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24 packs per box, eight cards per pack
Base set completion: 167/200 (84%)
Insert set completion: not even close
Duplicates: none

“Hits”
Diamond Heritage 5 Albert Pujols
Diamond Heritage 12 Sammy Sosa
League Leaders Duo 5 S.Sosa/T.Glaus
League Leaders 8 Cal Ripken Jr.
League Leaders 10 Tony Gwynn
Stars of MLB 3 Eric Chavez
Stars of MLB 8 Kerry Wood
Fans of the Game 2 Tia Carrere
Connections 7 S.Rolen/L.Walker
Connections 16 B.Upton/C.Crawford
Connections 24 J.Bench/T.Seaver
Changing Stripes 10 Ken Griffey Jr.
Changing Stripes 17 Nomar Garciaparra
Changing Stripes 20 Sean Casey
Changing Stripes Foil 25 Reggie Jackson 78/100
Xtra Bases Red 18 Javy Lopez 44/150
Xtra Bases Purple 192 Dave Parker 79/100
Prestigious Pros Bronze 12 Alfonso Soriano 25/100
Prestigious Pros Purple 33 Miguel Cabrera 40/200
Prestigious Pros Purple 64 Carlos Beltran 73/200
Prestigious Pros Green 51 Ichiro 76/350
Prestigious Pros Green 9 Hank Blalock 58/350
Prestigious Pros Orange 25 Rafael Palmeiro 299/500
Prestigious Pros Orange 54 David Ortiz 299/500
Prestigious Pros Red 56 Nomar Garciaparra 644/700
Prestigious Pros Red 74 Rollie Fingers 551/700
Prestigious Pros Blue 39 Don Sutton 234/900
Prestigious Pros Blue 51 Ichiro 228/900
Prestigious Pros Blue 76 Jose Vidro 165/900

scans

Impressions:

I fell in love with the design of this set forever ago, so I’m stoked to finally open a box of these cards. As usual with Donruss, inserts and parallels galore. Had this box come without inserts, I would likely be only seven cards short of a complete base set (the box came with 29 inserts). As it was, I finished 37 cards short, which is not a bad number at all. Far better than I’ll be when it comes time to open 2009 Heritage, for example. I really wish the manufacturers would keep this in mind — not all of us are crazy-rich (or just plain crazy) and can afford to break a case or whatever of cards. A lot of times, I want to break a single box and come as close as I can to finishing a base set.

Nonetheless, the inserts are well-designed, and other than the “League Leaders” subset, don’t have that “just think of SOMETHING to throw in there” look about them. I especially liked the Diamond Heritage subset — yet I failed to include one in my scan — with its backdrop of a baseball’s stitches.

The “Fans of the Game” subset, as nice as it looks, really feels unnecessary to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not too concerned with what celebrity is a fan of whichever team. And of course, this is assuming they actually are fans — not that I’d automatically doubt that “Cassandra” is actually a Blue Jay fan, but you know?

I guess I would’ve like nicer players other than known steroid freaks Paul Lo Duca and Roger Clemens as my hits. That’s too bad too — a few years back, I would’ve been tickled pink to have such nice cards of theirs. Of course, post-Mitchell Report, their reputations are just a tad tarnished.

And there’s the travesty of pulling a Don Sutton insert, but having it be in Angels uniform!

Regardless, the inserts will make a nice addition to my trade box, and I’m excited about having another set-building project to do over Christmas break.

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