Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Collecting Moments of Indecision

Is it time to give Allen & Ginter a rest? 

Every year it seems I question my own sanity and wonder if I should stop collecting the Allen & Ginter set. I enjoyed it the most in 2008, but it's had it's moments over the years as they've continued to add more and more inserts and other silliness. In the end, I always come back to the base cards, and I really don't like them this year.

Last year's design won me over, but I am really not feeling the 2017 version. This is the "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" version of Allen & Ginter.

I don't like it. However, I do like that I got some Cardinals out of this set, courtesy of a huge blaster deal I went in on at a website I don't care to repeat. The deal was one blaster, plus one retail jumbo pack (the $5.99 variety) and a store exclusive 5 card set (not Ginter related) for less than $19. With two of the lots, I qualified for free shipping.

Let's have a look at some more cards from the packs I tore into as soon as they showed up on my doorstep. Topps honored the World's Fairs of the past, a concept that seems like it was ripped out of another dimension at this point in my life.

This is just one full size card, but it makes me wonder if there were too many insert design concepts floating around the office and someone got the clever idea to combine two of them. I haven't gone fishing since I was a little kid, but jerkbait sounds like a funny word to me.

Like many of the inserts, this one has a familiar feel to it, if not exactly recycled.

I don't know my revolutionary battles any more, but I probably should.

There are still mini inserts. This year, we get horses as our featured animal.

The Required Reading minis show that people sure did talk funny in them thar days of yore.

Oh yeah... baseball players! This is a baseball card set, isn't it? The beauty mirror frame looks a little more fitting with this black bordered design.

Cool. I forgot to warn you all, by the way, that this post was going to be a little image heavy.

The big baseball insert set highlights great individual game performances by noteworthy players. This was Ichiro breaking the single season hits record.

Here's Maris's 61. Come to think of it, neither of these last two cards are about a particular great game as they are commemorating the day a big record was broken.

Monorail? I can't even see the word without thinking of the late, great Phil Hartman.

Found along with an absolute atrocity (the double-stamped 1999 buyback), here's a crappy '88 card. I actually used to have a Graig Nettles branded glove when I played Little League, so I have nothing against the man. This is just like upgrading a Taco Bell bean burrito to a Taco Bell bean burrito with extra onions.

Did anyone really call Piazza the Pizza Man? That seems lazy. I don't remember this.

The recently demoted. I'm hoping Piscotty has a big bounceback year in 2018, as we all know Tommy Pham is due to suffer another absurdly unfortunate injury. (JUST KIDDING, HE'LL BE FINE!)

Billy Ripken's bro.

This is more fitting of the concept to me. Here's a guy who isn't a HOFer (or HOFer to be) yet. He just went out and had himself a day. He threw a 2-hit shutout with 9 K and 0 BB one April night.

This looks like it's from a completely different set, reminding me of Tristar Obak or some other weird off-brand thing. Is the "Dude" motif supposed to be clever?

Today's horse.

Another fish and a thing that hooks said fish.

Why, oh why, is "granny" spelled that way?

I scanned this card thinking it was an insert card, but it's just a garden variety mini version of a base card of trees. This apparently commemorates a large (record breaking) scale tree-planting effort.

If you still have a poster on your wall of an active Tigers player, it's probably going to be Verlander. People can talk all the want about how much it makes sense to accumulate prospects and commit to a franchise rebuild, but it's got to be tough to think about selling off your team's history for some unproven kids.

It's time for me to go read some Thoreau and think about what I've done. (I'll just pretend I'm not actually too busy reading Rick Ankiel's memoir right now.)


  1. If you don't want the fish, world's fair or Revolutionary battles cards, I'm sure I could round up some Blazers to take their place...(of course, you're due to get the Blazers anyway, it'd just likely be sooner, LOL)

  2. If you give up on the minis, I could use a lot of those!

  3. Hope you're not giving up on A&G. I just got a big box of trade bait from 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, and some from the years in between! Gypsy Queen too!

  4. My favorite thing about A&G are the non-sports base cards and insert sets. The good news is I'm able to find most of them in dime boxes without actually having to bust any packs. Although this year, I did buy a blaster in hopes of pulling a Judge (I didn't).


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