With all that said, this will be my last one of these until at least the end of the summer. Mostly because of the reasons listed above, but also because the return on investment isn't as good as when I started doing these. Too many duplicates. And I'm not just talking overall, I mean in the same box. Normally I don't compain about pulling Hall of Famers, but check out some of this collation:
Even with the PWEs and bubble envelopes that went out this past week, I still have a ton of these All-Star cards.
Not to mention these UK 1988 Topps cards. Chalk full of Hall of Famers, but enough is enough! I normally don't even scan these but this a typical representation of these regardless of the type of repack.
At least there's a Ryno and Dawson. I normally run with a couple of recurring themes and although i mostly will this time as well, there wasn't really anything worth pulling aside and noting as the oldest and newest of the box. I don't recall anything older than 1986ish and aside from the two guaranteed unopened packs, nothing else from the 2000s.
Speaking of which, the two packs were a 2008 Upper Deck (about as common as the All-Star and UK cards in these repacks) and a 2011 Allen & Ginter.
Nothing spectacular here either, one per pack Starquest Paul Konerko and a couple of former Cubs in Milton Bradley and Gary Matthews, Jr.
And my "luck" with A&G continues to astound. Nothing to see here folks.
I love a goof record breaker card and I was lucky enough here to pull two that have, so far, stood the test of time. And oddly enough, both regarding stolen bases.
Vince Coleman stole 50 bases in a row without getting caught, almost a third high than the previous record holder, Davey Lopes. I don't see this one being broken anytime soon. Even the minor league base stealing phenom Billy Hamilton, who stole 155 bases last year was caught 37(!) times.
John Wathan on the other hand, broke the record for most stolen bases in a season by a catcher, a mark that previously stood for 66 years. The card says 31 stolen bases broke the record of 30 but there's no mention that Wathan's final season tally was 36. I don't know if some of those are credited as time Wathan may have spent as a DH or pinch hitter or if Topps was just choosing to focus on the record that was broken.
Making another appearance in the "Oldest Looking Player on a Card" is Dodgers pitcher Jerry Reuss. Assuming that this photo was taken in 1986, its a little scary to think that Reuss was only about 37 when this photo was taken and not the 57 that he appears.
Here are a few oddballs that caught my attention:
All three of these came with a matching second like most of the All-Stars that started this post.
I haven't seen Ames cards in quite a long time. I have definitely been to one of these stores but probably not since around the time these cards were put out. Anything know if they're still around?
A pair of minor leaguers that never quite made it to the show. Hathaway topped out at Single A while Tito Stewart had a few seasons at the Triple A level. Hathaway had a three-year minor league career record of 19-13 with a respectable 2.64 ERA. I wonder what the story was there? Injured?
Stewart on the other hand toiled away in the minors for 9 seasons, mostly with the Red Sox but bounced around with San Diego and Montreal during his final year. According to his Baseball Reference page, it looks like he began as a starter before moving to the bullpen. Without looking too much deeper into it, looks like he finished a lot of games but wasn't getting a lot of saves. Sounds more like the guy they bring in to close the game when they're already losing. Tough break.
A couple of bunters that will find their way into a PWE soon enough.
These are a pair of name that sounded familiar but didn't match up with my first thoughts. On a personal note, I went to high school with a guy named Johnny Johnson. Obviously this wasn't him, but I still thought it was amusing. And you probably can't read the name on the other one because of the foil printing, but that is the other Pedro Martinez from the mid-'90s.
Because I grew up in the '80s, my first thought of McGwire is with the A's, but twenty years later, much of that with the Cardinals, these cards seem a little odd.
And last but not least, former, future and present Cubs from the box. Lots of variety here.
Eyebrows/unibrows, mullets and mustaches get a lot of hype in the card collecting world but if there's ever been a better widow's peak in baseball than Dwight Smith's, I challenge you to find it!