Friday, September 28, 2018

My Unopened Collection, Part 4: My Recent Orders Arrived

Yesterday a couple of eBay packages arrived, and I can finish my series on my unopened collection.  So this post is part 4 of 4.
6 unopened packs of 1984 Fun Food Buttons.
When I posted my 3 Fun Foods Buttons the other day, I said that there didn't appear to be unopened packs available on eBay.  I'm glad I searched again.  I don't know if I just didn't search well enough the first time, but there are a few lots of them available now.  So I bought some.  I ordered 5 packs, and the seller threw in one for free.  I considered opening one but decided against; I think these make a nice group in my collection as they are.
Pack back checklist #1-#45.
Pack back checklist #46-#90.
Pack back checklist #91-133.
There are three possible backs of the package, and I'm glad to have received all three.  They each give a partial checklist.  I don't know if the buttons inside come from the list on the back of the pack -- I think it's possible, since the three I have all are numbered over 100, which is consistent with falling in the third checklist, numbers 91 through 133.
A 1987 Topps wax box.
The 1987 Topps wax packs.
Everything else I ordered is much more conventional.  I wanted a 1987 Topps wax box.  I have about 3000 cards from 1987 Topps, so now I have even more.  I mostly got those 3000 cards one or two packs at a time, but I did buy one full wax box back in the day.  I can tell I had exactly one full wax box in part because I only have two of the cutout cards from the box back -- Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson.  There are four possible boxes, and on this box, I again got Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson.  Bad luck to have gotten a repeat, but at least I like both Rice and Henderson.
A 1987 Topps cello box.
The 1987 Topps cello packs.
I also bought a 1987 Topps cello box.  I have never bought a Topps cello box before.  I have a specific memory of a 1987 Topps cello pack, though.  A friend of mine was in the shop that was more or less my main card shop, Collectors Depot, and the owner asked my friend to call me.  He was trying to sell a 1989 Topps set, but they had just come out and he was missing a couple of cards, all commons, from one set.  He wanted to know if I had any of the mising cards.  I looked, and I did.  I remember one of the players was Dante Bichette.  While Bichette went on to be a four-time All-Star, I don't think anyone had heard of him yet, in our part of the country at least.  The next time my dad could take me, I dropped off the cards, and the owner asked what I wanted for them.  It was for something like 3 cards valued at .03 each.  I said, how about a 1987 Topps cello pack?  He said sure, it's worth $1.50, but whatever, I did him a favor.  Now, I have a whole box.

I might as well comment on the price.  The wax box and cello box were each $12 (plus shipping) from Baseball Card Exchange.  Circa 1990, these would probably have gone for, I'm guessing, about $25 for the wax and $35 for the cello, maybe more.  Prices have almost doubled since about 1990; so $12 today would be just a bit more than $6 back then.  This would have been unimaginable back then, since cards were only supposed to go up in value. 
2 1985 Donruss wax packs.
5 1987 Donruss wax packs.
I also got two 1985 Donruss wax packs.  I have a certain fascination with some of these sets, because they went by entirely without my noticing.  I was just a kid, and I had some cards from earlier in the 80s, and I collected seriously starting in 1987, but there's a gap of a few years.  I like how 1985 Donruss represents the 80s aesthetic, with a border that looks like some geometric pattern floating in space.  I also bought 5 1987 Donruss wax packs.  I have a specific memory of my grandmother driving me to her house, and us stopping at the drugstore; I think there was a Happy Harry's (a local drugstore of the time, since purchased by Walgreens) behind her house.  They had Donruss baseball cards there, and I bought a pack (or she bought me a pack).  She only lived about 10 miles away from us, but for some reason there were different cards available in her neighborhood.  (This was just the start of my collecting, so I am sure I hadn't been to a show yet, and maybe not even a card shop; I just bought the cards that were available in the stores I went to, and that had been Topps until that point.)  I have a 1987 Donruss Barry Bonds rookie card, which I expect (but have no way of confirming) that I pulled from the pack I bought that day.  So, now I have a few unopened packs of 1987 Donruss.
10 1988 Topps wax packs.
7 1989 Donruss cello packs.
While 1987 Topps was the most important set to me, the set that got me into collecting, I sure bought a lot of 1988 Topps, too.  I found the design a let-down after the 1987 wood grained cards, and honestly I still am disappointed in it.  But I considered buying a wax or cello box of 1988, too, before deciding that was too much.  I settled for a few packs, and decided 10 was a good number.  I might want to someday open some 1988 Topps, so now I have some.  And, I also got 7 1989 Donruss cello packs.  It's funny, because I feel like there's no way anyone needs any more 1989 Donruss than they already have.  But while I said that I never bought a Topps cello box before, I did open up a 1989 Donruss cello box back in the day.  I wanted a few packs to go along with that memory, and found a lot of 7 available on eBay that seemed to fit my goals.

