Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Obak to the Future: 2011 Obak pack busting

Sunday was a good day for retail pack hunting as far as I was concerned. I managed to find Topps Stickers, Topps Chrome, and TriStar Obak all at the only Target I checked. Remember, there are three within 10 minutes of my house, and they're all in the same direction. Now, so far it wasn't great for pack ripping, as the Chrome rack pack revealed nothing special. Will the two five-card Obak packs provide something big?
 Each pack has five cards, including one mini. There's a shot at parallels, mini parallels, autographs, mini autographs, and cut autographs. This pack was full of base cards. And the mini:
 Even with a bunch of (really) old players and no parallels, I can use the mini and Barnes for the Cardboard Zoo. Plus, Pop Lloyd and Jack Chesbro are needed for my awards/leaders collection.
 And now, a modern player! Griffey's going right for the PC. Commissioner Frick is needed for the HOF part of my awards/leaders collection. I could do without the 300+ pound president Humpty Dumpty. Clements is famous for being the first catcher to wear a chest protector. Which means he's a wimp. That would be like a major league shortstop wearing one of those softball face masks. I'm not going to debate girls using them, since they're closer to home plate and thus have less time to react.
And Hank Greenberg for the mini, the only baseball player in the pack not wearing a baseball uniform. I need this card for the awards/leaders collection.

Review: These are the first two packs of Obak I've opened, ever. I've been interested in busting a box in the past, but it never materialized. I like the backgrounds behind the players. They feel surreal and sometimes alien, especially with the black-and-white photo placed over the color backgrounds. Thanks to the use of retired players, especially pre-war stars, I'm finding much more value per pack than active-player sets. Seven of the ten cards are headed to my various collections, which is much better than Topps Chrome (two were kept from the rack pack; an additional four could have been kept if the product was brand new to me - 6 out of 15 cards had possible places in my stacks).

The use of unique backgrounds, older lesser-used subjects, and baseball history in the product means there is a lot to enjoy. As usual with TriStar, there are no real inserts to collect, so autographs and parallels are the only chase cards.


  1. If you won't debate girls using them, then I will. I think I'm allowed since I played softball for 14 years. It started with the younger pitchers wearing them, like you said, since they are so close to the plate. And I guess I can understand that if it helps with their confidence. But then it progressed to corners, middle infielders, and even OUTFIELDERS! Seriously, if you're that afraid of the ball, then go be a cheerleader or something. I played third base, most of the time even with the pitcher, and the worst thing that happened was I took a shot off my ankle once. Not that big of a deal.

    On a card related note, I'm glad you busted a couple of these packs because I had always wondered what these cards looked like. I see them in Target all the time, but am never curious enough to purchase some. I love that Greenberg, with him being in his military uniform. Beautiful cards with some interesting backgrounds.

  2. I coached high school softball (varsity and JV) for a year and while none of our players wore the masks I saw a couple girls with them (mainly pitchers, but I think a 3B had one too). I have to agree with you that if you're afraid of the ball at the varsity level you don't need to be on the field. I have heard of a couple cases of players wearing masks (like John Olerud with his helmet, and I think Chris Sabo with his goggles) because of previous hits or existing conditions. The bones get soft or cracked and another hit can cause serious damage, or a hit to the head could be pretty serious. (But as a baseball player I always made sure I had a cup on.)

    I'm glad you like the Obak. I went back to Target and looked for some, but the few that were left had been opened by some loser jerk probably looking for an autograph. If I find more I'll most likely pick 'em up.

  3. 2010 Obak Hobby boxes are down to $47.

    I had to wear a facemask/goggles after an orbital fracture for a year for any sport... never heard the end of it.

  4. Damn, I really like that Greenberg I wish it was for trade haha.