Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ginter Thoughts (or, Things I Learned While Opening a Blaster)

These cards seem weird... off... are they thinner?

Every year it seems I'm less and less excited about the prospects of a new set of Topps Allen & Ginter World's Champions (sometimes known as Allen & Ginter's World's Champions). This revival brand is marking its tenth anniversary this year, and if you were paying attention the other day on Twitter you already saw some of my snap judgments. For example, I have no idea who this James Murray guy is. Apparently he's from some TV show (Impractical Jokers?) I'd never heard of. Bill Murray would have been great. Hell, I would have settled for Brian Doyle-Murray over this guy. Fortunately, The Dimwit is taking this unspecified piece of memorabilia off my hands.

Here are some other things I was feeling while opening my first blaster box of the year:

I actually like the big insert set for once. Every year, going back to before this set was bloated with more inserts than actual base cards, there was always one commonly present but often tough to complete large insert set, usually focused on the baseball players themselves. More often than not, the designs were tedious and the cards were difficult to distinguish from one another. This time around, it's just a tightly framed photo of a player supposedly making his major league debut, along with a little "this day in baseball history" on the back. This gave me a little something I hadn't seen before (or much of, anyway), which is Adrian Gonzalez in a Texas Rangers uniform.

Banshees are creepy whether or not they're screaming and wailing or just hanging out in a shroud on a so-called baseball card.

Short prints are hardly short prints. Sure, your mileage will vary when you step into the retail (6 cards per pack vs. the usual 8 for hobby) pool, but I pulled 25 non-SP base cards and 4 SP, or roughly 8.3% of the non-SP base set and 8% of the SP base set. As soon as they stuffed even more full sized inserts into this set, short prints a concept in name only. Not that I'm complaining, of course, but they may as well do away with the whole SP thing in general.

John Lackey knows how to smile. I had no idea.

The different colored borders this year threw me for a loop. Hopefully there aren't color-variations of certain cards. If so, I don't want to know.

This might be the worst A&G card of all time. Happy Anniversary! Now that you've read this, I regret to inform you that you've got polio.

I'm not really sure what to say about Puck. Whoever wrote the copy of the back of the card seemed rather disinterested as well. "A name for an elf or sprite, some have called him a fairy, hobgoblin or imp named Robin Goodfellow." (What?)

I like birds. But that isn't something I just learned.

Taiaha was the weapon of choice of the Maori people. This is good Ginter.

It's possible to look a little defeated when you've lost your Achilles tendon. This is Waino card #205.

I'll put up a want list some day. Hopefully I will be able to find some discounted stuff at the card show that's coming up in a week and a half.


  1. I'm working on the minis and the Keys to the City sets if you get any extras! Also, there are no short prints in this year's base set. Cards 301+ ARE still short printed in the mini variations however. Topps is weird.

  2. Impractical Jokers is a great show - give it a shot.

  3. I, too, kind of like the big "Starting Points" insert set this year. If nothing else, it includes cards of a lot of guys in unfamiliar uniforms, like what you mentioned with Adrian Gonzalez as a Ranger. (Also, Jose Bautista as an Orioles, Anthony Rizzo as a Padre, etc.)

  4. I had that same exact thought about the colored borders when I saw them. Unfortunately I think this set is getting a big MEH from me for the year. That's probably good, given the state of my cardboard finances at the moment.


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