So I headed home for the first time in a while to hang out with my Dad a little bit and see some people I hadn't in a while. My family is about an hour from me now so I don't get home nearly as much as I should... but I do my best.
So on my way home my Dad AKA Papa Woog asked me to stop and grab some batteries on my way over and I decided to grab a blaster box of Gypsy Queen while I was at it. I actually had a gift card to Target from a little work recognition and I sure as heck wasn't going to get something practical with it.
Now I decided a long time ago that I was done buying retail and have really stuck with that for the most part... but like I said... gift card... not practical... so Gypsy Queen won.
When I got home I sat down next to Papa Woog and busted open the box and started cracking packs open while catching up with him on this and that. As you all know 8 packs come in a blaster box and I had burned through about half of them when I noticed that my Dad was watching me pretty intently and I asked him if he wanted to open a pack to which he replied "Sure!"
Now Papa Woog is to be credited with my baseball obsession. The man supplied the ground work for my collection and I still have over 95% of anything he ever bought for me. Dad started me off with complete sets of 89 Upper Deck and 88 Topps... All the mass produced junk wax that nearly sank the hobby. It's what got me hooked and although it holds very very little value monetarily it's still some of my most favorite stuff to look at. It just takes me back.
All of that being said Papa Woog doesn't really know jack about cards and when I handed him the pack of cards to open I found it highly entertaining.
When I open cards I scan the base and may occasionally raise an eyebrow if I see a stud like Jeter or Pujols but I'm really looking for any short prints, inserts, and of course game used and or autographs... Pullskies.
Papa Woog on the other hand took the time to read every players name out loud (and sound it out phonetically if he didn't recognize the player) then flip the card over and read the back out loud for me to hear each players bio. I was lovin every second of it. In the time it took him to look at and read out loud 4 of his cards from his packs I had just finished up my 7th and final pack. Here are the hits from my packs... (sorry for the glare)
Future Stars Justin Upton and Craig Kimbrel as well as Hallmark Heroes Frank Robinson and Nolan Ryan
Sliding Stars Dee Gordon and Ryan Braun, Moon Shots Albert Belle, and Glove Stories Ken Griffey, Jr.
So while I'm sorting out the cards I just pulled, Papa Woog is reading about the next card from his pack... "This one is of Brandon Belt"... he then flips it over and says "This wasn't doesn't have shit on the back" and tosses it aside. Hmmm... suspicious me thinks. So I pick up the card to further investigate and while Papa Woog does require reading glasses these days, I'm not sure how he missed the on card autograph on front. Go figure...
I just busted a gut laughing at him over this one. I have so much better luck when I let other people open packs for me and will be letting Papa Woog bust some packs for me next time I get some... which at this point will likely be around the holidays. I congratulated him on his pull and told him that pulling an autograph in a retail box falls about 1 out of 140 packs roughly... Good Job Dad.
I had a great day hanging out with the old man and took pleasure in opening some packs with him pretty much the same way I did when it all started 20 years ago. If you've got the time and they're still around maybe you should go out and buy a few packs and do the same with the person who started it all for you as well... assuming you never grew up and still collect cards... (and if you're reading this then wipe the guilty grin off your face and go buy some packs)
Thanks for reading
Till next time...