I don't think should count as a hit).  That's disappointing, but we've done really well with some of the other boxes so I can't complain too much.  Despite only getting two hits in the Authentix box, we have still racked up 13 different relics for the break (spread across 9 different teams) so hopefully most of the group break participants end up happy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Box Review: 2002 Playoff Piece of the Game (Hobby)

The 2002 Playoff Piece of the Game set features 50 commons, 50 rookies, and a boatload of memorabilia cards!  According to the box, there are 195 unique memorabilia cards plus another 400 numbered memorabilia parallels.

The hobby box contained six "packs" (really cardboard pouches).  Each pack contains 4 base cards and 1 memorabilia card.

The packs are more accurately cardboard pouches.

In addition to one swatch relics, there are a variety of dual relics and prime patches available.

In our box, we ended up with 23 of the 50 commons (46%) and 1 of the 50 rookie cards (2%).  As you can see from the checklist below, the 50 commons are made up of almost entirely the stars of the time.  The rookies are hit and miss (mostly miss) but that's to be expected I suppose.

The base commons have a nice, clean design.  I happen to like the large team logo and the faux wood look works with the card design.

The backs of the base cards are also clean and well-designed.

I would have preferred to see a bit more in the way of statistics, but for a set driven entirely by the hits the "regular" 'ol base cards are well done.  I could see myself chasing the full base set if this set were released today.

The rookie cards are serially numbered out of 500 and comprise the final 50 cards of the base set.  Each rookie card has the same design as the regular base card except there is an addition of the word "rookie" next to the player's number.

  Our only rookie was of Ben Howard (Padres) and was numbered 314/500 in gold foil on the reverse side of the card.

Although I happen to like the base cards, no one in their right mind would spend that kind of money on a box for only 24 base cards.  The real draw of the box are the various relic cards.  As you can see from the checklist, the relic set contains a much wider variety of players (including some retired players like Harmon Killebrew, Nolan Ryan, Reggie Hackson, and Rod Carew) to go along with the big name current players.

It's also interesting that a bunch of the players featured in the relic set (notably Barry Larkin) did not appear as part of the 50 card base set.

In total, we ended up with exactly six hits (as promised).  Two of the six hits were serially numbered but none of the hits were of the double swatch variation (nor did we luck out and pull any prime patches).

The hits we did get were:
POG-3.  Albert Pujols (base)

One thing that I love in regards to the relic cards is that Playoff added a picture of the actual item from which the relic came and they told you what game(s) the relic was used in.

For the Pujols, the base was used on July 5, 2001.  You can also tell that there are multiple versions of the Pujols card (the other version features game used baseballs).

POG-30.  Ivan Rodriguez (bat)  #066/100

Unlike the Pujols relic, the Rodriguez card doesn't actually state which game(s) the bat was used in.  A quick glance through the other four relics shows that only the base relics actually have the game information.  Even so, all six relics show a photo of the original piece of equipment from which the relic originated.

POG-32.  J.D. Drew (jersey)

The Cardinals fared well with the box - two of the six relics were of St. Louis players (though I think everyone would agree the Pujols is the better relic).

POG-56.  Mark Grace (bat)

There is also a fielding glove variation card for Mark Grace.  I would have liked to have pulled one of those!

POG-76.  Sammy Sosa (base)

As I mentioned above, two of the relics were serially numbered.  The Ivan Rodriguez card was numbered in silver foil out of 100.  The Sosa is numbered in bronze foil out of 250.

POG-89.  Vladimir Guerrero (jersey)

No dual relics, no prime swatches, but at least a couple of base relics mixed things up a bit.

Overall, I give the 2002 Playoff Piece of the Game box the following rating:
Set Design:  A-
Collation:  B+
Opening Thrill:  B+
Overall:  B+

The box was indeed a lot of fun to open, but in the end, I had to dock it a bit since we didn't pull any relics with a "wow" factor.  I was also disappointed to not get a single Red out of the box.  It's hard to not to get excited knowing that each pack you open will hold a hit, but without some autographs, there isn't likely to be a lot of value in the majority of the hits.  Of course, had we opened one of the boxes with a Nolan Ryan relic (or even a Barry Larkin relic), my overall grade may have been different!

Group Break #5: 1999 Fleer Brilliants - 2 More Packs!

We are down to four Fleer Brilliants packs in the's half of them for this afternoon's post.

Pack 4:
36.  Damion Easley
65.  John Olerud - Mets
85.  Trevor Hoffman - Padres
Blue parallel:  116B.  Jim Edmonds - Angels

Shining Stars:  9 of 15 SS.  Chipper Jones - Braves

The Shining Stars inserts are seeded 1:20 packs (essentially a box hit).  The neat thing about the card is that both sides are super shiny!

Pack 3:
17.  Tony Clark - Tigers
20.  Kerry Wood - Cubs

82.  Charles Nagy - Indians
124.  Todd Stottlemyer - Diamondbacks
172.  Luis Saturria - Cardinals

Another 1:2 packs rookie card, this time for the Cardinals.

