I normally try to space out Gint-a-Cuffs posts a little more to give the A&G haters a break. But since I have only four packs left, and I don't like posting these things on the weekend, I'll throw this one post in and we can all say "Phew!" together.
One thing I want to know with this year's A&G is: where the hell are all the autographs? You used to get at least one per box. I can recall only a handful of people pulling an autographed card out of this year's version. What's with the difficulty? Again, I like A&G for the base cards and the crazy variety, but a declining rate of autos is not a selling point.
All right, enough whinery. Time for Packs 21-24, which historically have been the dullest packs of the box.
50 - Carl Crawford, Red Sox (0 points)
28 - John Lindsey, Dodgers (+1 favorite team)
It's very cool that Lindsey is in this set after so long in the minors. But I don't get why Topps included him. He's hardly a prospect. His minor league career is listed on the back. And I quote: "One Thousand Four Hundred Forty Six" Games Played.
149 - Lars Anderson, Red Sox (0 points)
87 - Colby Lewis, Rangers (0 points)
173 - Mariano Rivera, Yankees (-1 for getting mixed up with the wrong crowd)
16 - Gordon Beckham, White Sox (+3 code card)
I believe these code cards replace short prints in packs. So, if you're not trying to crack the code and just collecting the set, these are your least favorite cards.
SRU1 - The Bed of Nails (+3 Step Right Up mini insert)
The write-up on the back makes it seem like this really isn't that difficult of a trick.
HH52 - Ian Kinsler, Rangers (+1 Hometown Heroes insert)
Pack 21 total: 7 points
Total through 21 packs: 190 points
292 - Wade Davis, Rays (0 points)
75 - Jose Reyes, Mets (0 points)
276 - Desmond Jennings, Rays (0 points)
22 - Michael Bourn, Astros (0 points)
215 - Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (0 points)
348 - Russell Martin, Yankees (+2 for short-print, -1 for immersing himself in Yankeeness, +1 total)
337 - Drew Storen, Nationals mini (+3 short-print mini)
HH38 - Andre Ethier, Dodgers (+1 favorite team, +1 Hometown Heroes insert, +2 total)
Hey! Dodger mojo is in the back of the box this time.
Pack 22 total: 6 points
Total through 22 packs: 196 points
249 - Carlos Ruiz, Phillies (0 points)
293 - Royal Wedding (0 points)
256 - Hunter Pence,
183 - Mike Napoli, Rangers (0 points)
124 - Chad Billingsley, Dodgers (+1 favorite team)
AOM6 - Platyhelminthes (Flatworms) (+1 Ascent of Man insert)
My wife's favorite card and least favorite card came in the same pack.
PP1 - Antonio Meucci, telephone (+3 Portraits of Penutimacy insert)
This insert set stumps me, particularly this card. "Penultimate" means "second-to-last" doesn't it? Yet, all of these cards celebrate people who were the second to do something, as in "second-to-first." And then there is this card, in which Meucci was the first (ahead of Alexander Graham Bell) to come up with an electromagnetic communicator device. Either Topps screwed up, or it's too smart for me.
HH88 - Roy Oswalt, Phillies (+1 Hometown Heroes insert)
With the rough weather down there the last few years, we've heard about Oswalt's hometown a little too often.
Pack 23 total: 8 points
Total through 23 packs: 204 points
Hey! Over 200 points! Yay underachieving me!
65 - Ryan Howard, Phillies (0 points)
220 - Prince Fielder, Brewers (0 points)
209 - Guy Fieri, TV cook guy
I don't pay attention the shows he's on. Part of it is because I try to generally avoid men who have frosted tips. Also, with all the overblown personalities among cooks/chefs on television are regular cooks getting concerned that their profession is misrepresented? Yes, I think about these things.
41 - Carlos Santana, Indians (0 points)
109 - Martin Prado, Braves (+2 favorite player card)
I will not look a gift card in the mouth.
307 - Ryan Ludwick, Padres (+2 short print)
211 - Francisco Rodriguez, Mets (+2 A&G back mini card)
FF20 - USS Pennsylvania (+2 Floating Fortress insert)
Pack 24 total: 8 points
Total through 24 packs: 212 points
Total for the box: 212 points
I think among the official totals, and the others who have posted their totals, that puts me in second place overall.
However, I know there are many people who have not posted yet, including some who have a history of getting very cool boxes. In other words, they are not getting hits of Ian Desmond.
Still, I have a hell of a lot of fun doing this every year. And I'm sad every time it's over.
Thanks, Gint-a-Cuffs for another enjoyable summer.
I plan to post an Allen & Ginter want list in the next few days.
I already know I need two Clayton Kershaw cards.