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  #1  
Old 01-29-2008, 10:01 AM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Jason L

I was just reading the dialogue between Anthony and Ted Z over on the rarity thread regarding the Leaf cards, and they mentioned a Rosen find and how he opened packs, etc.
Blows my mind to think of how much fun it would be to open a pack or a box of old expensive cards!

Unfortunately, the best I can contribute here is like a box of 1985 Donruss or something like that...

So, for fun, I ask the Board... What's the most expensive, oldest, most exciting pack or box of cards that you've ever opened?
Were you happy you did? or disappointed?

Stories please!

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  #2  
Old 01-29-2008, 12:19 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

I collect unopened packs, and can't see why anyone would open one. But I did buy a raw '62 pack from someone who turned out to be a somewhat infamous pack resealer (in pack collecting circles) and it naturally got rejected for grading. One nite about 2 years ago I decided it was pretty worthless as is so I might as well open it. In it were 5 very sharp and very off center commons, with a wax stain on one of the interior cards. Figuring I had to go for it I popped the gum into my mouth, and it disintegrated immediately. The taste was awful and it took toothpaste, scope and 2 glasses of Macallan to partially rid it from my mouth.
I also opened a '70 Odd Rods (non sport) pack a few years ago. In it were a bunch of '88 Donruss baseball cards, another reseal job. These were the only 2 raw packs I've bought, and while graded certainly isn't 100% safe, it sure gets you a bit closer.
For thrill of discovery stories it would be hard to beat Rosen's "True Mint" book.

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  #3  
Old 01-29-2008, 12:46 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Joe D.

Anthony
"I collect unopened packs, and can't see why anyone would open one."


There is not a pack that would remain unopened in my house. No matter what kind of pack it was.
It would be calling me like Poe's Tell-Tale Heart.

And yes.... I too would feel the urge to shove the mello-mint gum in my mouth or smoke the tobacco or eat whatever the heck a colgan chip is.

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  #4  
Old 01-29-2008, 12:50 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: DD

1967 Topps Pirates Stickers - Clemente, Clemente for Mayor, and Stargell. Could not have picked 3 better ones.

Back in the late 70's, my brothers and I would go to the Armenian Church shows in NYC. Seth Popeil had a fantastic display of vintage unopened material. We used to buy 1971 racks with stars on top for about $15.00.

A few years earlier, we would buy 1965 Topps High number packs from Lou Mitschich (sp?), a long time dealer. I remember him and his wife, their old suitcases they would bring their stock in, and Lou's chain smoking. We pulled many Berra, Banks, Carlton, and other cards from his packs that cost about $2.50 each.

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  #5  
Old 01-29-2008, 02:46 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

<<There is not a pack that would remain unopened in my house. No matter what kind of pack it was.
It would be calling me like Poe's Tell-Tale Heart.>>

Joe, as much as I look forward to meeting you one day, I think it would be safer not to be at my house!

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  #6  
Old 01-29-2008, 03:23 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: John Moran

"Back in the late 70's, my brothers and I would go to the Armenian Church shows in NYC. Seth Popeil had a fantastic display of vintage unopened material. We used to buy 1971 racks with stars on top for about $15.00."

About 7 years ago I bought 2 1971 rack packs off Ebay for about $600. Curiosity got the better of me so I opened the one that had no stars showing. 2 of the 3 sections had great centering. Pulled 2 Pete Roses and 2 Concepcion rookies. One Rose graded PSA 8 and the other PSA 9 OC. Still have the other rack, Reggie Jackson and Willie McCovey are showing on the back

P.S. Anthony, never get tired of seeing that photo

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  #7  
Old 01-29-2008, 03:48 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

Thanks for the kind words John. I've picked up a bunch more '50's packs since that was shot, and will probably bring them home from the SD box and update the photo in the next few weeks.

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  #8  
Old 01-29-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Rob Ray

My jaw dropped when I saw the pix of your display. Not only is everything gorgeously displayed (and back-lit?),but the contents are mouth watering. All I can say is...WOW.

As for the topic,I opened up a Piedmont pack about 14 years ago (maybe less)....and it had a Joe McGinnity...nice and minn-ity (tried to rhyme there),but with a soft yellow stain and one slightly dinged corner. The ciggies made my hands REEK for quite some time. Tiny little brown things.
Got it from a dealer in PA from a long-ago card show.
Wish I still had it...sealed and everything...those things go for quite a bit nowadays.

