Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Group Break: The End of Donruss (Trick or Treat Edition)

I'm scheduling this post to go live at 6:01 PM EST.  That time also happens to be when trick-or-treating officially starts in my small town.  Luckily for me, my little guy is only 5.5 months old so he doesn't know what Halloween is yet (and so I get to stay home).  Unluckily for me, staying home means trying to keep the dog in the house and the trick-or-treaters outside the house while handing out candy to every little mini human that rings the doorbell.

While I try to keep peace in the neighborhood, you can all enjoy the final four packs from the 2016 Panini Donruss box - including the final pack which has our one promised hit in it!

2016 Panini Donruss:
Pack 21:
181.  Cal Ripken, Jr. - Orioles
135.  Chris Heston - Giants
144.  Matt Holliday - Cardinals
99.  Jacob DeGrom - Mets
USA Baseball:  USA-8.  Nick Banks

D82-32.  Adrian Beltre - Rangers

After no USA Baseball inserts for most of the box, we've pulled three (including one parallel #/99) in the past five packs.  Like the other USA cards, this one will be randomized among all group break participants (not including me).

Pack 22:
178.  Kirby Puckett - Twins
127.  Carlos Martinez - Cardinals
92.  Kendrys Morales - Royals
96.  Gerrit Cole - Pirates
Studio:  S8.  Stephen Piscotty - Cardinals

D82-27.  Nelson Cruz - Mariners

Pack 23:
170.  David Wright - Mets
174.  Justin Upton - Padres
120.  Mark Melancon - Pirates
87.  Anthony Rizzo - Cubs
195.  Checklist
D82-22.  Brandon Crawford - Giants

Pack 24:
166.  Michael Taylor - Nationals
109.  Billy Hamilton - Reds
114.  Dexter Fowler - Cubs
81.  Lorenzo Cain - Royals
D82-17.  Matt Harvey - Mets
Bat Kings Green Parallel Relic:  BK-AG.  Adrian Gonzalez - Dodgers (#20/25)

Wow, there's our hit and I'd say we did alright with it!  A green parallel numbered out of only 25...from a retail box.  Not bad at all!  The only unfortunate thing from the group break perspective is that no one claimed the Dodgers this time around which meant I ended up with them as one of the teams I had to take to fill the break.  I guess this helps me to ease the sting of having to soak up so many group break slots.

That does it for the Donruss box.  I think we did quite well all things considered.  Next up, I think we'll crack the 1997 Leaf Limited box. 

PS:  Happy Halloween.

Group Break: Donruss Delivers a #/99 Card

The group break is nearing its conclusion...or at least we are nearing the conclusion of the fifth box in the break.  Amazingly, after all these cards we still have three more boxes to go including the monstrous Topps Total box!  However, rather than jumping the gun so to speak, let's keep working our way through the 2016 Panini Donruss box.  My goal is to finish this thing off today.

2016 Panini Donruss:
Pack 17:
146.  Pedro Alvarez - Pirates
151.  The Famous San Diego Chicken - Padres
71.  Carlos Gonzalez - Rockies
56.  Paul Goldschmidt - Diamondbacks
USA Baseball:  USA-10.  Zack Burdi

D82-16.  Andrew McCutchen - Pirates

The USA Baseball insert will be randomized among all group break participants (not including me since I have no interest in the card).  The McCutchen '82 card is my favorite card in this pack!

Pack 18:
160.  Noah Syndergaard - Mets
52.  Jake Arrieta - Cubs
62.  Albert Pujols - Angels
46.  Edwin Encarnacion - Blue Jays
Power Alley:  PA10.  Jose Bautista - Blue Jays

D82-11.  Paul Goldschmidt - Diamondbacks

Another Power Alley insert - though this time we get an actual slugger as opposed to the pitcher Bumgarner!

