The first of March has brought the first televised Mets spring training game. I love spring training, don't get me wrong, but it can be kind of a tease. First of all, I am sitting here in flannel pajamas with a down comforter over me because it is still below freezing outside while the TV is showing me beautiful Florida skies and the announcers are taunting me with 80 degree temperature readings in Port St. Lucie. The actual games always hint that real baseball is coming but mostly show players you have either never heard of or can't fathom the reason why your team signed them - this is especially true of the Mets year after year (Kyle Farnsworth?!? Really?). One could kind of compare this to a repack - full of such hope and promise of amusement and profit, yet ultimately not very exciting. This segues nicely into the fact that I picked up a repack at K-Mart this morning while running the errands I knew I can't run on Monday with yet another monster snowstorm coming. *sigh* If I wanted to live in Minnesota I would move to fucking Minnesota.
So let's take a look at this repack. First of all, I chose this particular one for two reasons:
One, it came in one of those nice hard plastic boxes that I like to keep smaller sets that don't make the binders in. They are very sturdy and you can immediately see what the cards are, unlike a cardboard box which you have to write on and if you have ever seen my handwriting, the less I have to mark things, the better. Two, all the other repacks of this ilk this particular morning had a 2008 Topps pack as its promised pack and if I never see another 2008 Topps card it will be too soon. So even though it has the retiring Derek Jeter on it, the one with the 2006 Sweet Spot pack seemed like the best choice. Plus, who knows, that is a high end product, I might get lucky.
The other three cards on the outside of the plastic cube were certainly not put there to make buyers go wild: Jermaine Dye, Jeff Abbot, and Brandon Looper. I always had a soft spot in my heart for Looper as a Met because when his name was on the scorecard, it always read B. Looper. Yup - Blooper! Poor guy never had a chance to be a premium closer with a moniker like that.
The first chunk of the repack had some 2012 Topps with the inserts still sprinkled in. This was a nice surprise made even nicer with the fact that those were inserts of Nolan Ryan, Clayton Kershaw, and Frank Thomas. I also got a mini Adrian Gonzalez in his brief Red Sox tenure (numbered 130 if anyone who wants it for their frankenset). Lastly was some 2012 Bowman with that nice picture of Giancarlo Stanton against a blue sky being by far the niftiest.
The next chunk I looked at was quite random; it had a great Doc Gooden card I didn't have (even though he is in the wrong pinstripes). There was also a few 2011 Topps and a couple 2012 Bowman Chrome rookies (that I have never heard of...). I am showing that Luis Sojo card to keep up with the blue sky theme.
Then came a series of varying sets from all over the map: a dozen 1990 Leaf (with that Rick Reed rookie being the only one of note), 32 1982 Fleer, including half of the Houston Astros team set in all their Tequila Sunrise glory, though I went with Bake McBride's card to represent here because his name is Bake and, well, he looks it. Then there was ten 1991 Topps, a set I really enjoy looking at under any circumstances, and some 2001 Topps, a set with a very odd green hue but a nice simple design. There was a Jake Peavy rookie mixed in there to boot.
Then the repack threw me some usual but always appreciated curves. First some early to mid 80's stuff, like 1983-85 Topps. Oscar Gamble looks weird without his afro and I always loved that active career leaders subset from '84. I have been trying to figure out who exactly ended up in Phil Garner's lap in that '83 card, anyone have any guesses? (**UPDATE** - two clicks of the google found that I am 98% sure that is Phil Mankowski - #2 on the 1982 Mets - I never knew he ever played for the Amazins). It is fun to get these random 30 year old cards to look at on a lazy afternoon.
After that, the repack degenerated into obvious repack territory, 1988 Donruss, 1988-89 Topps, 1990 Donruss, and some oddball 80's and 90's stuff but nothing special. The 1988 Donruss did include Jim Rice, Jack Morris, Andre Dawson, and Bert Blyleven so I can't complain too much. I included that Hector Villanueva card because he has a great melodic name and I love catcher cards no matter who they are.
Overall, it was a fun repack to rummage through while the Mets get their butts kicked in a meaningless baseball game, but hey, I still have that pack of 2006 Sweet Spot to open...
Well, would you look at that. I pulled a Miguel Tejada Super Sweet Swatch numbered /75. That is, um, super sweet to say the least. That big ass jersey card easily makes this one of the best repacks I have ever bought. Maybe things are looking up after all.