Thursday, July 30, 2020

The return of Repack Wars

I have a habit (addiction?) of needing a soda to get through the work day, so while I was on break one afternoon last week, I went to the Walgreens across the street from my job for a quick Diet Coke.

I left with a Diet Coke and two repacks of baseball cards, because as I was on my way to the checkout line I remembered that Walgreens, of all places, sometimes has cards. As fate would have it, there were a pair of these 100-card repacks left in the toy aisle, and I bought them both. For better or worse, they're the first repacks I've bought in a long time. They no longer have the little window that lets you see the first card in the pack -- I've bought many of these based on that visible card alone -- but I still figured they'd be good for a cheap, fun rip.

Repacks were once all the rage on this blog, and it seemed like I used to buy (and post) about them weekly. Not so much lately. They're kind of like candy -- good for a little fun once in a while, but not the most pleasurable in bulk. You can only flip through so many '88 Topps commons, so it's no surprise that I eventually got burnt out of 'em. But the two repacks I bought the other day reminded me why I once loved these so much -- they obviously scratch the pack-opening itch I so often get, but on top of that, there's something satisfying about seeing a group of 100 different cards selected at random, no rhyme or reason between them.

For old time's sake, I decided to revive my old game of Repack Wars -- for your viewing pleasure, I've pulled a few of the more interesting cards from each pack, shuffled them up, and pitted them against one another to see which of the two repacks was the better stack.

A matchup of '80s stars leads things off here, but this one's a landslide -- gotta go with the nifty Sutcliffe from one of the seemingly infinite amount of those Fleer oddball sets.

Repack #1 leads, 1-0.

Part of the beauty of repacks is that you never know what they'll have -- everything from a cool '87 Topps common you've never seen before to a non-sport A&G oddity might be in there.

Even though I'm a truly atrocious pool player, I've still gotta go with Mrs. Lee here.

Tied, 1-1.

Always love seeing Pacific pop up in unexpected places, but I'm astounded that I've never seen that Jack Clark before, and he gets the point because I love everything about '91 Topps.

Repack #2 leads, 2-1.

Snow-covered '90s common, or a food-issued '80s minor league oddball?

I think you know the answer.

Repack #2 leads, 3-1.

The '80s produced an inordinate amount of dudes who look like my 4th-grade Social Studies teacher -- point Lansford.

Repack #2 leads, 3-2.

According to the box, one out of every four repacks contains a "hit" of some kind, and Repack #1 produced an autograph, which was quite jarring to see fall out of a stack of '80s commons.

But since I have no idea who Kyle Robeniol is -- he's still pitching in college -- I'll go with Tony Clark here, especially since I love finding defunct and/or long-forgotten brands in repacks (Leaf Preferred?).

Repack #2 leads, 4-2.

Against all odds, Repack #2 produced an autograph of its own -- and while I've at least heard of Christin Stewart, he's no match against a minor-leaguer named Rusty.

Repack #2 leads, 4-3.

Each of these Walgreens repacks contained an unopened pack, both of which turned out to be 1992 Donruss Triple Play.

This was a far better rip than the packs of 1990 Donruss that seemed to fall out of every repack I bought in the past -- I actually really like this set, and Repack #2 gets the nod (and the win!) for producing an Ozzie Smith card I somehow didn't already have.

Repack #2 wins, 5-3!

That little battle reminded me how fun Repack Wars are, and while 95 percent of the cards I got wound up in my doubles box, never to be seen again, repacks are always good for a romp through the cheap, random corners of the hobby.

All in all, not a bad way to spend my hour-long break from the general public, I'd say.


Elliptical Man said...

Wow. You are not a Reds fan.

Voting for the Black Widow.

Mike said...

I love these posts..if they had,say,a mystery pack of 20 random 45s records at Walgreen's.. I'd buy 'em!

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Jeanette Lee, yessir.

P-town Tom said...

Wouldn't it be something if the college pitcher made a name for himself in the big leagues? And you pulled his auto from a repack? I'd hold onto that card for a while just to see what happens. :)

gcrl said...

Diet coke and baseball cards are my two vices, and sometimes a repack hits the spot.

Tim B. said...

Love these things, in moderation. Glad to see you had fun on your break.

Bo said...

I love how the Hills card has a Food Town ad clearly visible. Both were NY-area supermarket chains, though I don't think that is what either one is here.

Fuji said...

Not sure where, but my buddies and I would watch professional pool tournaments (maybe on ESPN) back in the 90's and Jeanette was my favorite player.

SumoMenkoMan said...

I’m a fan of these repacks if nothing else for the walk through memory lane. Thanks for sharing.

gregory said...

Fun post, and a close match! That Tim Knight card is my favorite, in part from the Food Town advertisement in the background.

Tim said...

Repack cards are like junk food. Sometimes I just can't resist!