30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Battle of the Blasters

I'm not a fan of spending my hard earned money on blaster boxes... especially when they're not discounted.  Bottom line... even when I have beaten the odds and pulled something rare out of one... I still walk away wondering if I spent my money wisely.

But today is different... because this time I used my student's (actually probably their parent's) hard earned money to buy me the following two blaster boxes at Target.  Last month, I received three Target gift cards at the end of the school year.  My original plan was to buy a 2015 Topps factory set, but I never pulled the trigger.

Then last week...  I noticed that my local Target had finally has received their shipment of 2016 Archives and 2016 Stadium Club blasters.  In the thrill of the moment, I made the decision to pass on the factory set and go with the blasters.

Of course when I came home... I had mixed feelings about my purchase.  On one hand, I was excited to bust open some boxes. On the other hand... I couldn't stop thinking about all of the sub-par experiences I've had in previous years with silly blaster boxes.

That's when I decided to look at things from another angle.  Instead of only focusing on the actual card value, I factored in the entertainment value.  And that's where today's Battle of the Blasters post comes into play.

It's simple... instead of getting the standard 10 minutes worth of entertainment out of these blasters... I decided on turning it into a game... similar to the ever so popular Gint-A-Cuffs competition.

Obviously there were three major things that required me to modify the scoring of cards.

A.  I'm not using Allen & Ginter.
B.  There are twice as many Archives cards in each pack than there are SC cards.
C.  I'm way too lazy and prefer a simpler way to score.

With that in mind... here's my Battle of the Blasters scoring system:

I'm sure that there will be issues with scoring, but I'll cross those bridges when I get to them.  Let's get it on...

Round 1...

Archives (0 Points): Gary Sheffield, Richie Shaffer, Max Kepler, Shin-Soo Choo, Yordano Ventura, Dustin Pedroia, Carlos Rodon, Rob Refsnyder, Jake Arrieta, and Adrian Gonzalez

Stadium Club (10 Points):  Greg Maddux (+4), Gerrit Cole, Miguel Sano, Archie Bradley Gold Parallel (+4), and Colin Rea (+2)

Stadium Club kicks off the battle with a huge first round with three out of five cards earning them points... while Archives threw up a huge goose egg.

Round 2...

Archives (5 Points):  David Robertson (+1), Curtis Granderson, Collin McHugh, Mac Williamson, Socrates Brito, Dennis Eckersley (+2), Ron Shelton (+2) Bull Durham Insert, Andrew Miller, Hunter Pence, and Rougned Odor

Stadium Club (2 Points):  A.J. Pollock, J.J. Hardy, Jose Abreu, John Smoltz (+2), and Dustin Pedroia

Archives finally gets some points on the board.  I ended up giving Robertson a point, because he's one of the eight cards I need for my 2016 Archives set.  Additional points will be rewarded if I pull any of the remaining seven cards I need.

Round 3...

Archives (6 Points):  Jacob DeGrom, Alex Rodriguez, Kole Calhoun, Wade Boggs (+2), Carl Yastrzemski (+1), Lou Gehrig (+1), Bryce Harper 1968 Topps Super Insert (+2), Chris Davis, David Peralta, and Carl Edwards Jr.

Stadium Club (6 Points):  Jorge De La Rosa, Trevor May, Hisashi Iwakuma (+2), Catfish Hunter (+4), and Jason Kipnis

I awarded Boggs with 2 points.  One for being a hall of famer... and the other because it's the first card from either boxes where no limbs were cropped off.  I almost awarded Iwakuma an extra point for cool photograph... but then I caught myself.  The last thing I want to do is start awarding pity points.  It's a nice photograph... but so is the Gehrig.  I'm looking for AMAZINGLY COOL photography.

Round 4...

Archives (2 Points):  Josh Harrison, Matt Carpenter, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Martinez, J.D. Martinez, Garrett Richards, Gerrit Cole #1 Draft Pick Insert (+2), Freddie Freeman, Zach Godley, and Jose Peraza

Stadium Club (5 Points):  Matt Duffy, Kevin Kiermaier (+1), Jay Bruce, Trevor May Black Parallel  (+4), and Luis Severino

So far... the Kiermaier is the coolest photograph of the box break.  I'm hoping to see more in the four remaining packs, because so far... the photography has been average at best.

Halfway through the battle and Stadium Club is currently dominating over Archives with a 23 to 13 lead.

Round 5...

Archives (9 Points):  Zach Britton, Jim Bunning (+1), Joe Morgan (+1), Justin Bour, Joc Pederson, Masahiro Tanaka (+2), Josh Donaldson 1969 Topps Super Insert (+2), Harmon Killebrew (+1), Orlando Cepeda (+1), and Edgar Martinez (+1)

Stadium Club (4 Points):  Rusney Castillo, Nolan Arenado, Tom Seaver (+3), Randal Grichuk (+1), and Brock Holt

Archives kicks off the second half of the battle with a slew of hall of famers and is slowly chipping away at Stadium Club's lead.  Edgar hasn't been enshrined yet, but I gave him a point because I needed him for my set.