Pack 19:
148.  Brian McCann - Yankees
138.  CC Sabathia - Yankees
48.  Robinson Cano - Mariners
USA Baseball Red Parallel:  USA-19.  Zach Jackson  #48/99

Masters of the Game:  MG-8.  Randy Johnson - Diamondbacks

D82-39.  Jacob DeGrom - Mets

Wow, that was a packed little pack of cards, wasn't it?  The red parallel is numbered out of 99 - and like the other USA Baseball insert, it too will be randomized among all group break participants (again not including me since I have no interest in the USA Baseball cards).

Pack 20:
186.  Don Mattingly - Yankees
190. John Smoltz - Braves
54.  Zack Greinke - Dodgers
129.  Adrian Beltre - Rangers
30.  Bryce Harper - Nationals

D82-36.  Kole Calhoun - Angels

That does it for this set of packs.  Only four more packs remain in the box - and yes, there is that promised autograph or relic that's yet to be found.  To be honest, the hit occurred in the very last pack that I opened (which you'll see in the video) and so I'll keep it for the final pack post on the blog as well. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Group Break: Donruss Tuesday Continues

Is "Donruss Tuesday" really going to become a thing here at Nachos Grande?  In a word:  no.

BUT - today for one day only, you get Donruss Tuesday.  Enjoy it because it'll probably never be back again.

2016 Panini Donruss:
Pack 13:
179.  Ken Griffey, Jr - Mariners
173.  DJ LeMahieu - Rockies
119.  Kyle Seager - Mariners
91.  Chris Davis - Orioles
193.  Checklist
D82-35.  Jason Heyward - Cardinals

Pack 14:
169.  Delion DeShields, Jr. - Rangers
113.  Eddie Rosario - Twins
86.  Todd Frazier - Reds
26.  Yadier Molina - Cardinals

165.  Yu Darvish - Rangers
D82-31.  Kevin Kiermaier - Rays

A nice pair of packs for the Cardinals - but my favorite card goes to the Kiermaier '82 throwback card.  I love the angle of the photograph (even if there is some sort of weird "fish eye" lens thing happening at the edges of the picture).

Pack 15:
161.  Jung-Ho Kang - Pirates
104.  Adam Eaton - White Sox
108.  Chris Sale - White Sox
80.  Andrelton Simmons - Braves
Masters of the Game:  MG-6.  Mariano Rivera - Yankees

D82-26.  Xander Bogaerts - Red Sox

That's a nice looking Rivera card for the Yankees!

Pack 16:
156.  Jose Fernandez - Marlins
79.  Kevin Pillar - Blue Jays
65.  Dee Gordon - Marlins
73.  Kevin Kiermaier - Rays
Studio:  S9.  Luis Severino - Yankees

D82-21.  Nolan Arenado - Rockies

A couple of nice cards to round out the pack (and this post).  If all goes well, I'll finish the Donruss box off tomorrow and then it'll be on to our next box!

Group Break: Tuesday is for Donruss!

Happy Halloween Eve, everyone.  For me, I can't say that I get overly excited about Halloween.  Sure, I bought a few bags of candy so that my wife and I can hand out goodies to local trick-or-treaters but otherwise I find Halloween to be one of my least cared about holidays.  Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is one of my favorite days so at least the next "big day" on the holiday calendar is one of my favorites!

That all had nothing to do with the current group break box that we are in the middle of busting:  2016 Panini Donruss.  Sometimes it's simply hard to come up with some sort of interesting preamble to a pack post!

2016 Panini Donruss:
Pack 9:
177.  Ryan Sandberg - Cubs
126.  Carlos Carrasco - Indians
134.  Hisashi Iwakuma - Mariners
95.  Madison Bumgarner - Giants
Pink parallel:  98.  Colby Lewis - Texas

D82-38.  Kevin Pillar - Blue Jays

The pink bordered parallels are not serially numbered, in case you were wondering.

Pack 10:
45.  Richie Shaffer - Rays
184.  Rickey Henderson - Athletics
128. Cole Hamels - Rangers
97.  Michael Wacha - Cardinals

122.  Jeurys Familia - Mets
D82-18. Prince Fielder - Rangers

Pack 11:
28.  Prince Fielder - Rangers
152.  Chris Archer - Rays
157.  Yasmany Tomas - Diamondbacks
102.  Ben Revere - Blue Jays
57. Bryce Harper - Nationals

D82-7.  Jake Arrieta - Cubs

I like that Arrieta image a lot!

