Friday, September 2, 2016
Is this pack searching?
So here's something I'm kind of conflicted about.
A couple weeks ago, I walked into the card aisle of my local Target and saw a handful of 2016 Topps Chrome rack packs up for grabs, not even knowing the set was live. I usually ignore Chrome -- I have a hard time justifying $10 for a grand total of 15 cards -- but I decided to flip through them nonetheless.
Through the transparent window of the very first pack on the rack, I could see a Yankee logo and the surname Miller staring back at me through the shrinkwrap (you can kind of notice it in the scan here). That is, I knew one of the exclusive pink refractors in this particular pack was none other than Andrew Miller, perhaps the game's most dominant reliever and one of my personal favorite guys to collect.
That alone convinced me to take the plunge on this $10 rack pack, but it also put an unpleasant thought in my head: did I just pack search? Hardcore pack searching -- that is, bending and feeling up packs for a possible "hit" -- is a deplorable act, but I admit, I feel a bit strange letting inside contents influence my decision. But having the Andrew Miller card be visible to the naked eye through the shrinkwrap makes it fair game, at least in my head.
But what about the rest of the rack pack?
#197 Jose Fernandez
A guy I collect kicks off the festivities.
#PC-17 Miguel Sano, "Perspectives"
I was kind of surprised Topps didn't bring back the "Perspectives" inserts in Series 2, as it was far and away the best insert series Flagship had going this year.
They're alive in well in Chrome, however, and with some new subjects, as Mr. Sano here will indicate.
#103 Jason Heyward, Gold Refractor /50
I never pull low-numbered parallels like this...and if I do, it's usually of someone I've never heard of and/or don't collect. But not this time. This golden beauty features Jason Heyward, a guy I've collected since his debut in 2010 and a someone I chase with even more vigor now that he's a new Cub here in 2016.
Sure, he's been kind of a bust thus far, but I'm still a fan of his all the same.
#158 Carlos Carrasco
Not a bad first pack, I'd say.
#127 Rusney Castillo
Not much to say here, so I'll mention that the smoke effect seems to work a bit better with Chrome than it does in the standard Flagship.
#170 Garrett Richards, Prism Refractor
My scanner worked overtime with this one.
#93 Ross Stripling
#137 Brian Johnson
Oof, that pack was a dud.
#56 Yordano Ventura
Good for a brawl a year.
#113 Mark Teixeira
One of the better shots from this year's Flagship.
#119 Craig Kimbrel, Refractor
Not bad...a refractor of a guy I collect in his new, unaltered 2016 uniform.
I'll take it!
#29 Richie Schaffer
Who has time for rookies when the bonus pack awaits?
#176 Andrew Miller, Pink Refractor
Not much of a surprise here, as I've already detailed.
#143 Gary Sanchez, Pink Refractor
This was shipped off to a Yankee collector prior to Sanchez's recent Ruthian tear, back before I admittedly even knew who Gary Sanchez was.
#134 David Wright, Pink Refractor
A New York hot pack!
See, this is why I usually stay away from Chrome. I pull a gold refractor of Jason Heyward, a neat "Perspectives" insert, and two pink refractors of guys I collect (Miller and Wright)...and yet I still feel like I didn't get enough bang for my buck. Like I still got screwed somehow.
But it was far from a terrible rack pack overall, and hey, had I not seen Andrew Miller through the shrinkwrap, chances are I wouldn't have even pulled the trigger in the first place.
If this is pack searching, then Topps is ten dollars richer because of it, and I guess that's not all bad.