Skip to main content

It was my lucky day


I believe we just received two feet of snow in less than 24 hours. It's difficult to measure because lake effect snow doesn't sit still for a second, but it's been going nonstop since overnight last night. We're in a bit of a break now, but I expect it to start up again soon.

All of this is nothing new around here, but it's still a pain cleaning off cars, shoveling driveways, driving when you can't see 20 feet in front of you, only to get to work so you can get an email lecture from the boss.

Fortunately, I have yesterday to get me through today. Because yesterday was my lucky day.

I emphasize "day" because, as you know, I'm a night owl. The best things usually happen for me at night. But on this particular day, I got up early (mostly to get ahead of the coming storm) to run a few errands. And one of those errands was using one of my Target Christmas gift cards. Weeee!

I wanted to get something different with this gift card. But when I got to the card aisle, there wasn't much different that interested me. I'm certainly not spending $44 to buy the complete set of 2016 Topps, and everything after that was the usual blasters and packs. (This is the problem with Target: it's either 2016 or nada).

But I found one of those $19.99, 20-pack boxed repacks and decided to take a gamble on that. The only pack I could see through the window enough to tell what was in it was a rack pack of 2015 Heritage. OK, fine. I tried to fiddle with the packs to see what the five silvery packs were, but all I could make out was they weren't 2012 Triple Play, and that was good enough for me.

But when I got the box home, I was sorry I bought it.

Inside was:


Four packs of 2015 Topps Series 1



And five packs of 2015 Topps Series 2.

This would be all very well-and-good if I hadn't already completed 2015 Topps. So now I was staring at nine packs of doubles, with only some inserts to get me through.

It didn't get any better as I pulled out the other packs.


The silver packs that I couldn't read were all 2014 Panini Prizm Draft Picks. Yuck. Still better than Triple Play, but not by much. And five packs worth.



There were two packs of 1991 Upper Deck. Not exciting at all.



And one pack of 1991 Score, something I opened quite a bit of in 1991.



Plus the 2015 Heritage rack pack.

I can't really say I was looking forward to opening any of this.

The box guaranteed a relic. And after I pulled the packs out of the box, I saw the relic resting on the bottom. Like a relic of this nature should be doing.


All-Star warm-up gear of a Padre. Excitement. Yup, I've sunk bottom.

But, remember, I said this was my lucky day. So something good had to happen, right?

I started with the four packs of Topps Series 1, completely resigned to my fate. I shuffled through familiar card after familiar card and remembered that I still haven't finished cataloging my complete 2015 Topps set and 2017 Topps is showing up in a month.

Poor night owl. Poor, poor night owl. When will he ever learn not to buy retail? When will he ever learn that packs are for suckers? When will he be efficient and shop online only and get exactly what he wants every time? Stupid night owl, stupid, stupid, stu ...

That's when the following card arrrived 7 cards into the first pack:


All of a sudden the entire box was a success.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've pulled an autographed card of a Hall of Famer out of a repack box. And I'd be able to do the same if I lost four of those fingers in a tragic snowblowing incident.

It seems my good retail luck from 2016 has continued.

My mood suddenly brighter, I continued on to pack two. That's when this card fell out:


That is one of those "snow-camo" parallels numbered to /100. It's only the second time I've pulled one of those cards.

By now I was as giddy and buzzy as a night owl can be at 11 in the morning, and eagerly opened pack three. But all it revealed was an insert I didn't have already.


It's a nice insert. I will always accept a card of my dad's favorite player. But it lacked the wow factor of packs one and two.


By pack four, we were back to your average "what the hell" inserts. I thought I had gotten rid of this card in a trade and now here it is again. I don't like it when Topps tries to do its Allen & Ginter/Heritage thing in flagship.

Nothing was out of the ordinary after that. Out of the five Series 2 packs came these inserts:


Yes, you saw that right: two of the same Edgar Martinez baked bread insert. And I have one of those already!



Those were about as exciting as the parallels got. (The Gonzalez card is a foily -- love how I have to keep pointing that out).

From there I plunged into less interesting packs.


The Prizm packs yielded exactly three players (out of 20) that I've heard of, and one is only because a fellow card blogger collects Gavins.



The Upper Deck packs yielded two Vance Laws in the same pack. I don't remember collation being this awful until Upper Deck came along.


But there was a Baseball Heroes Aaron insert in each pack, so that canceled out the double Laws.




The Score pack was fun to open and kind of rekindled what I liked about opening '91 Score in the first place. But the Blyleven, Baines and Abbott are all dupes and so are several other cards I didn't show. At least the Franco and Bo are new.



