Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spoils from a Pair of Group Breaks

I've gotten in on a couple group breaks hosted by fellow bloggers in the past month.  The first was a break of some 1990s Pacific boxes from Colbey at Cardboard Collections.  The second was a smorgasbord of older and newer boxes (but called a "retro" break) from Nachos Grande.  I selected the Cubs in both.  I have to say, I was pretty satisfied with the results of both breaks.

First up is Colbey's Affordable Group Break of Bilingual Pacific cards.  I was intrigued by this break because I didn't own any 1993 or 1994 Pacific.  They're not bad looking cards, either, and I like the novelty of having both Spanish and English on the card.  It's kind of like the appeal of O-Pee-Chee, but with cards that aren't quite as widespread.

My random second team was the Rockies, which was kind of a tough break because they didn't exist for one year of this break.  Still, I wasn't in it for the random team, so I'm content just to have these new Cubbie additions to my collection.

Here is 1993 Pacific.  This isn't every card I got, but a sampling of some of my favorite North-Siders from that year.  I was familiar with Pacific football from this year, but this set doesn't share too much resemblance with its gridiron counterpart.  In fact, this looks much more like the 1992 Pacific football.  It's a nice, colorful design, and I like it.

And here is the 1994 edition.  I like the team color marbling on the bottom.  Once again, I didn't scan every new Cub, but here are some of my favorites.  Two boxes, two new Gracies for my collection.  I'm not complaining.

I'm not showing the Rockies (which only came in the 1994 variety) because I already have them ear-marked for someone.  I also have some Cubs dupes from this break, so if any of you Cubs collectors have some 1993-94 Pacific-sized holes in your collection, just let me know.

The second break was Nacho Grande's Rockin' Retro Group Break.  Chris broke 7 boxes spanning 20 years from 1997 to 2017.  Once again I picked up the Cubs, receiving the Rays as my random second team.  Once again, it was a team that didn't exist when some of these products were released.  But again, I was content with my Cubs.  Plus, you will see that I got some Rays that fit into my PCs anyway, and one team would have been sufficient with the cards I wound up with.

This was my first look at 1997 Sports Illustrated in hand.  They were much nicer and glossier than I anticipated.  Here is the complete Cubs team set, so no complaints here.

Here is the one insert I got from that box: a mini-poster of Ryne Sandberg.  Good thing I have some page protectors so I can put this in my Cubs binder.

1998 Bowman Chrome came next.  A second Mark Grace from the break, a young Kerry Wood, and a zero-year card for future All-Star Jon Garland.  Old Chrome is usually pretty fun.  I had to look up the Kerry Wood because I wasn't sure if this was a rookie or not.  As it turns out, he had a rookie card the previous year.

Now we have a set that I had never seen before: 2002 Fleer Triple Crown.  Like most Fleer sets from this time period, it is rather simplistic and easily forgettable.  The Moises Alou in this scan may be wearing an Astros uni, but the team is listed as the Cubs, so I got the card for my collection.  One Ray managed to become part of my collection from this box: Ben Grieve, former AL ROY.  The McGriff and Young additions are welcome, as both are underrepresented in my Cubs collection.  Nate Frese spent his entire career in the Cubs organization, but never advanced beyond AAA.  This is the first card I have of him.

Here's some 1998 Gold Label.  Class 1 has a fielding picture in the background, as you can see most of these do.  The Sammy Sosa in the middle is Class 3, and the one on the right is a Home Run Race insert.  Nothing screams late 1990s baseball like an entire insert set featuring players who could break Maris's home run record.  It seems like half the teams in the league had a candidate.  Thank you, steroids.  The Fred McGriff on the bottom is a cool black parallel.  It's hard to see in the scan, but the name and the Gold Label logo on the front are not gold.  That's a nice All-Star Game MVP pickup.

Fast forward 19 years and Chris is breaking a box of NEW Gold Label.  I really liked these cards when I got them, but I was surprised at how thin they were.  I can't complain about the player selection.  Neither can I complain about the fact that not one of these is a Class 1.  That's right; KB and Javy are both Class 2, and Jake is Class 3.  That's pretty lucky, I'd say.  I didn't notice at first, but along the left edge of the cards, the Class is written very faintly.  Here is a close-up of Bryant:

Finally, Chris threw in a blaster of 2016 Donruss Optic.  It was kind of an afterthought, so I didn't think much of it.

I ended up with one base card and one pink parallel that both fit into my collection.  I'm still not impressed with Panini Donruss, even with the Chroming treatment.  But then, Chris made an amazing pull.

Kudos to Colbey, who noticed on the live feed that this was not a facsimile signature.  I thought it was at first.  I just planned on adding a new Schwarber rookie to my collection.  But this is a real, autographed hit!  More than that, it is the black parallel signature.

Yes, Chris pulled an autograph numbered to 25 from a blaster box that he just added to the break at the end, and I got it!  That is astounding luck!  Had I walked away with nothing else, I would have been okay.  But adding this as a cherry on top of the rest of my new acquisitions just made this an incredibly fun, unforgettable break.

I don't always get in on group breaks, but I really enjoy these breaks within our blogging community.  Thanks to Colbey and Nachos Grande for hosting the breaks.  You do a great job, and I appreciate it.


  1. Congratulations on the big-time get! I can remember not liking the '93 Pacific back when it came out, but I think I'm starting to warm up to it a little.

  2. Nice Schwarber! And in his catching gear you don't even notice missing logos.