It's been a pretty chaotic week or so around the Wrigley Roster Jenga household. As such, I ultimately have stayed away from the blogosphere for a little while. I'm sure I could have jammed a post here or there over the course of that time, but you can't force art!
Ha - art.
Anyway, after surviving the start of the school year in a new building (still no students though) and traveling/attending (and ultimately, helping with the running of the event) and out of town wedding on Saturday, my schedule has calmed back down a little bit. At least, until the next wedding, which is weekend after next.
Unfortunately, I missed the first annual National Baseball Card Day put on by Topps, as there was no way I could make it to a hobby shop on Saturday - as I said, I ended up as a pseudo coordinator on my friend's big day. However, a few days before, I was able to secure myself a consolation prize:
It's no free pack of special baseball cards - but, it'll do.
This bit of splurging was little out of character on me. The box cost me fifteen bucks with a promise of a guaranteed autograph AND a relic. Of course, the chances of those two items justifying the price point were pretty slim, but at least there were a few packs thrown in as well. Anyway, curiosity got the best of me.
We'll save the hits for last (and why they ticked me off). Here are the packs that were tossed in with the cardboard lures.
Hmmm, well, ONE of these is a foil pack and the other is a handy fire starter... I mean wax pack; but I guess I'm splitting hairs here.
Let's open up the Babe Ruth Collection pack (I'll spare you the 1990 Donruss - lord knows we've all seen enough of that). Even though, as a Cubs collector, this Babe-centric set won't produce anything for my collection, at least it's something different and new to my eyes. In fact, that is my first pack of anything from the rebooted Leaf brand:
While the set might be something different for me, the cards I pulled are awfully similar - all shadowy shots of the Colossus of Clout with a bat in hand. I guess this is bound to happen with a set revolving around a single player, but still...
And the insert, which commemorates his 1924 American League batting crown. Of course, the Great Bambino is and always has been lauded for his otherworldly power numbers; but, his .378 batting average far outpaced the field in 1924, good enough for his only batting title.
OK then, I suppose that's pretty unique.
Now, as for my promised factory-sealed fat pack:
Nothing particularly exciting and I'm pretty sure I have all my needs from this particular set; that said, I still enjoy ripping packs of baseball cards:
These were the only two Cubs-related cards that fit into my collection. Former Cub David DeJesus sure looks weird in an Angels uniform. Of course, he's not wearing any uniform at all these days. Meanwhile, I'm fairly certain that I already have this "Sweet Swingin'" Billy Williams insert in my possession; but, just in case...
As for the rest of the pack, nothing too notable. Here are the inserts and parallels that were included, in case anyone is interested:
Hey, that Ichiro guy turned out to be pretty good, didn't he? Also, I think we can all agree that those "Pride and Perseverance" inserts are among the best released by Topps in recent times.
Alright, it's time for the main event: the hits. Did I pull the Mike Trout auto depicted on the front of the box? Maybe that cut-auto that I've now pre-promised to Bob Walk the Plank??
Ooooh so close.
I'm not upset that I got some no-name autograph (hey, at least you can read it!) - that was pretty much fully expected. What I am a bit miffed about is that all four corners are pretty heavily dinged up. That's because Jose and his to-be-revealed relic friend were tossed into the hanger box loosely, free to bounce around like super balls. I mean, being that they are the main attraction for this repack product, could we at least get a penny sleeve, for cryin' out loud?
Where it really pained me was on the relic:
That right there is a beautiful double relic of sentimental Cubs favorite Mark Prior, featuring a swatch of game-used and batting practice-used material. Personal favorite player, notable name, pitcher at the plate... what's not to love about this hit from Upper Deck's SP line? In fact, it's much better than anything I was realistically hoping for going into this purchase.
Oh yea, the fact that it got beat up pretty heavily from being naked and afraid in that box... harumph.
No matter, it's not like I care about resell value here. I'm still very happy to have pulled this and I personally enjoy it just the same. However, being that I forked over the price of a blaster box for this product, I sure would have appreciated a little bit more care when it came to packaging.
Has anyone else bitten on these? If so, did you have the same problem, or was I just unfortunate?
Had I known this was going to be an issue "Prior" to my purchase, I likely would have opted out. Also, clearly I'm not upset enough to resist making a mediocre pun! At any rate, I'm definitely done with this product.
In the end, at least I still got a pretty nifty Mark Prior relic out of it, dinged though it may be. I guess that's just the way that the cookie crumbles sometimes. At least the wedding was a blast!