My first experience in a group break was with BA Benny and his mammoth break. I entered that one mainly just for fun, since he was ripping a crazy load of packs/boxes. I picked up the Nats/Expos hoping to score some Zimmermans and maybe a Strasburg to flip. I did okay, but nothing special. The best card was a Trevor Bauer relic that helped convince Plaschke to show me his Wang.
My second experience was with Sam, better known as the Daily Dimwit. He discounted the teams that he had trouble selling for his Gypsy Queen break, and I picked up the D-Backs hoping for a Justin Upton anything. I'm unfortunately a nice guy, so I picked up the last team, the White Sox, to make the break full. I still don't know why I did that, but oh well. I didn't get anything I collect, not even a Justin Upton base card, but I did get a couple of decent cards. The ebst card was an Iguchi relic from the 2006 Artifacts box.
My third and most recent experience is the one I will be showing now. Sam decided to return to 2006 Artifacts, only this time with a full case. After hemming and hawing on whether to pick up a team, I decided to pick up the Nationals/USA in hopes that he would get me a Zimmerman. I was at least guaranteed a couple of Zim RCs since that is his base card in the set. Using your powers of deduction, you should be able to decypher that this is the break that I killed.
|Bonus pack/blaster Nats|
|Base Zim RC x 3!|
The non-Zim Nats in the set really weren't great, but two hits isn't bad. I'd say two hits for a team is roughly par for the course in a 2006 Artifacts case.
At this point, I would like to quote myself. Sam sent me an email asking if I wanted to buy in to his latest break, since he only had a few teams left. After much debate, I reluctantly sent him this reply:
"Ah, what the hell, put me down for the Nats/USA. I really don't want to see any sweet Zimmermans go to waste. Of course I am jinxing the chance of pulling one by buying in, but what the hell."
You may be thinking that my piss-poor attitude didn't deserve to get any Zims; you'd probably be right. However, the gods of cardboard would force irony upon my comment, causing the last line to be oh so true. I DID jinx the chance of pulling one. I pulled more than one.
The first 12 boxes left me a little empty, so I wasn't really that happy. Lucky #13 showed me this baby:
|2006 UD Artifacts Ryan Zimmerman MLB Game-Used Apparel #060/325|
I felt as though the Zim swatch justified my purchase in the group break and I was well satisfied. But, box #15 had other plans. I hit the card that really REALLY wanted.
|2006 UD Artifacts Ryan Zimmerman Auto-Facts Signatures #086/800|
For those of you keeping track at home, that's a trifecta. Rookie, Relic, Auto. Most people spend a lot of time seeking out a trifecta of their players. I got a trifecta in one group break. Just plain sweet. Ok, the break had exceeded expectations to this point, but the case wasn't done yet. Box 19 revealed a very unexpected beauty:
|2006 UD Artifacts Ryan Zimmerman Awesome Artifacts Jumbo Jersey #15/45|
I bought a team and got 3 hits of the one player I was after. I thought one relic would be generous. I thought I had an outside shot at an auto. I had no frickin idea I would get a relic, an auto, AND a jumbo relic. Looking back, do you realize how pissed I would be right now had I not picked up the Nats? I can't even imagine. I still can't believe I did that well.
I would like to note that I am now collecting the 2006 and 2007 Artifacts base sets and will have want lists for those coming soon. They seem to be the precursor to the A Piece of History sets, and since they are only 100 cards, It shouldn't be too bad collecting them. While I don't have a bias toward UD or Topps, I definitely have gravitated toward UD sets for the most part. There are somethings that UD did that set them apart. In a Topps set, there would have been a very good chance that the picture on all three of those Zim hits would have been identical. UD put three very unique pictures on them. The relic has a nice shot of Zim with batting gloves, though it kind of appears that he just got out. I love the Nike Swoosh cameo on the glove. The Auto has a nice base runner look, and the jumbo relic plays to his signature ability: fielding. As far as plain white jerseys go, the Nats have some of the best looking ones, and I love that all three cards have picture-matched swatches and serial numbers. If you can't tell, I really like those cards.
Thanks again, Sam!