Pack 12:
162.  Rusney Castillo - Red Sox
105.  Jason Kipnis - Indians
66.  Nolan Arenado - Rockies
74.  Brandon Crawford - Giants
Power Alley:  PA7.  Madison Bumgarner - Giants

D82-12.  Bryce Harper - Nationals

A pair of nice Harpers in the last couple of packs but the neatest card in some ways is the Power Alley card of the pitcher Madison Bumgarner.  

Donruss may be fairly simple in design and lacking in team logos but I have to admit, it's simply fun to open up!  Almost every pack has something neat in it - and that's without even considering the possibility of a relic or autograph (of which we should get one in our box by the way)!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Group Break: Panini Donruss - If Only There Were Logos!

In 2018, I found myself drawn enough to the Panini Donruss brand to actually try and collect the full set (which I'm still working on).  I think I would happily go back in time and collect some of the earlier year's worth of sets from Panini as well if only they had team logos.  

Why do team logos matter?  For me, it's mostly in the photography.  Many of the cards with logos photoshopped out of them make the images look like a generic drug ad or something.  I'm not sure why I'm a logo snob but I fully admit that I am.  That said, the 2016 Donruss set is actually fairly well done given the limitations that Panini had to work around.  Oh sure, many of the photos still suffer from Photoshopping but overall the set is fairly pleasing to go through.

2016 Panini Donruss:
Pack 5:
180.  Frank Thomas - White Sox
182.  George Brett - Royals

143.  Troy Tulowitzki - Rockies
98. Colbey Lewis - Rangers
D82-40.  Andrelton Simmons - Braves
The Rookies:  TR13.  Jose Peraza - Reds

Peraza has turned out to be a pretty decent player for my Reds team.  As for the base cards, getting a Frank Thomas and a George Brett in the same pack is a power move.  That Brett card shows that Panini can make nice cards with good photography where the lack of logos isn't super obvious.  

Pack 6:
189.  Craig Biggio - Astros
53.  Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers
100.  Max Scherzer - Nationals
137.  Felix Hernandez - Mariners
Studio: S10.  Michael Conforto - Mets

D82-47.  Rickey Henderson - Athletics

Pack 7:
171.  Steven Matz - Mets
110.  Billy Burns - Athletics
115.  Brian Dozier - Twins
88. Jose Abreu - White Sox
194.  Checklist
D82-8.  Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers

That's a different shot of Kershaw than what you usually see - the towel conveniently blocks most of where the team name would be on Clayton's jersey.

Pack 8:
175.  Bo Jackson - Royals
179.  Ken Griffey, Jr - Reds
121.  Trevor Rosenthal - Cardinals
93.  J.D. Martinez - Tigers
Diamond Kings:  3.  Manny Machado - Orioles
D82-13.  Joey Votto - Reds

That was a great pack for the Reds - both Votto and Griffey are welcome in my collection.

Another nice set of packs - and it's good to see most teams being represented thus far in the box.  I hope everyone likes parallels and inserts because Donruss seems to have at least one such card per pack (the 82s appear to be one-per-pack).

Stay tuned, more from the break coming soon!

Group Break: Moving on to Box #5!

The group break is officially past the halfway mark, at least in terms of boxes now that we are about to dig into the fifth (of eight) boxes.  For our next box, let's move up in time to the newest of the group break boxes:  2016 Panini Donruss.

The Panini Donruss box is a retail box with 24 packs and one promised relic or autograph.  I thought this box would be a nice addition to the break mostly because it will provide us with some newer players to go along with plenty of players from the late 90s and early 00s. 

Let's get it started!

2016 Panini Donruss:
Pack 1:
32.  Corey Seager - Dodgers
147.  Giancarlo Stanton - Marlins
63.  Prince Fielder - Rangers
72.  Manny Machado - Orioles
47.  Josh Donaldson - Blue Jays
D82-2.  Josh Donaldson - Blue Jays

It's a Donaldson hot pack!  The 1982 retro set is pretty nice - easily my favorite part of the 2016 Donruss set if I'm being honest.  The images in the set are (for the most part) top-notch and I hope that those of you who are lucky enough to land some of the '82 will agree with me!

