Saturday, October 13, 2012

A comfort box of cards

The postseason has transformed into a pile of crap, just as I suspected. It's the continuation of a horrid cycle that began in 2009, in which the two teams that I hate more than any other keep showing up and winning the World Series without any regard for the fact that I've despised them since I was 10.

And I'm really sick of the "jolly good show" comments from the likes of MLB and the MLB Network about how terrific the games have been, as if they don't have anything to sell.

A party in which nobody attends except your enemies is not a party, no matter how fantastic the caterer is.

No, it's a great big colorful suckfest. I'm reduced to rooting for the Tigers, who have almost no chance because their bullpen is made out of kerosene and a few of Jim Leyland's discarded, still-lit cigarettes.

It's depressing, and I probably won't watch but a few snippets of the rest of the playoffs. And that's depressing, too.

And what do I do when I'm depressed?

Buy cards, silly!

Yesterday I wandered into Five Below, a store I've only heard about from my daughter. It's basically a dollar store for young teenagers. Lots of sparkles and pink. Loud, thumping dance music. Baubles and beads and scarves and a few slightly more practical items.

And, of course, baseball cards.

I didn't know that until I read a post from My Cardboard Mistress. He picked up a box at Five Below called "Cardrageous." It's a Fairfield repack product, which is a sign of instant junk usually. But he seemed to get some decent items out of it, so I decided to try.

Unfortunately, the only Cardrageous box on display looks like it was kicked in by someone who realized that the Giants, Yankees and Cardinals were still remaining in the postseason.

I decided not to take a chance on that one. Mostly because there were like 15 boxes of another Fairfield product.


I can sense you shaking your head.

I know. But, like I said, I needed comfort. And it was below 5 bucks. And all the sparkles and lights, you know.

The packs were pretty much what you'd expect.

Two of these:

And two of these:

I think '07 Fleer Ultra is legally required to appear in every repack box.

I also received a rack pack of 1987 Topps, which I thought was cool despite the fact that rack packs of '87 Topps will be available 400 years from now. I'm saving that rack pack to open some other time.

Then, there was the box of 100 cards, which, as expected, contained virtually all cards from 1986-93. This isn't necessarily entirely unpleasant as I'm always interested in '88 and '89 Donruss (DON'T SEND ME ANY!), and even '87 Fleer.

I thought I'd pick out my top five cards out of the entire box, in honor of my first foray into Five Below. As you can imagine, I didn't have much I could use. But I came up with:

5. Craig Biggio, 1992 Score Dream Team

'92 Score and I don't see eye-to-eye. But it's a nice subset and it's Craig Biggio, whom I've interviewed, so it's a good git.

4. Shawon Dunston, 1991 Fleer Ultra

I've seen this card on the blogs over and over again. It's about time it found its way over to my place.

3. Cal Ripken Jr., 2007 Fleer Ultra, Ironman insert set

A classy looking card of a guy who should not be in the broadcast booth. I didn't realize this was like a 40-plus insert set.

2. Tommy Holmes, 1986 TCMA All Time Braves

Cool, any TCMA card in a repack box is an excellent find. I know Holmes as the man who hit in 37 straight games and was surpassed by Pete Rose. Also, as a true Dodger fan, I equate him more with the Dodgers than the Braves, even though he played for the Dodgers for only 31 games of his 11-year career.

1. Larry Gura, 1981 Fleer

A Yankee Killer! And an '81 Fleer card I don't have. This card is worth about half of what I spent on the box, according to my totally random way of assessing value.

This card came out back in the day when worthwhile teams won in the playoffs. Royals and Dodgers and Pirates and Phillies. Sure, the Yankees were still there, but at least they were surrounded.

But we can't have nice things anymore. It's got to be all evil all the time.

MLB will continue to tell you how fantastic this postseason is. But I'll know better.

I will have left the party long ago.


  1. Yep. The Cardinals who must've made a deal with the devil keep winning. The Yankees are the Yankees. Ugh to the rest of the playoffs. I'll be preparing for spring training instead.

  2. Mega agreed on the evil in the playoffs.

    Also, the lack of personality and heart in the remaining players (save for Jeter, Pablo, Prince)in disheartening.

    I am also relegated to rooting for El Tigres, the Blue Jays' closest geographic rival (Great Lakes Division NOW!)

  3. In 1980, I'm guessing the Fleer photog made a trip up to Toronto for a homestand against the Royals and Twins as there seem to be a boatload of cards shot at the old Exhibition stadium.

    I'm glad the 1982 Grey Cup was such a weather nightmare, thus sounding the death knell for that stadium.

  4. Glad you ventured to 5 Below for some cards. The boxes are decent fun for a fair price, so I enjoyed them.

    Of course, the hardest thing about going to 5 Below is leaving without cards, a handful of candy, a t-shirt, and a plethora of other things I don't actually need.

  5. 5 Below? I'm guessing it's and upmarket Dollar Store?

  6. The nearest 5 Below to California is in....St. Louis.

    Nice Gura, though.

  7. Every team I wanted to win lost their series in round 1. At least Detroit is beating the Yankees right now I guess. Lesser of two evils.

  8. Been following your blog for a while, finally did a Google profile so I could comment. There's a five below down in my neck of the woods, and I bought two of those. I got the same packs you did, but instead of 1987 Topps, I got the ubiquitous 1989 Topps cello pack (in both boxes). Yay for me.