Tuesday, August 9, 2016

23 1-dollar packs

So yesterday I went to Baby Stark's table and he said he had a bunch of the $1-packs for me. There were 23 in all so I went ahead and bought them all for $20. I am happy with what I purchased but I realize I'd better scale it down or these packs will add up real quick. The packs are predominantly very new cards - probably 1/3 2014 Bowman, 1/3 2015 & 2016 Topps base, and 1/3 other 2011-present stuff (Donruss, Panini, Stadium Club, A&G, Heritage, etc). While these are almost all cards I need, it's not quite exciting enough to start spending $20 regularly on. So I decided to do a little analysis of each pack to see what kinds I liked best so I'd know which ones to pick out going forward.

Each team bag has about 20-25 cards, with two cards visible, usually the most prominent players in the pack with a heavy NY bias. I decided to put together a little rating system for each pack:
Modern cards (2011-present): 1 point
Older cards I need: 5 points
Vintage cards: 10 points
There was one vintage card as you will see. For the older cards I can often tell at a glance if a card is a dupe that I already have - advantage of having a lot of completed sets.  For the modern cards I assume I need the card. All points are doubled for Yankees and tripled for very shiny cards.

Pack 1
Visible: 2013 Topps Chrome Yoenis Cespedes/1989 Score Traded Rickey Henderson
22 cards (15 modern)
Older cards: 89 Score Traded Henderson (dupe); 09 UD Baseball Heroes Tulowitzki; 09 A&G Ibanez; 98 Fleer Tradition Update Kenny Rogers, Randy Johnson, Freddy Garcia (Garcia is dupe); 00 Metal David Wells (dupe)
Score: 35

Pack 2
Visible: 2004 Donruss World Series Jim Rice/2016 Bowman David Ortiz
22 cards (20 modern, many Red Sox)
Older cards: 05 UD Classics Rick Ferrell; 04 Donruss Rice
Score: 30

Pack 3
Visible: 2002 Fleer Hot Prospects Pedro Martinez/1999 UD Auxiliary Power Pedro Martinez
22 cards (17 modern)
Older cards: 02 Fleer Hot Prospects Pedro; 99 UD Auxiliary Pedro; 88 Topps Clemens All Star (dupe); 07 Fleer Ortiz; 01 UD ‘70s Fisk
Score: 37

Pack 4
Visible: 2013 Topps Alex Gordon/2014 Topps Berger’s Best George Brett
25 cards (23 modern)
Older cards: 92 Score Steve Finley (dupe); 00 Topps Home Team Advantage Wade Boggs 2000th hit
Score: 28

Pack 5
Visible: 2016 Topps Daniel Murphy/2015 Stadium Club Daniel Murphy
27 cards (11 modern – one very cool shiny/see-thru card – 2014 Topps High Tek Jason Heyward)
Older cards: From 1994 Collectors Choice (all dupes): Sandberg, Bagwell, Bonds, Orosco, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Vizquel, Girardi, Dawson, Wetteland, Puckett, Molitor, Brosius, Ryan, Hundley, Chipper)
Score: 13

Pack 6
Visible: 2014 Topps Jose Fernandez/2014 Bowman Jose Fernandez
29 cards (27 modern)
Older cards: 91 Score (dupes): Rickey Henderson All-Star; Cecil Fielder Master Blaster
Score: 27

Pack 7
Visible: 2005 UD Classics Bill Mazeroski; 13 Topps Opening Day Andrew McCutchen
25 cards (22 modern)
Older cards: 05 UD Classics Mazeroski, Schoendienst and Hubbell
Score: 37

Pack 8
Visible: 2006 Topps Update Albert Pujols; 2014 Bowman Albert Pujols
21 cards (16 modern – very shiny 15 Bowman’s Best Kimbrel)
Older cards: 06 Topps Update Pujols; 01 Fleer Tradition Hundley; 05 Sweet Spot Classic Rollie Fingers; 05 SP Legendary Cuts Bob Lemon; 07 Finest Joe Mauer
Score: 43

Pack 9
Visible: 2016 Donruss Steven Matz; 2016 Donruss Jacob DeGrom
29 cards (23 modern)
Older cards: 10 Topps Vintage Legends Johnny Bench; 05 Sweet Spot Johnny Bench; 88 Topps Mark McGwire (dupe); 00 Topps Mark McGwire 70th Home Run (dupe); 87 Topps Dave Concepcion (dupe)
VINTAGE card: 1970 Topps World Series Game 5 (Koosman Shuts the Door)
Score: 43

Pack 10
Visible: 2016 Panini Diamond Kings Noah Syndergaard; 2016 Topps Heritage Mets Rising
19 cards (15 modern)
Older cards: 10 Bowman Ruben Tejada; 88 Fleer Tim Teufel (dupe); 90 Score Frank Viola (dupe); 81 Topps Roy Lee Jackson (dupe)
Score: 20

Pack 11
Visible: 2014 Bowman Gio Gonzalez; 2016 Topps Heritage Stephen Strasburg
19 cards (18 modern)
Older card: 09 SP Authentic Ryan Zimmerman
Score: 23

Pack 12
Visible: 2016 Topps Albert Pujols; 2014 Bowman Albert Pujols (second one we’ve seen; one to keep, one to trade)
25 cards (23 modern – very shiny: Bowmans Best Justin Upton; 2015 Topps Chrome Refractor Adam Eaton)
Older cards: 1995 Topps D-3 David Justice (dupe); 05 UD Classics Enos Slaughter
Score: 32