I'm 42 years old now, and I expect these to sit unopened in my collection for a long time.  Maybe when I'm an old man, I'll feel nostalgic enough to open some of these.  Or maybe my son will want to when he gets a bit older.  In any case, if I have any urge to open packs, especially 1987 Topps, at any point in the future, I think I'm prepared.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

My Unopened Collection, Part 3

Here we are, with Part 3 of my unopened collection.  This covers everything originally in my collection and purchases from the past year.  There is a Part 4 coming in the next few days, once I receive the stuff I recently ordered.
1989 Topps Big packs: 5 from Series 1, 3 from Series 2.
1990 Topps Big packs: 2 from series 1, 10 from Series 2.
Topps Big.  I loved Topps Big when it came out, and I have a bunch from 1988, 1989, and 1990 that I did open.  To remind you, I've said that we moved houses at the end of 1988, and that meant leaving behind my card collecting friends.  Topps Big is a perfect example of something I thought was cool and fun and would have liked to show those old friends and trade with them.  But instead, I bought these, looked at them, and just put them away.
8 packs of 1988 Donruss All-Stars/Pop-Ups.
4 packs of 1989 Donruss All-Stars/Pop-Ups.
I've shown extensively my 1986 Donruss All-Stars (the complete set), and I've posted before on the other oversized Donruss All-Stars that I have.  For 1988 and 1989, they went to regular-sized cards, and I bought them, too.  I opened a few and left some intact, and here we have my 8 packs from 1988 and 4 packs from 1989.
2 packs of 1992 McDonald's cards.
I posted these two packs of 1992 McDonald's cards once before.  I had friends who worked at a local McDonald's.  They gave me free food sometimes.  They couldn't get me free cards, though -- the manager kept them locked in the safe, since baseball cards were so valuable back then.  I came by these honestly, however you got the cards -- buy a value meal and you get some cards, or something like that.
24 packs of 1990 Sportflics.
I bought a box of 1990 Sportflics, and I guess I opened 12 packs and left these 24 unopened.
1 each of 1988 and 1989 Fleer wax packs.
2 1990 Upper Deck and 1 1992 Upper Deck foil packs.
Now we have a few base set packs.  I showed in Part 1 that I have an entire 1988 Fleer wax box.  I guess I have one additional 1988 Fleer wax pack, and one 1989 Fleer wax pack for good measure.  The 1989 is marked at 75 cents, which seems a bit expensive.  It must have had a premium attached, perhaps because of the possibility of a Billy Ripken.  I've said many times that I wasn't into Upper Deck, and I really have many fewer Upper Deck cards than the other main issuers.  I don't have nothing, though, and thus I have these three unopened Upper Deck packs.
1 1988 Score mylar pack, 1 1989 Score mylar pack, and 2 1990 Score mylar packs.
I really liked Score when they first came out.  I guess that's why I saved a couple packs, one from 1988, one from 1989, and two from 1990.  People paid attention to the material the packs were made out of, and these were called mylar packs as opposed to wax, cello, or foil.
2 1988 Donruss wax packs, 4 1990 Donruss wax packs, and 1 1991 Donruss Series 1 wax pack.
A handful of Donruss wax packs, two from 1988, four from 1990, and 1 from 1991 (series 1).  Not sure that's there's anything else to say about them.
2 packs of 1992 Donruss and 2 packs of 1991 Stadium Club.
2 packs of 1991 Fleer Ultra and 1 pack of 1992 Donruss Triple Play.
Then we have two packs of 1992 Donruss, when they went a bit upscale, two packs of 1991 Stadium Club, 2 packs of 1991 Fleer Ultra, and 1 pack of 1992 Donruss Triple Play.  The 1992 Donruss, the Stadium Club, and the Fleer Ultra have price tags on them: 50 cents for the Donruss, 75 cents for the Ultra, and $3 for the Stadium Club.  That $3 price tag illustrates why I never bought much Stadium Club or even Upper Deck.  Also, you really see here the incredible proliferation of sets by even 1991.  It was way too much to keep track of.  I never understood the point of Triple Play, except for the idea that if you make yet another set then someone will buy it.  I bought just a few packs. 

