Monday, September 30, 2013

Winning Contests is Fun: Play at the Play the Edition!

Not all that long ago, Brian (from Play at the Plate) held a simple little contest where you had to guess a number.  I'll let him explain what happened - but suffice to say, I got lucky that no one else was lucky in their guesses and waltzed my way to a free Allen & Ginter rack pack.

Since I'm currently in the middle of a group break - and this pack was a prize for me, I'll be adding all cards that I don't need to their respective team's piles.  Think of it as me paying the prize forward - and maybe give Brian a thanks too if you happen to luck out and land any cards.

What'd I get you ask?!  Well - let's take a look.

I've never actually opened a Ginter rack pack since I usually buy a bunch of hobby boxes and then try to get the rest of the set via trades, eBay, or Listia.  So thanks for the opportunity to do something different Brian!

Now, on to the pack.

First, the base cards.  Since I already own the full base set, I'll be adding ALL of the base cards to their respective team piles.

Johnny Bench - Reds
Jose Altuve - Astros
Reggie Jackson - Athletics
Mike McCarthy - Coach
Wily Peralta - Brewers (SP)
David Ortiz - Red Sox
Matt Garza - Cubs
Salvador Perez - Royals
Brett Lawrie - Blue Jays
John Calipari - Coach

And now the inserts:

ATY-JW.  Across the Years:  Jered Weaver - Angels

I have the full Across the Years set - so this too gets added to the team stacks.

MM-ZU.  Martial Mastery:  Zulu

Another nice insert, this will be added to my Ginter trade bait since it doesn't "belong" to any specific team.

Reg. mini:
59.  Joey Votto - Reds

HOW ABOUT THAT?!  Brian managed to send me a rack pack with a Johnny Bench base card AND a Joey Votto mini card.  I've decided to chase the various Reds minis - so if you have any for trade check my want list and make me an offer!
Regular back minis wants:  38, 77, 122, 177, 183, 215, 218
A&G back minis wants:  38, 59, 77, 122, 169, 183, 215, 218, 294, 309, 310
Black border minis wants:  38, 58, 77, 103, 122, 169, 177, 183, 206, 215, 218, 240, 294, 309, 310
The final mini in the rack pack was of the Voynich Manuscript - another non-baseball card which will go to my Ginter trade bait pile (at least it will whenever I get around to updating my trade bait page...something that probably won't happen until I get through the 15 or so random trade envelopes sitting next to my desk that are waiting to be scanned and cataloged)!

I should also mention that Brian threw in two other Reds for me as a bonus prize.  One was this Tony Cingrani Pinnacle card...

...and the other this delightfully creepy Mat Latos chrome card - a personal favorite of mine now!!

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

More Zenith 8x10s!

At this point in the group break, I'm down to only four boxes with packs remaining - Zenith, Gold Label, Fleer Tradition, and Skybox Dominion.  The Zenith 8x10 set is by far the most unique of the remaining boxes...so let's open another one of the oversized packs right now!

Pack 7:
1.  Frank Thomas - White Sox
37.  Kenny Lofton - Braves
40.  Edgar Martinez - Mariners
41.  Mo Vaughn - Red Sox

47.  Jose Cruz Jr. - Mariners

Well, I think all of the regular sized cards are duplicates (except for the Mo Vaughn card).  That's disappointing since there are still a bunch of the regular base cards that we haven't yet found.

8x10 cards:
20 of 24:  Hideki Irabu - Yankees

20 of 24:  Dufex:  Hideki Irabu - Yankees

A big congrats to the Yankees as they land both versions of the Irabu card!  I don't think Hideki is the most highly sought after player in the set...but it is kind of cool to get both oversized versions (especially if you are Kenneth who claimed the Yankees)!

Early Monday Dominion!

It's Monday (already).  Didn't it seem like just yesterday was Friday?  What happened to the weekend?!

*sigh*

At least there are still packs of cards for me to open today.  I'm probably going to suffer pack-opening withdrawal when this gigantic group break is finally finished.  For now though, it's back to Skybox Dominion box for a couple more packs.

