Monday, April 14, 2014

Repack Part 1

What do you do after the biggest card show in your area comes through town, you've picked up a couple hundred cards out of a dime box but you didn't get anything to scratch your pack itch or completely kill your card budget?

If you're me, you look for something while out running some errands. Nothing big but still fun. A repack from the local Five Below store next to my grocer fits that bill. The last time I was there, they only had football repacks but when I went back the other day, they had updated boxes of baseball. 

The first clue that they were new was the box itself. The pictures had changed adding a Bryce Harper card (what are the odds a Harper card is in there?) and one of the emerald foil cards from last year's Topps flagship set.

The next clue were the packs inside. The boxes last year were almost guaranteed to include a pack of 2008 Upper Deck, 2007 Flee Ultra and a rack pack of 1989 Topps. The fourth pack would be changed up sometimes but was often a second pack of Upper Deck. As you can see above, this box had a pack of 2013 Topps Series 2, 2012 Opening Day and 1989 Score.

But the pleasant surprise was the rack pack of 1986 Topps.

Not that the set itself is great, more that it wasn't 1989 Topps. I bought wax packs of this back in the day, but wasn't a set collector for another couple of years, so a lot of these cards are new to me.

Between the four packs and the 100 miscellaneous cards, I scanned over 70 cards that I found noteworthy. Nothing spectacular, but lots of stuff for blogosphere niche collections. So the post doesn't get overloaded by scans I'm going to break it up into two parts, the four packs today and the rest tomorrow.

First up is 2013 Topps Series 2.

How about a nicely framed play at the plate?

Off the top of my head, this is one of the best cards from last year's set. It's a great angle and the photographer caught the moment the ball hits the bat. It doesn't hurt that there's a Cubs cameo. This is as close as former Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger got to his own card from Topps, although he did have some cards in Bowman. I have one for my set, but this will make a nice addition to the horizontal collection.

Speaking of horizontal, there was one more in the pack in this Jason Kubel card. Looks to be celebrating a home run.

Wrapping up this pack was a die cut Cut to the Chase Tom Seaver card. These were inserted at a 1:12 pack ratio so I beat the odds here.

Next up is 2012 Opening Day. Seven card pack, scanned four of them. Not too much to say about them though.
Former Cub Angel Pagan

Three more horizontal cards from this pack. 

Nice, dirty, diving play from Asdrubal Cabrera
Cool angle but mis-cropped Yovani Gallardo
Horizontal insert of Ryan Zimmerman
Next up is the biggest regular pack, 1989 Score.

I had forgotten all about these pack extras from Score since I haven't opened a pack of these in 25 years. They're still kind of neat. And this one scanned well enough to get the name of the set (A Year to Remember) and the year (1937). 

Remember when sets were big enough to include multiple players from the same team at the same position? Now, Benito Santiago would end up in Series 1 and 2 at the expense of getting Mark Parent card. Both of these Padres catchers would go on to play for the Cubs later in their career.

Two more future Cubs. Dave Magadan is now a coach with the Texas Rangers. Jose Bautista would go on to reinvent himself as a slugger in Toronto.

Finishing the pack is current Cubs manager Rich (Rick) Renteria and the only current-at-the-time Cub, Mark Grace. I don't think I ever noticed that one of the best hitters of the 90's didn't wear batting gloves.

And finally, we have the 48 49 card rack pack.

These are what passed for "inserts" back in the day. Although the Jim Rice is the only one that probably qualifies. The All-Star Ozzie Smith and Roger Maris Turn Back the Clock are technically part of the 792 card base set. There are a few bats in the background of the Jim Rice card but he's no holding them. Does that count for the multiple bat niche?

It looks like roster turnover isn't a new problem for the Cubs. The seven players above are all part of the past/future Cubs club.

Of course, there were also three current Cubs which is a pretty good ratio. The Ray Fontenot and Scott Sanderson cards were pack fresh upgrades to the ones I had. Nice!

I'm sure he's got this common base card, but I'll show this just for the Dutch Card guy.

Let's wrap up the pack portion this repack with some Hall of Famers!


  1. I always forget the part of Bob Gibson's career where he was a white guy. Must've been that Michael Jackson disease.

    1. Going white wasn't that bad. His decision to play for the Brewers was just embarrassing.

    2. I'm glad somebody caught this. I've always wondered whether people were reading or just looked at the pictures. Maybe if I just used the Jose Bautista joke without the Balki gif they both would have slid under the radar!

    3. I miss Balki. Nice reference!

  2. Nice stroll down late 90s lane. I busted a lot of 1986 rack packs just to get those Glossy All-Star cards. I also love those non-insert cards (turn back the clock) that were sub-sets within the main set.

    1. I was thinking of doing some Turn Back the Clock customs for the Cubs. 25 years since the Boys of Zimmer (1989 Cubs), the same time span for 1986 back to the 1961 Maris. And 30 years since the '84 Cubs. Nice round numbers.