Saturday, April 18, 2015

A 2nd pack of Donruss - Any better luck?

As I mentioned the other day I picked up a second 30-card pack of the 2015 Donruss baseball release just for grins and giggles. After pulling a Tony Gwynn (my only Padres card) in the first pack, I was feeling relatively okay about that pack. So, for whatever reason, I decided to grab one more pack after picking up some yardwork supplies at another local Target store (we have four just within a five-mile radius).
If I was moderately happy with that first pack, I would have to be mildly ecstatic with my second pack - which like the first, also had the pitcture of Tony Gwynn on the front.
This pack had a total of not one, but four San Diego Padres players, inlcuding a Donruss Preferred Bronze Rymer Liriano and common cards of Matt Kemp, Ian Kennedy and Everth Cabrera. Since Panini only has rights from the Players' Association, all the team logos are airbrushed out, which makes it fairly easy to include a new Padres player such as Kemp. However, Cabrera doesn't make much sense in this year's set, as he was granted free agency back in December 2014 and signed by the Baltimore Orioles.
My inserts included a Donruss Elite Yoenis Cespedes, Adam Jones, Donruss All-Time Diamond Kings Ernie Banks, Donruss '81 Masahiro Tanaka, Donruss Studio Matt Shoemaker and Donruss Rated Rookie Dalton Pompey.

I also pulled three oldies but goodies (at least two goodies, anyway), with Ernie "Mr. Cub" Banks, Bo Jackson and Pete Rose. I have to admit, however, I do get a kick out of that Pete Rose commercial for Skechers shoes. "Pete Rose here, in the hall," he says, as he's standing in his home's hallway. His wife then pops into view, telling him, "Pete, you know you're not supposed to be in the hall." At least I find it funny, anyway.
While its rather fun busting wax and it's been interesting in picking up this second pack, I think my fun meter has now been pegged as far as 2015 Donruss goes. While there's a wealth of SPs in the set and some of the inserts aren't too bad looking, a ho-hum layout, airbrushed team logos and not enough Padres cards to make things interesting, guarantees this is another set I'll just pick up my Padres cards as I come across them.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On a roll? 2015 Gypsy Queen and Topps Opening Day packs

I have to admit to a slight change of plans. While I mentioned I would post my second 30-card pack of 2015 Donruss in my next post, what I found at Target last night is definitely worth pre-empting that post.
Let me begin by telling you why I've been spending so much time at Target, as of late. Since October, I've been following the Weight Watchers program with my wife and we've been religiously working at losing weight together. We've finally gotten our heads wrapped around creating a new lifestyle of eating changes, watching our portions, documenting what we eat, and aggressively working out.
And it really, really works. As of last Tuesday, I finally hit my goal weight of 227 pounds, dropping 60 pounds in the process. So, it was time to make another Target trip to pick up some new jeans, since I've gone down a total of four pant sizes over that time.
So of course, as a further reward, I had to take a stroll down the sports cards aisle, where I found a pack of 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen. I've always liked this Topps offering and was curious about what this years cardboard class had to offer.
What I pulled were a Chris Carter Silver Border Framed #247 (S/N 232/499) (Astros), Billy Bulter #237 (A's), Trevor Balier #267 (Indians), Jason Vargas #57 (Royals), C.J. Wilson mini #280 (Angels), and a Jose Fernandez #132 (Marlins).
I had Ozzie Smith (in a St. Louis uniform - go figure) on the cover of the pack. The card fronts feature a dark brown, almost sepia-colored front, with white scrollwork and the player's last name, first initial, and team name. I can't say much about the card backs, as they're typical Gypsy Queen backs.
Again, Gypsy Queen doesn't seem to stray too far from what works and this year's offering doesn't really seem all that different from last year's issue. I like them and while I won't buy too many packs, I'll continue to collect all the San Diego players within this set.
While perusing the shelves, I also decided to pick up a pack of 2015 Topps Opening Day. The Topps set aimed at the low buck collector, it's kind of a fun, kitzy set to collect. Besides, who knows, maybe I'd get a decent Padres card or two, or perhaps this year's version of the Swinging Friar mascot card. 
No such luck - Like the Gypsy Queen pack, I was shut out on Padres players. What I did get were 2015 Topps Opening Day Anthony Ranaudo RC #104, Christian Yelich #88, John Lackey #29,  Matt Adams #169, Topps Opening Day Mascots Capper #M07, Greg Holland #23 and Jose Bautista #62.

Again, interesting cards, but I won't be buying too many packs, since I don't get too big a bang for my buck looking for San Diego Padres cards.

Next, I promise. I'll actually post that second pack of 2015 Donruss cards.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A 30-card pack of 2015 Donruss

Even though I'm not actually a basketball fan, I'll watch the college game on occasion. And like most Americans, I'll usually fill out a bracket or two for the NCAA tournament. This year I entered  two - one with the Old Chicago restaurant chain, the other with San Diego's City Beat magazine.
Despite not following the college game, I didn't do too bad on my picks. In the City Beat challenge, I finished 48th (44,539 of 173,661 nationally) and in the Old Chicago contest, I finished 16th at our Des Moines location (1,902 nationally), and yes, I picked Wisconsin and Duke in the finals, but with the Badgers coming out on top.
I received a coupon for a free Chicago 7 Calzone for doing so well on my picks (after winning nachos and pepperoni rolls earlier), so after my wife and I went to OC for supper, we swung by the Target store at the mall.
Despite the fact that members of the San Diego Padres have been far and few in recent card releases,  I'm hoping fall's update sets will be chock full of the newer Padres players picked up by Preller. 
So for whatever reason,  I decided to pick up a 30-pack of Donruss for grins and giggles.
Perhaps it was the picture of Tony Gwynn on the cover. I mean, how can you go wrong with a pack of cards with Tony Gwynn on the cover.
As for the cards themselves, they seem to be okay, but certainly nothing to write home about. However, it appears there's several SP variations for more than a few of these cards out there. For example, the Mike Trout card alone has a total of four variations. While this particular card is the regular one, there's a reverse negative SP, an SP of Trout fielding, and an SP of Trout as league MVP.
Among the inserts I pulled were a Donruss Preferred Bronze Miguel Cabrera, Donruss Elite Inserts R.A. Dickey, Donruss Studio Jose Altuve, Donruss All-Time Diamond Kings, Donruss Diamond Kings Jacoby Ellsbury, and a Donruss 81 Chris Sale.

I did get a rookie card of the Washington Nationals' Michael Taylor and a pseudo-rookie card of Donruss The Rookies Joc Pederson.

The card I was the most happiest with though, especially since it was my lone Padres card, was the one that made this pack all the more worthwhile - a Donruss cardboard of Mr. Padre himself, just like on the front of the pack.

We were out again last night and I actually picked up another pack of Donruss. Stay tuned for 2015 Donruss Round 2.