Ah, the unique feel of (purportedly) unopened boxes of baseball cards and the anticipation of finding out what's inside - THAT is what busting wax is all about. Add to the mix a dozen and a half of your closest friends (or folks that happened along to join the fun) to share in the joys, surprises, disappointments and glories of the box breaks, then spend the better part of a day off recording each and every card pulled from the unwrapped treasures. It is my addiction - cardboard and, more importantly, sharing that cardboard with folks from around the world!
Most of the participants are from the United States, but I also busted wax for longtime trading friends in Canada and England! Even now, having just typed that, it boggles my mind. As a kid growing up in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, it never would have entered my mind that one day I would opening packs of baseball cards to ship to the reaches of the world. That is awesome. Can I say it? Sure, I can: I love the Internet. Thanks, Al Gore, for inventing it. (For the record, I know he didn't. Because, I did. Oh, wait, I would have had to invented it before I was born. Yeah, that's about right. Okay, I did it. Where was I?)
As for the contents of the breaks themselves, I was actually a bit disappointed that the Heads-Up box was actually a complete set disguised as a box of pin-ups. Granted, we were one short, but NO duplication at all!? In the 90's!? Surely that is a fluke deserving a full-blown investigation. I will say, though, those are some very cool oddball items. And, if you're a regular reader here, you know I loves me some oddball cards. As per the rules, I did not take any of them, however. I gave out all the unclaimed teams to all the participants. After all, this was really YOUR break. I was just the guy hosting it. Don't feel bad, though. When it looked like the seller had bailed on sending them, I snagged another box for backup. Well, the first box arrived and then the second one came. So, I have another unopened (supposedly) box I may break later.
The Allen and Ginter proved to be a huge benefit to Mark A. His request to grab up all non-team cards really paid off in the A&G. Well, I suppose that depends on how many of the cards he actually needed, but still. I also managed to pull a Cliff Lee card which was handed over to my fellow Indians-breaker. Actually, when all said and done, I only kept two of the Indians cards from the break: A Bowman and a Sportflics trivia card. All the other cards from the break were passed along (in addition to some "bonus" Tribe cards). Back to the A&G - Some of the participants ended up with nice parallels (mini black borders, etc) though we pulled no game-used or serially numbered cards. Bummer. Maybe next time, eh.
The Bowman showed off Topps collation prowess at work. If memory serves, we had fewer than five duplicates between two boxes. Not bad. But, like in the A&G, we didn't see any game-used, serials, or auto's. There was also no sign of Mr. Harper anywhere. Not that I really cared, but I'm sure Ryan would have loved to watch a Harper auto spill out of one of the packs. Oh, I almost forgot - Joe C did pull a blue parallel! That was cool. Joe Cool, as he would say, I'm sure.
The Sportflics proved to be the most labor-intensive of the breaks. 36 packs of cards, each containing three actual cards and two mini trivia cards. Here is where Mark wished he could come through the wires and choke me. You see, many of the mini trivia cards did not feature a specific team on the front. Well, that's a non-team card, so it goes to Mark. Heh-heh. Like being Bipped or Alomar'd, only I might imagine it to be a tad worse, give then size of the dastardly things. In what can only be determined by some supernatural force at work, out of all 36 packs, there were NO White Sox players to be found. Zero. That just seems very, very peculiar to me.
As a bonus, I went through cards I have been accumulating since my last great giveaway (which depleted my stash, intentionally) and tossed in a few extras. I believe everyone gets something extra, but if you didn't, I apologize - it just means I didn't have anything I thought was worth it. I don't want anyone thinking they were cheated or ripped off. I suppose that is inevitable with these kinds of projects, but I at least try to make folks feel it was worth it - after all, I'll have more of these and would love folks to come back for more or spread the word that what they got was worth the price of admission.
The packages should ship out on Monday - possibly Tuesday.
Thanks to everyone that took part! Thanks for reading along and as much as I'd like to wish your respective teams well, I have to say.... LET'S GO TRIBE!! Er, Happy Collecting!