Reclaiming A Tiny Bit Of Pack-Opening Fun

A few months ago, I was having a long, less-than-stimulating morning of work, so I decided to run over to Target at lunch and buy a few packs of cards.

As I sat in the car thumbing through the first pack, I remembered a little “game” I used to play back before I became a jaded middle-aged guy. After that Target trip, I’ve been doing this with almost every pack.

Here’s what it involves:  When I’ve got a stack of new cards in my hands, I slide the top card down just enough to see the player’s face but not his name, and I try to identify the player.

I’ve got a kind of simulation below involving 2014 Heritage.  The top card is a Leaders card, and I slide it down to show…

2014 Heritage Game 1

…Andrew McCutchen.   OK, that’s pretty easy.  I slide McCutchen’s card down…

2014 Heritage Game 2

Oh, I know him…  Khris Davis, right? 

Yep.

By the way, this works really well with Heritage, because all the cards in a pack are facing in the same direction and have their tops at the same end of a stack.

Getting back to the cards, I slide Davis down, and…

2014 Heritage Game 3

Oooh, this one’s a challenge.  No cap or logo, the only clues I’ve got for the team is a red undershirt and a green border – but I don’t remember all the teams which got a green border in Heritage.  Let’s side the top card down a little to get some more information.

2014 Heritage Game 3A

Hmmm… Diamondbacks shortstop…  I don’t recognize this guy, and you’d think I’d remember a Mohawk.  OK, I give up.

2014 Heritage Didi Gregorius

Ohhhhhh… Didi Gregorius. Now if, as sometimes rumored, the Mets trade for him, I’ll know what he looks like.

Anyway, that’s the general way it goes. I find that it adds a little bit of fun to pack bustin’, and it makes me slow down and appreciate the cards more.

I will mention that it doesn’t work as well with something like Topps Update because the cards are collated in every which direction and the player selection results in your having to identify the likes of Yoervis Medina and Steve Delabar.

Has anybody else made a game out of opening a pack, now or as a kid? I’d have to think there’s someone.

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3 thoughts on “Reclaiming A Tiny Bit Of Pack-Opening Fun

  1. I haven’t made a game but I do try to savor each pack. As you know, often I do the ultimate in savoring/delayed gratification. I don’t open the pack until much later. I’m sure you do much better in identifying the players. The older I get the less I find I know as many players as I think I used to.

    • I’m nowhere near as good at this as I used to be, and certainly not like when I was a kid. I remember being on a camping trip once and a friend and I were challenging each other on uniform numbers on other teams – and I’m not talking about Steve Garvey or Pete Rose, I’m talking guys like Rick Rhoden or Doug Rader. By contrast, my wife was watching the Orioles the other day, I walked in the room and was about to ask who #31 was on the mound before I realized it was Ubaldo Jimenez… Just one the biggest acquisitions of the past winter. Whoops.

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