Rob BrooklynNY

I used to collect unopened material;purchased mainly through Mark Murphy (and paid through the nose for them,even in the early to mid 90s). All gone now (sold).
One dealer from NJ (dont remember his name) came to the house,purchased ALL my unopened 60s and 70s racks and packs,and proceeded,to my surprise,to open the 71 rack packs. Then my 60s cellos. Even my 58 cellos! Pulled some stars,nothing too valubale (I think there was an AAron,clemente,Stargell and Palmer but no big Mick cards...). I think he was somewhat dissapointed,but I was shocked he wasnt keeping them sealed.
ONly vintage unopened that I purchased...and then opened...were any OPC boxes or packs...don;'t know why I was compelled to open THOSE.

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  #9  
Old 01-29-2008, 05:12 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: DD

Anthony's 1971 Topps Super box reminds about an Alan Rosen story. About 25 years ago at a NJ show, Mr. Mint was running a live auction. An unopened box of the 71's was opened for $225. No one was bidding, so Al opened the bidding. Not only did he win it, he still charged the consignor for the commission, even though he was the one bidding. P*** poor if you ask me.

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  #10  
Old 01-29-2008, 06:53 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Joe D.

"Joe, as much as I look forward to meeting you one day, I think it would be safer not to be at my house!"

That is a stunning display!
No worries... I would have self-control if the packs were not mine.

Just don't let me stay for any extended period of time



DD: I remember those Armenian Church shows. I went to them as well (early 80s).


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  #11  
Old 01-29-2008, 07:05 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Paul S

This is the most fun and exciting thread I've read in a long time, on either side of the board -- beats the hell out of Geraldo opening Capone's vault! Each post is like a little fireworks burst. And Anthony....AWESOME! Whoever thought GAI would make me say that?

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  #12  
Old 01-29-2008, 07:33 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: boxingcardman

Best pack I ever busted was a 1981 Donruss with multiple Pete Rose cards in it.

Best pack find I had was in 1977 when I went into a local candy store near my house and found a partial box (about 10 packs) of 1971 football cellos that I bought and cracked open.

Best box opening I had was in 1975 when my parents bought me two whole boxes of 1975 baseball wax for my birthday. I think I chewed 25 pieces of gum that day.

Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc

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  #13  
Old 01-29-2008, 08:06 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Dan Bretta

Very nice display Anthony!!!!

Best packs I ever opened I guess would be the first packs (That I distinctly remember) I ever opened - 1975 Topps.

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  #14  
Old 01-29-2008, 11:28 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

<<I think I chewed 25 pieces of gum that day.>>

Adam, I just pictured you as a 10 year old Nellie Fox, with a huge chaw of gum.

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  #15  
Old 01-29-2008, 11:35 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: marty q

how about a garbage can full of 1970's football wax and cello's! i dragged the can to my house form down the street, dumped it on my porch and went to work with a friend, i remember so many payton rookies it made my head spin, turns out the guy owned a deli in brooklyn, used to bring home all leftover/unsold candy and what not, no baseball at all, guess that sold, must have been at least 500 packs in there, this was 1979, how did we find it? coming home from the park my friend tossed a baseball at me that skiped past and hit and sat right there next to the pail, as i went over the top was off, and boom!! i was floored, i thought all the way home that it was baseball, my mom made me bring the pail back as soon as i dumped it, she made sure i wrang his bell and told him what we done, he didn't care, i asked if had baseball he said no, he did say he had bundles of comics, i didn't collect comics, and i went on my way, ....did you guy's read what i just typed!!! i didn't collect comics and went on my way!! what an idiot! sold all the football in 1984 i remember at a card show to buy the new topps cards, being a yankee fan i was more than thrilled to try and get as many don mattingly rookies as i can, again..what an idiot!!!

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  #16  
Old 01-30-2008, 12:46 AM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: DD

In 1976, my brothers and I did a card show in Beach Channel (Queens, NY). The wrong date was advertised in the paper, and about 10 people showed up all day. I remember one person who had a major football memorabilia collection (we had actually seen him on TV one day). Anyway, one dealer had a drum full of unopened packs of football cards from 1966-1975. Packs were 10 for a $1.00. Being 10 years old at the time, I bought one from each year (all
I could afford then).

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  #17  
Old 01-30-2008, 06:58 AM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Jason L

that's why I wanted to ask the question...

my fondest pack opening experience was coming home from a show when I was in high school, Sunday afternoon, sitting on the family room floor and opening and entire box of 1987 Topps rack packs while watching MJ shred the All-Star Game competition, and pigging out on some sort of array of snack foods.

