Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I survived a JBF mega box, Pt. 2: The packs


As I recounted in my last post, Dime Boxedonia was recently hit with an infamous JBF mega box.

The singles Wes packed into this mega mailer spanned across five smaller boxes and a slew of other miscellaneous cards. You'd think that'd be enough for the guy, but, then again, one should never underestimate the insanity of the legend of JBF.

If the mounds of singles didn't convince you of that, than this image should. That, my friends, is the sum total of the unopened packs that made it into this mega box...in addition to all those cards from my last post, mind you.

So, as if sorting and plucking gems from the singles wasn't enough, this mailer also provided me with the opportunity to open a plethora of packs, nearly all of them ranging between 1987 and 1992. Call it a custom JBF hobby box, if you will.

Let's dig in.




We might as well start with the only pre-1987 packs of the box, which, as you may have noticed from the introductory photo, was a pair of 1981 Topps Supers.

The packs had a single card in each, and both ended up being Rangers. The first of the two resulted in a Jim Sundberg. While I'm sure Sundberg is a heckuva guy, I was way, way, way more excited to pull none other than Al Oliver from the second pack.

"Scoop" is (and always will be) one of my all-time favorite ballplayers, and I like him even more now that I know he wore a silver SCOOP necklace, which you can see just above his collar in this photo.

The unopened packs were already a surefire success at this point.




Everything else was pure bonus.

Wes included a single pack of 1991 Stadium Club in this gargantuan box, and, while I'm not quite sure how he did it, I think he managed to turn it into some kind of hot pack crafted to fulfill my specific collecting interests.

In addition to this wonderful horizontal shot of Mr. Trammell...




...the pack contained not one, but two different White Sox throwback cards I needed.

I don't know what kind of dark hobby magic you're working, Wes, but thank you.




Also included was a rack pack of 1989 Topps and a standard pack of 1990 Fleer.

Now, while I can't say I'd want to bust a box of either of these sets anytime soon, there is something innately special about opening packs of the stuff every now and again. It's like a little cardboard time machine that I get to ride in during the thirty seconds it takes for me to absorb a pack of baseball cards.

And, hey, against all odds, I actually pulled a couple cards I needed from each of the two. The card on the right further convinces me that Willie McGee is just about the most unphotogenic person in the history of baseball (or human existence, for that matter), and the Biggio is a rookie card of a newly-minted Hall of Famer.

That's about the best you can get from 1989 Topps.




There were two different packs of 1991 Fleer in this box, one standard, one jumbo (or "fat pack," as I believe they were called at the time).

As much as I'd like to say that one of the banana-yellow beauties was my favorite of the lot, this Barry Larkin insert wound up stealing the show.

I absolutely love the All-Star Team design, and I kinda wish Fleer would've used it for one of their base sets at one time or another.




The madness grew with packs of '88 Score and '91 Topps Traded.

These packs turned out to be educational as well, as I had no idea that early '90s Topps Traded was ever issued in wax pack form.




Dave Justice and Jack Morris represent the packs of '92 Pinnacle and '92 Studio that found their way into this mammoth mailing.

I've often thought about trying to obtain an unopened pack from every brand from the year I was born  (1992) and keeping them as some kind of memento.

Then again, unopened packs and I don't get along too well...the urge to bust 'em is just too strong.




Both Leaf's 1991 and '92 offerings made appearances as well.

I always enjoy getting new cards of the elder Griffey, and I'm sure that Black Gold "Big Hurt" went for a pretty penny back in the day.




Just when I'd whittled the packs down to a precious few, a pile of unopened boxed sets fell out of this never-ending box of greatness.

The first of the bunch was from the 1987 Fleer League Leaders brand, 44 cards in all. Quite a few future Hall of Famers, and a bunch of other big names as well.

And get a load of Doc in that generic Mets t-shirt.




Next up was the 1990 Upper Deck High Numbers series, the "UD Update" of its day.

Included here is a zero-year Alex Cole (a rare occurrence for Upper Deck), a Dave Justice rookie, and what I have to believe is John Franco's first card as a Met, among many other gems.

And here I was thinking I had everything I needed from 1990 Upper Deck.




My personal favorite of the boxed sets was the smattering of 1986 Topps Superstars.

I'd picked up a few from this checklist here and there over the years, but almost all of them were new to me. Aside from general player collection hits like the Carter and Gwynn, this set provided a handful of treasured sunset hits with the Carew, Oliver, and Foster.

Long live yellow borders!




All in all, however, I think my favorite pack of this mega box didn't have anything to do with baseball at all.

The 10-card pack of 1991 Pro Set Music Cards, at least on a purely entertainment level, was likely the most fun to open, partly because it came smack dab in the middle of a strange time for music.

The set honors legends like Bob Marley and The Who (who headline the poster in the center of this page), but it also reminds us that Vanilla Ice was once considered worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Bob Marley and The Who.

Just...no.




If there was a "hit" in this pack, this was it.

Granted, I've never been a huge fan of ZEPPELIN, but, no matter how you slice it, they were one of the biggest bands in rock history. (Interestingly, my favorite song of theirs is probably among their shortest.)

Random thought: For better or worse, I still can't hear "Kashmir" without thinking of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

And, with that, this behemoth comes to a close. I think these two posts give you a pretty good idea of how fun this thing was to open. Singles, unopened packs, Coca-Cola frisbees...it had it all, and then some.

I still don't know how the guy does it, but Wes is, and forever will be, the king of the mega box.

He deserves a collective round of applause.

7 comments:

Tony L. said...

Man, I'm sure I've seen the Pro Set Music cards around before, but I'm thinking I may need to try to collect musicians as my nonsport collection...those cards are awesome!

Mark Hoyle said...

I second what Tony said

JediJeff said...

How do you post that link to Immigrant Song? Everyone know this is the real video:

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/vikingkittens

shlabotnikreport said...

Thank you, JediJeff. After all, I never would've known what the hell Robert Plant was singing if it weren't for viking kittens!

WE ARE YOUR OVERLORDS!!!!

Roger said...

Good stuff. How can you not love Zeppelin on cardboard? Think it's time to put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV !!

Big Tone said...

Awesome,awesome stuff!That Topps superstar set Is killer.Ditto your McGee observation.His cards always looks like he's flailing at a bee and missing.

Fuji said...

Great stuff. Wes really knows how to pack them.