Finally, the Heritage pack that I opened last merely reminded me of why I didn't buy much 2015 Heritage in the first place (too many ugly closeups) and produced this short-print that I already have. And it clued me into the fact that Felix has a neck tattoo (when is this trend going to go away forever?)

But none of that mattered because of what I pulled out of the box seven cards in. My box was a success despite everything that followed.

After my Smoltzie pull, the box bombed, the snow beat down, work showed me why I despise it sometimes, and -- let's look outside -- oh, I have to clear the cars off again!

But remember, yesterday was my lucky day.


It's amazing what one card can do.


(P.S.: Yes, I am willing to trade this).

Comments

Scott Crawford said…
I think I have Smoltzie's auto already, and I'd rather see a Barves fan get it if not, but if no one's claimed the King Felix yet, I do need it for my '15 set.
Nachos Grande said…
Good luck with the snow! Nice to see a repack yield something besides Triple Play.
Coast To Posts said…
Those repack boxes, ohhhhh those god forsaken retail repack boxes... I hate them but love them at the same time, I like the variety and the possibilities; thus in the end they usually always leave me with a feeling of buyers remorse. You did really well on your box, congrats on overcoming the odds.
I've only pulled an auto once out of a pack - a Chris Gomez. You are very lucky.
night owl said…
We can work something out via email if you like.
Anonymous said…
Best of luck with that snow man...couldn't imagine having to deal with that kind of weather and have places to be.

The Smoltz auto is fantastic! Congrats on a great pull. I've had terrible luck with the repacks and lost all hope but this post makes me think...
Bubba said…
Damn. Late to the party. Nice pull NO! I would've been off the wall for that one.
Rob said…
I had no memory of Vance Law in an A's uniform...
Fuji said…
I don't open a lot of Topps flagship, but I'm guessing that's a pretty tough pull. Apply the "retail" filter and it's like hitting the lottery. Congratulations!
Stack22 said…
The Vance Law is from Phoenix Municipal, which is now home of the Arizona State Sun Devils (who tragically tore down Packard Stadium on campus).

I went to a ton of Phoenix Firebirds and A's spring training games there as a kid. To this day, the light poles are the same ones from the polo grounds, which the Giants tore down and moved to Phoenix when they relocated from NY to SF.
night owl said…
I'll package it with the Strasburg chrome and a couple odds n ends and try to ship it off to you next week.
Daniel Wilson said…
That is awesome! One heck of a retail pull! Congrats!

Popular posts from this blog

Stuck in traffic with Series 2

In the whirlwind that has been my life this month, I found myself going absolutely nowhere for a portion of Thursday afternoon. I was in the middle of yet another road trip, the third one this week. This one was for work, and because it was job-related, it became quickly apparent that it would be a waste of time. The only thing that could save it was a side visit to the nearby Walmart to see if I could spot some Topps Series 2. I found it right away, which was shocking as I was pretty much in the middle of the country, where SUVs share the road with tractors and buggies. Who knew that the Amish wanted Series 2, too? The problem was getting back into civilization to open the contents of the 72-card hanger box I bought. The neighboring village is undergoing a summer construction project smack in the middle of downtown. It's not much of a downtown, but the main road happens to be the main artery in the entire county. Everyone -- and by everyone I mean every tractor trailer ha

Heading upstate

  Back in 1999, Sports Illustrated published an edition at the end of the year rating the top 50 athletes of the century for every state.   As a lifelong Upstate New Yorker, I braced for a list of New York State athletes that consisted almost entirely of downstate natives, that is, folks from the greater NYC area and Long Island.   We Upstaters are used to New York City trampling all over the rest of the state. They have the most people, the loudest voices. It happens all the time. It's a phenomenon unique to this state. Heck, there are still people out there who, when you tell them you're from New York, automatically think you're from NYC. They don't think of cows and chickens when they think of New York. But trust me, there are a lot of cows and chickens in New York State. Especially cows.   So, anyway, when I counted up the baseball players that SI listed as the greatest from New York State, six of the nine were from New York City or Long Island. I was surprised all

G.O.A.T, the '80s: 30-21

  I often call this current period of the television sports calendar the black hole of sports programming. The time between the end of the Super Bowl and the beginning of televised Spring Training baseball games is an empty void when I'm looking for something to watch on traditional television. I don't watch the NBA and I find the NHL on TV holds my interest for maybe a period. College basketball I can't watch until the tournament. This didn't used to be as much of a problem back when I could turn instead to my favorite sitcoms in February. Do you remember when February was "sweeps month"? (Maybe it still is, I don't know). Networks would make sure that every top show aired original episodes that month, no reruns. So you'd always have something to view during the week even when the sports scene was boring. (I know, people have multiple streaming viewing options now. But I find myself going weeks sometimes before I see something I want to view on Netfli