Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Great Allen and Ginter Swindle

After skimming the reviews all over the blogs, I did my usual hemming and hawing about diving in to the Allen & Ginter craze that hits every summer or taking the rational approach of buying a bunch of the cards on the cheap when I can actually afford it and when everyone else has bucketloads of doubles. Guess which route I chose?

Pack 1:

28 - Dustin Ackley (Ackley's my first Ginter card of 2012. He's had a really rough season, and it's starting to feel like a dark cloud - figuratively, not just literally this time - hangs over Safeco Field these days. Call it the curse of Richie Sexson or something.)
197 - Ty Cobb (Ol' crankypants who would think nothing of aiming his spikes at your jugular.)
264 - Brian McCann
102 - Huston Street

250 - Brennan Boesch Mini (I like minis.)

336 - Gio Gonzalez (How close are short prints in the A&G set to being "regular" prints? In retail, you tend to get 9 base cards including 1 SP in every 2 packs. If 1 in 9 cards are short printed base cards, and 1 in 7 numbers from 1 to 350 land in that 301-350 range, these only barely qualify as being "short printed" by my rudimentary calculations.)

Pack 2:
21 - Matt Moore
296 - Mark Trumbo (Trumbo the Giant!)
274 - Eric Jeber

BH-10 - Albert Pujols Baseball Highlight Sketches (I've been highly critical of the sketch cards. I'm not saying this is great, either, but at least they've taken steps to improve the design a little bit. This has a bit of a stamp look to it.)

PB-1 - David People of the Bible (I know these must be a direct reaction to the Ascent of Man inserts from last year's set. I find it interesting that there's no information on the back of the card beyond a sort of checklist.)

WIN22 - Matt Kemp What's in a Name? (I can barely tell the difference between the This Day in History cards and Hometown Heroes. And now this? Not cool, Topps. Not cool at all.)

Pack 3:
151 - Jose Valverde
256 - Brandon Morrow

232 - Kate Upton (B.J. Justin Kate Upton looks a bit like Sharon Stone here, which is kind of weird. Did anyone ever think we'd see a Topps trading card with the words "Teach Me How to Dougie" on it in their lifetime?)
84 - Andre Ethier

175 - Luke Hochevar "Black" Mini (Not that I dislike the look of these, but I feel like they're really stretching the use of the word "black".)

345 - Nolan Ryan (I really like that they included a bunch of retired players in this year's set, even though it comes at the expense of frisbee-catching dogs and airguitar wizards.)

Pack 4:

99 - Sandy Koufax (Koufax is new to the Topps gang this year, I believe.)
219 - Ian Kennedy
179 - Cole Hamels

HTP4 - The Reformation Historical Turning Points (Tempestuous is a word that's not used very often in today's society. This card uses said word.)
239 - Liam Hendriks A&G Back Mini (I won't beat the lack of Old Planter thing into the ground except to say that I hope it was some licensing thing. Or, maybe I hope it wasn't some licensing thing. I'm not sure which I'd prefer, incompetence/ignorance or just simply another example of Topps being cheap. Like how the blaster packs just float around in an empty cardboard box now to save 1.7 cents per unit in packaging costs.)
WIN86 - Dan Haren What's in a Name?

Pack 5
144 - Joe Benson
63 - Zach Britton
95 - Felix Hernandez

176 - Babe Ruth (The Babe looks like he's about to get plunked with a water balloon.)

171 - Stephen Strasburg (Who are all these young kids? I can't keep up.)
348 - Chase Headley

Pack 6:

155 - Edinson Volquez (This is the straightest Volquez's cap has ever been worn since he joined the Padres.)
138 - Josh Willingham
236 - Scott Rolen

- Scrap of Paper Code Clue Card (So apparently, this year's Code is just going to be one massive episode of Murder, She Wrote Encyclopedia Brown story (R.I.P.)).

Does this help anybody? Leave me a comment or an email if you're someone who can actually use this. I'm just curious.
157 - Roger Federererer Mini

WIN100 - Zack Greinke What's in a Name?

Pack 7:
39 - Brad Peacock
124 - Jered Weaver (I cackled a little when Joe Buck called him "Jeff" during the All-Star Game and even had to rewind the ol' DVR for a repeat laugh.)

AGR-MCA - Melky Cabrera Framed Relic (Long live the front loaded blaster theory! This has been my primary motivation justification rationalization for buying one of the stupid things as soon as I can get out to Target. These look fantastic, by the way, but I would be willing to trade this for the right price. It's nice to get the ASG MVP, but then again, Melky Cabrera doesn't exactly have the mass collector's appeal.)

MM-3 - Ludwig Van Beethoven Musical Masters (Here's a mini insert concept that works for me. Give me more of these. Erin is going to be all over these as well, I know it.)
333 - Kelly Johnson

Pack 8:
100 - Troy Tulowitzki
103 - Alexi Ogando

55 - Colin Montgomerie (I'm sure this guy is great, but I have no idea...)

WTB3 - Petronas Towers World's Tallest Buildings
125 - Ben Revere Mini

WIN81 - Coco Crisp What's in a Name? (Were it not for Crisp being a Cardinal draft pick originally, I probably would have been pretty surprised to learn about his real name.)

And we've come to the end of the blaster. None of these cards are available to trade except for the Melky jersey card, though I must say it would be really nice to get ahold of a Cardinal relic from this same set or someone from the "players (we) collect" list.


  1. Blaster yay! I'm sorry I can't think of anything clever to say at 3:24 in the morning.

  2. No Sox,Topps sure screwed you...

  3. Would like to have the Bible card. Thanks.

  4. You talk about the lack of shortness in the short prints like it's a bad thing. Topps has turned me off to several Heritage sets over the years just because the SPs are almost impossible to complete on a limited budget.

  5. Not a bad Blaster at all. I've opened A LOT of retail (singles, racks and blasters) and I've yet to pull - one - single - People of the Bible card! I also feel jipped that those backs are nothing more than a glorified checklist. Boo Topps!


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.