Hopefully your Black Friday was one filled with great deals and devoid of pepper spray. Perhaps you visited your local card shop and were able to snag some of those really cool Panini Black Friday packs. Maybe you stayed at home and ordered online, grabbing some of the great deals on Blowout Cards for example. Last year, I did just that with great success. But of all of my Black Friday purchases from last year, the most mojo goodness came from the two boxes of 2009 TRISTAR Obak Baseball I was able to pick up from Blowout Cards for about $26 a box. The funny thing is I wouldn’t find out how good those boxes were until a year later.
I had a few reasons for buying Obak. I’m a fan of retro cards. 2009 Obak contained a lot of hot rookies, like Buster Posey, and some proven prospects. But most attractive, especially at 26 dollars, was the two autos per box with one of the hot autos being Duke Snider. Snider’s auto had eluded me. Being a New York transplant living in Los Angeles, I had always wanted to pull a Duke auto. At that low a price point, with a limited run of 3600 boxes, it was definitely worth a roll of the dice, or two.
The boxes arrived and I put them on my shelf, looking forward to a quiet moment to open them. As new releases of cards came out, I wanted to make sure to open them first to keep my blog current, so the boxes of Obak just sat there. When I opened my box of 2011 Topps Tribute and I pulled a Duke Snider auto, the boxes of Obak got pushed to the back of the shelf.
As I was preparing my post on this year’s Black Friday, I decided to pull the boxes of Obak off the shelf and open them. I thought it was silly that it had been almost a year and those boxes had just been sitting there unopened.
The first thing I saw upon opening box one was this limited 4 panel mini card with Brooks Robinson and 3 of the 4 parallel variations of Nolan Ryan.
As I starting opening packs, I really liked the base set. I pulled Ted Williams first minor league card.
Here are some of the other greats of the game in their minor league uniforms.
Dale Murphy, Al Rosen
Solid Players of the past like Ryan Sandberg, Bobby Grich, Jim Rice
I also scored that Buster Posey card
And some other rookies and prospect
Eric Hosmer, Madison Bumgarner, Neftali Feliz
Jose Montero, Austin Jackson, Mike Stanton
These also come in minis. Here is Phil Rizzuto in regular and mini for size comparison.
And more minis
Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward, Mike Moustakas
Some of the best cards are of players you probably haven’t heard of like...
And "Game Changers" like...
Russell Blackburne who developed baseball rubbing mud
William Cummings who is credited for throwing the first curve ball
Foxy Irwin who created the full finger fielding glove
Jackie Mitchell, the first woman to sign a pro contract.
She also struckout Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the same exhibition game.
George Rawlings and Albert Spalding of equipment fame.
But we can't forget the hits.
In my first box I pulled this purple back Bo Jackson 1/1
a Bryan Shaw auto #/200
and a green back Tom Seaver auto #/25
From the second box, my hits were...
a Logan Schafer auto #/200
and this purple back Duke Snider auto 1/1
Seriously, I was happy pulling the Seaver and the Jackson, but pulling that Snider 1/1 was just ridiculous. It might have been even more exciting had I opened the boxes a year ago.
So my advice to you is... if you’ve got it, rip it.