Pack 15:
Edgar Renteria - Cardinals
Derek Jeter - Yankees

This is a pretty cool card of Jeter - even I can admit that!
Jeff Weaver - Tigers
Roberto Alomar - Indians
Russ Ortiz - Giants
Larry Walker - Rockies
Juan Encarnacion - Tigers

Another cool card - the Larry Walker was also nice though I didn't scan it.  A solid pack of base card photos!
A.J. Burnett & Amaury Garcia - Marlins
John Franco - Mets
Alex Fernandez - Marlins

Pack 16:
Roger Clemens - Yankees
Ismael Valdes - Dodgers
Eric Milton - Twins
M. McGwire (Cardinals) & M. Ramirez (Indians)

To the randomizer!
Roberto Alomar - Indians (two packs in a row with this card)
Ben Davis - Padres
Carl Pavano - Expos
K. peterson & K. Barker - Brewers
Kip Well - White Sox
Michael Barrett - Expos

I'm out of time so it's only two packs for now.  More cards to come though!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Finishing Off the Third Box of the Group Break (with a Really Nice Relic #ed out of 100)!

If I'm being honest, I must admit that the 2002 Fleer Maximum box was a total dud.  Oh sure, we did find a fairly nice Mike Piazza relic already but for the most part the box was disappointing.  Not so much for the design, inserts, or hits.  No, it was disappointing because almost every single card in each 15 card pack was stuck to the cards above and below it.  That results in a lot of chipping and peeling - and generally ugly looking cards when all is said and done.  Even so, there are a few cards that escaped relatively unscathed (usually the card on the top or bottom of the pack).  I hope the cards make for a nice addition to each group break participant's collection regardless of the inferior quality produced by Fleer.

We have four 15 card packs remaining - and I believe one of them should hold our second hit from the box.  Let's rip all four packs and finish off this box!

Pack 13:
Ryan Klesko - Padres
Jason Johnson - Orioles
Cristian Guzman - Twins
Rich Aurilia - Giants
Ben Grieve - Rays
Matt Williams - Diamondbacks
John Olerud - Mariners
Jim Thome - Indians

Mike Lieberthal - Phillies
Preston Wilson - Marlins
Bubba Trammell - Padres
Albert Pujols - Cardinals
Mike Sweeney - Royals
Jermaine Dye - Athletics
256.  Impact:  Derek Jeter - Yankees

Pack 14:
Mark Buehrle - White Sox
Juan Encarnacion - Tigers
Freddy Garcia - Mariners
Todd Walker - Reds
David Eckstein - Angels
Corey Koskie - Twins
Jeff Weaver - Tigers
Robert Fick - Tigers
Sean Casey - Reds
Manny Ramirez - Red Sox
Magglio Ordonez - White Sox
Brad Radke - Twins
264.  Impact:  Pedro Martinez - Red Sox

Maximum Coverage Relic:  Randy Johnson - Diamondbacks #091/100

Woah!  That's a gorgeous looking relic - and it's probably one of the largest swatches of cloth that I've seen on a relic!   Even better, the card is numbered out of 100 making this a great hit for the Diamondbacks.

But wait you say...when did the D-backs ever wear white?!  Let's flip the card over.

Yep.  This is a card featuring a piece of a game-worn Mariners jersey by Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks.  At least Fleer was forthcoming with where in the world the cloth piece came from, I appreciate that.  As for the group break, this is clearly a Diamondbacks card (despite it being a Mariners' jersey) and so congrats to Chris G. who ended up with the D-backs in the team randomization portion of the group break!

Pack 15:
Carlos Beltran - Royals
Brandon Duckworth - Phillies
Eric Karros - Dodgers
Keith Foulke - White Sox
Russ Ortiz - Giants
Aubrey Huff - Rays
Robert Person - Phillies
Dee Brown - Royals
Steve Cox - Rays
Todd Helton - Rockies
CC Sabathia - Indians
Randy Johnson - Diamondbacks
Javier Vazquez - Expos
Vladimir Guerrero - Expos
257.  Impact:  Roberto Alomar - Mets

A nice card for the Mets!

Pack 16:
Barry Zito - Athletics
Aramis Ramirez - Pirates
Alfonso Soriano - Yankees
Carlos Delgado - Blue Jays
Paul Lo Duca - Dodgers
Jacque Jones - Twins
Carlos Lee - White Sox
Joe Randa - Royals
Raul Mondesi - Blue Jays
Kazuhiro Sasaki - Mariners
Ryan Dempster - Marlins
Garrett Anderson - Angels
Johnny Damon - Athletics
Mike Piazza - Mets
253.  Impact:  Nomar Garciaparra - Red Sox

The final pack of the box might have been a semi-dud but the final four packs as a whole really helped to improve my opinion of the box.  The Johnson relic is a gorgeous piece of cardboard - and coupled with the Piazza pulled earlier, I'd say we did quite well with our hits out of the box.  I still don't like all the sticking/chipping that occurred with almost every base card though.

