Panini Father’s Day

We’re preparing for our trip the National this year and decided to get more supplies to bring with us. A trade box, some penny sleeves, and four magnetic holders of a few different sizes later… we decided to break a box for the Panini Father’s Day promo packs. When it came to deciding what to break it came down to 2017 Donruss, 2017 Diamond Kings, or 2015 Contenders(baseball). We’re nearing a complete set of Donruss, and lawdy knows we have enough Diamond Kings(not that we won’t be breaking a box or three at the National…).

Forever ago we broke a retail box of this and ended up with a red foil SP(#/d 200 or less) of Jorge Mateo. The speedy Yankees prospect is highly rated on Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com’s prospect watch lists. The 2017 Florida State League All-Star has hit .255/.330/.397, with 69 doubles, 21 homers, and 205 SB(!) in six seasons since being signed as a 17 year old in 2012. Not too shabby of a prospect.

From this box however, here’s the highlights:

Stephen Piscotty, Alex Bregman(USA), Alex Bregman, Carso Fulmer
Dansby Swanson, Dansby Swanson(USA), Trea Turner(USA), Robert Refsnyder, and Andrew Benintendi.

I believe these are considered the base set. Had I not seen the rest of the set I would’ve believed these were more inserts… I pulled a few guys that y’all might’ve heard of, prior to their MLB debuts. The foil on these are hard to make out, so I’ve typed the player’s names below each photo.

Dansby Swanson, Aaron Judge, Stephen Piscotty, Michael Conforto, Kyle Schwarber,
Carson Fulmer, Alex Bregman, Andrew Benintendi, Trea Turner and Robert Refsnyder.

I understand the criticism that Panini can’t use MLB logos or team names, however I think this is a great compromise as MLB doesn’t have any rights to NCAA licenses.

Carson Fulmer, Luis Severino, Yoan Moncada, Carson Fulmer,
Dansby Swanson 2x, Andrew Benintendi, Alex Bregman.

A few more inserts to tease before I show off the autos from the box.  These School Colors inserts and the Old School Colors probably could’ve been condensed, but what do I know?

On the far right, there’s a cracked ice #/99 Kevin Newman, a shortstop with the Pirates, currently playing with their AA affiliate the Altoona Curve. Heetz. My second Josh Naylor auto with the previous from Leaf Draft – Naylor’s with the Padres Single-A affiliate the Lake Elsinore Storm. “Donald” DeWees is in the Royals system with their AA affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Jorge Mateo again! This time not a SP. Mateo’s in the Yankees chain with the A(Adv) chain Tampa Yankees. Jahmai Jones was drafted by the Angels and is playing for their A(full) affiliate Burlington Bees. However, the two best cards we pulled were Carson Fulmer and Ryan Howard. :).

Not that Ryan Howard, this one’s with the Single-A San Jose Giants in the… Giants chain! #/d 1/15! Carson Fulmer made his MLB debut last year and was promptly rocked to the tune of a 8.49 ERA in 8 relief appearances(11.2 IP). Used solely as a starter in the minors, Carson’s put up a slightly better 4.24 ERA but he’s struck out 176 batters in 193.1 IP! This one’s also #/d 1/15!

Dustin Pedroia #/95/99, Jake Arrieta #/110/190, Miguel Cabrera #/12/149, Eric Hosmer #/619/999.

We were a little short for the Panini packs, so we broke 5 Donruss packs to finish off an open box, and pulled four #/d cards, and a Dansby Swanson The Rookies. Sure, it’s no Brian Dozier, but I’ll take trade bait leading into the National. :D. As for our father’s day cards, we pulled two #/99 NBA cards of players I forget. :(.

Happy Father’s day to all the fathers out their whether child or beast, and we hope the socks are comfy. Lol.

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#2015-panini-contenders, #2017-donruss, #carson-fulmer, #donald-dewees, #dustin-pedroia, #eric-hosmer, #fathers-day, #jahmai-jones, #jake-arrieta, #jorge-mateo, #josh-naylor, #kevin-newman, #miguel-cabrera, #ryan-howard

2015 Panini Contenders retail review

I went looking for 2016 Heritage and Donruss, but left with Contenders. The life of a pack ripping addict. It’s not a bad product though.

We went to the nearby Target to search for Donruss and Topps Heritage, and while none were found, there were three boxes of Contenders. One up front, and two hidden in the back. I had another__castle choose which one we’d get, and finished up our shopping. I should have her choose more often!

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First pack, best pack! The first pack revealed the best retail pull I’ve had in some time. For 20$, you’re guaranteed 2 autos, but there’s no guarantee which team’s they’ll come from, obviously. My other auto isn’t as impressive but maybe the Rangers can mold him into a dependable starter.

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The base cards look like a mock up college program design. A dirt-y bottom giving way to white tops, with a season ticket banner at the bottom and a flag section with name, school, and product info. It’s a unique look that fits a mostly collegiate/Team USA set.

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I think a lot of the allure of this set is the throwback players. Of which, I pulled one or more a pack – four season tickets (Roger Clemens, Frank Thomas, Barry Larkin, Fred Lynn seen above) and three old school colors(Ozzie Smith, Reggie Jackson, Paul Molitor). Each pack had a good mix of season ticket base, and varied inserts. There’s:

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Collegiate Connections – pairs two teammates on the same card. Arguably my best prospect insert featuring top draft pick Dansby Swanson.

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Game Day – highlights a great game they had on the diamond.

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School Colors – the background matches their university’s colors.

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Old School Colors – recently drafted players have their university’s colors as a background.

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Class Reunion – filled with recently drafted players, different background.

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Passports – features players from the international realm.

I like the idea of school colors having current players and old school having former players. Game day spotlight makes sense in this kind of product. Matching teammates in Collegiate Connections is a nice touch. But to me, Class Reunion and Old School Colors could have been combined.

Also, I’m not sure who’s job it is to catch these kind of errors, but the School Colors cards for Drew Smith and Brandon Koch look awfully similar…

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The product looks nice and the price is right, I just wish they’d work on the amount and variety of inserts. A good mix of new and old are available, including on the hit spectrum. Overall, I definitely like what I saw, but there’s always areas to inprove. I’d recommend retail/hobby for low end collector’s and set builders.

Twins/Gophers checklist:
32 Dave Winfield – Minnesota Golden Gophers
75 Paul Molitor – Minnesota Golden Gophers
95 Tyler Jay – Illinois Fighting Illini

Twins/Gophers inserts:
Collegiate Connections
4 Dave Winfield/Paul Molitor
Old School Colors
9 Dave Winfield
12 Paul Molitor
46 Tyler Jay
Game Day
4 Tyler Jay
Class Reunion
4 Tyler Jay
School Colors
4 Tyler Jay

Autos:
College Ticket
9 Tyler Jay
Draft Ticket
41 Travis Blankenhorn
International Ticket
14 Wander Javier
USA Ticket
34 Tyler Jay SSP #/50.
Class Reunion
4 Tyler Jay
Prospect Ticket
2 Adam Walker
Collegiate Connections
4 Dave Winfield/Paul Molitor
School Colors
16 Tyler Jay SSP #/50
Old School Colors
9 Dave Winfield
12 Paul Molitor

Now playing: nothing.
Now reading: River of Champions.
Searching for: D or H!
Shoulder: pain free.

#2015-panini-contenders, #retail, #review