As a final note, I'll say that I love the Kodak logo on the Stadium Club pack.  Kodak today barely still exists and seems to be staking its future on cryptocurrency, but back then it meant something.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My Unopened Collection, Part 2

This time we have Part 2 of my series, showing the entirety of the unopened part of my collection.
5 packs of Swell Baseball Greats.
5 packs of Pacific Senior Baseball.
In the late 80s, everyone wanted to get in on selling cards.  There was an Exxon station near my dad's office that had a big card section.  That's where I got my Swell and most of my Pacific cards, and I kept some packs unopened.  Here we have 5 packs of Swell Baseball Greats, and 5 packs of Pacific Senior Baseball.  I did open a bunch of both of these, but I guess I kept a few intact.
3 packs of Pacific Legends.
5 packs of Pacific Legends, 2nd Series.
I really like these Pacific Baseball Legends that I got at the Exxon.  This was the same gas station where I believe Dad bought my 1988 Score set that he surprised me with one morning.  And also where I got my 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken "FF" card; if you bought the 1989 Fleer wax box from them, you could open it right there until you found the FF card.  If your box didn't have one, then they'd give you one.
6 packs of 1990 Minor League Cards.
9 packs of 1990 Topps Traded.
I think I probably got these minor league "pre-rookie" cards there, too.  They tended to stock stuff I didn't see in the card shops.  These 1990 Topps Traded, though, could have come from anywhere.  I thought it was neat at the time to get wax packs of the traded set, but then realized after opening a few that most of the players in the traded set aren't very interesting.  I kept a bunch unopened, then.
4 packs of 1990 Umpire Cards.
1 pack of Pacific Tom Seaver.
I've shown some of this stuff before.  These four packs of 1990 Umpire Cards probably came from the Exxon, too, and the Pacific Tom Terrific probably did as well.  I'm not sure why I bought the Tom Seaver pack; it's the only one I have, I don't have any of the set opened, and I don't care that much about Tom Seaver anyway.  I mean, he's fine and all, but Steve Carlton was the great pitcher of my youth.
1 1988 Topps Rack Pack.
Then, we have some more conventional stuff.  Here's a 1988 Topps rack pack, showing the glossy All-Star card of George Bell, and regular cards of Lenn Sakata and Herm Winningham.
4 1988 Score Rack Packs and 4 1990 Score Rack Packs.
2 1988 Donruss Rack Packs.
I have a few more rack packs.  Four 1988 Score, four 1990 Score, and two 1988 Donruss.  At the time, I had a bunch of 1990 Score that I bought soon after it came out.  And then soon after that, it seemed like 1990 Score was scarce!  It became very valuable!  But not really; now it's as worthless as all the other stuff. 
6 packs of 1984 Topps Rub-Downs and 5 packs of 1985 Topps Rub-Downs.
Finally, I'll conclude this post with these Topps Rub-Downs, which I acquired and posted about just recently.  I kind of regret buying them, because the novelty wears off pretty quickly with them.  But I'll just keep them tucked away with all the other unopened stuff.

Thanks for reading!  I have one more installment coming on my older unopened stuff, before I get to the bunch of 80s unopened stuff I just ordered.

My Unopened Collection, Part 1

I've shown a few things that I have unopened from time to time, but I want to actually put everything I have unopened on display here.  The impetus is that, as I've said, I'm winding down my purchases, and I recently ordered a bunch of unopened 80s stuff, to complete the unopened part of my collection.  This will be the first post of about 3 or 4, culminating with those most recent purchases.
35 1986 Topps wax packs.
The basic story I tell about my collection is that (a) we always had some baseball cards around the house, with some of my earliest memories being of some 1979 Topps (I was born near the end of 1975), (b) I started seriously collecting in early-to-mid 1987, when my friends and I would ride our bikes to the local 7-Eleven and buy wax packs of 1987 Topps, (c) I stopped collecting around my first year of college, with some 1994 cards being the last in my original collection, and then (d) last year, getting my collection out of my mom's house and into our house, I got the collection organized and started making my first purchases since the 1994 strike.

