17 October 2013

Pack of the Day 35: This Seems a Little Relic-ulous

I was at Target the other day looking for cards, and I saw some 2013 Panini Football Rookies & Stars packs that looked a little bit different from the blue ones I was used to seeing. It had only 5 cards per pack and said Longevity in place of the Rookies & Stars tagline on the front. But I didn't see the Longevity thing until later. I thought I would buy a pack of it and a pack of the regular Rookies & Stars cards to compare what you get in a pack.

While I was there I also grabbed another Rack Pack of Rookies & Stars and a clearance-priced blaster of 2013 Topps Archives. It would sure be nice to pull a Mike Trout Gold parallel out of a pack, as the card alone can cost as much as a Hobby Box. I missed out on one that was on eBay a few days ago with a But It Now of $25, but it must have only been listed for an hour or two.

First up is the regular pack of Rookies & Stars football. This is not really anything we haven't seen before, with nine base cards and a basic insert. I just like looking at these cards. I've seen complaints about the big stripe up the side, but I like it. What I don't like is pulling Joe Flacco out of every pack I open.

And four more players I don't really give a flip about. I think a couple of them were needed for my set, though, so they are not entirely useless.

The insert was one of those pack filler Game Plan cards, distinguishable from a base card by virtue of a different design layout and a little bit of foil. I also got a base card of Larry Fitzgerald. A while back I had the habit of drafting him in Fantasy Football leagues, only to be disappointed yet again. Elite Wide Receivers are almost never worth the price you pay for them on draft day, because they tend to disappear for a few games out of the year, typically whichever ones are really key for your season. Running Backs tend to get their touches no matter what, but when it comes to the passing game things are a little more dependent on the defense they're going up against.

So what is this Longevity stuff? It appears to be a shiny version of the regular Rookies & Stars set, almost like a Topps Chrome, only the finish on the cards is more foil than gloss. I don't even know if that makes sense, but they remind me of a 94-95 Upper Deck SE Basketball card of Grant Hill that I once pulled from a pack. It was one of the bigger hits of my young collecting days, especially if I can remember pulling it when so many other big moments of my life are foggy at best.

There isn't much of note among my five cards. I guess that Reggie Wayne is pretty good. But this pack had six cards in it...

Instead of a cardboard filler, I got this Dress for Success relic card of DeAndre Hopkins, a Wide Receiver for the Texans. It's slightly better than cardboard filler. We'll see if he pans out and sticks in the NFL.

The next thing I busted open was the Archives Baseball blaster. The first pack I busted open had this Justin Verlander relic card in it, so this was my second relic card of the night. It's pretty cool, and it's an upgrade to Game-Used rather than the Event-Used of the Hopkins card.

I already had both of the short-prints that came out of the box, so it was disappointing not to get any of the 8 I still need to finish out the set. I also had both of the All-Star cards that I pulled. I think I've got three of the Rickey Henderson cards now.

Same story with the 4-Yankees-in-1 sticker and the Ripken Tall Boy. All of them were already in my collection at least once. But that Derek Jeter Gallery of Heroes card was not one that I had in my collection, and the Gallery of Heroes set seems to be one of the harder ones to find cheaply on the secondary market, although the real expensive stuff seems to be the key Gold parallel cards. I think the relics are 1:40ish packs and the Gallery of Heroes cards are 1:33ish packs, so I had decent luck this time around.

I think that the Dual Fan Favorites cards are a retail-exclusive set. I am not chasing this particular set, but this card is pretty neat. It almost makes me want to complete the set. We'll see how I feel later. It's a pretty nice card, even if the old/new thing gets a lot of play on insert sets.

I had to throw in a few base cards because it wouldn't feel right to just post the hits. I will repost that Derek Holland card as many times as I can. It's that good.

Now I'll get to the Rack Pack of Panini Rookies & Stars I grabbed on the way out of the card aisle.

I didn't even know that Tim Tebow was in this set, but I was pretty happy to get his card in the Rack Pack. It's too bad that he won't open up to playing a different position, as he seems like a decent role model and it seems like he's got enough drive and talent to make it as a tight end or running back or something. I guess the most likely outcome is that he will continue to slowly drift out of the limelight and never get onto an NFL roster again.

Adrian Peterson had quite a rough week as his 2-year-old son died after being beaten by his babysitter, the boyfriend of the boy's mother. The news media has covered about every angle they can on this. I felt pretty terrible the day that it happened, probably mostly because my twin boys are two years old and I can't imagine hurting them or their older brother like that. The media discovered that Peterson may not have ever met the boy, as he only took the paternity test a little while ago and hadn't really done anything in public with him like he has with his other kids. In all the hubbub we tend to forget the important thing, which to me is that a little kid was killed by someone who has no excuse for it.

After that dark spot we have last year's best rookie quarterback and also RG III. Russell Wilson still hasn't lost a game at his home stadium in Seattle. RG III has been dealing with trying to recover from an Achilles injury and who knows if he will live up to his huge potential or if he will spend his career constantly injured and never quite playing 100%, sort of like Michael Vick, although hopefully without the jail time and the dog-fighting ring. A lot of it probably has to do with team context, though, as Wilson is tied to a pretty great all-around team and Griffin is not as well-protected and also has to play from behind a lot with the way his team plays defense.

As far as inserts go, I got a Longevity insert of Matt Barkley, which is apparently different from the Longevity set seen above. It has the same shiny foil treatment, but it has the word Longevity printed in the background several million times, so you know it's an insert.

Oh, and I got the third relic card of the night, a Marquise Goodwin Rookie Materials card, with a fairly large swatch of blue jersey material.

The card is numbered 224, and the back of the pack tells me that Rookie Materials are the last 40 cards of the base set. I wonder how many people really believe that? So not only do you have 100 short-printed rookies, you have 40 super-short-printed relic cards. I may try to finish the 100-card rookie set, but I am not going to chase these relics. The design is decent, but I don't need that kind of stress in my life.

It was a pretty big night for relic cards. I wish I still got as excited about them as I used to, but I have grown jaded and cynical. Apparently Panini has, too, as they are including jersey cards in a lower-budget product as part of the base set. That Verlander card was an all-right pull, although I don't have much use for it. For me the real hit of the night was the Derek Jeter Gallery of Heroes card and the runners-up were the Tim Tebow and Russell Wilson base cards.


  1. Some nice ripping. If you don't have much use for that JV, I could help. Let me know if you'd like to trade it.

    1. I'd be happy to send the Verlander relic your way. I'm sure we can work something out.