30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Worth Every Penny

As collectors... we've all formed our own opinions on how we should or shouldn't collect.  When it comes to "group breaks", I typically avoid them like the plague unless they're for a charitable cause or something.

Why do I have such a strong opinion on them?  Well... it mainly comes down to the two teams I collect: the Oakland Athletics and the San Diego Padres.

Neither of these teams are hobby powerhouses, so it doesn't make any sense for me to try to grab them in group breaks and pay the same price as another collector who happens to pick the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, or the Boston Red Sox who are filled with more star power and legendary players.

I guess I'd be more likely to join a completely random group break, but then again... do I really want to get stuck with a bunch of Miami Marlins or Colorado Rockies base cards?  Nah.  Not really.

Group breaks just aren't my thing anymore.

Then a few weeks ago, Cardboard Collections offered up an affordable group break that included a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection.  The first time I saw his post, I was a little intrigued, because I really do like the relic cards from that product.  However I stuck to my guns and continued on my merry way.

Almost a week later I noticed that somehow the New York Yankees hadn't been purchased, which surprised me because according to Trading Card Database, they have a bunch of big names on the Clubhouse Collection checklist:  Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Whitey Ford, Casey Stengel, Bernie Williams, and Mariano Rivera.

I decided for $18, it was worth a shot.

About a week later, I discovered that it was worth every penny.

This was my big hit:

2004 Topps Clubhouse Career Leaders Relics #LG2 (#'d 158/184)

This is my very first Lou Gehrig memorabilia card.

Although the New York Yankees have been my least favorite baseball franchise for as long as I can remember, I will always have a soft spot for The Iron Horse.  When I was a kid, I'd get excited every time The Pride of the Yankees was on the television.  Although... probably not as excited as I was when I saw this card in the group break video.

The Gehrig itself would have been worth the price I spent on the group break.  But there were two more solid hits that I am pretty excited to add to the collection:

2004 Topps Clubhouse Relics #MRI (Print Run: 239)

2004 Topps Clubhouse Copper Relics #JP (#'d 08/99)

Both Mariano and Jorge were part of the New York Yankees teams I despise the most.  They just kept winning and winning and winning... year in and year out.  It got to the point where I would rather see them lose than to see my teams win.

With that being said... now that they're all retired... I've learned to admire guys like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada... since they spent their entire playing careers wearing Yankees pinstripes.

The group break also featured some 2002 Topps Gallery Yankees and Seattle Mariners (my randomized team) base cards:

Here's a look at the complete (non-short print) New York Yankees team set.  I'm a huge fan of Topps Gallery especially the 2001, 2002, and 2003 base cards.  

The Ichiro is a really good looking card though and the Juan Silvestre is a short print, but overall I really struck out in regards to the Seattle Mariners.  

I don't see myself joining anymore group breaks in the near future.  Let's just say that I want to try to end things on a positive note.

What about you...

What are your thoughts on group breaks?  Ever received any huge cards from a group break?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Congrats on doing so well with that Clubhouse box! I've never done a group break, not being a team collector it doesn't make much sense for me to try and get in on one.

  2. I've never been in one, always skeptical. However, recently I've been bidding on some of those on EBay but my cheap arse won't bid anything near what they wind up going for. One day, we'll see. LOL!

    1. Same here. With the price of boxes these days, the price points (even when the bloggers are doing the breaks and I know they can't be making much profit) just don't justify themselves to me. Not when I've been able to pick up HoF relics at 3/$5 at shows and grab an occasional auto of a current Met for under $5 online. Usually I'd have to hit something really huge to make it work. Like, say, a Lou Gehrig relic!

      But I do sometimes look at the eBay breaks hoping I can get a Mets entry super cheap.

  3. You did well Fuji, great card. The only breaks I’ve ever done are the ones Nachos Grande runs

  4. That’s awesome! Congrats on the Gehrig! The Rivera and Posada are nice as well! I tend to stay away from group breaks, but you did real good on this one!

  5. I have never done a group break before, but you definitely hit the jackpot on this one. Congrats!

  6. You did well in that one. I never felt I received anything worth the cost so I’ve quit doing breaks. I did buy into a vintage lottery type thing recently and again I was underwhelmed. No more for me.

  7. Dang! I hate the Yankees as well, but would’ve been excited with the Gehrig pull. Relics like that of legends are exciting to pull and would be a cornerstone card of my collection. Congrats on the great pulls!

  8. I've run some group breaks years back on the blog, participated in other bloggers' breaks for fun or to help them out, but haven't gone with any established companies & businesses for it. Most of the time, the configuration is weird, or too expensive and I'd rather spend the money on singles or buying my own packs.

