Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Billy Ripken, 1990 Topps #468

I made a foolish purchase today...but I absolutely intended to do so.

've been spending my hard-earned money on lots of not-so-fun things lately. Car repairs, new tires, paint for my bathroom walls. All of that lousy grown-up crap. So today, on the cusp of Christmas, I found myself pushing through the post-work traffic to get to the unholiest of unholies, Walmart. It was a necessary evil, to get a prescription filled for antibiotics to kill the lovely cough/whatever else that came to visit right before the holidays. With 30 minutes to waste before I could pick up my magic pills, I decided that I'd earned a trip across the store to the card aisle. I knew exactly what was waiting for me with its garish siren song:

Surprise! It's garbage!
I've seen this exact Pandora's Blaster Box on my last handful of trips to Wallyworld and each time Mr. Rational Side of the Brain has beaten back the impulses that scream, "Oooh! Shiny! 1950s and 1960s wax! Even if you don't get any of that, there's 16 packs! Try to find a better deal for $20!" Mr. Rational Side of the Brain sees the asterisks that decorate this box like one of Ford Frick's forbidden dreams. He sees the black bar at the bottom that promises that "the majority" of these boxes will contain 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s detritus, and he knows exactly what that means. At least 50% of these packs will be the same damned bundles of cardboard that fill boxes of duplicates in my closet: 1987 Topps. 1989 Topps. Maybe a little 1990 Topps, just because it's so monkeychucking ugly. 1990 Fleer. 1988 Score. If you look closely at the background image for the "16 Baseball Packs" boilerplate, you'll see more truth in advertising: I can make out images of wax packs of 1988, 1991, and 1992 Topps, Triple Play, a 1989 or 1990 Score...yep, this is certain doom.

Did I mention that there was one box left?

That was all the extra motivation that my impulsive side needed. Take the guesswork out of it, never spend the rest of my life lamenting that I chose the wrong box. This one was there for a reason. A side panel broadcasts the "Randomly-Inserted" Throwback Packs: 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats, 1964 Topps Stand Ups, 1965-1967 Topps, 1968 something-or-other, 1969 Topps Baseball Stamps. They even show the 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle, one of the 43 cards I need to complete that set! It's a sign. It was meant to be.

While I waited in line at the Pharmacy to check out, I read the ultra-fine print on the bottom of the box. There are 1:4,000 odds of finding a Throwback Pack, which is in actuality a voucher to be redeemed by mail. Redemptions allow you to be entered in a drawing for that "Big Find", the one and only pack of 1952 Topps High Series. Don't hold your breath, especially since the drawing doesn't take place until "on or around" 1/31/13. But hey, what's two years to wait?

Alright, I've taken you through my tortured thought process enough for one night. Check back tomorrow, and I'll let you know what treasures can be had in a box so cruelly enticing. With any luck, I'll at least get something nifty and forgotten like 2003 Topps Total.


Commishbob said...

Anyone brave (or foolish) enough venture into WalMart this close to Christmas is bound to be rewarded. I'm guessing the '52 pack with a pristine Mantle ;-)

William said...

You sound exactly like me -- I'm now 24 years old, and after a long week filled with important meetings, all I can think about is "boy, I really deserve some rack packs or a box of cards this weekend." Maybe I get it from my mom using cards to reward me when I was younger.

Kevin said...

Bob - No such luck. I suppose my reward was making it out of the parking lot without further damage to my poor car.

William - Same thing here. It's not as slippery a slope as collecting Faberge Eggs, I suppose.