Pack 13
Visible: 2008 UD Masterpieces Roberto Clemente; 1982 Topps Dave Parker In Action
22 cards (17 modern)
Older cards: Both visible cards are dupes; 87 Topps Mike Brown (dupe); 92 UD Chili Davis (dupe); 03 Leaf Johnny Damon
Score: 22

Pack 14
Visible: 2014 Topps Andrew McCutchen; 2011 Topps Update Andrew McCutchen
19 cards (11 modern – extra shiny 2015 Topps Chrome Refractor Wil Myers)
Older cards: 94 Collectors Choice (all dupes): Mussina, Trammell, Biggio, Joe Carter; 07 Topps Generation Now Ryan Zimmerman 42nd Double; 00 UD Black Diamond Carlos Delgado; 05 Zenith Johan Santana; 95 Topps Embossed Chuck Knoblauch (dupe)
Score: 28

Pack 15
Visible: 2016 Allen & Ginter Alex Rodriguez; 1991 Donruss Jim Leyritz
22 cards (18 modern – 3 Yankees)
Older cards: 91 Donruss (dupes): Leyritz & Alan Mills; 86 Fleer Baseball’s Best Reggie Jackson (dupe); 91 Upper Deck Futures Rickey Henderson (dupe)
Score: 21

Pack 16
Visible: 2016 Topps Heritage Aaron Hicks; 2015 Topps Update Mason Williams
22 cards (19 modern – 2 Yankees, one extra shiny 2013 Topps Ted Lilly green sparkly)
Older cards: 92 UD (dupes) – Humphreys & Barfield; 90 Donruss Mike Blowers (dupe)
Score: 23

Pack 17
Visible: 2004 Sweet Spot Classics Thurman Munson; 2015 Stadium Club Buster Posey
23 cards (22 modern – extra shiny Topps High Tek Carlos Gonzalez)
Older card: Just the Munson
Score: 34

Pack 18
Visible: 2016 Topps Masahiro Tanaka; 2016 Topps Michael Pineda
23 cards (19 modern – 3 Yankees)
Older cards: 93 Leaf (dupes) – Kamieniecki & Pat Kelly; 09 Topps Unique Ryan Howard; 06 UD Chris Woodward
Score: 32

Pack 19
Visible: 2015 Topps Didi Gregorious; 2016 Topps MLB Debut Robinson Cano
24 cards (16 modern – 5 Yankees)
Older cards: 04 Fleer Classic Clippings Soriano; 92 Score Clemens Cy Young (dupe); 07 UD First Edition Chipper Jones; 06 Topps All-Rookie Nick Markakis; 90 Score Todd Zeile (dupe); 07 Topps Update Tulowitzki; 04 Donruss Rey Ordonez; 97 Collectors Choice Randy Johnson (dupe)
Score: 46

Pack 20
Visible: 2016 A&G Paul O’Neill; 2014 Topps Archives Carlos Beltran
23 cards (15 modern – 5 Yankees)
Older cards: 88 Topps Paul O’Neill (dupe); 02 Donruss Originals Glavine; 01 UD David Wells; 06 Grandstand Carolina Mudcats Alejandro De Aza; 06 Topps Update Cory Lidle In Memoriam
Score: 45

Pack 21
Visible: 10 National Chicle Thurman Munson; 07 Topps Chrome Jorge Posada
22 cards (19 modern – 4 Yankees)
Older cards: Chrome Posada; 06 Topps Chrome Luis Castillo Gold Glove; 06 Topps Update Sal Fasano
Score: 48

Pack 22
Visible: 2016 Gypsy Queen Mark Teixiera; 2006 Fleer RBI Kings Mark Teixeira
22 cards (12 modern – 2 Yankees)
Older cards: Texieira RBI Kings; 92 UD David Wells (dupe); 92 Score Rickey Henderson (dupe); 06 Diamond Kings: Swisher, Lackey; 10 Turkey Red Felix Hernandez; 93 Ted Williams Bobby Brown (dupe); 04 UD Team USA Jason Giambi; 04 Leaf Teixeria; 08 UD Teixeira
Score: 49

Pack 23
Visible: 2015 Topps Gold Dellin Betances; 2014 Topps Archives Goose Gossage
23 cards (22 modern – 3 Yankees; shiny Freddie Freeman Topps High Tek; Shiny 2014 Bowman Matt Carpenter 1989 design
Older card: 06 Topps Update Johan Santana
Score: 30

 So for 20 dollars - 530 cards (avg 23 per pack). 420 modern cards, probably 95% that I don't have. 52 older cards I probably need. In terms of making generalizations for picking out individual packs, looks like the best ideas are:
I - Yankee packs - they won't be Yankees all the way through but they will have some
II - look for size - not all packs are the same number of cards, so go for the thicker ones
III - every pack is going to have a few 2014 Bowmans, and a few 2015/2016 Topps cards. Whatever else is visible in front or on the side is a good clue to what else is in there setwise (but not team or player wise).

This exercise was mostly for me to develop a personal strategy with these packs going forward, but hopefully it was interesting to you readers as well.


  1. Cool exercise. I've found the same with the Dollar Tree packs, seen several w/ the same cards.

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