It’s A Cardboard Smorgasbord

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m the last person from BA Benny’s Baseball Card Buffet’s massively awesome group break to show off their goods.  I’ve seen a couple of you go through the piles of cards in extreme detail, and most of you give a couple key highlights.  I’ll be in that latter group.

I picked up two teams in the behemoth: Padres and White Sox.  Padres would give me a chance at some Gwynn goodness and a little bit of Maddux later years.  White Sox was all about FT, of course.  All in all, I was paying to put a few cards in my binders.  What I ended up getting in the mail was this:

Holy mother of Benny!

Oh yeah, I also had worked out a trade with him around the same time and all of it got shipped together.  More on that in a bit.  Sweet potato pile of fiber, that’s a freakin’ column of cardboard!  I could build a foundation with that brick.  You’ll also see that he included a cool bumper sticker.  I’m not really sure what to do with it, so if you have suggestions as to where I shall stick it (ahem)….

Right. So, with two teams worth of cards jam packed tight in that long-as-my-leg box, I can’t possibly show off everything and still A) maintain sanity and B) adhere to any semblance of a normal blogging schedule.  Hell, I can’t even show off all the different products represented in here.  This break was the biggest I’ve ever been part of and probably the biggest that has been held in this universe.

Let’s quickly go through the trade first, shall we?

Just a sampling. D-Lee #'d /999

I might not remember correctly, but I think part of my payment for the break was sending over some Yankees and Mets from my 2009 O-Pee-Chee box.  In return, he sent a bunch of assorted Cubs.  I don’t typically collect such things, but cards are cards.  If anyone’s interested in anything above (or needs some other random Cubs scraps), let me know.  We’ve both acquired quite a bit in trade bonuses. Also mixed in was one card of a guy I collect.

Her pitc

Finest designs are hit and miss with me.  This fancy honeycomb thing is a hit.  How many pitchers have thrown 4 strikeouts in one inning, plus also hit a home run in the same game?  I don’t know, but I’d be surprised if the list included anyone’s name besides Kerry Wood.  I know I rail and stupid “stats” like that, but I guess I can at least appreciate that it gave me words to type.

There may have been more to the trade, but I honestly didn’t keep it separated and it’s all blurred in the same package anyway.  Here’s just a tiny fraction of the other stuff I found waiting in the lobby of my apartment.

We're only getting started

A couple of these cards are from sets I’ve never seen before, such as the UD 40-Man and Old Judge.  I know another blogger asked this recently, but that Matt Mieske Bowman has an MVP stamp on it.  I have several 91 Bowman that have various stamps on them (bats, shields, gloves I think).  I’m sure I knew the story at one point, but can someone fill me in? Would this card have a non-stamped version? I know most of you aren’t fans of Topps Attax, but that Adrian Gonzalez looks awesome, and it scanned really well.  You can the metachlorians surrounding him.

More crazy awesomeness

I’m sure you’re getting a sense of the variety.  There are probably only five products ever created that didn’t get opened at one point.  So much shine in this batch.  I don’t know about you, but I only bought two or three packs of Finest ever in my life, so to see some old school of that opened, and to land a Trevor Hoffman was fantastic.  The Brad Ausmus Metal card rocks, too.  He’s looking straight up into the claw machine that’s about to grab him.  I don’t see any stuffed animals in the vicinity, so it’s not looking good for ol’ Brad.


More Badass Metal. More Bowel-shaking Finest. More winded 40-Man.  We also have some sweet mid-80s cards. I don’t care if it is junk wax, that’s still Carlton Fisk, dammit.  Why yes, that is a winner gold from a group break!  Name that Molina Chrome Refractor, although he’s not related to the other three.

Oh, we're still going

1987 O-Pee-Chee AND 1987 Donruss?  Classic players and the new guys and people most of us don’t remember.  Those prism cards are nice and confusing.  I know there are a bunch of different patterns, but looking at the backs, I can’t tell how to distinguish which version you have.  I guess I have the striped and the disco wave?

Last one of the white sox

Man, what happened to Gordon Beckham?  Did pitchers just figure him out and he’s not adjusting, aka what happens to nearly every rookie?  Yeah, I scanned three Thome cards in one sheet.  Two of them are for the obvious reason of the recycled picture.  The other is because dude hit 600 HRs, most likely is clean, and thus deserves it.  Back to the similar cards.

These mark the 500th HR of his career and they show how different and how good the paintings in Masterpiece are.  Look at the crowd.  In the UD photo, they’re pretty blurry.  The painting sharpens them up and hits most of the key details.  The only major discrepancy is with dude on the left.  In the UD picture, the guy zipping up his pants is wearing a striped shirt with a big white strip across his man boobs.  In the Masterpiece photo, he’s now all gray.  Probably a wise choice, since accentuating that with bright colors would distract from the focus.  You see how the background is all muted.  Anyway, I found it interesting.