Pack 2:
153.  Johnny Cueto - Royals
64. Buster Posey - Giants
101.  Ian Kinsler - Tigers
58.  Joey Votto - Reds
D82-44. Ken Griffey, Jr. - Mariners
Black border parallel:  89.  Matt Carpenter - Cardinals (#137/199)

The black bordered card is nice looking - especially for a team like the Cardinals with the red and black on the border.  Unfortunately though, the card came out of the pack damaged a bit on the bottom (you can see some "flipped up" paper).  This card came in a pack with a dummy card (thick cardboard) and I'm guessing that's what caused the slight damage.  Still, it's a nice looking design.

Pack 3:
158.  Addison Russell - Cubs
163.  Carlos Rodon - White Sox
103.  Charlie Blackmon - Rockies
67.  Miguel Cabrera - Tigers
The Prospects:  TP7. Orlando Arcia - Brewers

D82-48.  Robin Yount - Brewers

The Brewers did well with that pack, both the Yount and the Arcia are quite nice.

Pack 4:
167.  Jorge Soler - Cubs
106.  Joc Pederson - Dodgers
75.  Starling Marte - Pirates

82.  Yadier Molina - Cardinals
Studio:  S6.  Kyle Schwarber - Cubs

D82-3.  Lorenzo Cain - Royals

Another nice pack, the Studio insert is very much a throwback to the old '90s Studio sets. 

That was a good start to the box - and with 24 packs total we have only just begun our odyssey.  Come back soon for more!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Group Break: Another Box Bites the Dust, but Not Before Giving us a 1:72 Insert

It's time to finish off the Score Summit box from 1995.  Once complete, we will have knocked off four of our eight boxes.  Still to go?  2016 Donruss, 2002 Topps Total, 2001 Topps Gold Label, and 1997 Leaf Limited. 

Lets see what final goodies we get from Score and then it'll be on to the next box in the next post!

1995 Score Summit:
Pack 21:
123.  Curtis Goodwin - Orioles
67.  Wil Cordero - Expos
143.  Michael Tucker - Royals
121.  Jon Nunnally - Royals
69.  Rico Brogna - Mets
141.  Hideo Nomo - Dodgers
Nth Degree:  97.  Randy Johnson - Mariners

I like that Nth Degree card quite a bit, even if it is overly gaudy!

Pack 22:
88.  Mike Piazza - Dodgers
127.  Dustin Hermanson - Padres
83.  Dean Palmer - Rangers
116.  Shane Andrews - Expos
29.  Greg Colbrunn - Marlins
111. Dave Justice - Braves
24.  Robin Ventura - White Sox

Pack 23:
191.  David Cone - Blue Jays
93.  Eduardo Perez - Angels
186.  Paul Molitor - Blue Jays
60.  Greg Vaughn - Brewers
174.  Ken Griffey, Jr. - Mariners
55.  John Olerud - Blue Jays
Big Bang:  BB7.  Matt Williams - Giants

Woah, nice!!  The Big Bang inserts are the rarest in the Score Summit set as they are seeded 1:72 packs!  The card looks really nice - and it's a great hit for Nick who grabbed the Giants in this break!

And the final pack of the box...

Pack 24:
51.  Hal Morris - Reds
110.  Steve Karsay - Athletics
15.  Midre Cummings - Pirates
79.  Cal Ripken, Jr. - Orioles
131.  Frank Rodriguez - Red Sox
74.  Joe Carter - Blue Jays

Nth Degree:  88.  Mike Piazza - Dodgers

I really like the image on the back of the Joe Carter card.  The Piazza Nth Degree parallel is a nice way to finish off the box of Score Summit!

Overall, I liked the Score Summit box a lot.  It was fun to rip and most of the cards are really sharp looking.  Come back tomorrow when I delve into the next box in the group break - at this point we are halfway through all the boxes!