We've now finished off three boxes - only four more remain with packs left unopened.  I'll continue the slow march to group break completion tomorrow!

A Tradition of Group Break Excellence.

The next few weeks are shaping up to be quite busy for the Nachos Grande household.  We've got weddings to attend, campus events to attend, and even a short trip up north tentatively planned.  As such, it's imperative that I finish up this group break in short order - I don't want all the participants to have to wait (and wait - and wait) for their cards!

2004 Fleer Tradition:
Pack 21:
Jason Phillips - Mets
Brad Penny - Marlins
Rodrigo Lopez - Orioles
Rondell White - Royals
Pat Hentgen - Blue Jays
Alex Sanchez - Tigers
Junior Spivey - Brewers
Joe Randa - Royals

Gary Sheffield - Braves
Brian Lawrence - Padres

The Royals made out well in this pack - and I just so happened to like the Randa card best of all.  A little celebration on a baseball card can be a fun thing (though not when it is super short printed Topps)!

Pack 22:
Keith Foulke - Athletics
Derrek Lee - Cubs
Milton Bradley - Indians

Trot Nixon - Red Sox
Jermaine Dye - Athletics
Lance Carter - Rays
Ben Broussard - Indians
Jeromy Burnitz - Dodgers
Reed Johnson - Blue Jays
477.  J. Stewart (White Sox), N. Cotts (White Sox), A. Miles (Rockies)

I wish Fleer would have put three prospects from the same team on each card - this whole 2 of one team, 1 of another is annoying when you open the product for a group break.

Pack 23:
Michael Young - Rangers
Jolbert Cabrera - Dodgers
Angels Team Leaders
Al Leiter - Mets
Juan Pierre - Marlins
Ramon Martinez - Cubs
Frank Catalanotto - Blue Jays
Jose Hernandez - Pirates
Jose Contreras - Yankees
415.  Eric Chavez - Athletics

That's the three packs for now - time to give the 'ol fingers a rest from typing.  Judging by how full (or empty) the various group break boxes are, I think I might be able to finish off the break before the end of the week.  Ideally, I will get ahead by a few days and maybe even be able to send off some of the packages before next weekend.  No promises, but that's the goal!

Rosana: Freaky Little Mama (Skybox Dominion Edition)

During the week, I drive about 52 miles from my house to work...and then the same 52 miles back home at the end of the day.  As such, I have a lot of time in my car...and with that time I usually listen to my SiriusXM radio.  Much of the time, I tune to the MLB channel, but when I'm not in the mood to hear the meaningless chatter (especially after a Reds' loss), I tend to listen a variety of music stations.

Since I teach college, I try to listen to the current stations (like the Top 20 station and Hits One) but I also listen to stations that play more songs that I find stomachable (such as 90s on 9 or Lithium).  Today's post isn't so much an advertisement for satellite radio (I promise I'm getting to the card packs shortly).  Instead, my preamble is meant to explain the post title...and to see if I can get this catchy (yet definitely not safe for work) song in your head much as it's been in my head all weekend.

Enjoy!

And now, on to the cards.

Pack 12:
Rondell White - Expos
Chad Meyers - Cubs
C. Harville & Br. Laxton - Athletics
J.D. Drew - Cardinals

Tony Clark - Tigers
Omar Vizquel - Indians
P. Martinez (Red Sox) & R. Johnson - Diamondbacks
Troy O'Leary - Red Sox
Brad Ausmus - Tigers
Todd Greene - Angels

I have to admit, that wasn't the most exciting pack of cards that I've ever opened...

Pack 13:
Carlos Beltran - Royals
G. Meche & A. Scheffer - Mariners
Cliff Floyd - Marlins
Ramon Ortiz - Angels
Craig Biggio - Astros

We need more cards of players bunting, don't you think?
John Valentin - Red Sox
Gary Sheffield - Dodgers
Trevor Hoffman - Padres
Andy Pettitte - Yankees
3 of 20 NE:  New Era:  Wilton Veras - Red Sox

A nice little card for the Red Sox...actually, I take that back.  I'm not a huge fan of the New Era insert cards - the only redeeming factor is the water and boats in the background.  You can't really seem them in the scan, but I promise they are there!  The New Era cards scan like a piece of doo-doo.