Now, the cards are obviously close to worthless, which kind of taints the memory of it, but I didn't know that at the time, and I had a ball. I was even writing down all the card pack sequences so to this day I could tell you what to buy, depending on who was showing on top. But, like I said, too bad those cards aren't worth anything!


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  #18  
Old 01-30-2008, 08:08 AM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

My most exciting time opening packs happened last year.
My son is 10. We've gone to baseball games together since he was 3 (we had Dodger season tickets for a few years, and hit a bunch of different parks every year) but last year was when he really started knowing a bunch of players. We bought a few boxes of Heritage and opened them up together.
We each open one pack at a time, and see who gets the best player. Packs these days occasionally have a GU piece or some premium in it, and he always seems to be the one that gets them. Seeing the absolute joy on his face when he opens a pack and sees a card of one of his favorite players- Gagne, LoDuca, Ortiz, etc is the biggest thrill possible.

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  #19  
Old 01-30-2008, 09:12 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: MikeU

I have seen you post that picture before, but I do not think it will ever get old. Absolutely beautifull. Like a previous poster, I have no ability whatsover to keeps packs closed. For that, I have a great admiration for your will power. I do however keep a wrapper collection of the different packs I open. As a teenager, Mark Murphy had a 52-89 Wrapper display and I thought that was the ultimate display piece.

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  #20  
Old 01-30-2008, 09:23 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: MikeU

Some innocent and joyfull, when looking back, memories:

1. 1980: Picking up racks of 1980T baseball (first year collecting) at the grocery store and finding a 1979T rack in the bunch. It probably was not until 1988 or so until you could ever find the previous years product left on the shelf. Since I had never collected in 79, it was an added treat, as these were out of production and impossible for a 7 year old to find.
2. 1982: My first ever full box purchase (1982 Topps).
3. 1983: My second ever full box purchase (1983 Donruss).

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  #21  
Old 01-30-2008, 09:42 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Dan P.

I collected cards as a kid from 1960-64. When the 65's came out I said "baseball cards are for kids" and stopped collecting. I decided to buy just 1 pack a year just to see what that year's design looked like. In 1973 (by this time I was already working and my childhood collection was lost in a family move) I bought my annual pack at a pharmacy next door to the bank I did business at with my weekly pay check. I randomly picked one wax pack and found a Clemente card in it. Clemente had been killed the previous winter in the plane crash. At the time I didn't know how the cards were produced so I thought it odd that they had a card of a "dead guy". This is what got me back into collecting as an adult.

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  #22  
Old 01-30-2008, 09:53 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

Figured it'd been 2 years and time to update this picture.

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  #23  
Old 01-31-2008, 10:47 AM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Marc S.

are you more of a penny packs type of guy or a nickel pack?

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  #24  
Old 01-31-2008, 11:26 AM
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Posted By: Anthony N.

Marc- yes.
I'm a set collector, so I view the pack run as a sort of set.
I do draw the line at rackpacks- I don't really like them because they don't have the same level of visual, graphic appeal as packs.
I haven't seen a complete checklist of post war packs available, with variations. Murphy's book is a decent start, but it's got a lot missing and I'm sure Bob F. or Bishop or Dave Hornish have a lot more comprehensive list. If so, I'd love to see it.

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  #25  
Old 01-31-2008, 12:29 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Joe D.

I could see collecting the wrappers.... but keeping those cards locked up in there is just crazy.

c'mon - crack them open already.

don't you hear the cards calling you?

I do.


forgot:

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  #26  
Old 01-31-2008, 12:31 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: DD

Anthony,
Great display. I have always loved vintage unopened material, but have to agree with everyone that said they would bust the packs.

Have you ever seen a 1960 1 cent pack for sale? How much do you think it would sell for these days?

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  #27  
Old 01-31-2008, 12:34 PM
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Posted By: Jason L

I am not a pack collector, so I have absolutely zero idea of value, but have you ever done some sort of a cost/benefit analysis on some of those packs?

Meaning, the pack is worth x unopened, but it's likely worth y if I opened it (making some set of assumptions about the potential cards inside, accounting for probabilities of high value cards, DPs, SPs, hi#s and the like)
that might be an interesting exercise!

ever done that?!

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  #28  
Old 01-31-2008, 12:54 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

I saw a penny '60 pack a year or two ago. It didn't go for much- '60 packs in general seem more plentiful and less expensive than '59 or '61's, but the penny packs in '60 seem scarcer than '59's.