These 1986 Topps wax packs put the lie to that story, though.  Inbetween 1994 and 2017, I did make one purchase of cards.  When I was in grad school circa 2000, eBay became a thing.  I ordered a 1986 Topps wax box and I opened one pack.  I saved the other 35 unopened, and when I went home (grad school was in NC, about a 6-7 hour drive from my parents' house in DE), I put those 35 packs away with the rest of my collection.  I'm not sure about the one pack I opened.  Maybe I brought them home, too, and filed them away with my other 1986 Topps.  Or, maybe I threw them out.
A 1988 Fleer wax box.
The cards on the back of the 1988 Fleer wax box.
Next up we have a 1988 Fleer wax box.  It has four cards on the bottom, the Tigers logo, Dwight Evans, Ryne Sandberg, and Shane Rawley. 
A 1993 Topps Series 1 unopened box.
A 1993 Score unopened box.
The summer of 1993 is when I graduated high school, and I got a job.  (I had worked a little here and there before that, but not like this where I worked the whole summer before leaving for college.)  I saved my money pretty well so that I would have something to spend at college, but did buy some things of course.  I remember going to a store, Partners, on Main Street in Newark, DE, after I got paid, and asking for a wax box.  I think it was $20, and I gave over a twenty dollar bill.  Very quick transaction.  I took it home and put it on the shelf.  I don't know if that was the Topps or the Score box pictured here.  If you look closely at the picture of the Score box, you see that the wrap is punctured and there's a tear in the box, over the lower seam of the baseball.  That happened just last year, when I dropped the box while we were moving. 
31 wax packs of 1987 Fleer Star Stickers.
Back in the day, I bought a bunch of odd card issues via mail-order, from the ads in Baseball Cards magazine.  I would look all through the ads, and find one that seemed to have a good price on something slightly offbeat.  So I ordered at least one box of Star Stickers.  I have 31 unopened packs, so presumably there were 36 in the box and I opened 5.  I said before that after we moved to our new house at the end of 1988, I was left without any card collecting friends.  It's possible I might have opened the rest of these if I had a community of collectors to show them to and trade with.
4 packs of 1988 Topps Stickers/Superstar cards.
5 packs of 1989 Panini stickers.
I think I must have bought a box of the 1988 Topps stickers, with the Superstar cards on the sticker backs.  Not only do I have these 4 unopened packs, I also have a complete set of the cards and a bunch of doubles.  I am guessing that I opened the packs until I finally got a complete set, and then left the rest, these four, in my unopened stack.  I'm surprised to find that I have five packs of Panini stickers, since I didn't really collect Panini stickers.  They were pretty cheap, though, so maybe I grabbed them at the end of a show when I only had a buck or so left.  Just a guess.
5 1986 Donruss All-Stars/Pop-Ups packs.
5 1987 Donruss All-Stars/Pop-Ups packs.
I know I've shown these unopened Donruss All-Stars/Pop-Ups before.  I bought a whole box of the 1986, and that's why I have a complete set of those that I've featured before.  Like with the Topps Stickers, I probably opened them until I completed the set, and then left the last few packs unopened.  I don't have many of the 1987 All-Stars, so I must have only bought a few packs of them, leaving most of them unopened.
A box of 1989 Topps DoubleHeaders.
2 packs of 1989 Topps DoubleHeaders.
I think I showed this box of 1989 Topps DoubleHeaders before, too.  I thought these were really cool when I was in 8th grade.  I bought a bunch, opened them, and displayed them on my bookshelf.  Either my parents or I must have thrown away the opened ones at some point.  But I have this full box plus two more unopened.
1 1990 Topps Heads Up! pack.
15 packs of 1989 Topps Coins.
These 1990 Topps Heads Up! are surely the stupidest baseball card-related collectible I ever bought.  I only bought three of them, opening two and leaving this one unopened.

I think I bought a couple of boxes of Topps coins.  I thought they were fun.  I have many of the coins opened, but kept these 15 packs unopened for posterity, I guess.
A box of 1986 Topps Mini League Leaders.
I have a lot of 1986 Topps Mini League Leaders.  Did I buy three whole boxes of them?  Maybe it was just two, I don't know.  But I kept this one box unopened.
5 packs of 1987 Topps Mini League Leaders.
10 packs of 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders, with two different wrappers.  Six include a price of 35 cents, and four have no price.
And then here are some more of the Topps Mini League Leaders.  Five packs of the wood-grained 1987's, and ten packs of the colorful-bordered 1990's.  The 1990's have two varieties of wrapper, with some proclaiming that they cost 35 cents, and others agnostic on the price.  It amazes me that anything ever cost as little as 35 cents.

I'll close the post out with two batches of unopened material I've bought in the past year.
34 1980 Topps Burger King Phillies packs.
I bought a box of maybe 48 or so unopened packs of 1980 Burger King Phillies.  I opened more than a dozen of them to get a complete set of the cards, and that left 34 unopened.  I already had a number of the cards from when I was a kid, but not a whole set; also, I was only 4 years old for most of 1980, and the cards didn't make it through in great shape.  It's great to have so many of these cards, in both the complete set and the unopened packs.  Each pack shows one card and the checklist/BK King card.  I don't quite have a complete set showing on the unopened packs, but I think that's ok.
A box of 1987 Topps Mini League Leaders.
Lastly, I showed this recent acquisition the other day.  While I did have 5 of the 1987 Topps Mini League Leader packs already, I like having a whole box.  Maybe I'll open it someday and see if I get a whole set.

Thanks for reading!  Plenty more unopened stuff to come in a future post!

Update:  Looking a little closer, I see that the two additional packs of DoubleHeaders are from 1990, not 1989.  The full box is of the 1989s.  I hadn't remembered that they made these for more than one year.