Monday, August 12, 2013

A Trip to the LCS and a Goodwin Champions Hit

I tore up the local card shop on Friday.  Part of it is that I was grieving missing Griffey’s Mariners HOF induction in Seattle, but the owner also happened to have some great stuff available.  I spent more than I was planning, but I came home with some great stuff.

For example, homie had a stack of complete sets in long boxes he’d acquired from a set builder.  They were basically buy one get two free.  I ended up with 1990 and 1991 Upper Deck and the 1988 Donruss Limited Edition Glossy Holiday set.  He also threw in 1990 Topps Traded which is an absolute goofball of a set as I’m sure most of you know.

I don't ever leave this LCS without grabbing at least one mystery box.  They never disappoint.  This particular one had a little bit of everything:





And just some generally awesome cards:

And of course plenty of trade fodder.

I always make a run through the solitary dollar box of baseball he has.  Here’s what I landed:


That Votto is a reprint

Yeah, I'm only human....

I’ve mentioned being a local-team pennant collector.  Well, he had a stack of Tulane University pennants for a sawbuck, so I picked one up for the man cave.

Hey, look!

And finally, I always buy a pack, even if it’s only one.  With everyone going nuts for Ginter, I decided to change things up and grab a pack of Upper Deck Goodwin Champions.  He always puts the box on the counter for me to fish through and says “You pick,” but I always end up grabbing the one on top.  This time I picked up the whole lot of packs and held them together. 

I asked him, “What do people look for when they ‘pack search?’  I’ve never understood it.  Do they feel them or weigh them or what?”  He replied “I have no idea, brother.  I’m just glad when people get hits in the store.”

I decided to try and be slick by picking out the thickest-looking pack from the lot.  I popped it open and bam!


Apparently this young man is a reasonable talent.  My first Jordan card ever - and while it’s no Griffey, it is instantly my coolest basketball card.  That's scuff is on the case, not the card.... The pack also contained these two:

But who cares?  Jordan!  Card shop guy gave me a slip case and off I skipped to hide my gigantic haul of new cardboard from spousal inquisition.


  1. Love that "Big Train"/"Ryan Express" card! Those Panini Cooperstown parallels are beauties as well.

    Nice hit on the Jordan!

    1. That was one of the first cards out of the box. I love that Sandy a lot too - the guy has a lot of great cards in the mid-90's.

  2. Wait... those two ladies were a buck a piece? Not sure what's a nicer score... them or the Jordan. Either way... congratulations.

    1. What can I say? I like 'em cheap and covered in ink.

  3. That Jordan pull is pretty sweet. I did a little pack-searching experiment at Target a couple of weeks back, and all I pulled were a bunch of little cards with security tags stuck to them.

    1. So it's about thickness? I've found thickness to be pretty variable among packs. Maybe they'll let em bring a digi.....

    2. There are a few different methods, apparently. Thickness of the packs is one, although some manufacturers put spacers in the packs to thwart that.

      Some people bend the packs slightly, as the thicker relic cards will offer more resistance than base cards.

      Some people do weigh the packs, as even if you hit spacers, the hits are all contained in heavier packs, while non-hits come from lighter packs, so with the heavy packs you at least have more than a 0% chance to pull a hit.

      And some people press on the packs with their thumb and rub the cards. Relic card windows can be felt as an indentation, even through layers of cards.

      To detect sticker autographs, people slide the cards around in the pack and run their thumbnail across the top. The edge of the sticker will be felt as a little ridge.

      On the whole, I think pack searching is a bit unethical and unfair to other buyers, so aside from that one experiment I would not do it. Often searching the packs results in damage to the base cards, and that is also not fair to other buyers. It's an interesting topic to read up on, if you can find someone willing to post about it. I've heard tales of people who do actually take digital scales into a box store and set up shop looking for hits. I doubt a hobby shop owner would be as open to that idea.