Jason, I understood there would be little math in this hobby so I've tried to keep it simple. I like them because they look cool! I think from a purely business sense I'd get a better return wiring 10K to a Nigerian ex general than I would busting open an old pack. As far as exercising restraint they reside 360 days a year in a dark safety deposit box, ridding me of any temptation.
I did ask a friend of mine (DaveB, on the boards here) who is an MRI tech if any sort of medical imaging would reveal what was inside. He's still laughing at me for asking that.

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  #29  
Old 01-31-2008, 12:59 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: DD

Jason,
Interesting concept. I think it would be easier (but not easy) to calculate using a cello or rack pack than a wax pack. Too many variable with the gum, sealant, etc. At least with a cello, you could look for dings on the corners, see who is on top and bottom (in most cases), and have a greater number of cards working for you.

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  #30  
Old 01-31-2008, 02:35 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Jason L

and good point regarding how you would have to trim the value of the probable cards because of packaging problems as well.

For instance, you would wind up with a series of probabilities to consider:
-For a set of 400 cards, assuming an even print-run, there might be a 1/400 chance that any one random card is a Mantle
-For a pack of 10 cards, there is a 1/10 chance that any single card is damaged by glue residue
-For any box containing 4 stacks of 9 packs, there is a 8/36 (or 2/9) chance that a corner pack will have suffered bump damage

I suppose it's endless.

This is probably a good way to go insane.

Perhaps I will start the calculations some night soon when my baby daughter has us up for feedings!

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  #31  
Old 01-31-2008, 02:37 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

you can probably increase your odds since the series is often known, either by the wrapper or by seeing thru the wrapper to the top card.

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  #32  
Old 01-31-2008, 02:56 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Paul S

Anthony (my idol of self-restraint!) -- what's the story with the packaging on the Red Man? Hard for me to tell: did the card come on the outside of the package which was then wrapped in plastic? One card per package? Are those graded?

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  #33  
Old 01-31-2008, 03:47 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Joe D.

Anthony,


I do not have medical x-ray equipment but I have tremendous super computer technology and programs and put them to the test to try to find out what is inside those packs.....



I took your original image....




I then cranked up some super look under layer programming




I then cranked it up even further - adding tremendous peek below capabilities.
It is obvious that you should open those packs.....


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  #34  
Old 01-31-2008, 04:15 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Anthony N.

Damn Joe, I'm headed back to the bank right now! I never thought of pulling '52 Mantles from '55 Doubleheader packs!

Paul, after being married for almost 20 years I'm learned to be all about self restraint. Seriously, the Redmans came 1 to a pack, wrapped in a very fragile and brittle cellophane. Mine aren't graded, as only GAI graded them,but told me not only do they no longer grade them but they never did. Guess they forgot.
I think in 1955 they turned the card around so you couldn't see who you were getting. The Turkey Red and Fez packs are empty, but from the same era as T3's and T9's. I've got an empty mecca pack from the T218 era and a bunch of Fatima tins that once contained T200's. They're cheap and cool and make great gifts!

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  #35  
Old 01-31-2008, 04:40 PM
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Posted By: boxingcardman

I hear they're gonna be open...

I've only had the restraint not to open one pack, a cello from the mid-1960s of exhibit cowboy cards with Lee Marvin on the front. Otherwise, it's been rip city.

Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc

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  #36  
Old 02-02-2008, 10:13 PM
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Posted By: Leslie Westbrook

Unfortunately, neither of my best packs fit into the post-war, pre-1980 baseball category, but I'll mention them anyway. One was a 1982 Donruss pack (that I bought on Ebay) from which I pulled TWO Cal Ripken, Jr. RC's in Minty condition. That was a neat pull.

More recently--and this is bittersweet--I bought a pack of 2007 Donruss Threads Football at Target of all places, and I pulled an Adrian Peterson Rookie Class Letter Patch autographed RC (whatamouthfull). The card was about the best thing I could've imagined pulling from the pack, BUT the card was HEAVILY factory-damaged. I haven't mailed it back to Donruss yet for replacement--I'm still a little nervous--but I'll get off to them soon.

Even though it doesn't really fit this board, if anyone here has had any experience sending back serial-numbered and/or auto'd cards, then I'd appreciate knowing how well the transaction with the manufaturer went.