Group Break: A Nice Griffey, Jr. Parallel

The group break keeps on marching on.  In fact, we are nearly done with the box of 1995 Score Summit - if all goes well, we'll finish this box off today.  Let's not dally any longer, here are the next four packs!

1995 Score Summit:
Pack 17: 
122.  Garret Anderson - Angels
68.  Joey Hamilton - Padres
142.  Ray Holbert - Padres
115.  Chipper Jones - Braves

20.  Chili Davis - Angels
155.  Ricky Otero - Mets
39.  Willie Greene - Reds

Pack 18:
103.  Brian Anderson - Angels
12.  Billy Ashley - Dodgers
167.  Tim Belk - Reds
57.  Cecil Fielder - Tigers
177.  Jeff Bagwell - Astros

52.  Cliff Floyd - Expos
109.  Krik Gibson - Tigers

A bunch of nice base cards in the first two packs today.  That Chipper Jones from pack 17 is particularly nice, even if it isn't an "official" rookie card of his (didn't his official rookie card happen back in 1993)?!

Pack 19:
102.  Mike Mussina - Orioles
13.  Matt Williams - Giants
168.  Andy Pettitte - Yankees
160. Shannon Penn - Cubs (wrong team logo!)
5.  Rafael Palmeiro - Orioles
145.  John Valentin - Red Sox
Nth Degree:  174. Ken Griffey, Jr. - Mariners

Nice Griffey parallel!  That's what I'm talking about - good stuff for sure.

Pack 20:
62.  Jeffrey Hammonds - Orioles
171.  Scott Sullivan - Reds
47.  Raul Mondesi - Dodgers
159.  Todd Hollandsworth - Dodgers
35.  Tim Salmon - Angels
154.  Ozzie Timmons - Tigers (wrong team logo - seems to be switched with the Penn card from the previous pack!)

30.  Greg Maddux - Braves

Next time around, I'll crack the final four packs from the box and then it'll be on to our next box in the break! 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Group Break: A Question for You!

As a group break host, it is always interesting to me to see which boxes people seem to like versus which they seem to not care much about.  In a surprising twist (to me at least), the Pacific Paramount box seemed to get a fair bit of love while the Score Summit box has been left at the altar.

I'm not entirely sure why - maybe it's simply that "1995" and "Score" in the same sentence is enough to make most baseball card collectors turn up their collective noses, but even so, this is actually a really nice little set.  For those of you in the break who maybe don't own any cards from this set, I think you'll actually be quite happy. 

Of course, that's not to say that the set is perfect (it's not).  For example, the incorrect (?) team logos seem to be on a few cards and the Nth Degree parallels are way too noisy for my tastes.  Still, overall I've enjoyed the box break and I hope that you all will as well. 

It's now time to move and see what else we can add to the various team stacks.  However, before I do that I have one question for those of you in the group break.

What are your thoughts on me NOT opening up the Topps Total box on video?

With all the packs (and all the cards in each pack), the video will be obnoxiously long both for me to record but also for me to upload.  Since the Total set is basically a base card set anyhow, I feel like a video isn't necessary but since I originally said I'd do videos for each box I bust, I wanted to gather feedback before I change things on the fly.  If anyone in the break disagrees, I'll do the video but otherwise it'd save me a lot of time if I could forgo it (I still plan to type up each and every card as I've done for most of the other boxes - that alone should take up a ton of time)!

Now, on to the packs you call came here to see.

1995 Score Summit:
Pack 13:
181.  Don Mattingly - Yankees
58.  Paul Molitor - Blue Jays
176.  Cal Ripken, Jr. - Orioles
105.  Dante Bichette - Rockies
10.  Barry Larkin - Reds

165.  Ray Durham - White Sox
40.  Ozzie Smith - Cardinals

Two of the best shortstops of the 80s and 90s in that pack!

