It's another road trip for this night owl and the weather was flat-out odd this time out.
Most of you know about the wind storm that struck the eastern half the country a day or two ago. I happened to venture out in the middle of it determined to use my common-sense driving skills that I am convinced 80 percent of American drivers do not possess anymore.
I decided to stay off the highways, avoiding tractor trailers or those monster SUVs that are most susceptible to the wind. I took an alternate route down to the Syracuse suburbs and as I was crossing west through one of those shopping sprawl areas, while stopped at a traffic light, I saw what I thought was lightning.
This may not be odd in late February in some parts of the country but it is just short of bizarre in the Northeast. A few seconds later I heard thunder and then it came down. No, not rain, nor snow. It was sleet, as fast and plentiful as I've ever seen while inside a vehicle. A bit freaked, I turned off into a Target parking lot and collected myself for a moment.
Now, I hate walking outside during a thunderstorm. Any time of the year, I'm a weenie who stays indoors when thunder rolls. But I wanted to see the sea of sleet pellets all over the parking lot -- and to check out the Target card aisle in Clay, N.Y.
The thunder rumbled and my feet crunched as I walked rapidly to Target's doors. If you're a regular Target customer, you know that most of the stores' layouts spread left or right from where you enter, depending on the store. I'm most familiar with walking to the left as I enter. I consider it somewhat exotic when I enter and start walking right. My collector-obsessed brain has also automatically labeled a right-layout Target as a sign of a strong card selection. I don't know why. But I was excited to start walking right.
The card display (all the way in the back next to the stockroom) was nothing special. But it was definitely better than the Target I had checked out just 20 minutes earlier. There were no baseball cards. None. Just football and basketball and loads and loads of Pokemon and Magic stuff. It was depressing.
This particular Target though featured the latest 2019 stuff. I spotted a few of those three-pack blisters that feature one "150 years" green parallel card on the front to suck you in. There was one of Maz's home run and one of Brooks Robinson. And then there was one of Rod Carew as a Minnesota Twin and the gorgeous Ichiro card you saw at the top of the post. I was torn.
I love '70s images, which the Carew was. But that catch! I went with Ichiro.
The three packs that I opened were nothing special. I'll just show my favorite and least favorite parts of each pack.
I like this card a lot. Liked it the first time I saw someone show it on the blogs. I have little idea who Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is other than that his brother plays for the Astros.
I wish I knew what the obsession was with Will Clark. The guy was so distasteful I see nothing redeeming in him and they've got to stop making cards of him. The Steve Pearce card reminds me of bad things.
Two players who are now Dodgers teammates. That Ross Stripling card is pretty darn fine, although I just told Peter of Baseball Every Night I needed it and now I go and buy it.
The 2019 baseball card season is barely out of its infancy, not even out of its breastfeeding period, and I've already pulled these four cards in this exact order three times.
The best pack in terms of good-looking cards. I'm not crazy about the foil theme of the Stars of the Game inserts (yeah, yeah, I know it officially has another name -- I read what's in front of me), but a new Mookie Betts card is nothing to ignore. I used my new phone to take these photos and kind of cut off the edge of the Betts card.
These 150th anniversary gold foil stamp thingies may be the most annoying thing on cards this year.
After buying the blister pack and heading directly to the self checkouts (remember when people avoided these things like the plague?), I returned to my car to see all the sleet melted. That wasn't the end of the weird weather though.
Not more than five minutes later, it rained so hard that I took a wrong turn, pulled over to the side of the road to let the rain ease up, discovered I had taken a wrong turn and then backtracked three miles to get where I should have been.
Twenty minutes down the road, the sun came out and I had new packs to open when I reached my destination.
I didn't fare too well with those packs, but ...
... damn, what a card.
It might need to sleet more often.