Monday, June 9, 2014
That's a wrap
I'm not a hoarder.
That's what I like to tell myself, anyways.
While I may collect everything from Lou Gehrig to double dips to oddballs, all my cards are nicely organized. I have a succinct system that keeps my filing simple and easy. Sure, I have boxes and boxes of unsorted extras, but I doubt I'm unlike many other collectors in that regard.
Then come the wrappers.
I have a habit of saving a wrapper from every brand I buy. I'm not sure how, when, or why it happened. Unless I already have a copy of a particular wrapper, though, I can't throw it away. I sure hope I'm not the only one who does this.
Worse yet, I haven't developed a way to sort them. They're all stuffed into a couple boxes in my closet.
It's the one area of my life where my fear of hoarding may be starting to become a reality.
I try to convince myself otherwise, thinking that my wrapper obsession is a great way to see all the different designs companies have used for their packs over the years.
On top of that, it's a great way to keep track of my travels in this hobby.
I've been making card-themed trips to my local Target for about eight years now. Though I may not do it as much anymore, it's still a special feeling to walk out of there with a fresh unopened pack or two in my hands.
During those trips, I've sampled everything from 2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee to 2013 Pinnacle.
I have the packs to prove it.
Over the years, I've managed to get my hands on a couple older packs.
Yes, I've kept those wrappers, too.
Most collectors know how much card stock has changed since the overproduction era. Today's cardboard has a glossy finish to it.
The same can be said for wrappers as well. Most of my older wrappers have a very waxy feel to them, something that's probably familiar to most collectors who grew up during the '70s or '80s.
Wrappers nowadays have a glossy feel to them, which I like.
They also contain less cards.
I don't enjoy that as much.
Just like so many cards these days, wrappers can also have a retro feel to them.
I didn't even realize 2012 Topps Archives packs were a throwback to the '89 design until I saw these side-by-side.
Though the set might not be a knockout, Archives wrappers sure are things of beauty.
That brings me to the topic of rack packs.
I save those as well.
If what you saw during my grand tour was any indication, blasters used to be the go-to source of retail cardboard for me. Not anymore.
I'm slowly becoming a rack pack kind of guy. You just seem to get more bang for your buck out of rack packs. Way more so than blasters.
I haven't seen the rack pack design for this year's Archives yet, but I'll bet it's a nice one.
Much like cards, I enjoy more old-timey pack wrappers as well.
Heritage has certainly been a great source for those during its run.
Just call me a sucker for retro, I guess.
Not all wrappers are created equal.
This behemoth was once home to a Turkey Red Blanket box-topper. I didn't have the good fortune to open it, though.
I traded with a guy a long time ago who protected the cards he sent with it. While a lot of other people would've tossed the wrapper, I didn't. I thought it'd make for a great add to my collection.
I have trouble tossing away used wrappers like these.
I think Flagship is responsible for the majority of packs in my collection.
Though I haven't bought as many loose packs and/or blasters lately, I still try and track down at least one Topps wrapper every year.
I actually remember when those 2007 packs were just starting to hit the shelves.
It seems like so long ago.
For a couple years, Topps stumbled upon a terrific wrapper innovation.
They featured a quartet of different players on their various packs in 2009 and 2010. It allowed me to try and complete a little set of wrappers, if you will.
Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Babe Ruth, and Mickey Mantle were all seen on packs of 2010 Topps Series 1.
Thanks to my wrapper obsession, this is one minor idea I wish Topps would bring back.
I've bought a hobby box of Topps Update every year since 2007.
It's one of those little cardboard traditions I like to maintain. As you might guess, I've saved a couple Update wrappers with each passing year.
I used to have this annoying habit of taping packs to each box I bought, one that I've since stopped. You can see the tape residue on this scan of a 2007 Update wrapper.
I find it funny and a little sad that Topps thought Roger Clemens would help sell packs back then.
There's a wrapper of Update from every year between 2008 and 2013.
Budget willing, I'm hoping to add a 2014 pack to the fold come September.
Perhaps the most beautiful wrappers in the hobby these days belong to Allen and Ginter.
I may not follow the brand as avidly as I did a few years ago, but there's no denying that the packs have always been jaw-droppers.
Until today, I forgot I even had a 2006 A&G wrapper in my collection.
It takes me back to the excitement I had over the brand when it first hit the shelves.
Save for 2011, I've managed to save a wrapper of A&G from every year between 2006 and 2013.
They sure do look nice all together like that.
While it may not be my favorite brand on the market anymore, I'm sure I'll keep the tradition going at some point here in 2014.
I owe it to A&G.
This is undoubtedly the crown jewel of my wrapper collection.
I'm sure some of you know it well. What we have here is an authentic 1975 Topps pack wrapper. I picked it up in one of my very first blogosphere trades.
Aside from '65, 1975 Topps is my absolute favorite set in Flagship's prestigious catalog. To own a real, actual wrapper from it is something else.
Maybe a Hank Aaron came from this pack. Or a George Brett rookie.
When it comes to opening packs, the possibilities are endless. No matter what, I'll always love busting open a pack of baseball cards.
Maybe that's why I've insisted on keeping so many of the wrappers.
Either that, or, you know, the whole hoarder thing.