I have not made a trip to the card aisle in a month and a half.
I could have stretched that hiatus to two months, maybe even three, but you know the weird things that Mother's Day makes people do (last year I went to a restaurant that didn't interest me in the least and ate boring food because Mother's Day).
I went to Target today because that's where I knew I could find a certain Mother's Day gift and, why not, let's see what the Bowman situation is while I'm there.
I didn't expect to find any Bowman. I don't really care about buying it. But if someone is putting a $75,000 bounty on a card found in Bowman, then, yeah, I'll buy a pack.
But the Target aisle didn't show any sign of ever displaying Bowman. It was the usual uninteresting assortment of Topps flagship, Opening Day, a few Gypsy Queen packs, lots and lots of Panini Donruss, $20 repacks and abundant football and basketball.
I made special note of the team set display:
I thought that the Nationals had made an unexpected team set appearance in Upstate New York this year. Apparently, though, these are the All-Star team sets Topps issues in stores every year. The thing that threw me is there is no AL or NL logo on the front of the card as there always has been in the past.
But lest you think that the Tigers have departed as the chosen team of Upstate New Yorkers:
They're still here! Apparently living forever on one hook in the upper left corner of an aisle display on the outskirts of town in New York State.
So the card aisle was a dud. I left without buying anything except the Mother's Day stuff.
But I was still curious about the Bowman, so I swung over to Walmart to check out that store's card aisle.
Walmart showed more promise. It had everything that Target had (in tighter quarters I might add) but also lots of Heritage, which was nonexistent at Target. It also featured a big, three-row cardboard display of Bowman ... cleared out completely.
It's difficult for me to believe people in this outpost know about the Bowman Ohtani bounty but I guess they do. This is probably the second year in a row that I never spot Bowman in my neck of the woods.
So, I also left that store without getting any cards.
But the urge to buy was still strong. Only one thing could satisfy it.
I pulled into Walgreen's and grabbed a $4.99 repack.
The shiny, gold Willie Mays was featured on the front. Giant or not, that's an easy pick over the other three packs that each showed a Heritage card from last year.
I went through the 100 cards, surprised by almost none of it, but much happier than I would have been if I bought Gypsy Queen or Opening Day with the same amount of cash.
I thought I'd break down the repack box for you here because I love those postgame breakdowns -- OK, I don't really love them, but I do when it comes to cards.
MOST PREVALENT CARD SET
It was a tie.
2012 Topps -- a popular choice of Fairfield repacks -- featured 13 cards, including the Mike Trout second-year item.
1989 Topps -- just about the most useless thing I could pull out of a repack -- also had 13 cards. There are just 12 here.
But I consider this Update card as part of the 1989 Topps experience, so I'm calling it a tie.
Just when you think you've pulled even MORE 1989 Topps, the shiny glint catches your eye and you exclaim "Topps Tiffany!!!!!!"
MOST SATISFYING STAR PICK FROM A JUNK WAX SET
Some people wouldn't call 1986 Fleer "junk wax" and I wouldn't either, but close enough. I just went through a bunch of '86 Fleer sent to me by Johnny's Trading Spot, but understandably several stars were missing. It's nice to add Robin Yount to the set.
Second place: A 1988 Donruss Tony Gwynn that I actually didn't have.
MOST CONFUSING CARD
This threw me because Caleb Joseph is obviously not making any All-Star Game, let alone has already made one in the recent past.
I'm gathering that this is part of the too many factory sets that Topps makes. One apparently featured All-Star Game foil stamps on every card just to send completists over the proverbial cliff for the final time. I think this card kind of irks me.
Two Brewers from 1981 Fleer
I'm closing in on the '81 Fleer set so I don't need these. But it's a nice gesture.
Well, I'll be, 2018 Topps has already arrived in repacks.
MOST PLENTIFUL SINGLE CARD
Ah, Fairfield and its wacky hijinks. Who doesn't need more duplicates of 1990 Fleer and 1991 Donruss? But this doesn't bother me.
MOST DAMAGED CARD
This 2013 Archives Kyle Seager features a ragged top edge.
MOST '90s CARD
It's a foiled-out insert of the Braves' John Smoltz from 1997 Fleer. That's about as '90s as Real McCoy.
MOST WELCOME CARD
You just start to feel guilty about not owning certain cards from 1987. This was one of them.
BEST RETRO CARD
Bright is the way to go if you want to get noticed, 2006 Fleer Tradition.
FANCIEST CARD THAT'S NOT THE GOLD WILLIE MAYS I
It's one of those Special F/X cards from 2006 Upper Deck.
FANCIEST CARD THAT'S NOT GOLD WILLIE MAYS II
I miss you so, Masterpieces.
A CARD ONCE FULL OF PROMISE
I never know what to do with these cards, but Matt Drews was once a big-time Yankees prospect around the time that Derek Jeter was making prospect noise. Drews never reached the majors.
CARDS I'M TOO EXCITED ABOUT GETTING AND I SHOULD JUST BUY THE WHOLE SET FOR $5, C'MON, NIGHT OWL, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
ALL 1989 DONRUSS NEEEEDS, BABY!!!!
CARD PULL THAT WOULD HAVE MEANT SOMETHING BACK IN THE DAY
Doc Gooden went 19-3 in 1990 and was BACK! He was back!!!!
Oooooooooooof, that gum stain.
FINALLY, THE PROMISED PACK
OK! This is not Panini Triple Play! I can work with this.
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premiere was never the most exciting set, and this certainly isn't the most exciting pack, but it's something different.
AND FINALLY, FINALLY, THE PERSON OF THE REPACK!!
It's John Smoltz, with two interesting cards in the repack. Why is John Smoltz playing center field??? Who knows? It was 1998 Stadium Club! It was the '90s!
So those were the highlights, such as they were. Not the greatest repack, but it was certainly better than the current cards on the market now. And cheaper, too.
That will probably hold me for another month or so.
See you then, card aisle.