Saturday, September 15, 2012
Right on, Target
As much as I may have fought against it, my lack of willpower got the best of me yesterday.
I broke down and bought some Topps Chrome from my local Target.
Every year, I tell myself it's not going to happen. No way am I spending three dollars on a four-card pack of cardboard.
But then it does. It's inevitable, I guess.
Topps Chrome has been one of the staples of the card industry in recent years. Sets like Co-Signers, Ticket to Stardom, and Lineage have all come and gone, but Chrome has always been there.
I guess that little sense of stability is why I always find myself coming back to it.
For the first time this year, my Target disappointed me a bit. They didn't have any Chrome rack packs on the shelves. It's a shame, because I've always had a soft spot for those neat orange refractors.
As a result, I settled on four ordinary packs from the box they had on display. (Another generous cardboard gift from my dad.)
One of the first cards I saw foreshadowed the sheer disappointment of what was to come.
In the past, Topps used different photos for a player's base flagship and Chrome issues, which proved extremely beneficial for players who had been airbrushed into new jerseys on their flagship cards.
Topps has been lazy lately, though. I don't mind Topps airbrushing guys into new uniforms in early-year releases.
But come on, Topps. You've had more than enough time to snap a photo of Aramis Ramirez in a Brewers jersey. Yet you still chose to recycle the boring old photoshopped shot you used for his Series 2 card.
If I'm going to be spending three bucks on four cards, you've got to give me a little more than that.
The first three packs yielded all base cards.
At least the Cain is a nice pickup for my new player collection of his.
Although the Buehrle is admittedly a pretty nice photoshop job on Topps' part, I'd still like to have seen an updated shot of him in a Marlins uniform.
Would the last pack give me my money's worth?
Even though this is a pretty nice card, the answer is a resounding "NO!".
A final recap shows that for twelve bucks, I got 16 total cards. Fifteen of which were base cards. Don't get me wrong, though. With most sets, the base cards are my main focus.
However, with Chrome, I was hoping for a little more shininess. The reason I've always been drawn back to the set is because of the refractors.
The "ooh!" over a simple shiny cards is one of the most basic pleasures in this hobby.
You win some, you lose some.
At least it probably won't be that hard to pick up the rest of the cards I need from the set. It doesn't take long for them to start popping up in dime boxes at card shows.
Thankfully, my latest Target excursion wasn't over just yet.
I couldn't resist picking up another pack of Triple Play on the way out.
That's the great thing about a dollar-per-pack set. You don't really have to plan your budget around them. Tossing one into your cart on a whim will barely put a dent in it.
Unfortunately, the pack I picked proved to be a bit of a bust as well. The "A-Rod" puzzle piece was about as good as it got.
It looked like the pack ripping gods just weren't with me yesterday.
Then again, that's what repacks are for.
After seeing the great little "gems" that other bloggers have unearthed from them, I decided to break down and buy one of those four-dollar 100-card Target repack boxes.
Judging from what my four Topps Chrome packs netted me, maybe I just should've bought three of these things instead.
You don't need the "card gods" to get enjoyment out of these.
That's the great thing about them.
If I had to pick a single favorite card from the repack box, it would probably be this SP issue of former Yankee and Seinfeld star Danny Tartabull.
A batting cage shot of a player I collect is always a plus in my book.
Here's a couple of logo-less 1980's stars.
The Hershiser was what convinced me to buy this specific repack. It was one of the cards that was visible through the package, far better than anything I saw from the other ones on display.
Before I joined the blogosphere, I was pretty much indifferent towards oddballs like these.
Now, I can't get enough of them.
It's just one of the great ways the blogosphere has influenced me as a collector.
Neither of these guys are in my binders, but I couldn't resist showing them off.
If I had one word to describe that Ben McDonald card, it would have to be "disturbing". The grimace on his face there just doesn't look right to me.
Over the course of my time as a blogger, I've talked a lot about "baseball names". I couldn't give you a clear definition of what they are. Most baseball fans know one when they see one, though.
I think it's safe to say that Buddy Biancalana is a surefire "baseball name".
A couple adds to my various player collections are always a plus.
How I didn't already own a copy of that Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd card is beyond me. I have thousands of unwanted 1989 Topps cards lying around my room, yet that one had never found its way into my hands for some reason.
Thankfully, I have it now.
That's all that matters.
The repack box notified me that there was a "bonus pack" inside, just waiting to be opened.
Even though it turned out to be from an expected overproduction era set, I still felt a slight twinge of excitement.
The 1990 Topps Traded "bonus pack" was the finale of yesterday's pack-ripping extravaganza.
It netted me perhaps the scariest baseball card I've ever seen.
Pascual Perez looks a long ways away from his earlier 1990 Jehri-curled self. From what 1990 Topps has shown me, Perez is a "two-face".
That repack box was a whole lot of fun. Four bucks well spent, I think.
I may have to pick another one up in the near future.
It sure beats the heck out of a lousy four-card pack of Topps Chrome.