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’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.


#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

Long lost, rediscovered Allen & Ginter

While cleaning out the cobwebs of the bat-cave here, I found two boxes of 2015 Allen & Ginter that we broke at that year’s National. Mothballed and not even sorted, I present you those boxes below. The entire thing is strange, because I was hugely into 2008-2012 Allen & Ginter, even so far as buying a case in 2011. Usually when I break a new set – one that I’ll actually work on – I’ll print out my checklist pdf and go about sorting them and making a checklist of needs shortly afterwards. Maybe it was that these boxes got ripped at the National and were stored alongside our other swag, eitherway, the set has been sorted now. :). I started with just

Not those Minnesota Twins.

While these are Minnesota Twins, these ones played baseball, not like the other kind. I didn’t do that great in this realm though, only pulling one a box. Danny Santana, and Kennys Vargas.

#ThanksTopps – Collation.

After collating the entire set, I ended up with several duplicate cards. I’m no mathematician, but the statistical probability that this would happen with two completely random boxes has to approach 100%. Even without cardboard companies’ collation issue history, unless there’s a guaranteed set per box, it’s gonna happen whether we like it or not. That said here’s a list of dupes for trade:

Pulled –


Completion – 134/300 – 45%.

Dupes –


Box Shorted Prints – Cards # 301-350.

Another staple of Allen & Ginter, the top 50 cards are listed as short-prints in 2015’s set. Although these don’t seem to be as hard to pull as in years past.

Pulled –


Completion – 22/50 – 64%

Dupes – #316,324,332,333,336,341,345.

Cardboard Quirks – Inserts.

Starting Points – Different player’s first game with their stats for their debut. By far the biggest insert subset of the entire 2015 A&G set, 100 cards.
Pulled – #5,6,13,14,21,22,28,38,53,54,60,61,77,82,84,91,93,99. Completion 18%.

Ancient Armory – This subset focuses on the different weapons and armor sets that civilizations have used throughout the years. Pulled – #2,4,5,7,14,15,16. Completion – 35%.

Great Scott! – Filled with scientific oddities, I only had one of these inserts despite the 1:2 packs odds for these inserts. Pulled – #5. Completion – 10%.

Menageries Of The Mind – Mythical creatures, legends, and the such.  Pulled – #3,5,8,9,17,18. Completion – 30%.

What Once Was Believed – Interesting ideas that were once thought to be truth, but were just imagined. Pulled – #2,7,10. Completion – 30%.

What Once Would Be – What people in the past believed would be invented with enough time, that haven’t yet. Pulled – #2,6,10. Completion – 30%. Dupes – #2.

Mini-Sodas – Minis, duh.

Base sod… I mean minis, complete copy of the base set, except mini-fied. Duh.
Pulled – #17,21,40,51,57,61,91,101,170,186,213,233,260,280,281,290,315,328.

Allen & Ginter Black border – Falling 1:10 packs, I think I did well in two boxes pulling five. Pulled – #6,8,55,127,208.

A & G Back variation – Slightly better odds pulling these, 1:5 packs. I pulled nearly double, with nine. Pulled – #68,157,179,186,190,236,251,257.

Of note, I didn’t realize until I sorted for this post that the above David Wright was a no-number A&G back. Those fall 1:72 packs, and are numbered to 50!

Mythical Menaces – Similar to Menageries Of The Mind, this set comprises of mostly literature based menaces. Pulled #2,7. Completion 20%.

First Ladies – The better halves of the 44 Presidents of the United States. I really wanna complete this set. #Americana. Pulled #1,5,25,36. Completion – 9%.

Magnates, barons, Gates, And Tycoons – Very sucessful businessmen throughout the past roughly 200 years. I pulled #9. Completion – 10%.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what about the hits? – Hits, duh.

Here’s where 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter excels, with the inclusion of bought-back cards solely from previous A&G sets. Of which, I pulled five buybacks – three base cards and two framed minis.

A good mix there. One rookie, one non-sport, a non-rookie, and two insert minis from different sets from four different years… Success!

Another good mix, with a base relic, a mini relic, a non-baseball relic, and an auto. Can’t ask for much better from Allen & Ginter!  Miguel Cabrera’s probably the nicest of the bunch, but the Lakey Peterson is underrated. Bright yellow, and unlike most cloth, I wonder if it’s not part of a wet suit. I’d easily consider these two boxes a success, minus the lack of Twins. :/.

#2015, #allen-ginter, #chris-young, #hubertus-wawra, #lakey-peterson, #maikel-franco, #matt-carson, #matt-holliday, #miguel-cabrera, #the-national

The National: fin.

Due to work responsibilities we had to leave around noon on Sunday, which is about the time that most of the vendors are packing up as is anyway. So, we made our way to the show floor early for once, and most all of the breakers had vacated. We met up with Eric, Ivan, and Mel and said our last goodbyes. We shopped around for the best price we could find on a box of 2015 Diamond Kings, and let Mel choose which one as they always seem to have ALL THE LUCK. Seriously, let them choose your box. Usually each box yields two auto, relic, or auto relic cards per box, one or two serial numbered cards, as well as two of each insert, and two short printed image variations from the rookies subset 151-200. We all gathered around the Topps booth for their luxurious floor mat, and I busted at an empty table. The highlights below:

A few packs in this Jameson Tallion #27/99 relic card popped up. Meh. Usually when there’s a relic card such as this, it’s not the best hit of the box. Don’t let your hopes fall down.

Then this mini Bobby Thompson #13/99 showed up. Usually these are an extra hit, and we had at least half the box left when we pulled it. Always nice pulling a long retired hitter’s jersey plus, “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!” is an excellent home run call. But a few packs later, our third hit of the box blew everyone away.

Miguel Cabrera. Dual jersey. Autograph. 4/15! The DK streak continues.

Rounding out the rest of the day, we hit up the booth that had vintage and picked up the few we returned Friday. Some odds and ends Fleer issued pennants, game pieces for Mincher, Perry, Kaat, and Tony-O, and Eddie Yost’s tab-less Red Man. With the exception of the DK box, no new stuff on Sunday. Gimmicks and parallels-less fun day.

Before leaving we ran into Robert again, and chatted with him for a good bit about his Hall of Fame bat, cats, and the internets. We also slabbed Ivan’s mouth on the Mike Berkus main stage with blue painter’s tape. Best use of it all week.

The show’s end really sets home when you close your car door and the slow drive away from all the friends you’ve met up with, and all the sads(to borrow a phrase from Eric) start to kick in. We picked up our fair share though, enjoyed the honeymoon through the east coast, Cooperstown, and Atlantic City, and had another successful National Sports Collector’s Convention. With another year in the books, we look forward to 2017 in Chicago!

#2015-diamond-kings, #dalsubfan, #don-mincher, #eddie-yost, #fleer, #jim-kaat, #jim-perry, #melrises, #miguel-cabrera, #the-national, #thosebackpages, #tony-oliva, #watchthebreaks