Rand: A baseball card flashback

  • Updated: January 27, 2013 - 11:18 PM

The lure of a box of 36 packs of 1989 Fleer at TwinsFest proved irresistable.

hide

For a meager $10, a mangled cardboard box transported a baseball fan back to his youth at TwinsFest.

Photo: Michael Rand, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Saturday morning took a decided turn for the nostalgic. With some time to spare, we hopped on the light rail and headed to the Metrodome for what could be the final TwinsFest held there before demolition makes way for the new Vikings stadium.

As with most previous trips to this midwinter Twins gathering, the overall objective wasn't really decided until stepping onto the spongy fake-grass field and taking a walk around. After stopping to watch some whiffle ball and buying a discounted shirt, a cluster of tables on the perimeter featuring baseball cards caught our eye.

As an avid collector once -- somewhere between 1985 and 1991 would have been the heyday -- cards still occasionally tug at the heart. Most of the vendors were selling individual cards (many of them with a Twins theme, naturally). Our thrill, though, never has come from knowing exactly what was being bought. If given a choice, it was always to buy packs of cards instead of individuals or sets.

Packs were few and far between Saturday, or so it seemed. Then, out of nowhere, it appeared: a box of 36 packs of 1989 Fleer. The box itself was badly mangled -- held together by multiple strips of tape. But the packs were pure. And for $10, the entire thing could be had.

Back in 1989, $10 was a significant sum of money to some of us. But now? Well, suddenly, the mission had been decided: Not only did a purchase need to be made, but the packs needed to be opened IMMEDIATELY. And where better to do that than up in the blue plastic Metrodome seats.

There is a sensory experience involving the tearing open of a pack of baseball cards that can immediately transport a person back in time. That was the feeling in those blue seats. These were Fleer cards, so there was no gum -- probably a good thing nearly a quarter-century after being manufactured because trying the gum would have been considered.

We looked at the cards stat-side first, trying to guess the player based on his team and his production (and being a little too good at it, confirming many misspent hours of childhood).

We came upon a Billy Ripken card (stat-side first) and slowly turned it over to see if it was the infamous error card with an obscenity scrawled on his bat (turns out it was a corrected version).

We separated out the good and bad cards, making five total piles to our right with the carnage of empty wrappers to the left. Among the highlights: Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson rookie cards and, for good measure, a Kirby Puckett card.

The Griffey card, according to some online value guides, is worth the $10 spent on the box. Either way, scratching a nostalgic itch definitely was worth it on Saturday morning.

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 3:00 PM
San Jose
Boston 6:00 PM
Toronto
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Montreal
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Dallas 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Nashville
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Florida 8:00 PM
Arizona
Washington 9:00 PM
Calgary
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Los Angeles 1:30 PM
Seattle
D.C. 3:00 PM
Montreal
Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close