I left the office and headed out to lunch. I stopped at Walmart because I wanted to see if they had the charging/headphone adapter for my iPhone 7. They did not. Our Walmart has a Subway in it, so I figured I would just eat there since I was already in the store. And, you can imagine what happened next, I'm sure. I stopped by the cardboard aisle. I was just looking, though I had half-heartedly decided to pick up a pack of 2017 Topps since I hadn't busted any of that yet. I felt the pang. Do you get that pang? The one that whispers to you, "Hey... Over here... I'm a blaster box... I have cool bits of collectible cardboard in here..." It whispers, at first. Soon, however, it is screaming at you and you're helpless to resist. The cardboard habit pulls, tugs, and yanks at you, your wallet, your sense of duty... Duty? Yes, you see, the habit, the addiction, convinced me that I needed something for a post. "You don't want to write about what your already HAVE," it said. "You want something new to talk about."
I looked and there was a repack box. I loathe repack boxes, and yet my addiction prevents me from resisting them. "11 Factory Sealed packs inside," the label read. And, just below that, the ever-taunting proclamation: "INCLUDING 1 HOBBY PACK IN EVERY BOX!' A Hobby pack!? In EVERY box!? Oh, man... It's a Hobby pack. Do you know how much Hobby packs are by themselves? This was a blaster with 11 packs for $15. That's not great, but it's not bad, either... right?
I snagged one. I was at the checkout with it before I knew what was happening. The cashier, a family friend, commented, "Buying baseball cards on your lunch break, David?" Yes, YES! Yes, I was. And then I was grabbing lunch. And I wasn't eating it there because I figured I could grab the food, head back to the office and have time to bust open a pack before my break was over. Maybe even TWO packs...
I tilted the box upside down and it felt... wrong. Something wasn't right here. It made a different kind of noise. It didn't sound like 11 packs in a box sliding around. It sounded like something else. Something... plastic.. rubbing against foil. I know that sounds weird, but that's the only way I can describe it. I hurried back to the office, found a quiet spot and ripped open the box. Sure enough, a screw-down nestled itself among the packs. I actually thought it was a graded card at first, but the split along the top convinced me otherwise. Before I took it out, I examined the box... Sure enough. On the side of the box, it said, "LOOK FOR THESE SPECIAL BONUS CARDS..." There was Kris Bryant, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr, Mickey Mantle, and Cal Ripken Jr. Holy smokes.
The box whispered, "See? I told you to buy me. Now, why don't you come look inside?"
I did. The Hobby pack turned out to be Stars and Stripes... Meh, okay. The screw-down? A 2015 Cal Ripken Jr insert. Look, don't get me wrong here: any Ripken is a good Ripken. But, a screw-down for a 2015 insert? I would bet the holder is worth more than the contents, not that "worth" has anything to do with why I bought the box to begin with. Still.
There are a couple packs of "Babe Ruth Collection," a few packs of "Triple Play," a couple packs of Prizm "Draft Picks," and a few other random packs. Yes, oh sweet addiction, you got me. I have 11 packs, including one Hobby pack. PLUS, I managed to score the bonus card (found in 1 of 4 boxes).
With the first phase of the addiction process over (the buying and initial bust), the next phase just as eagerly calls out to me... "Open us... Open...just...one... Come on, Dave... Just one..."