Repacks, Small Boys In Target, Weird Airbrushing And Other Things

Back in January I was in Target to get a couple of things, and while I was there I grabbed the last Fairfield 100 card repack they had… I put it in my basket and then started looking at the other stuff there.

Also in the card aisle was a boy, I’m guessing about 8 years old (although I’m terrible at guessing ages), and he looked at me and asked “What did you get?”

I showed him the repack and said “Oh, I’m just getting this… I’ve had pretty good luck with them”.  I saw a couple of packs of Topps football cards in his hand, so I said “I like the Football cards this year”.  He went on to tell me that he liked the Redskins and RG3, I said I didn’t care one way or the other about the Redskins but I liked RG3.  I made a comment about baseball cards coming in another week or two, and then said something along the lines of “see you later” and left.

Afterwards it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I had a verbal hobby conversation with someone who wasn’t trying to sell me cards. Now I kind of wish I’d spoken to the boy longer.

At any rate, it was nice to meet a boy who was interested in cards, and it was very nice see a kid in the card aisle instead of some guy camped out on the floor feeling up packs.

Before we got to talking, this card on the back of my repack caught my attention:
1984 Milton Bradley Ted Simmons
When I saw the card, a voice inside my head – very much like Mel Brooks doing an old man – said “What the hell is this?”  The airbrush artist wasn’t satisfied with removing the Brewers logo, he decided he’d go all-out and add red to the collar and red side panels on Simmons cap. It’s odd, but sort of appealing. The end result is a sort of combination of the Brewers and Expos… Ladies and gentlemen, your Montwaukee Brewxpos!

Here are the other highlights of the the repack…

This Oriole came from the 1990 Donruss “Best Of The American League” box set. I wonder if the “regular” 1990 Donruss set would’ve been met with such universal disdain if they’d used this blue instead of traffic cone orange.
1990 Donruss Best Jeff Ballard

I also got the usual assortment of Topps Stickers, including this one which features two Shlabotnik favorites:  Steve Jeltz and a very young B.J. Surhoff.
1990 Topps Stickers Samuel Surhoff

On the back of some other stickers, I got a Sid Fernandez to add to my Mets collection…
1990 Topps Stickers Sid Fernandez

Finally, I got another addition to my 1980’s/1990’s Topps Glossy insert collection:
1991 Topps Glossy Rookies Scott Ruskin

I have to admit, I was fairly well disappointed by this repack.  It was largely devoid of  “fun junk”… I know that’s very subjective, but there were no obscure regional 1980’s box set cards, no Studio cards, no Topps Total or UD 40 Man, no cards older than 1982, just the one Topps glossy insert, and only a couple of what used to be “high end” cards (i.e. Stadium Club, Leaf).  Part of the disappointment might be because a couple of cards which could’ve been fun were done in by having Sammy Sosa on them.

Cal Repack, Jr.

During my recent obsession with Fairfield 100 card repacks, I’ve had pretty good luck adding to my wife’s Cal Ripken binder, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Joe Shlabotnik Collection, Inc.

Mrs. S has been a Cal fan since 1983 and enjoys checking out new (to her) cards of Cal, so I seek out inexpensive additions to the collection, plus keep anything that comes my way.

This card was on the front of one of the repacks, and I thought this was the 1992 Leaf card which is missing from the binder, but then I looked at the number on the back and it was “13 of 26”.
1992 Leaf Cal Ripken
I had to do a search to find out that it was a Leaf preview card, and it has a different photo of Cal and Carlos Quintana… check it out:

1992 Leaf #52 - Cal Ripken - Courtesy of

1992 Leaf #52 – Cal Ripken – Courtesy of

I’m going to have to get a copy of the “real” Leaf card; these two will look great together.

Also in that repack, I ran across this 1993 Studio Cal Ripken card. 1993 Studio Cal Ripken
SWEEEEEEEEEEET!!! I love this set, and I really need to get more cards from it. For me, this card was worth a good chunk of the $4 I spent on the repack.

Here’s the back of that card… Ladies and gentlemen, the piercing eye of Cal Ripken, Jr.
1993 Studio Ripken Back

These next two were from different repacks… I added to my 1980’s Topps Glossy insert collection…
1989 All-Star Glossy Cal Ripken

…and got a 1990 Topps Sticker with Cal on the back.  I never bought these stickers the first time around, but one thing that I like about getting them in repacks is that you sometimes get two shots at a player you want with each sticker. I couldn’t tell you without looking what sticker was on the front, but the backing card is Cal, so it’s AAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL good.
1990 Topps Stickers Ripken Back