Group Break #5: 2000 Pacific Aurora - Packs 33 and 34

The Pacific Aurora box has provided us with a huge stack of cards, plus a few nice inserts.  Will it also yield a Tony Gwynn autograph?  I keep hoping.  Four packs remain to be opened, here's half of them.

Pack 33:
4.  Mo Vaughn - Angels
17.  Will Clark - Orioles

46.  Omar Vizquel - Indians
83.  Jacque Jones - Twins
137.  Jose Canseco - Rays
Scouting Reports:  7.  Sammy Sosa - Cubs

The Scouting Reports cards are seeded 4:37 packs - and this happens to be our fourth so I don't expect we'll see any more in the remaining three packs.

Pack 34:
14.  Greg Maddux - Braves

26.  Henry Rodriguez - Cubs
48.  Mike Lansing - Rockies
84.  Brad Radke - Twins
114.  Chad Hermansen - Pirates
125.  Tony Gwynn - Padres

I'm not going to lie - I saw the back of the Gwynn card as soon as I ripped open the pack and I got a little excited.  Unfortunately, it was only his base card (at least it's still a nice card even if it isn't signed).

Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Allen & Ginter Group Break ?

I'm looking a bit ahead in the schedule (mid-July) and figured it would be a lot of fun to do an Allen & Ginter group break.  There are a few different options that I am considering - and that's where your opinions will matter!

Note:  I would need to sell all thirty slots to make this work.  I also plan to only ship one full set of base cards to for each team to save on shipping (this is true for all the options).  Of course, if someone wants all their base duplicates, they could have them for a small shipping surcharge.  You can find a preliminary checklist for the 2012 Allen & Ginter set here.

Option 1:
A full case of Allen & Ginter: 
30 slots (1 slot per team):   $45.00 per slot
All non-baseball hits randomed off beginning with teams that received 0 hits and then teams with 1 hit, then 2 hits, etc.  All non-baseball cards randomed off amongst all participants.

Option 2:
A full case of Allen & Ginter:
15 slots (2 teams per slot):  $85.00 per slot
One team of your choice, one random team.  All non-baseball hits randomed off beginning with teams that received 0 hits and then teams with 1 hit, then 2 hits, etc.  All non-baseball cards randomed off amongst all participants.

Option 3:
A full case of Allen & Ginter:
31 slots (30 team slots plus 1 non-baseball slot):  $39.00 per baseball team slot and $175 for the non-baseball slot 
The non-baseball slot would include all the non-baseball inserts and hits, along with a set of any non-baseball base cards.  This would also include all the non-baseball box toppers!

Personally, I'd like Option 2 to be the option that works - yes the upfront cost is a bit more but everyone saves money in a way by getting a pair of teams, plus the non-baseball hits and cards are all randomized (meaning everyone should walk away with some nice stuff).  It would save me on shipping (only half the envelopes and a bit of a saving on postage).  However, I'm willing to do any of the three options so long as I can fill all the slots.  

I plan to purchase a case for myself as well - my first purchase of any 2012 product!  I am hoping that by ordering two cases (one for me, one for the group break), I might be able to secure a small discount - I've contacted a number of different websites to see if that's true.

Let me know in the comments below which option (or options) you'd be interested in.  Unfortunately, I'll need to be paid BEFORE I order the case(s) - I don't have that kind of money sitting around where I can "float" a loan so to speak.  

Group Break #5: 2002 Piece of the Game - Pack 6

Here's the final pack out of the 2002 Playoff Piece of the Game box.  This box only contained six packs - but each pack contained a hit which makes opening the packs quite a bit of fun.  Who will get the final hit of the box, let's not waste any more time in finding out!

Pack 6:
17.  Scott Rolen - Cardinals
13.  Albert Pujols - Cardinals
46.  Jason Giambi - Yankees
47.  Brian Giles - Pirates
POG-76.  Relic:  Sammy Sosa - Cubs #115/250

Another relic card containing a piece of a base!  This particular base came from an interleague series played between the Cubs and White Sox on July 7-9, 2000.  Even better, it's serially numbered - a great hit for the Cubs!

Group Break #5: 1999 Fleer Molten Metal - Packs 20 & 21

Bear with me as the final group break posts go live.  I appreciate the patience for those who are in the break (and those who are not in the break)!  I have managed to get at least one non-group break post up each day which hopefully helped keep my blog interesting for everyone!  That said, there's still a few packs remaining to be opened, so let's get right to it.

Here's the next two out of the Fleer Molten Metal box.

Pack 20:
5.  Edgar Renteria - Cardinals
37.  Greg Vaughn - Reds
86.  John Olerud - Mets
99.  Mike Mussina - Orioles
113.  Troy Glaus - Angels
Xplosion:  150.  Ben Grieve - Athletics

Another metal card - this one belongs to the A's.

Pack 21:
15.  Ruben Rivera - Padres
41.  Ricky Ledee - Yankees
61.  Jason Giambi - Athletics
95.  Omar Vizquel - Indians
110.  Jesse Garcia - Orioles
132.  Cal Ripken Jr. - Orioles

Certainly a nice pack for the Orioles.  I really like the Ripken card - though I find myself liking most cards of the Iron Man.