Saturday, May 03, 2014

Digging Into the Box IV: How About a Pack War?!

If you've been following any of my Great Reorganization posts, you'll know that I've been purging my collection and trying to decide which sets I do (and don't) wish to collect in full.  For the moment, I have a list of sets that are "on the fence" so to speak.

As luck would have it, in that giant box of cards my brother sent me there were a few unopened packs of (mostly) junk wax.  Well, two of those so-called junk wax sets are on my list of set that I might want to complete.  What better way to help decide than by having a pack war?  Could the outcome of this pack war decide which set (1990 Score or 1991 Fleer) that I end up trying to collect?  I can't promise that it will, but I can't promise that it won't either!

First, let's introduce our competitors:

With the bright red wrapper, we have 1991 Fleer.

This pack is chock full of cards - 14 in all plus a sticker card.  As a kid, I always loved Fleer's stickers so it'll take something pretty lousy in order to have the sticker not score a bunch of points!

With the bright yellow wrapper, we have 1990 Score.

Yes, the 1990 Score is the set rocking the bright yellow rather than 1991 Fleer.  I guess Fleer decided to go incognito with the yellow until after ripped open the wax pack.  The Score pack has a bit of an advantage because it comes with 16 cards (2 more than Fleer) and a Magic Motion trivia card.  Unfortunately for Score, I always liked Fleer's stickers much more than Score's Magic Motion trivia cards.

Now, let's get it on!  I will take the top card from each pack and compare them, awarding a point to the better card.  Since Score has a two card advantage, I will have to pair up a couple of cards in order to have a "fair" challenge.

For all the rounds, the Fleer card will be listed first followed by the Score card(s).

Round 1:  Chet Lemon (Tigers) vs. Todd Burns (Athletics)

I can't say that's an encouraging start - two guys I know very little about...and two super boring images.  This one goes to Score though since the green/yellow border combination is custom made for a team like the Athletics!  Fleer - 0, Score - 1

Round 2:  Nelson Santovenia (Expos) vs. Ken Caminiti (Astros) & Tony Phillips (Athletics)

Score really didn't need two cards this round - the Caminiti alone would have been plenty to stomp Fleer.  However, this round and the next both have Score coming in with two cards in order to even up the packs.  Fleer - 0, Score - 2

Round 3:  Terry Shumpert (Royals) vs. Alan Zinter (Mets) & Mark Knudson (Brewers)

When I was a kid, anytime I pulled a card that simply looked different than a typical base card I thought it was special.  Obviously, this was before the proliferation of inserts, jersey bits, and autographs.  As such, little kid me would have definitely gravitated to the Zinter draft pick card...and old man me does as well!  Score is putting a severe beat down on Fleer so far.  Fleer - 0, Score - 3

Round 4:  Brian Downing (Angels) vs. Jay Buhner (Mariners)

Uhm, can you say no contest here?  I actually like the Downing card...but not as much as I like Buhner.  Fleer 0, Score - 4

Round 5:  Greg Brock (Brewers) vs. Rick Aguilera (Twins)

Fleer limped into Round 5 with a Brewer...but Score obviously brought their Sunday getaway day lineup to the round sending out a bearded Twin.  Fleer takes it, but only barely.  Fleer - 1, Score - 4

Round 6:  Mark Thurmond (Giants) vs. Bobby Bonilla (Pirates)

I told you Score was just resting the regulars waiting for the home stretch.  This one's not close - I think half a Bonilla would still beat a full Thurmond.  Fleer - 1, Score - 5

Round 7:  Mark Knudson (Brewers) vs. Pete O'Brien (Indians)

The Knudson is the second Brewers card out of the Fleer pack already - that's not something you get much of anymore (seriously, when was the last time you pulled two Brewers from the same pack?)...  For supporting the "little guys" I'll give this one to Fleer.  Fleer - 2, Score - 5.

Round 8:  Roy Smith (Twins) vs.  Mike Moore (Athletics)

I guess Score got the memo about the little guys...they saw Fleer's two Brewers and raised 'em three Athletics.  Fair is far, congrats to Score for out little-guying Fleer.  Fleer - 2, Score - 6

Round 9:  Bob Geren (Yankees) vs. Cecilio Guante (Rangers)

I don't like to award Yankees points in a pack break ever...but I can't even tell for sure if Guante is a real baseball player.  I've never heard of him and the picture is both dark and blurry.  It's so awful in fact that a Yankee wins the point.  A freakin' Yankee.  Fleer - 3, Score - 6

Round 10:  Thomas Howard (Padres) vs. Ken Oberkfell (Giants)

Hard to spell names are the bane of card bloggers everywhere.  This point's for us.  Congrats to easy-to-spell Howard.  Fleer - 4, Score - 6

Round 11:  Eric Anthony (Astros) vs. Dan Schatzeder (Astros)

It's a battle of Astros!  Score takes this one on the strength of card design - I love the old Houston logo and having it on the front of the card is an easy way to win me over!  Fleer - 4, Score - 7

Round 12:  David Hollins (Phillies) vs. Matt Merullo (White Sox)

Merullo is a rookie who I never heard of...which doesn't bode well for Merullo since his rookie card was in 1990.  Point Hollins.  Fleer - 5, Score - 7

Round 13:  Dave Henderson (Athletics) vs. Shawn Holman (Tigers)

Score tried again with another rookie, but unfortunately Holman struck out for the same reasons as Merullo in the previous round.  Fleer is making a comeback!  Fleer - 6, Score - 7

Round 14:  Bill Swift (Mariners) vs. Kevin Appier (Royals)

As much fun as it would be to give this round to Fleer, the Appier rookie is clearly the better card here.  Score takes a two point advantage heading into the final round (sticker vs. Magic Motion card).  Will Score manage to hold on since the final round could potentially be worth more than one point?   Fleer - 6, Score - 8

Round 15:  Pirates sticker vs. Hank Greenberg Magic Motion

Fleer comes out swinging here with a gorgeous Pirates sticker.  When my brother and I were kids, I always traded my Pirates stickers to him in exchange for his Reds stickers.  As such, I'm 99% certain I don't already have this card.  That in itself is worth 5 points for Fleer.  Unfortunately, the sticker is also covered in glue (a common problem as anyone who opened actual wax packs is well aware).  That takes away a point giving Fleer a total score of 10.

Now, how about Score?

They now now need three points with their Magic Motion card...  The front is nothing special, but the back celebrates Hank Greenberg.  According to the write-up, Hank was the first ever unanimously elected MVP winner - I never knew that.  In fact, I wonder why Greenberg doesn't get more love with the modern retro sets?  Kudos to Score for teaching me something about a legend of the game, that's worth 3 points right there and with that we have our final total!

Fleer - 10 points
Score - 11 points

Score led from start to finish, but it was quite close!  Both packs brought back a lot of memories, but in the end having a couple of extra cards may have been just the ticket that Score was able to ride to victory lane!


P-town Tom said...

If you do decide to chase the '90 score let me know, because I have a healthy stack of dupes I could easily sift through and send you way.

I love the pack wars!

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