I Actually Bought a Pack of Baseball Cards
August 27th, 2012 by slangon

You know the story. You’re at Target and/or Walmart running errands and happen by the card aisle. Of course you can’t just walk by without just popping your head in to see what’s that haps. Then your pocket starts to heating up and before you know it, there’s a hole burning in that pocket. It’s a tale as old as time.

On this particular occasion, as I was perusing my cardboard options, I made the decision to pick up a rack pack, which at the Target that I frequent runs at right around $5. Fine, I thought. I’m willing to waste a fiver to see what’s floating around out there in the old baseball card world. A couple of products caught my eye, all from this year and all of the retro variety. I saw some packs of Topps Heritage, but then remembered that outside of the SP’s, I already have all the Mets cards from that set. I saw some Gypsy Queen, which piqued my curiosity for a breif second. Then I figured that I’ve already picked up a few random Mets from that set as well, and I’m not a huge fan of this years version anyway. Finally, I saw a bunch of packs of this years Allen & Ginter. Normally I’m not too keen on dropping $5 on 12 cards (unless they be older that me), but I was fairly itching to bust a pack and pickin’s were slim.

So there I was, all set to walk out of there with a pack of 2012 Ginter, when what do my wandering eyes behold? It’s something I’ve heard tell of, but never seen with my own peepers.

Yessir. They had a whole rack of these here repack packs that claim to have “3 Vintage Cards Inside!” I was a tad skeptical, figuring it’d be 97 cards I had absolutely no use for along with 3 cards from 1982 or something. Not to disparage the 1982 set, but did I really want to shell out $5 just for the opportunity to possibly get a couple of ’82s?

I decided that I did, and in hindsight, I’m glad I pulled the trigger.

First off, when I got home and glanced at the legal mumbo-jumbo on the back side of the pack, I saw that they actually set their definition of “vintage” as being from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. The worst I could do was a bunch of 1979 cards.

So how did I do? Well, I’m obviously not going to torture you by posting all 100 cards that I got, but I will show some of my favorites, neatly categorized into groups, starting with the Mets that I pulled. You know, since the main focus of my collection is the Mets.

Nothing very thrilling here, although Ventura was one of my favorites back in his day. Any excitement that I felt at seeing his card though was pretty much cancelled by the fact that I have about 4 copies of that same card.

I also got a couple of cards of Hall of Famers, and who doesn’t want mid-80’s cards of Hall of Famers?

I wasn’t too jazzed about the double Cal’s only because he seems to be one of those players that I draw in like a magnet. That and the cards are just boring looking.

I was pretty pleased about the Yount, just because I always kind of forget what a nice looking set ’91 Topps is.

I was really jazzed about the Rickey, mostly because it’s Rickey. I also like the old school Bazooka illustration. I poked around on the interwebs for half a second to try and figure out what the deal was with the whole “Starter Set” thing, but came up empty. Anyone have any insights?

I also got a bunch of cool-ish cards of guys who maybe weren’t Hall of Famers, but were pretty damn good.

It would’ve been cooler had it been a card of him as a Sock, but I’m cool with most any card of Nomar. By the by, since people always refer to the Red Sox as simply “The Sox”, is it proper to refer to a single player from the Red Sox as “A Sock”? Just wondering.

So we got one card of Nomar as a Cub and one card of Soriano as not a Cub. I swear, I always forget that he started as a Yankee. I also believe this card to be short printed, so I guess that’s cool. Even though I have no interest in Soriano per se, less than zero interest in the Yankees and not too much interest in 2002 Donruss Originals.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in the past, but 1984 Topps holds a special place in my heart because that was the first year that I really set my mind to collecting baseball cards. I had picked up a few stray packs of 1983 and possibly 1982, but that was more like sticking your toe in the water. I’ve also been noticing this strange phenomenon where I get a little extra giddy about getting an O-Pee-Chee card, rather than a Topps card.

Although I’m not a huge fan of ’87 Topps, I gotta say, I love this picture of Kirk. It’s got badass written all over it.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved these Glossy All-Stars, but not nearly as much as I love Fernando’s track jacket. That thing is awesome.

I know about 1,000,000 people that hate the Yankees, but I’d be hard pressed to find even one that would dare say they hate Donnie Baseball. That’s how awesome he is. He transcends the hatred of a million people.

Aside from this being a card of the Big Cat which pretty much automatically makes it ¬†cool, this card also showcases the brilliance that is the late 80’s/early 90’s Montreal Expos road uniform. Bask in it’s brilliance. Bask, I tell you.

Another Yankee that I’d be hard pressed to find anyone willing to admit that they hate, although I am beginning to get a little disturbed at the number of Yankees in this thing.

Ok, now this is getting ridiculous. I realize that Ken Griffey Sr. is yet another guy who played for the Yankees that most people don’t hate, but do you really need to give me 2 of the same card? Stupid repacks.

(JUST TO BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR ON THIS, THE SECTION OF GUYS WHO I THINK ARE REALLY GOOD IS OFFICIALLY OVER. THE NEXT CARD IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM IS MEANT TO BE INCLUDED IN THE SECTION OF GUYS WHO I THINK ARE REALLY GOOD.)

