Monday, May 7, 2018

Breaking down a repack


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.

Let's go:

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.


TRICKIEST CARDS


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.


OLDEST CARD


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.


NEWEST CARD


Well, I'll be, 2018 Topps has already arrived in repacks.


MOST PLENTIFUL SINGLE CARD

Another tie.


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.

13 comments:

  1. Reggie Cleveland! Nice..

    OPC Premier is 10000 times better than the Triple Play reboot..

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  2. Oh man, there's so much to love about that repack you just tore into ... the shiny Mays, the 87 Carlton, and the Yount take the cake though. I wish the Walgreens repacks I crack into were as good as that sometimes.

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  3. Repacks have been a bust for me. A golden Mays? That's bait! It would've come home with me too.

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  4. Both retail stores near me with cards have just empty boxes that show remnants of ‘18 Bowman. Don’t think I’ll get my hands on a pack until someone pulls the Ohtani card.

    I was at Target today and considered a repack, then looked at the complete sets (just Yankees and AL/NL All-Stars. Wish they had my Tigers or Rays!), and left with nothing.
    You got some nice cards in the repack, especially the Mays, both Smoltzie’s, the Carlton, and that All-Star Joseph. You are going to collect the Dodgers from that set now, right?

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  5. I live in territory that is half Indians and half Tiger fans and I saw the Yankees in our local store. I will trade you for a Tigers set.

    Also Matt Drews brings back flashbacks of the awful Randy Smith era of the Tigers...he traded Cecil Fielder to the Yankees to acquire him along with an aging Ruben Sierra, then left him exposed in the expansion draft, so he was picked up by the Diamonbacks...and to get him back he traded probably the other best Tiger of the 1990s, Travis Fryman for him.

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    Replies
    1. And I almost forgot the best part, so getting rid of the two best players of that era for the Tigers, we get a pitcher who never made it out of AAA, not even a tomen mop up appearance in a September game when the team is going nowhere.

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  6. This must be the start of a new card season for Fairfield. The repack peg at my local Walgreens was full and all had halfway decent cards showing on the front (as well as a whole bunch of good stuff inside the one I ended up buying). That gold Mays would've been in my cart in no time. And I'm also thrilled by the absence of Triple Play packs -- my repack had a pack of '91 Ultra. Nothing wildly exciting, but not a set you see packs of all the time, either.

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  7. Was Smoltzie trying to field a foul or a no-doubt homer from the fieldside bullpen or something? Not sure I've ever seen a pitcher fielding.

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    1. Didn’t the Braves pitchers from the ‘90’s enjoy fielding in the outfield during BP? That would be my guess of when this shot was taken.

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  8. Sweet Mays! I have some 81 Fleer as well as a few other cards for random sets you're building headed your way. Gonna try to ship today or tomorrow.

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  9. What the heck?!?!?! I demand a story behind that Smoltz... *goes to investigate*

    Uggh. Nothing. Such a cool card though!

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  10. I need to find myself one of these. Everyone seems to have luck with them. My walgreens however is an hour away in a direction I don't head much :/

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  11. I never thought to look at Walgreens for baseball cards. Our local Wal-Mart stopped selling baseball cards entirely, probably due to pack vultures molesting the packs before they stole them.

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