Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Oh, the things we do as bloggers

So I found myself with time to kill one day last week while waiting for my son to show up for a lunch meetup. I wandered into the WalMart in the same block and checked out the card section. Alone among all the other usual packs and boxes was this little 'gem'.

A Graded Card!! Says it right there on the front. Now I knew damn well I wasn't gonna come away with a 1910 E98 Cobb graded 8.5 by Beckett. Here's a closer look at the label:

A couple of Ty's buddies are shown on the sides of the blaster.

The famous 'randon insertion'. I can just imagine how 'random' the E90s were inserted.

There was no price on it and I didn't see a shelf tag so I guessed $20 and figured at that price or lowerI'd at least get a blog post out of it. So, I found one of those 'check the price' thingys and sure enough, $19.99 was the tab. I added a couple of boxes of Peet's Decaf K-Cups to my basket and I was outta there.

I let this thing stew for a few days and opened it Tuesday night. Here's what was inside:

A graded card, six packs of actual cards, a 'bonus' item and two of those gawdawful Triple Play packs.

Did I spoil the surprise? My graded card is a 2011Topps Jacoby Ellsbury graded 10 which Beckett described on the label as "Mint or Better".

I'm not really sure what's better than 'mint'. Maybe we should consult rock legend and lead guitarist for Spinal Tap, Nigel Tufnel...

BTW...the Beckett label must be an old version. The only other one I have is silver. But I'm no expert on the grading companies. As for the card...well, whatever. I had a thought or two about sticing it up on the Beckett Graded Card Resistry. I figured a Better Than Mint 2011 would at least get me into a tie for the #1 spot among 2011 Ellsbury collectors. But in order to register that wanted my cell phone number. Not happening.

Back to those packs. I'm going to show just a few cards from each of the sets represented. They were mundane to say the least. Here they are in the order I opened them:

Upper Deck 2008 X

A-Rod is a die cut card.
 Ryan Howard is a shiny, chrome-kinda card. Whatever happened to him anyway. Gone in a flash.

That's the full pack, Four cards. The Mauer is sort of a nice card.  When i buy stuff like this I try to find a use for the cards and usually that means sticking as many as possible in my fantasy player binder. Even if I like the card that already in there I can justify (somewhat) spending on a blaster just for the hell of it. Mauer will go in that binder. And since I like having as many different kinds of cards represented it's a welcome addition.

Next, Pinnacle 2013 from Panini. Eight card pack.

It was an A-Rod hot box because here he is again.

These next two are going into the fantasy binder for sure. Since they are both catchers in full gear you don't notice the lack of logos/uniforms. Plus, they are actually pretty sharp.

Oh man, did this LaRoche special card scan poorly or what?

 From the one pack of 2017 Topps Series 2 comes an Albert P. Notheing else worth scanning.

There were three 2019 Topps packs. The Tucker and Ray cards are nice additions to the fantasy binder.

Adan Engel's card is pretty neat. Love the throwbacks. Sox wore these when I was at their place a couple of summers ago.

The 'bonus' item, as seen in the pick, was a generic pack. Turned out to contain three Topps cards of a set I was not familiar with. they were 2008 Topps Dick Perez cards. I think they were found in the complete set boxes but I could be wrong. Looking at Google gave me a headache and nobody really cares about this stuff anyway.  Plus, they are ugly. Perez mucy have knocked these things out faster than a boardwalk sketch artist.

The Triple Play packs remain unopened and I'll give them to my elementary PE teacher friends to use as prizes.

Well, that's it. My $20 experiment in blind blaster boxes. Worth it? Nope. Do it again? Heck no! But regrets? No, it was fun and as I suspected, I got a long blog post out of it.

Plus a couple of useful cards. Anyone want these Perez things?  


  1. Had it been me, I would've been kind of excited to see that "bonus pack" amongst the offerings, but that excitement would've been quickly dashed once I saw what was actually in there :(

  2. yeah, I'm betting those "cards" depicted on the box were randomly inserted in the first few boxes,and then pulled. LOL.

  3. Ellsbury! Oh No!

    Not the worst selection of packs though. Fun break for the $20.

  4. The Spinal Tap "goes to eleven" reference never gets old!

  5. If I was feeling vulnerable and I stumbled across this deal, there's a chance I would have given it a shot. But thanks to this post, I now know better. Thank you for taking one for the team buddy.

  6. I can't believe they actually advertise those Triple Play packs on the box front.

  7. Despite seeing this, I'd probably still be stupid enough to give it a repack go. I need help.

  8. Packs of Triple Play will even still remain scattered across the wastelands when the robot overlords take over. Seriously, while I used to think they were a little bit novel and fun, but talk about overproduced!

  9. Isn't BCCG the low-end Beckett grading where they round anything over 5 up to 10? This isn't snark, for me anything over 5 is plenty good enough so I don't really care how much over it is.

  10. I've never been a Dick Perez fan. The Adam Engel card is a standout. I'm a diehard anti-PED guy but A-Rod has grown on me as a commentator. He's kinda hard to hate.

  11. David Wright looks like he's leaning into frame more than anything else, and I hate those black & blue Mets caps... but I would give that card a good home, if you'd be so kind.

    I've always liked 2013 Pinnacle. It would be a fantastic set if it were licensed, but even unlicensed it's pretty nice.

  12. Lotta comments. Let's do this Fiji-style, i.e. all in one long reply.

    Jon: the bonus pack was what I saved to open last and I was really let down. Not sure what I was hoping for but certainly something other than those.

    Johnny: No doubt. I'd like to see a real list of the cards inserted.

    TLC: Having 2019s in there was a nice touch actually.

    Jim: I recently watched it again just to laugh. That movie is gold.

    Fuji: Always a pleasure to serve. And consider that I wasn't feeling vunerable, at least not until after I opened it!

    NO: Those are just the worst. A couple of crappy junk wax era packs would have been a huge upgrade.

    Buckstore: Well, you really DO need help. LOL Then again I bet that Wagner is waiting for you to pick it up.

    Tony: I gave these TP things the side-eye the first time (only time) I bought a pack. I left them at school for my replacement to give to kids.

    Nick: I have no idea. But when it comes to grading companies I'm not very savvy. Like I said, Beckett wanted my cell # for an account. There might have been a way to avoid that but I didn't care enough to look further.

    Hackenbush: I like a lot of the H-o-F postcard portraits he did but much of his other stuff looks like he did it for a check. maybe he just doesn't translate to card size. LOL

    Joe: Wright is set aside for you, along with a card or two I forgot to send a while back.