Being an impatient sort, I literally ripped through all the unopened packs on Thursday night. Last night, I scanned the better cards and sorted most everything out. Today, I finished sorting and packaged up everything to go out in the mail. With it being 26 packages, I am leaving it to my wife's discretion as to whether all of them go out at once or whether they go out over a few weeks.
After all, as anyone in a relationship knows, the best way to have a happy life is to make sure that your significant other is happy. Well, that, and making sure that you still indulge in those guilty pleasures like chocolate, baseball cards, and a good bottle of your favorite tipple.
That proves two things: first, that you can find a song for nearly every word imaginable and, second, there are still people paying money to hear Fiona Apple play music.
Or, maybe that was a free show in Portland. I don't know.
Anyway, here's what the #SuperTraders got in our boxes of cards here at Off Hiatus Central:
1. 2012 Panini Cooperstown Blaster
This one did not have much to offer us. No parallels of any sort, no serial numbers, and barely any inserts. It was like a pack-searched blaster. To be fair, this is a pretty cool set generally. If Panini didn't put out literally the same set every year with very few changes to the photos, it would be a better set.
Because I felt like I needed to scan something from the blaster, here's a card that helped me:
I mean, I own this card already, so it didn't help me *that* much. Let's move on.
2. 2014 Donruss Baseball Factory Set
This could have been a much better set. It's been said before elsewhere, but this set is annoying. The first half -- the original release -- was pretty cool. A decent design with pretty good photos and a pretty good idea generally to bring back the Donruss name led to a more successful release than Panini expected, I'd guess.
As a result, Panini tried to capitalize on that good feeling and released Series 2. Series 2 was a car crash in a flood caused by a tornado destroying a dam by pushing a bridge over onto the dam. Seriously, it's that bad.
Why? Well, there are two Diamond Kings for each team. That never happened before. There are two sets of Rated Rookies, which may or may not have happened before, but it was unnecessary and not in keeping with the 1980s nostalgia part of the release.
More to the point, Series 2 featured cards for a multiplicity of players who appeared in Series 1. If Series 1 had been, say, 800 cards, then I could see this being necessary. It was not -- it was like 150 to 200 cards. Why repeat players? Also, there were a few random retired players thrown in -- such as two or three retired Cincinnati Reds and a couple of retired New York Yankees. But, not every team had a retired player in the set. And, what the hell are retired players doing in the set (unless they were a puzzle insert?)?
It's just a nonsensical set generally.
There was one relic card in the factory box, just to keep up with modern collector needs:
Congratulations to Sam, the Daily Dimwit, who is the lucky recipient of a Rated Rookie Relic of George Springer serial numbered 14 of 99. It looks like this is a new addition to his Springer relic collection, so that's an awesome hit for him!
3. 2012 Topps Mini
This box promised one autograph or relic mini card. In addition, six packs had inserts and, in addition, there were five Gold parallels serial numbered to 61. Let's start with the inserts:
Yes, it's the return of Golden Moments, but in mini form. Also, my apologies go out to Jaybarkerfan, as you'll have to wait to get your Smoltz mini insert because it got buried under the Diamondbacks and I didn't find it until your envelope was sealed up. Don't worry -- you'll get it, though!
Next up: the gold parallels.
So far, so good. All but the Indians were claimed of these inserts and parallels. It's always cool to get a parallel that is numbered to less than 100 total, so hopefully these are good additions to the various collectors' collections.
Finally, this box featured one of the funkiest looking relics I have seen:
Is that relic made cooler by the writing, or is it that the Rays wrote the date and had an employee sign it -- and then Topps just cut that part up too and put it in the card? I'd like to think it was Longoria himself writing that, but it's probably my wild-ass guess that is closer to the truth. Still, I do feel like this is a more interesting relic due to the writing.
4. 2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee
So, I blew it on this one too -- I didn't cut up the box and insert the cards I was supposed to insert into the various envelopes. Sorry guys. Next package, I promise.
Anyway, I hate myself for my reaction to this box. I really like these cards -- they are attractive cards that are intentionally styled after the 1976 Topps set. My ugly reaction, though, was of disappointment for not getting any autographs or relics in the box.
I've become a modern collector. Dammit.
What did we get?
Well, I got a Corey Hart black mini:
There were six of the "20th Anniversary" cards:
There were two "New York, New York" inserts that were thicker than the average card:
Looks about right. The Yankees get Jeter, the Mets get...Mike Pelfrey.
And, there were a few other random insert-type things:
So, it wasn't a bad box overall...well, other than the fact that I received only TWO base Milwaukee Brewers cards in the whole box. Maybe that's what's coloring my view.
5. 2015 Panini Contenders
As with all things Panini, I was ready to hate this product. There are some things that are not great about it. It's basically about three main sets thrown together with a bunch of random inserts. Set one is the "Season Ticket" set of current players -- some minor leaguers, some drafted last year, some current major leaguers, and some retired players -- in color photos from their college days. Let's have John Elway (yeah, really) model this card:
The second set is the "School Colors" set. It's pretty similar to the Season Ticket set with the color photography and all, but it has no backgrounds other than the player's college colors. Here's Brewers' 2nd round draft pick (out for 2016 after TJS) Nathan Kirby from the university whose students refer to their school humbly as "The University":
So, I hate Kirby already for two reasons -- that he's out with a ligament transplant, and because he was the pitcher who closed out Vanderbilt in the 2015 College World Series. If I need a third, it's that his middle name is "Winston." Seriously. The guy should talk like Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island.
Finally, the third set within a set is the "Old School Colors" set. This is where it gets annoying, because I can't explain what the hell this set is about except being "School Colors" with black & white photos.
At least I can add that one to my player collection.
The upside to this box were the six autographs.
Again, because of the random way that some of these cards are named, a few guys are shown with college logos and four are shown with their major league city.
Probably the highlight -- at least for Mark Hoyle -- is the fact that the Red Sox's top prospect, Yoan Moncada, was one of our autographs. I wish the autograph were better, but I'm guessing Yoan signed this sticker in the middle of signing several thousand for Panini. Still, this autograph was going on eBay for somewhere around $50, so it doesn't suck!
The best autograph, of course, is the one going to Brett Cooper of Blake Perkins -- you have to appreciate a guy who actually took his time and signed the sticker well.
I hope y'all enjoy the cards you get from this break!