Thursday, April 25, 2019

2018 Panini Chronicles

I appreciate card companies experimenting with different ideas. A little tweak on an old idea can become exciting or it can become a painful little chore that sucks the joy out of collecting. It's a very fine line.

I wasn't paying much attention to a lot of releases last year. Money was tight and my focus was on other areas of my life. I first saw this release, as I was browsing through a Wal-Mart in the trading card section. I immediately wrote the set off as the stupidest set in awhile. Then I didn't think much about it after.

I have recently been trying to complete a lot of pesky and large (and mostly unnecessary) 2008 sets. I've been trying to do that as cheaply as possible and get the most bang for the buck. A lot of time has been spent on eBay and Sportlots recently, when I've not had access to my PC and collection to continue the organizing process. I came across a teal parallel version of the Nicky Delmonico card for under a dollar with free shipping, so I put in my low opening bid and ended up winning it as the only bidder. It took a long time, but it finally arrived this week from Canada.

I have to say, my initial reaction to this set was way off. It is not a perfect set by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, a pretty good set. At only sixty cards and five parallels and four printing plates, it's not that daunting of a task to reasonably complete a base set.

There is a catch. There are inserts galore! Too many to properly list here. There are insert sets that have a bigger checklist than the base cards. There are players that appear in the insert sets that don't appear in the base set. There's even a continuation of an earlier release (Donruss Optic) not related to anything else here. It's enough to give me a headache. Maybe it's a tumor. It's not a tumor! Not at all! It's just a headache.

The White Sox have two cards in the base set.

28 - Nicky Delmonico
39 - Jose Abreu

This is a nice set that highlights sixty "accomplishments". Nicky's accomplishment was walking twice and scoring a run without the benefit of a hit in a season opener. An accomplishment achieved by only two other White Sox players this century, Ray Durham in 2002 and Juan Uribe in 2006. So, yeah, it's a list of accomplishments that announcers trot out to fill time. It's interesting, but slightly off the mark and sometimes a stretch.

I really appreciate Panini trying. I do enjoy this set, but I feel this is more of a kitchen sink release. There's some Panini sets, some Donruss sets and even some Score sets (?!) thrown into the mix. It's a convoluted mess when viewed as a whole, but broken down into individual sets, it's a nice effort.

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