Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Joys of Moving: Finding Lost Packs and Having Pack Wars!

I know I've mentioned it a lot lately, but I'm moving.  With that said, my free time has been mostly taken up by packing and other moving related duties (switching utilities, etc.).  While I'm certainly looking forward to September 30 (our closing date - and the date we move in to the new place), I am still dreading the massive amount of packing that I have remaining.

If you've never moved yourself, you might not realize all the goodies that you have at your place...that's one of the benefits of moving I guess.  In fact, it was the process of packing stuff up where I uncovered a small treasure trove of six (opened) packs.  I have no idea for sure when I got these packs, though based on the years (four from 2010, one from 2011, and one from 2006), it's safe to say that it wasn't anytime recently.

Although the packs were all opened by me previously, the great thing about putting packs like that away and finding them years later is that I'm basically going to get to open the exact same pack twice (because I sure don't remember what I got the first time around).  I have a feeling there's nothing super awesome in there in terms of autographs (or else I imagine I would have taken better care of the packs) but still...when you can't be spending money on baseball cards (like me right now), even secondhand packs can help with the pack ripping fix!

Within the six packs were a pair of 2010 Topps Series 2 packs.

Each of the packs contains 12 cards - with the possibility of pulling exclusive 1951 Topps Blue Back Insert cards (according to the pack wrapper).  Let's see if we get one of those...or anything else cool.  Even better, since both packs are the same size in terms of cards this makes for a fun opportunity for a pack war!

Since 24 cards total is a bit too much 2010 Topps for anyone these days, I narrowed each pack down to the five best cards in order to have a super pack war!

First up, Pack #1's entry:
Alex Burnett & Rajai Davis base cards:

It's a rough start to the pack when the #4 and #5 cards are both base cards of non-superstars (and non-Reds).  I do like both images alright though so +2 points each = +4 points.

Derek Jeter base:

I'm no Yankee fan, nor am I a Derek Jeter fan...but I can appreciate that lots of people are both and so this card will probably end up serving as decent trade bait in the future!  +5 for future consideration.

Cards Your Momma Threw Out Without Asking You Because She Doesn't Love You:  Justin Verlander

Did you know that this insert set is one of the worst sets in the history of sets when it comes to sorting large stacks of cards?  If you simply try to go by the front without flipping the card over to the back you'd stick this 2010 card in the 2006 Topps pile.  And that would be wrong.  -5 for being annoying but +10 for all the trees in the background - was this photo taken at Verlander's apartment complex?  There's even a flagpole in the middle of the green.  +5 total.

Blue Back:  Warren Spahn

Well, well, well, would you look at that.  We pulled one of the advertised "special" cards that you could find in the packs!  It's a mini card so that makes it instantly better (or at least it did back in 2010, now minis have been beaten to death just like every other idea that Topps has had in the past two decades).  I'll still award this card 10 points since I have a feeling someone out there will want it...and if not, I don't mind keeping it in my own collection!

Pack 1 total:  2 + 2 + 5 + 5 + 10 = 24 points.

Not a bad total considering the relatively poor start to the pack.

Now, let's see if the second pack can beat 24 points with its five best cards.

Pack 2:

History of the World Series Insert of Cole Hamels in ugly t-shirt

A hideous card to be sure, but I do like the idea behind the insert set.  I somehow completely forgot about the Rays/Phillies World Series (which happened in 2008).  +1 point.

Edison Volquez (as a Red)

Volquez was a pitcher who could have a great game when he was on the mound but it always seemed more likely that he'd self-implode and give up twenty-six long balls and twelve walks.  On the other hand, it's a Red in a pack of cards and that's usually quite rare for me.  +1 point.

Not a great start for pack #2, still down 22 points with only three remaining cards...

Two more Reds base cards:  Arroyo & Hernandez

How about a sweet pitcher/catcher tandem from your favorite team in the pack?  Yes, that makes three Reds cards in a 12 card pack - that's easily some sort of record for me I believe!  I actually like both of these cards a lot, especially the Hernandez.  +8 each.

Heading into the final card, Pack #2 has 18 points and therefore needs 7 or more points with the final card to secure a victory in the pack war.  Who shall prevail?!

Your Momma Still Hates You and Keeps Throwing Our Your Cards:  Duke Snider

Four years ago there would have been a lot of people who would want this  Not so much.  I'll still give the card 7 points though because Dodger inserts make for good trade bait these days.  Unfortunately, the card is terribly off-center for which I must dock it two points.  Net result?  5 points.

Final Tally:  Pack 1 with 24 points, Pack 2 with 23 points

It was a close battle - but even with three (!) Reds in the pack Pack #2 couldn't quite overcome the glorious blue back mini in pack #1.  Congrats to our victor!


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