Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Two and a Half Men or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Bust Some Packs

No, not the unwatchable sitcom everyone else seems to like. I mean in terms of active players on 40-man rosters, that’s all I collect: two and a half men. From my PC list:

1. Ken Griffey, Jr.
- Vida Blue
- Jay Buhner
- Will Clark
- Bryan Clutterbuck
- Larry Doby
- Dock Ellis
- Chuck Finley
- Johnny Giavotella
- Marquis Grissom
- Felix Hernandez (just hits)
- Ron Kittle
- Javy Lopez
- Aaron Nola
- Austin Nola (active but with AAA New Orleans Zephyrs)
- Rusty Staub
- Dan Wilson

I don’t even collect non-hits of Felix (not seriously at least), so I’m calling that a half for a total of 2.5. Of the 1200 players in MLB, I collect 0.2%. So, is this really the hobby for me?

Let’s be honest: it’s the Griffeys and prolific use of retired players in inserts and some base sets that keep me coming back, and I know I’m not alone. Now for 2016 one of the themes we will see across several Topps products will be the career of Ken Griffey, Jr.; so yeah. I’m still on board. I don’t buy Heritage, but pretty much every other brand has something I will like, this year more than most.

Hold the ketchup

I only bring this up because I bought a blaster of 2016 Archives, and in it were two Griffeys: his base card and the Father-Son insert. Those two cards, which I could have gotten on eBay for less than two bucks apiece, made the $20 blaster a "success." The fact that soon after I pulled them I dropped both Griffeys into a big puddle of ketchup probably didn’t add to that success (I licked it off pretty quickly, an act of which I’m glad there isn’t video). My point is that I shouldn't be spending $20 on a blaster when such a small cross-section of cards could make it worth my while.

And yet...

It’s hard to rethink the way I buy and bust packs in this, the year Griffey gets his due from the Hall of Fame and from Topps alike. I went ahead and bought a box of Finest in the hopes of pulling one of those cool Finest Career autographs (I did not) or at least one of the unsigned die-cuts (again, nada). And I have a hobby and jumbo box (one of each!) on hold for me at my LCS when Series 2 drops Friday.

God bless the aftermarket

Now with the Hall of Fame induction and plethora of Griffey-exclusive inserts (and parallels thereof), this is going to be the biggest year of box-busting for Griffey fans there’s been since the 90’s and probably ever will be again. If there ever was a year for we Griffey collectors to splurge on new product, this is the one.

I'll let you know how it goes. In the mean time, send all your Tribute to the Kid insert cards to me!


  1. Those Finest inserts are really cool!

  2. Ewwwwww - a White Sox Griffey is out there. SWEET!

  3. I really like those Griffey Finest inserts. I don't have one either. Topps SEries 2 ones look great to. Its well worth the chase for us Griffey guys

  4. A video of you licking off the ketchup from the Griffey cards would have made this an epic post.

  5. The White Sox Griffey just seems weird. Love the cards though.

  6. I pulled two Griffeys from my hanger box, so let me know if you want them. Hallowed Higlights HH-10 and Tribute to the Kid #8.

  7. I always seem to forget that Griffey played for the White Sox. Congratulations on pulling the Father/Son insert out of your blaster. Gotta find a copy for my Griffey binder. I opened up a hobby box and pulled his #1 Draft insert... which is a pretty sweet looking card.

  8. I always liked the family history cards, they missed the 75 set by a year. The ketchup story will probably stick with me for a while.