Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Recent Pack Highlights

Although I'm focusing my collection on vintage cards, to me a major part of collecting will always be the suspense of ripping open a pack of cards to see what awaits inside the wrapper. Will it be a one-of-one auto jersey card dripped in authentic player sweat, or a few terrible cards?

In the 6 months or so since I've gotten back into collecting, I've pulled plenty of great cards, but there are three that really stand above the rest.

1982 Topps #21 - Cal Ripken Jr. Rookie
A while back I picked up 3 or 4 1982 Topps Cello packs from Dave and Adam's Card World. Even though I already had the Ripken rookie (one of the few cards I still have from my childhood stint at collecting, the rest are buried somewhere in my parents basement), I was elated when the first Cello pack I opened had this card. Not only that, but only about 50 percent of the cards that came out of these Cello packs were actually mint. The rest had some defect as a result of being over 25 years old, whether it be rough corners or a nasty gum stain. The Ripken was right in the middle of the pack and made it's way into a case immediately in mint condition!

Since I already have one of these, this card is going to make its way over to Kevin at Orioles Card of the Day.

2007 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH100 - Jacoby Ellsbury Rookie
I've always followed the local teams, and as a result I've been a Red Sox fan since my first game at Fenway park as a 7-year-old. As everyone knows, it's been a good time to be a Red Sox fan over the past few years. Anyone who followed the team closely towards the end of the season and on their run through the playoffs knows that Jacoby provided a huge spark for the team when called up from the minors and played a large part in the team's second championship in 4 years. Plus, the women around Fenway park wearing pink Sox hats love him.

Much has been made about this "gimmick" card. I read one post online claiming one collector ripped 20 cases (cases, not boxes!) of 2007 Updates & Highlights and pulled only a single Ellsbury card. One of the only local card shops in my area sold hobby packs of this stuff for $1.50, so I'd end up picking up a couple anytime I was craving some packs to open. I was shocked when I pulled the Ellsbury card from one, and I haven't purchased another pack of the stuff since. Say what you want about Topps using this as a cheap ploy to sell cards. I would probably agree with you had I not pulled one myself. All I know is, when I thumbed through the pack and saw this card I got the same excited feeling I did when ripping packs of 1990 Topps as a kid.

2007 Topps Heritage #ROA-JD - Joe Durham Real One Autograph

I've never heard of Joe Durham before, but this card is probably my favorite out of everything I've pulled since I got back into the hobby. When I stopped collecting cards in the mid to early 90's there really weren't any autos or game used jerseys or anything like that. I got out of the hobby when the cards were being grossly overproduced and insert sets were just starting to gain popularity.

To pull an auto card was really exciting for me, especially since it's from Topps Heritage, which is probably my favorite line post-1990 cards.

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