My Christmas present to myself this year was six cases of Topps cello packs, one from each year of 1986-1991. I have just recently gotten back into the hobby, and those years represent the majority of the time I spent collecting the first time around, as well as the bulk of my meagre collection.
Amazingly, I haven't opened any of the packs yet. After I got back to my home from Christmas break, it was straight back into school. The term isn't even over, and I probably shouldn't be messing around on the computer when there's a pile of papers on my desk that need to be graded. But the siren song of the pack is too great.
Out of the six years, the 1990 cards are probably the ugliest. I'm not a big fan of the 1988 set, either, but that's more down to the color choices Topps made than the design of the card. So why did I pick a 1990 pack? On the hopes that I pull one of the cards Hand Collated needs so I can trade it to him. Here's the pack:
Let's see...31 cards and one stick of delicious 20-year-old gum. All for the princely sum of 89 cents. There's also a chance to win a trip to Spring Training...nineteen years ago. I think I missed the boat on that one.
Turning the pack over to open it, I can see through the cello that the top card is Giants manager Roger Craig. One down, 30 to go. Let's bust some, um, cellophane:
351 - Roger Craig
204 - Bob Dernier (Doesn't this picture just scream "spring training"?)
161 - Harold Reynolds (Must have been cold that day in Seattle)
231 - Jack McKeon (Another manager card! How lucky can one guy get?)
Now we reach the portion of the pack where I started to pull a bunch of commons. Oh, who am I kidding? They're all commons:
95 - Todd Worrell
513 - Mark Eichhorn
421 - Greg Minton
446 - Dan Pasqua
288 - Greg Briley
Fans (all two of 'em) of my blog, RGB Cards
, will know why I posted this card separately - it's a Mariner! (Ignore the fact that I lumped the White Sox in with a bunch of commons) Greg Briley, All-Star Rookie. Whoops! Seems like there was another Mariner youngster in 1990 who was pretty good. Can't put my finger on the name, though.
Don't worry, there's even more rookie disappointment to come. But first, some more commons:
473 - Joe Price
124 - Dave Dravecky (who had already retired when the 1990 cards came out)
313 - Gus Polidor
481 - Garry Templeton
101 - Shane Rawley
169 - Rich Dotson (I don't care what the card says, he's "Rich" not "Richard")
We interrupt this pack break for a sweet offer on a Topps sweatshirt:
I mean, come on! It's a puffy-lettered sweatshirt! What more incentive could you possibly need?
Okay, back to the cards:
332 - Paul O'Neill
The only card in the pack coming even remotely close to the definition of a star player. I've always liked O'Neill, but even I think of him as more of a Yankees player than a Reds player now.
568 - John Smiley
Smiles! The subject of my very first blog post
on my blog, RGB Cards.
(Okay, that's two shameless plugs for my blog. I'll stop now.)
171 - Russ Nixon
Really? Three manager cards? Look at it this way - I'm 3/26 of the way to completing my 1990 managers set. Fun fact - this is the last Braves manager card that doesn't have Bobby Cox on it.
229 - David Wells (Look how young he looks! And relatively thin!)
314 - Donald Harris
According to the card, he was a No. 1 draft pick. Guess that didn't work out too well for Texas.
129 - Ron Jones
472 - Jose Uribe (That's two dead shortstops in this one pack - RIP Jose and Gus)
648 - Jim Clancy
26 - Don Slaught
265 - Pete O'Brien
651 - Rafael Santana
627 - Jose Rijo
I love Jose. Every Reds fan does. How can you not love a player who was so instrumental in bringing your team a championship? So he gets his own separate mention.
And we'll wrap things up with four more commons:
67 - Scott Sanderson
267 - Mark Davidson
284 - Mark Gardner, Future Star (I don't think so!)
492 - Ron Oester
Oh well. Not the most successful pack break ever conducted. I won't discuss the overall looks of the cards since that's been done to death in the blogosphere and, let's face it, 1990 Topps isn't the most popular. I still think it looks better than 1988, though. Nothing for Hand Collated, either. I'll have to try again next time.
So what should come next? 1986, 1987, 1988 (shudder), 1989 or 1991?