And speaking of guys people may or may not hate…

Actually, I kid. I really don’t hate Jose Canseco. I kind of hate McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, etc, but for some reason I can’t use the word “hate” when describing my feeling towards Jose Canseco. And believe me, not a day goes by when I have to describe my feeling towards Jose. I wonder why that is. Maybe because over the years, he’s become much more of a clown-like figure than any of the other PED guys? But then again, I hate clowns, too. I have no answer.

I also got me a manager card that I needed for my manager card collection.

By the way, I actually have that shirt. Well, not that exact shirt, but an actual Official Houston Astros road jersey from that era. I got it a few years ago at a Salvation Army thrift store for like $0.50. It’s pretty awesome, but I can’t bring myself to wear it, not even in an ironic way.

I also, got a team card, sort of…

I know these team leader cards aren’t team cards in the true sense of the word, but I still like them. Or at least these earlier 80’s ones. The ones they started making in 1986 or so where it’s a random picture of somebody on the team with edges faded to white I could do without.

Okay, so we’re pretty much done with all the lesser cards. Now it’s onto the hits, the “Mojo” as the kids call it these days. As you will recall, the pack promised “3 Vintage Cards Inside!” and defined “vintage” as being from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. Also, you can really see it in the photo of the pack that I took, but the wrapper also warns you to look out for memorabilia cards, which I believe they stated were in 1 in every 8 packs. Keep that in mind.

Although these 2 cards don’t count because they’re from the 80’s, they’re from the early 80’s and one of my favorite sets.

The Huffman card is kind of cool, but the real gem for me is the World Series highlight card, even though it is singing the praises of the Phillies. I had actually never seen any World Series highlight cards from the ’81 set before, so when I first laid eyes on it , I thought it was some weird oddball set.

Here’s 2 of the official “vintage” cards from the pack. I like the ’79 set, but quite honestly, if this was the best the pack could do, I’d be a might bit disappointed. Although, it is kind of cool that the Jerry Morales card is showing a Met. I can’t quite tell if that’s John Stearns or Ron Hodges.

This was the oldest card in the pack. It’s not from my favorite set, but it is a nerd, so that’s pretty cool. That covers the promised 3 vintage cards, but this pack wasn’t done.

I also pulled this little beauty, which was awesome for several reasons. One, it’s from 1973 Topps, which is my favorite 70’s set and one which I’m trying to complete. Two, it’s a manager card, so it fits in with my manager collection. Three, it’s got Bill Mazeroski on it. And four, and I just realized this as I was writing it, it’s got the same nerd on it that I just showed. Weird. Also, apparently this is the “No Ear” version of this card. I guess there’s another version where you can see more of Bill Mazeroski’s ear. I forget which one is supposed to be better.

You might’ve also noticed that earlier I pointed out that the pack also stated that you should look out for memorabilia cards. Well, I didn’t pull any jersey or bat cards, but I did pull this little guy.

It’s an autographed Tom Paciorek card from the 1989-90 Pacific Senior League set. This is almost so anti-mojo that it starts to become actual Mojo. I mean, you have a journeyman player. It’s from a Senior League. It’s from a almost unknown set. And somebody went through the trouble to get it autographed. It’s also cool that Tom was a one time Met.

So that’s what my $5 got me. I have a feeling I might be heading back for more of these if I’m ever in the neighborhood.

7 Responses to “I Actually Bought a Pack of Baseball Cards”

  1. The question of the hour… are you willing to trade that vuntage Astris jersey? Haha… i am only half joking about this…

  2. Awesome stuff as always out of those things. Even more awesomer than usual (you got more than your share of vintage-ish ness).

  3. I’m so glad people are buying these and showing off their loot. It’s almost as fun as buying one and opening it myself. (which I have not done yet, but plan to soon!). Thanks for sharing — looks like you made out pretty well.

    Also, I think the Jerry Morales card’s photo was taken at Wrigley Field (brick wall in the background), so it’s probably a Cubs catcher. I like where your head is at, though. Let’s Go Mets!

  4. Nice. I do like the Tom Paciorek auto. I think he was included in the Obak set a few years ago. He must have done something special at some point. Anyone remember what?

  5. Whoa, Wimpy autograph out of a junk rack, nice. I think Tom’s brother John Paciorek was in the Obak set for having a 1 game career where he went 3 for 3 with a couple of walks.

    The Bazooka card is from the 1989 set, they all have that ‘Starter Set’ line on them for some reason.

    Don Mattingly is the cutoff line for when I like the New York Yankees. Every Yankee after Don retired can go jump in a lake as far as I’m concerned.

  6. Ok, I had to look it up. Both Pacioreks were in the 2010 Obak set.

  7. I always hear them referred to as “A Red Sox” by people who seem to be Boston (or a White Sox for Chicago) fans or sports media professionals. It sounds awkward to me though, so I usually cop out and say “as a Red Sox player”

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