Each slot in the break also came with a football team.  I chose the two best/most tradeable teams still remaining in the Cowboys and Ravens.  This is about 1/5 of what I had sent. Please take them off my hands.

Hit Parade

The last of the generalities I’ll show are the hits.  The break wasn’t meant to be hit heavy and many participants didn’t end up with any.  Somehow, I hit the jackpot and wound up with three!  Jermaine Dye got a bum rap.  He’s a quality player that still had production in him.  I think his problem was not catering to the market. He should have taken less money for a year and then tried to bump his value up again.  Alexei’s autograph isn’t so much.  It’s more a printed name, but still quite cool and I player I wish played for the northside instead.  Lastly, there’s Hoff.  This is from UD series 2.  I hadn’t seen these before, but they’re pretty cool looking.  Certainly better than the Dye jersey design.

Everything you see above (aside from the Kerry Wood) is for trade.  I have a ton more where that came from, so send me your Padres and White Sox team needs and I can try to find stuff for you. We’re not done yet, my friends. Oh, no.  Those were just the players I don’t collect.  I did get a smattering of ones I do.

"Yeah, I'm hot shit."

Oh, store specialty issues, how I love and loathe you at the same time.  You are so prevalent, yet elusive. How I hope I’m not forced to buy your tiny 30 card boxes for $1 just to get the $.10 card I need inside. How happy I am when one of these is freed from its cellophane cage and sent via pony express into my clutches.

Interesting "P" placement there.

I thought I had this card, and there were a few Maddux and Gwynn cards that ended up being dupes.  I’ve received a lot of 2008 Upper Deck from people over the past 18 months or so, but this wasn’t one of them.  Imagine my surprise.  I’ll take it!

Everyone's favorite set

Do you remember how this game works?  I’m logging all of his Documentary cards to see if Maddux gives his team a winning record by the end of his 36 cards in the set.  When we last left things on Feb 16, 2011, the record was 2-3.

Well, not a great start.  Three runs in the bottom of the seventh were not enough to overcome the Nationals.
Padres card record:  2-4

Writing captions for these is hard

San Diego’s only run in this contest was from a Chase Headley solo home run.  One homer is not going to get the job done in the run support arena.  The loss put Maddux at 3-7 for the year and San Diego at 20 games below .500.
Padres card record:  2-5

Only 34 or 35 more to go

The gold cards aren’t part of my little game.  If they were, then it would just be redundant, you know?  The giant “2008” stamp made me think that there are 2008 of each gold card, but my guess is it’s actually quite a bit less than that.

Check swing?

I’m finding that 1994 Score is a surprisingly tough set to find in good condition.  This one is fine, but a lot that I come across either suffer from surface damage due to stuck together cards or severe chipping.  I know Colbey’s group break had him encountering that problem a couple months back, but are any of you finding this to be true?

Unnecessary sidebar action

I had moved to basketball by 1995, so this is pretty new to me.  There’s some sort of wheel on the back, and I can only assume this was made more clear by something else found in the pack.  It looks interesting at least.  I wonder if this is tailored to Gwynn’s stats meaning is it easier to get a hit than strikeout, and does it account for his .394 BA in 1994?

Look at that elaborate signature!

This is a team checklist from 1996 Collector’s Choice.  Yesterday I showed the Frank Thomas version.  I almost didn’t catch it, but if you look near the bottom, there’s a foil stamp of a different Padres logo.  I initially dismissed this as a weird quirk that all the cards would have.  But, since I had just seen the same card of Thomas and that one didn’t have the stamp, it dawned on me that this is in fact the Silver Signature parallel.  Crazy, right?  You’d think they’d have a Tony Gwynn facsimile, but I guess they went with a tiny team name stamp instead.  Good thing I got these two back to back otherwise I might have never noticed what I had.

Watch out, this card'll cut ya!

Easily the coolest card in the entire break.  I know BA Benny was jealous, and he probably wished he hadn’t opened this pack on video.  The die cut crown effect has held up well, but I’m afraid of damaging it accidentally.  The scan doesn’t show the cobblestone pattern very well, but the card essentially looks like a castle.  And it is glorious.  Now to hunt down the refractor version.

We’ve finally come to the end.  I enjoyed every minute of this break.  I watched all the videos and found it was a nice way to unwind after work.  I may have had them on in the background while doing other things sometimes, but I still kept an ear open.  A big thanks to Mike over at BA Benny’s for the trade and for putting this whole thing together and doing such a great job coordinating it.  If you ever decide to try it again, hopefully I can be involved.

1 comment to It’s A Cardboard Smorgasbord

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>