So this past week, one would find me celebrating my birthday 12th 21st birthday the way I always do – with baseball cards, good food and cheesecake.  During my lunch break, before going out to eat with the fam, we went to hit up a few targets and wal-marts.  I normally don’t buy full-priced boxes, and usually only buy full collections, but I thought I would go ahead and splurge, since you only turn 21 12 times! 

At target, my wife left my son and I to rummage through all the blaster boxes, and here he came:  a man who was all business, barrelling to the ’12 bowman.  He swiftly grabbed all of the loose 2012 bowman packs from the gravity box, spread them out on the conveyer belt of the unoccupied checkout station.  I looked back and said “wow, you must really like ’12 bowman!  There are some blaster boxes over here too.”  He then reached in his pocket to pull out some calculator thingy and place packs on it one by one.  “I can’t tell if there are any autographs in those though.” he responded. 


Have I just stumbled across a pack searcher???  Previously, I had only read online how evil these people are, and how they rip off everyone by sucking the good stuff from stores.  Certainly, they were discreet in doing these things, and not in front of others. 

Nope, nothing discreet here.  He was setting up shop and going to town. 

“There are about four of us in the area that do this full time.  I have been to 70 stores.  See this?  This pack weighs 2.35 ounces, instead of 2.29 ounces.  This means that there is a card in here with a sticker that has an autograph.” 

My jaw hath dropped.  How is this ok? 

He dug with his nails at the back of the pack “see here … the autograph is always 4th from the back, and if you push them back, you can see the initials of the card….JG is the one here.”

He then proceeded to pull out his smart phone to find out who it is. 

My mind was racing … what do I do?  Do I take a picture of him in action to show this monster in action?  Do I tell him it isn’t fair to everyone else buying?  Is it ok for him to do this?  What right does he…

“Uhm, excuse me … I don’t think I can use this auto.  Would you like to buy it?” 

“YES!  Thank you so much.  That is so nice of you!”

I admit, my mind blanked while I said yes and was on my way to the checkout station.  Was I a hypocrite?  Wait … did I even think it was wrong that he was doing this?  Surely there is justification somewhere in here, seeings how I was not the one who searched the pack.  ‘Twas merely a gift.  Yes, a gift!  No matter what people’s stance are on this situation, one thing was for sure – I wasn’t about to turn this down. 

Later on that night, we went around to get some more boxes, and lo & behold – I found SIX 2011 Topps value boxes.  I was rather pleased, as I had heard that these puppies had been sucked back up by Topps.  Gladly, I grabbed them all, plus some Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginters. 

While I didn’t pull anything phenomenal from any of the boxes I bought, I did have a really fun time opening them with my wife and son.

Some of the boxes I dove into for my bday.