I take solace in repacks.
It's good to know that with all the fancy, shiny, PLEASE BUY OUR PRODUCT!!!! pitches out there, I'll always be able to count on a good ol' repack from time to time.
For me, their allure comes from a few different areas.
Maybe you're pretty much set on all new products on the shelves these days. Repacks are good alternative for that.
Maybe you don't have all that much extra money to blow. That's okay! A 100-card repack costs all of four dollars.
Or maybe you're just itching for something to bust. Yup, repacks are the cure for what ails ye.
I guess a little of all that caused me to open two repacks over the past few weeks. My Target seems to have a pretty good selection available. Aside from the fact that those friggin' plastic cases are absolutely impossible to open, they're pretty much perfect for me.
Once I got done cutting, slicing, and impaling that darn case to get to the cardboard, I found quite a few neat pieces inside. One that stuck out to me was the '79 Topps Cubs team card you see above.
Floating heads galore!
The cards I find in repacks fall into a few categories.
The vast majority are usually ones I already have, don't need, or for the love of God how much '88 Donruss did they put in this thing?!
Then you've got those select few cool cards that you simply wouldn't have thought to look for anywhere else. The Jaha is a good example of those. It looks like he's about ready to play a little hacky sack at the campus center.
Finally, we have the cards you actually need. These are probably the least common parts of repacks. The fun of simply busting one open is worth the four-dollar price tag, but pulling a few cards for my binders always makes for a nice cherry on the repack sundae.
I'm not exactly sure how, but I didn't already have a copy of that Marichal.
Strange, since I've seen every other All-Star card from that set about a million times before.
Here's a neat Bazooka oddball.
It's so cool, in fact, that the repack gods chose to give it to me twice.
One of the draws of this particular repack was the fact that it included a couple loose packs.
In fact, only one of these wound up producing anything noteworthy.
Want to take a guess at which one?
The '89 Fleer pack.
I'd say about 99.9 percent of collectors instantly recognize this one. It's the famous "F--- Face" Billy Ripken error.
As you probably know, Fleer released a whole bunch of corrections to their epic screw-up. There's even a whole site devoted to them.
I already own a copy of this common "black box" variation (as well as one of the original F-word versions), but it was still quite a shock to pull one out of a pack.
There's just no knowing what you'll get out of a repack.
You might even pull a card that few, if any, could care about aside from yourself.
That's precisely what we have here. As odd as it might seem, Mr. Tartabull was by far my favorite get from this repack.
The former Seinfeld star played exactly 24 games with the A's in 1995. Before this one came along, I owned a grand total of one other card of him with Oakland.
Would many others care about an otherwise mundane Danny Tartabull single?
Probably not. But I do.
That's what makes a repack special.
Fresh off the adrenaline rush from my big Tartabull pull from a few weeks before, my dad was nice enough to treat me to another repack recently.
There was something familiar about this particular one, though.
After seeing this tremendous Dmitri Young card peeking out at me, I was all set to purchase this repack during a trip to Target about a month ago. Then, remembering how little money I'd actually had at the time, I decided to put it back on the shelf.
Once again, the repack gods were on my side. A few weeks later, as my dad and I were frequenting the card aisle, I saw the very same repack on the shelf, exactly where I'd previously left it.
Thanks to my dad, I was finally ready to pull the trigger.
It was over a month in the making.
Any repack that gets me a new Pete Rose is great.
Any repack that gets me a new Pete Rose and a new Sparky Anderson is friggin' awesome.
Even high-quality rookies aren't strangers to the world of repacks.
It's hard to believe, but I did actually get a Jamie Moyer first-year piece from this thing. It made the other few dozen '87 Donruss cards I pulled a little more tolerable.
This repack was inspiring as well. I'd been considering adding Allen Craig to my binder catalog for a little while now. Wouldn't you know it...his rookie card materialized out of a group of rather ordinary 2010 Topps singles.
I took that as a sign.
Allen Craig, welcome to my binders.
While rookies are cool, this repack had quite a few simply fun cards that struck my fancy.
I'm a big fan of those "bat barrel" shots, as you might know. And I still can't get over how zany that big "Z" on the cap of Esteban Beltre is.
You'd never see something like that pop up on a big league uniform.
There was more than enough mini-collection fun to go around as well.
The very 17th century-sounding William Van Landingham (a pitcher) showed up on the basepaths on the back of his '95 Collector's Choice issue.
Topps was nice enough to feature Mike Aviles in a rather nice double play turn in their 2009 checklist.
Both of these are frankenset nominees, for sure.
Mr. Kingman, though, was the unquestioned MVP of this repack.
In fact, this just might be the absolute greatest card I've ever pulled from one of these things.
My jaw literally dropped when it fell into my hands. That's how cool I think this card is.
First of all, "Kong" has always been one of my favorite players to collect. I know he wasn't the nicest guy in the world, but I just seem to passionately enjoy picking up his cardboard.
On top of that, this card hails from a rather unheralded Topps "Super Stars" oddball release from the mid '80s. I don't think I've ever seen another one from this particular checklist before.
Let's not forget how perfectly that blinding A's jersey fits in with this set's awesome yellow borders, either.
I love repacks, but I never thought I'd find anything like this in one of them.
In the end, I guess you just never know.
That's pretty much the overall theme of repacks, if you ask me.