Pack 14:
John Halama - Mariners
Todd Helton - Rockies
E. Clemente & C. Sexton - Rockies
Orioles Host Cuban National Team

This is a pretty cool highlights card - much better than the usual fare that we are used to these days.  I don't remember this game happening, I guess I wasn't paying much attention to baseball back in May of 1999.
Kevin Young - Pirates
Jeromy Burnitz - Brewers
Kevin Millwood - Braves
John Jaha - Athletics
Tony Gwynn - Padres
Nomar Garciaparra - Red Sox

Phew!  That's a lot of typing.  Heck, this whole group break has been a lot of typing.  What was I thinking when I set the break up anyway?!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another 8x10 Pack of Cards. These Things are Big!

With only five boxes remaining in the break, expect to see a bit less variety from here on out.  I ripped pack #5 out of the Zenith box yesterday, now it's time for pack #6 today.  Enjoy!

Pack 6:
1.  Frank Thomas - White Sox
37.  Kenny Lofton - Braves
38.  Jay Buhner - Mariners
40.  Edgar Martinez - Mariners

47.  Jose Cruz Jr. - Mariners

That was a Mariners heavy pack, now wasn't it?  I'm guessing Junior Junkie doesn't mind!

Oversized 8x10 cards:

2 of 24:  Tony Gwynn - Padres

19 of 24:  Dufex:  Cal Ripken Jr. - Orioles

We already had the "regular" version of the Ripken card in 8x10 form, now we have the Dufex version as well.  A very nice box overall for Justin G. who claimed the O's!

A Pair of Sosa Cards and Mike Piazza's Pants!

Earlier this morning, we finished off the 1993 Upper Deck box (and we found one of the rarest inserts in the set to boot)!  Now, we turn our attention to the remaining five boxes in the group break.  Most of the boxes have quite a few packs remaining, so let's get goin'!

For now, let's put a serious dent in the Fleer Maximum box!

Pack 10:
Tony Clark - Red Sox
Roger Clemens - Yankees
Gabe Kapler - Rangers
Aaron Sele - Mariners
Rickey Henderson - Padres
Ben Davis - Padres
Jason Tyner - Rays
Brian Jordan - Braves
Jeff Cirillo - Rockies
Greg Maddux - Braves
Joe Crede - White Sox
Barry Bonds - Giants
Tom Glavine - Braves
238.  True Colors:  Eric Knott - Diamondbacks #299/500

264.  Impact:  Pedro Martinez - Red Sox

The True Colors Rookies cards are numbered as part of the base set but they are all serially numbered out of 500.  There are 25 such rookies in the set which means putting together the full base set would be quite annoying!

Pack 11:
Carlos Delgado - Blue Jays
Paul Lo Duca - Dodgers
Jacque Jones - Twins
Carlos Lee - White Sox
Lance Berkman - Astros
Jose Vidro - Expos
Josh Beckett - Marlins
Jason Giambi - Yankees
Scott Schoeneweis - Angels
Ichiro - Mariners
Milton Bradley - Indians
Jose Ortiz - Rockies
259.  Impact:  Mike Piazza - Mets

America's Game Relic:  Mike Piazza - Mets

It's a Piazza hot pack!  The Impact short print is nice, but the relic is obviously much, much nicer!  The American's Game relics are seeded 1:24 packs.  This particular star spangled card features a small bit of Piazza's pants, kinky.

Pack 12:
Sammy Sosa - Cubs
Jason Kendall - Pirates
Phil Nevin - Padres
Frank Catalanotto - Rangers
Bartolo Colon - Indians
Cal Ripken Jr. - Orioles
Tino Martinez - Yankees
Rafael Palmeiro - Rangers
Curt Schilling - Diamondbacks
Junior Spivey - Diamondbacks
Ken Griffey Jr. - Reds
Edgar Martinez - Mariners
Alex Rodriguez - Rangers
Jimmy Rollins - Phillies
266.  Impact:  Sammy Sosa - Cubs

Two Sosa cards in this pack - but most of the others were duplicates if memory serves.  Oh well, at least we found a relic hit for buckstorecards - that's good!

