Friday, February 1, 2019

Pack frustration

This is my first 2019 card. It's tradition around here to show the first card of the year and that is about all I have time to do today.

I bought a hanger box, a fat pack and one single pack of 2019 Topps earlier today, braving the very sketchy snow-covered roads and other weather-related issues. But the full picture must wait until tomorrow because, as I've recently mentioned, Topps has to dump its release date in the middle of an overflowing plate.

What I will mention is that old familiar pack frustration has returned for another year.

Those who don't buy retail packs warn me against this stuff and, really they don't have to warn me. I know what I'm getting into, I've been doing this for 40-plus years. The thrill of opening the first packs of the year is one of the greatest highs in this hobby. I refuse to cut myself off from that.

However ...

I opened 117 total cards. I saw the Porcello card twice. Same with the Steven Souza Jr. card. And the Jake Lamb card. And the Jaime Barra card. Same with Willie Calhoun, Brian McCann, Manny Margot and two checklist cards, "Always Sonny" and "NL Nails" -- whoops, "NLTM Nails." Topps' collation is as stellar as always.

But the most frustrating part for me is I pulled 88 cards before I pulled my first Dodger card -- my only Dodger card.

I know nothing is guaranteed and nobody can do anything about this, but there is no better way to demoralize me than, with the very first packs of a brand new baseball card season, make the Dodgers THE VERY LAST TEAM THAT I PULL.

I don't even feeling like going back to buy more cards. And that never happens on the first day of the card season.

Here, I totaled up all the teams in the packs I opened:

AL East

Yankees - 10 (yes, the most, as obnoxious as always)
Red Sox - 6
Blue Jays - 2
Rays - 2
Orioles - 1

AL Central

Tigers - 4
White Sox - 4
Indians - 3
Royals - 3
Twins - 2

AL West

Astros - 7
A's - 5
Rangers - 5
Mariners - 5
Angels - 4

NL East

Braves - 5
Phillies - 5
Marlins - 3
Mets - 3
Nationals - 2

NL Central

Pirates - 5
Cubs - 4
Reds - 3
Brewers - 2
Cardinals - 2

NL West

Diamondbacks - 6
Padres - 6
Giants - 4
Rockies - 2
Dodgers - 1

There you go. Dodgers tied for the least with the Orioles. Dodgers -- the two-time defending NL champions -- one card pulled. And it was a checklist card, too.

I pulled seven Yankees before pulling a Dodger. Five Red Sox. Six Diamondbacks. Four Padres, my goodness! Do the Padres even have four players worth putting on a card?

Somebody is sending me a message with this, on the first purchase of the 2019 card season. It is this:

Have a good time opening your first packs. But don't expect anything.

See you tomorrow with a more positive spin on the 2019 Topps flagship set.

These card backs are killer.


  1. I dunno. First card of the year is Rick Porcello? Six Red Sox cards? Sounds like a successful day to me!

  2. I'll take any Mattingly's as always!!

  3. At least you could find packs... My local Wal-Mart still doesn't have any. Our baseball card aisle is now about 1/5 sports cards (at least half of which are football) and the other 4/5 things like Yu-gi-oh and Magic. It's very sad for a collector in the middle of nowhere.

  4. Sorry your pack breaks weren't better, Greg. Mine (Target) weren't much better. I did get three Dodger cards out of the 101 cards I got. I expect the numbers will greatly improve when I break my jumbo box.

  5. My first pack post is coming soon. Needless to say, I also pulled a ton of Yankees.

  6. Six Padres to your one lone Dodger. Wow. That is sad.

  7. "Four Padres, my goodness! Do the Padres even have four players worth putting on a card?"

    Thank you for not shitting on my White Sox.

  8. I bought a hanger box yesterday. I'm kinda dreading buying my next packs, fearing getting all doubles.

  9. Topps' collation has been terrible for years now. It makes their decision to increase the number of cards per pack in 2019 even more confusing.

  10. Sometimes I convince myself that Topps sends local team cards to other parts of the country to force sales and trades and interactions. But then things like this happen where Dodgers are not your local team, and then it makes me temporarily rethink the conspiracy theory.