Round 6...

Archives (13 Points):  Ralph Kiner (+1), George Kell (+1), Tony Fernandez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Seager, Sonny Gray (+1), Larry Doby Blue Parallel (+5), Catfish Hunter (+2), Gary Carter (+3), and Hector Olivera

Stadium Club (8 Points):  Carlos Gonzalez, Jorge Soler, A.J. Pollock Iso Metrics Insert (+4), Ken Giles, and Ichiro Suzuki (+4)

I pulled another card for my set (Catfish) and awarded Carter three points because he's a hall of famer who plays on the Expos... and I really like the photograph they used of him.  Archives has caught up to Stadium Club with only two packs to go.  Let's see if they can pull off the miraculous comeback.

Round 7...

Archives (5 Points):  Madison Bumgarner, George Springer, Trevor Plouffe, Tom Seaver (+1), Bert Blyleven (+1), Jim Palmer (+1), The Alomars Father/Son Insert (+2), Michael Conforto, Todd Frazier, and Wade Davis

Stadium Club (7 Points):  Kendrys Morales, Michael Reed, Derek Norris (+3), Greg Holland Gold Parallel (+4), and Aroldis Chapman

I absolutely love the Derek Norris card.  I probably should have awarded an extra "play at the plate" bonus point, but it's not like Stadium Club needs it.  They have reclaimed the lead and enter the final pack with a two point lead.

Final Round...

Archives (1 Point):  Carlos Carrasco, DJ LeMahieu, Hanley Ramirez, Carlos Santana, Ketel Marte, Jon Gray, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Taijuan Walker, and Adam Eaton (+1)

Stadium Club (0 Points):  Brad Ziegler, Peter O'Brien, Albert Pujols, Raul Mondesi, and Raisel Iglesias

Wow.  One point out of two packs?  That's how we wrap up these two blasters?  And to be honest... the Eaton was a pity point.  It's a sad day when I start awarding a point for an action shot with full appendages intact.  It didn't matter though... because Archives needed two points to tie... and three to win.

Final Score:  Stadium Club 42  Archives 41

Final Assessment:  I'm sure glad I turned these two box breaks into a Battle of the Blasters competition, because in terms of value this was pretty disastrous.

I mean... I didn't walk away totally empty handed.  I managed to pull three cards closer to completing my Archives set.  Plus the Harper and Doby inserts will go into my binders... as well as the three Japanese players I pulled.  There were also a few A's and Padres cards scattered among those two boxes.  But let's be honest... there wasn't a single card in these boxes worth more than a couple of bucks.

I guess the question I need to ask myself is...

Was there enough entertainment value in this Battle of the Blasters to justify purchasing these blaster boxes?

Normally, I'd say probably not.  However since this was a belated Christmas present from three of my students... I feel that I need to show some gratitude and say "yes".  Speaking of gratitude... a huge thank you goes out to one of my fifth grade summer school students who hooked me up with this fat piece of honeycomb:

I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it, so she told me that her family cuts up pieces, chews on them, and then spits out the wax.  It's not how I normally eat honey, but I've got to admit... it's pretty good.

Well that's all for today.  Only one more day until I get to enjoy my three day weekend.  Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


  1. Cool idea and you made the most of the blasters, even if results were a bit lackluster.

  2. Cool way to open the boxes. Unless you are selling any of the cards, I'd have to say that it was definitely entertaining if nothing else. Plus you've turned it into a fun blog for all of us to enjoy! Value is not always monetary.

  3. You promised yourself no more blaster boxes but looks like you had a blast(er)

  4. I'm with you on the blasters. I used to be all about them, but now I think about how I can buy a whole box for the price of 3 of them and it ruins the appeal.
    Still...free cards are good cards!

  5. Blasters can be really tempting when you see them at Big Box marts or when you see them discounted to $12.99, but then when you realize that that $12.99 or $19.99 could've gotten you the entire base set of that product on eBay (this includes the shipping fee) it's no longer worth it. That's my philosophy anyway. There are a ton of cards I'd rather pick up as singles for the money I can spend on blasters.

  6. That was an entertaining way to bust some blasters. With your permission, I may borrow your scoring system at some point in the future.

  7. TLC - Thank. I'm sure glad I did, because w/o the entertainment factor... those two boxes are the kind that make you question buying blasters

    R Laughton - Love the positive attitude. You're absolutely correct... value is not always monetary.

    B Man - I did. Believe it or not, I might end up doing this again sometime.

    Community Gum - When it comes to spending my personal money... I think I'll stick with hobby from this point out (unless I can find some cheap blasters on DA or Blowout).

    Zippy - I agree. Most of my sets in my collection were purchased and not built. Living on a teacher's salary... that's just the more practical way to go. But every now and then, I'll decided to go buck wild and attempt to build a set.

    Tim B.- Of course. I might do this again in the future, so if you have any suggestions or improvements...let me know.

  8. Great pulls and lots of fun. Thanks for the post. I enjoyed it.