A Seven-Layer Group Break

Phew, let’s take a little break from the trade posts. Back in November, everyone’s favorite Nacho Nacho Man, Chris, held a fabulous throwback group break. I admittedly already had complete or near-complete team sets from a couple of these, but I threw in because of a few particular sets involved.

Reason number one: 1997 Donruss Limited. I don’t know where Chris found a box of this, but having only a couple of these in my collection, this sold me right off the bat. For those unfamiliar, these cards each feature two players, one on the front and one on the back. The ribbon atop the baseball in the background reads “Counterparts.” Sure, the backs are full of somewhat questionably related players, but these chrome babies are still really fun. The Biggio and Wagner were both new to me.

While I already had a copy of the base Bagwell, this “Unlimited Potential / Unlimited Talent” subset card featuring Bagwell on the back was a lovely new addition to my PC. Some rookie who I can’t recall (and am too lazy to look up) is on the front. Meanwhile, Chris pulled me one Limited Exposure parallel – these are super shiny and essentially refractors – of Chris Holt. These look sweet!

1995 Summit was one of the sets where I did already have most of the team, but this superb swingin’ Biggio helped polish off my needs. The other card comes from 1998 Pacific Paramount, a set I definitely remember ripping several packs of when I was in my collecting heyday. I had most of those as well, but this was another box that got me particularly excited about the break. The reason for that?

PARALLELS!! This is one of the first sets where I vividly remember the parallels. Sure, there had been the Topps Gold, Electric Diamond, and Silver/Gold Signature Parallels, but these colored nameplates really sung. The Holt and Derek Bell featured here are both Copper parallels, and really fun pickups to boot.
The last couple of boxes didn’t yield much in the way for my collection (I’ve had the ’02 Total team set completed for a bit), but I did pick a new 2001 Gold Label Bagwell – and I think that killed off my Class 1 base needs. The Total here is actually the team checklist card, something which I did not have before the break. Excellent!
This has happened to me several times at this point, but I drew the Rangers as my randomized team* once again. I’ve also drawn the Marlins twice, and let me tell you – I’d much rather draw our intrastate rivals. Plus, this was a mostly 90’s break, which meant that several guys I like were involved! This pair of cards of The Thrill slid right into my Clark PC. Sorry Nick, I know this is heretical for you.
* If Judson is reading, hit me up. I have a pile of Rangers from the last couple times this has happened that I’d be happy to send your way.

I also added some cards to the Juan Gone and Pudge PCs. Another Limited and a base from the Paramount set here. That Pudge is very clean.

Lastly, the Gold Label box yielded me another pair of Pudge cards. That’s the Class 1 base on the left, and a Class 3 Gold parallel over on the right. It’s numbered #235/299, a nice moderately low-numbered parallel in a premium product at the time, so it feels nice and scarce.
Thanks for hosting the break, Chris! And thanks again to the randomizer for tossing some more fun my way.

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