  9. Thanks for the mention Fuji...but it's Cardboard Collections, not Connections. That's a whole 'nother (great) website!! I get why a lot of people don't like to do breaks, but with the exception of this recent group break I really try to keep the price as low as possible to attract as many people as possible. Not everyone walks away a winner, but I always try to supplement everybody's stacks with more cards from my own collection. I guess I aim to please. I know this was a one off for you, but thanks for joining...it was a lot of fun!

  10. I've enjoyed the few breaks I've entered but they've all been cheap breaks of base card heavy, decently-balanced checklist boxes. In other words, if I come out with a team set then I'm happy. Everything else is just bonus. And going into one looking for hits or with certain teams much more heavily represented in the checklist is an automatic no-go for me.

  11. I've done several, including the great breaks that used to be hosted by votc and topher. I even hosted a group break once and gained an appreciation for those like colbey who do these regularly

  12. jon - totally understand. i am a team collector and i still rarely join.

    john miller - good luck. don't think i've ever done one on eBay. i'll have to look into it. i'm sure the a's and padres don't go for much

    mark hoyle - can't remember if i've joined his breaks or not. but i enjoy reading his posts on them.

    daniel wilson - thanks. makes up for all of the others i've ever participated in

    sumomenkoman - thanks. probably the last one i do for awhile.

    commishbob - i've been asked to do one of those set breaks where they take a complete set and break it up into a bunch of spots. but never actually joined. if i see a reasonably priced 56T set break... maybe i'd buy one or two spots.

    jeremya1um - it's definitely a cornerstone card. probably my coolest relic in the collection... assuming it's actually from a gehrig bat.

    ketchupman36 - thanks. i was pretty stoked.

    community gum - yeah... singles is more my style.

    colbey hopper - sorry about the typo. updated the post. you did a great job with the break and i'm not just saying that because i was lucky. i did appreciate the bonus packs you busted.

    nick vossbrink - smart approach. if i were just chasing team sets, then i'd consider going after the a's and padres. but... lol... i love the hits ;)

    gcrl - i thought about hosting one myself... since i have a bunch of 90's and early 2000's boxes like Topps Gallery and UD Decade laying around. but it'll never happen. i barely can make it to the post office when it comes to care packages. no way i'm gonna put together 30 group break packages.

  13. You shot and you scored! When the Redbirds were doing better a couple of years ago and full of potential stars group breaks were good, very good, but last year and this year not so much, though last year I got a Alex Reyes relic/auto from Chris and Nachos Grande.

  14. Only been in one. I got a Tyler Colvin auto. Seemed like he lost some of his mojo after being nearly impaled by a splintered bat. Hard to beat your Gehrig bat.

  15. In my first group break, I got Steph Curry's autograph. In my second and third group breaks I got 2 cards in each, 4 total. I'm not really a fan.

  16. Wow, lightning really struck for you with the Gehrig bat card. That is a wonderful centerpiece for any collector. I took part in only one group break, a random hit 2010 Leaf MMA break. I think that when it comes to baseball, the Mariners are not well represented so I don’t join breaks.

  17. Wow...someone is kicking themselves for passing on the Yanks. Perhaps multiple 'someones'. Great job grabbing that Gehrig!

  18. The Iron Horse! A few years back I was doing a lot of group breaks on prospect oriented sets because the Pirates were loaded at the time. Lately I've cooled it because the checklists are very limited and I really don't need to pay $20-40 where the best card possible is Starling Marte.

  19. Been tempted a few times, but I'd take too long researching the checklist to see who could appear and would miss getting that team. I don't collect a team, but I'd be after my many player coll. guys.

    I don't understand random team breaks. I get that you distribute the leftovers like that, but a whole break totally random? Who would join that? Maybe people that collect HOF'ers or stars in general. No thanks.

    From what I've seen, it's generally cheaper to go find the ones you want on COMC or SportLots than in a break.

  20. Holy crap. I was int he last affordable group break he did and didn't get in on this one. Could I regret it more after seeing what you got?! No!

  21. B Man - Congratulations on the Reyes! His career is off to a great start. Hope you found more of his cards at TriStar.

    Hackenbush - I'll go out on a limb and say that it's the best card I'll ever get in a group break... especially since I probably won't be joining too many more.

    Billy Kingsley - A Steph auto trumps my Gehrig in regards to monetary value. HIs autographs command big $$$.

    Corky - I wasn't to bummed that I got the Mariners. Was hoping I'd hit an Ichiro relic or something.

    Chris - I was surprised that they weren't taken. They're always one of the first teams to go.

    Matthew Scott - That's the same way I feel about the A's and Padres. At least you know about Pirates prospects. I'm always bugging Kenny about A's prospects.

    GCA - Both types of group breaks have their issues. When you get to pick your teams, loaded teams like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox get the best bang for your buck. And teams like my A's and Padres get the least value, so they're more difficult to fill up.

    The Lost Collector - I was scratching my head wondering why you didn't want this spot. But who the heck could have predicted Gehrig and Rivera relics?