Pack 14:
180.  Matt Williams - Giants
59.  Bret Boone - Reds
175.  Frank Thomas - White Sox
106.  Bret Saberhagen - Mets
19.  Jose Canseco - Red Sox
101.  Eddie Murray - Indians
Nth Degree:  58.  Paul Molitor - Blue Jays

Two packs, two Molitors (this one being the over-the-top Nth Degree parallel).

Pack 15:
53.  Brent Gates - Athletics
108.  Ruben Sierra - Athletics
17.  Edgar Martinez - Mariners

14.  Andy Benes - Padres
164.  Terry Bradshaw - Brewers (wrong team logo)
169.  Roger Cedeno - Dodgers
6.  Tony Gwynn - Padres

Pack 16:
7.  Jim Thome- Indians
163.  Jason Giambi - Braves (yep, wrong team logo)
2.  Alex Fernandez - White Sox
1.  Ken Griffey, Jr. - Mariners

149.  Juan Acevedo - Rockies
86.  Scott Cooper - Cardinals
129.  Wilson Heredia - Rangers

That does it for now.  We are down to the final third of the box - and I can tell you (since I've already opened up the box on video) that we haven't seen the best card of the box yet - at least in terms of rarity.  Stay tuned!

Group Break: Score Summit Produces a Chipper

Another day, another bunch of group break packs!  At this moment, I have fully sorted out one whole box of cards into team stacks (the Archives box).  That one was a pain since I had to double-check some team assignments (such as the Browns going to the Orioles and the Senators going to the Twins).  I think sorting the cards into team stacks is one of the worst things about hosting a group break.  The worst thing, however, is 100% the packing and shipping of cards.  That's never fun.

However, what is fun is getting new cards of your team - and the only way for that to happen is for me to continue busting packs of cards for everyone.  Let's return to the box of 1995 Score Summit and see what is in store this time around.

1995 Score Summit:
Pack 9:
63.  James Mouton - Astros
170.  Jose Parra - Dodgers
48.  Kenny Lofton - Indians
64.  Omar Vizquel - Indians
200.  Mo Vaughn - Red Sox and Matt Williams - Giants
49.  Darryl Hamilton - Brewers
195.  Ken Griffey, Jr. - Mariners

Both the Griffey and the Vaughn/Williams card are checklists that are numbered as part of the base set.  In the case of the two player card, that card will be randomized at the end of the break between the Red Sox and Giants. 

Pack 10:
157.  Joe Rosselli - Giants
37.  Moises Alou - Expos
152.  Steve Rodriguez - Yankees

23.  Tom Glavine - Braves
158.  Roberto Petagine - Padres
36.  Deion Sanders - Reds
153.  Rudy Pemberton - Dodgers

Two of the rookies in this pack had team logos not matching their assigned team (the other being Pemberton).

Pack 11:
190.  Roger Clemens - Red Sox
94.  Mo Vaughn - Red Sox
185.  Jose Canseco - Red Sox
31.  Craig Biggio - Astros
138.  Tim Naehring - Red Sox
97.  Randy Johnson - Mariners
New Age:  NA 11.  Chipper Jones - Braves

Nice!!  While that pack was a great pack for the Red Sox, the real winner has to be the Braves with that awesome looking Chipper Jones insert.  The New Age cards are seeded 1:18 packs so it is almost a box hit!

Pack 12:
54.  Rickey Henderson - Athletics
107.  Jeff Kent - Mets
18.  Manny Ramirez - Indians
77.  Paul O'Neil - Yankees
133.  Alex Rodriguez - Mariners

72.  Bob Hamelin - Royals
182.  Will Clark - Rangers

I'll admit that 1) that's a nice A-Rod card and 2) A-Rod has grown on me quite a bit since he retired from baseball.  I actually find some of his baseball analysis on TV to be pretty good - clearly he does have a lot of knowledge of the game and for the most part, I find he can explain things to the viewer quite clearly. 

Overall, that was a pretty nice set of four packs even if we didn't land one of the 1:4 Nth Degree parallels.  I figure it should mean we get a couple of parallels in a different set of four packs (assuming the odds hold for the box).  That Chipper Jones card is really nice - only bummer is that no one actually claimed the Braves as their main team this time around!