A Rare Card Out of the 1993 Upper Deck Box (for Real!)

There are five jumbo packs remaining in the 1993 Upper Deck box.  Let's take a quick look at the highlights of each pack (since mostly the packs are all duplicates at this point in the break).

Pack 16:

We actually found one of the rarest possible cards in the set - an SP card (seeded 1:72 packs).  The card features George Brett on the back and Robin Yount on the front.  Unfortunately, neither the Brewers nor the Royals were chosen so this will be randomed off at the end of the break between the two teams.

Pack 17:

The Justice insert card is nice enough, but I think I like the Harold Reynolds card better!

Pack 18:

Not a lot in pack #18, though I'm still happy we found one of the rare SP cards in the earlier pack.  The Pendleton card means we now have two Homerun Heroes Braves inserts in three packs.

Pack 19:

The second-to-last pack in the box (or the penultimate pack if you'd prefer) was a bit of a letdown.  Only the Kirby Puckett card was of note.

Pack 20:

The final pack of the box was pretty good - we got a Homerun Heroes card for the Dodgers and another Willie Mays Baseball Heroes insert (this one goes to the Giants even though no team was mentioned).  After all, Mays is in the Hall as a Giant so that only seems right.

We've now completed 2 of the 7 boxes in the break - look for more completed boxes over the next week or so if all goes according to plan!  Of course, I hope to be spending quite a bit of time next week watching my Reds in the playoffs....but that only happens if they get past the Wild Card coin flip game.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Fleer Tradition Box Yields a Relic: Who Gets It?!

I can see the bottom of the 2004 Fleer Tradition box - well, at least the bottom half of the box.  So many more packs - let's keep goin'!

Pack 18:
Adam Dunn - Reds
Josh Hall - Reds
Ramon Ortiz - Angels
Jamie Moyer - Mariners
Melvin Mora - Orioles
Juan Pierre - Marlins
Bobby Kielty - Athletics
Aaron Guiel - Royals
SO-HB:  Stand Outs Relic:  Hank Blalock - Rangers

A big congrats to the Texas Rangers as they land another hit in the break!  The Stand Out relics are seeded 1:41 packs so this is a bit rarer than your typical relic card from the set.  Congrats to Baseball Dad once again!

Pack 19:
Dane Sardinha - Reds
A.J. Burnett - Marlins
LaTroy Hawkins - Cubs
Chris Stynes - Rockies
Blue Jays Leaders
Cesar Izturis - Dodgers
Darin Erstad - Angels
444.  Damian Rolls - Rays

A short print for Tampa Bay - woot!
459.  Stand Outs:  Hideki Matsui - Yankees

Is Matsui running through a wind tunnel in this photo?
8 of 20 DT.  Diamond Tributes:  Mike Piazza - Mets

I can't determine whether or not I like the Diamond Tribute insert set.  It's both wonderfully reminiscent of old school cards and terribly executed with gold foil.  

Pack 20:
Jim Edmonds - Cardinals
Josh Towers - Blue Jays
Morgan Ensberg - Astros
Austin Kearns - Reds
Ken Griffey Jr. - Reds

Brett Myers - Phillies
Bernie Williams - Yankees
Marquis Grissom - Giants
Indians Team Leaders
419.  Kazuhiro Sasaki - Mariners

Overall, I'd say that was a solid trio of packs!  

More Zenith 8x10s - Chicago Lovin'

Based on the comments on some of the previous posts, it certainly seems like most of my blog readers like the Zenith 8x10 set quite a bit.  In fact, the jumbo sized cards seem to be among the most popular in all of the group break!  Let's see who gets to add to their pile of cards with the next pack.

Pack 5:
5.  Roberto Alomar - Orioles
10.  Tony Clark - Tigers
17.  Derek Jeter - Yankees

26.  John Smoltz- Braves

34.  Deion Sanders - Reds

And now, the moment you've been waiting for - the 8x10s!

8 of 24:  Albert Belle - White Sox

10 of 24:  Dufex:  Sammy Sosa - Cubs

A lot of Chicago love in this pack - at least in terms of the 8x10s.  I like the Sosa card quite a bit - and that's saying something since I'm not a big Sammy fan to begin with.