After being inspired by seeing a few posts about over-eager retail employees putting merchandise out too early, I twice tried to see if any shiny, new packages of 2016 Topps were sitting on the shelves of my local retailers. Both times, I walked away skunked.
First, I tried the Walmart by my workplace over my lunch break. However, I made the mistake of heading that way before I actually ate my mid-day meal, justifying my move by resolving to at least grab a bag of turkey jerky for my troubles.
No 2016 Topps, no turkey jerky either. Double drat. Not even any satisfactory consolation cards to be had either.
Thus, after work, I decided to take a shot at my hometown LCS, just in case. Even if they hadn't snuck any of the goods out yet, I knew there would at least be something to scratch that pack-ripping itch.
Still no 2016 Topps. Bummer - I guess I'll just have to wait until tomorrow like the rest of the plebeians.
So, this post is all about what I bought INSTEAD of the first baseball card set of the year:
Well, I needed a pack to rip and there wasn't really anything on the counter catching my eye; so, I walked over to the discount bin and picked up this re-pack that was sitting on the top. My Bears Roster collection has been feeling pretty neglected lately; maybe I'd luck out and get a few new guys for the binder.
At 69 cents, that's a risk I'm willing to take.
Unfortunately, outside of that fantastic leaping shot of David Tate, the package was pretty much entirely made out of Mark Carrier and Wendell Davis cards. I'm pretty sure a few other guys suited up for them that decade...
But, have no fear Bears binder - I grabbed a couple of loose singles on my way to the register as well:
A couple of guys who turned out to be surprise contributors for this years' Chicago squad.
Tracy Porter signed a one-year deal to rebuild his value after some injury-marred campaigns. Both fortunately and unfortunately, he played well enough on that deal to price himself right back out of Chicago. Such is the nature of that kind of contract.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Miller came out of nowhere to be Jay Cutler's favorite target on the year. This was likely necessitated by the seemingly incessant injuries to the WR corps; but, Zach seized the opportunity, more than doubling his previous best in receiving yards (439) after not having even played in a regular season game since 2011. Hopefully this sudden renaissance is more than just a fluke.
Additionally, as I was flipping through the gridiron singles, I noticed that the store proprietor had also put a discount Blackhawks bin out on the counter for the first time. Seeing as the Hawks have pretty much been the "it" thing in Chicago for the past few years, he's charged a premium for their cards.
Looks like he finally realized that "Johnny Come-Lately" isn't buying cards of guys not named Kane, Toews or Crawford.
For just a quarter each, I nabbed:
Two pretty insignificant guys from the 90's - but, they were Blackhawks, so they're still cool in my book.
I'm sure they were worried about that.
Vintage hockey cards for 25 cents a pop? I'll take two please!
One nice horizontal shot showing the importance of calisthenics.
Lastly, I wrapped up the icey portion of my purchase with an upgraded Brandon Pirri card. Obviously any card that shows a player wearing the "right" uniform is always superior in my book. Now Brandon Pirri is properly represented in my binder.
So, while I may have been initially disappointed with my lack of 2016 cards, I walked away with some pretty nice consolation prizes. After all, 8 new Blackhawks and 2 new Bears for my collection makes for many more useful cards to me than a blaster of 2016 Topps would provide.
The rational side of my brain understands that concept; however, the emotional side is still dying to rip open something super duper new. Thankfully, I should only have to wait for one more day until I have that chance. Mother always told me that patience is a virtue...