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  #37  
Old 02-03-2008, 12:34 PM
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Posted By: davidcycleback

To put a modernist slant on it, I opened a modern Score football box and pulled certified autograph cards of Jim Brown and Bart Starr. I thought it was great at the time and still do.

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  #38  
Old 02-03-2008, 12:59 PM
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Posted By: Mike Ernst

In the summer of 1973 I found, in a surplus store, a plastic garbage can full of 1966 Topps rack packs marked 10 cents each. He accepted my offer of $10 for the entire lot--there were almost 150 of them. I've never topped that since.

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  #39  
Old 02-03-2008, 03:58 PM
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Posted By: Howard

That is an awesome display Anthony. I have to admit though that if they were mine I'd open every last one and then reseal them with appropriate sized pieces of blank cardboard.

My story is kind of boring. I was in Cape May, NJ around 1980 when I was about 14 and saw some odd yet familiar looking Topps packs for sale. Out of curiosity I bought one and it turned out to be from the '74 series. I bought up all they had hoping to stockpile a bunch of those Washington National League cards.

the weird thing is that it was a newsstand not a memorabilia store and they were selling the cards as if they were the current series.

Giants 37 Patriots 3

Howard

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  #40  
Old 02-04-2008, 03:14 PM
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Posted By: TONY Galovich

Best pack rip was back in 1985, busted a 1954 bowman 5 baseball pack,
Got #64, #65 & #66, don't recall the commons
Not bad for A $100 investment

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  #41  
Old 02-04-2008, 06:08 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

Can we assume that #66 was Ted....or, was it Jimmy ?

I opened my best pack back in the Fall of '52....a 52T that contained #391 Sam Chapman, #394 Billy Herman, #341 Hal Jeffcoat,
#346 George Spencer, and #311 Mickey Mantle.

TED Z

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  #42  
Old 02-10-2008, 01:54 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: dodgersin9

I opened a 1971 vending box in about 1998. From the 4th and 5th series. Many of the cards were O/C, including an otherwise mint Nolan Ryan, but there were some nice cards also. Got a couple mint Killebrews that later graded PSA 9, 2 Clementes that later graded PSA 9 and PSA 8, a PSA 9 Jim Palmer, and a few PSA 9 commons. The surprising thing was the low number of 9s. Based on the prices these go for at auction, I think people assume that vending boxes are loaded with 9s (or 10s- there were none in my box) but that is not always the case. I think I got only about a dozen 9s out of the box, although the Clemente by itself made it a good find. I think I sent in about 100 cards for grading, and ended up with mostly 8s but also some 7s. Only those cards I sent in were worth a chance of grading- all the others had issues, including dinged corners centering, etc. I ended up trading the Clemente for a complete EX/MT to NM/MT set of raw 68s, a deal I regret now. The prices today for unopened vending from '71 are, in my opinion, way high given the low chances of finding a lot of high grade cards. By the way, there were about 530 cards in the vending box, not 500. I thought that was cool, getting an "extra" 30 cards. Botom line though- I thoroughly enjoyed opening the vending box, and if I ever get another, I will probably open it as well.

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Old 02-11-2008, 12:49 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Paul S

Neat story, Dodgersin9. I think '71s in general suffer from OC -- visually even more so with those black borders -- which also makes the edges and corners appear more pronounced, as the white underneath shows through easily. I bought all mine in packs at the time, with a lot of dupes of HOFers and stars. I have about 6 of Yaz, only one of which has decent centering. One thing though, they've all kept their gloss, for what that's worth.

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Old 02-29-2008, 03:54 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: NickM

A few years ago (probably 2003 or 2004) I found 11 packs of 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Basketball at a card store for $2.50 each. I found 3 autographs in the packs - Bob Knight, Kareem, and George Mikan.

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Old 02-29-2008, 05:38 PM
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Default Best Box or Pack you ever opened???

Posted By: Ricky Y

1975. I went to a local 7-11 and bought a box of 1975 topps..I was wigged out as I opened them and all the cards were like 1/2 the size of normal...heh it was the Mini box.

I hated them so I stashed them away until many moons later and I found out that 75 cards came in both regular and mini size. I decided to put together a complete mini set and looked through my old stash and found 2 pairs of Brett and Yount rookies.

I kept one of each and sold the lesser condition ones and it paid for the cost of building the rest of my complete set.

I also fondly remember going to my local Grant Dept store and Thrifty drug stores and buying 1973 and 1974 rack and cello packs trying to beat my friends into being the first ones in the neighborhood to complete the bb sets.

Ricky Y

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