That's right, you're going to READ it. All.
I'm a little full of myself right now, as High Heat Stats and Rob Neyer (yeah, that Rob Neyer) tweeted and retweeted a link to my last post. It's probably going to be in the top eight of my highest trafficked posts ever in about another three hours. And I thought web bots just had a fixation with the number 99.
Anyway, as mentioned in the last post, a single pack of this year's edition of Ginter found its way into my home even though I'm out of cash for the next few hours. The card fairies continue to do good work. Especially that one fantastic-looking one.
I will be opening this pack right here. It's sure to be boring, full of the same exact cards you've been viewing for the last two days, and packed with non-ballplayers. But you're going to read it anyway. Oh, you'll claim that you only looked at the pictures, but I write for a living. I've heard that line of B.S. for like 20 years. It's all lies.
Time to open the pack:
#263 - Jason Motte, Cardinals
I have nothing to say about Mr. Motte. So, right away I get to discuss the design.
I sort of like it. I like frames. The art deco theme could have gotten busy very quickly, but the design is less obvious in hand than it is on the scans. It's very understated. Not at all like that horrifying Gypsy Queen gargoyle fest.
#137 - George Brett, Royals
Ginter is going with the retired greats in the set this year, which is OK, I guess. They're already in every other set. At least pulling a Brett is a lot better than pulling another Mantle.
But I want to discuss something that I find more concerning -- the cropping habits in A&G.
The Brett crop is very close to a photo-editing no-no. You don't crop at the waist (or the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees or ankles). Brett almost -- almost -- looks like he has no legs.
I've noticed this in several other cards in the set. So far it's been nothing worse than Brett, but I fear there's a horrifying Ginter card out there that could be as atrocious as this:
This might be one of the worst cards of all-time in terms of crop jobs. Dear baby Jesus, Upper Deck made King Felix look like a quadruple amputee. That is unforgivable. Just awful. I'm sorry, Felix, that I had to show this card.
So I hope there are no Ginter cards of any players hopping around on their hips.
#14 - Nick Markakis, Orioles
I do not get along with horizontal Ginter cards. I don't think they should exist. Horizontal orientation really hurts the minis, in particular. But I've been babbling about this for years and Topps ain't paying no attention. At least this one looks pretty good. I think the frame really helps the card in this case. I'll have to see how the other horizontals look.
#WTB6 - Empire State Building, World's Tallest Buildings
The ESB returns to A&G as an insert. I don't know how I feel about that (it was a base card in 2008). I rather like the weird and quirky appearing in the base set. Other card sets are for super serious ballplayers.
#GD-5 - Beluga Whale, Giants of the Deep mini
"Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea, swim so wild and you swim so free. Heaven above and the sea below, and a little white whale on the go.
Ba-by be-LOOG-a. Ba-by be-LOOG-a. Is the water warm? Is your mamma home?"
Yes, I just subjected you to Raffi. I'm sorry, the card came out of the pack and I immediately flashed to when my daughter was 2 and songs like these were all I heard. It's the only other time a Beluga whale has ever been relevant in my life. What can I say? Besides, you're the one READING this.
#WIN29 - Nolan Ryan, What's in a Name insert
This is the impossibly large insert in this year's Ginter. I used to really like these series, but then they got bloated and fat last year and I'm immune to them now. All these are is an excuse to provide a player's full name, which Donruss was doing in the '80s (and Topps was doing in the '50s). The back has a little anecdote. I have my doubts about how informative they all are.
But the card looks nice.
Crack the Code ad
I can tell you right now, I don't want this guy sitting next to me on a plane.
OK, there you are. That's my first pack of 2012 A&G.
Am I going to buy more? Am I going to try to complete the set? Am I going to make a last-minute decision to join Gint-a-Cuffs? Are there monkeys on the roof? Is Rob Neyer reading this right now?
Yes. Maybe. No. Probably. I doubt it.
But you are.
Stay tuned for more Ginter.