Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some more semi-cranky observations on 2014 Allen and Ginter

I received a blaster of Allen and Ginter for my birthday. It's about time. After nearly a decade of broadcasting my love for baseball cards, people are beginning to realize that this is not a phase I am going through and that, "wow, I guess he really does like these things."

The most interesting card out of the blaster was the above card of Desmond Jennings. Yes, a Tampa Bay Ray was the most interesting card. More on that later.

First some observations:

1. Topps' collation sucks never collect modern cards put down those cards right now and RUN, RUN, RUN to vintage: I don't know if I'm just more observant and cynical about these things than in years past but seven of the 31 base cards that I pulled out of the blaster were dupes. That's 25 percent after opening only two A&G blasters and no other packs. That seems pretty high to me. Almost obnoxiously high. Someone crunch the numbers and see if I should be as irked as I am.

2. 2008 is not "yore": First of all, this is a terrific insert set and I'm sure everyone who opens a pack of A&G is collecting it. But word choice is important. Sure, Shea Stadium doesn't exist anymore. But it did exist six years ago. "Yore" is men in tights and "History Of The World, Pt. 1". It is not Wii Fit and frozen yogurt. I started a blog in 2008, for crying out loud. I am NOT Yore!

3. What is it about Expos uniforms that turn me into a goopy mess of nostalgia?: I love, love this card. It's not because it's Tim Raines, because actually I'm sick of hearing about Raines and how he belongs in the Hall. Yes I get it, I agree, stop mentioning it every two weeks, now please just go away. I love the card because of the uniform and the helmet. I am now more of an Expos fan than I ever was when the team existed -- by far. It's like I'm one of those dirtbag boyfriends who cheats on his girlfriend until she leaves and then gets all pathetic about how she was the only woman for him. COME BACK EXPOS, COME BACK!!!!!!!

4. How much did this site shell out to get included in this set?: This is one of the cards that I was referring to in my last Ginter post. We're supposed to collect a card of this guy because he created a supposedly popular blog. I had never heard of "Barstool Sports" before I found out its creator was in the set. When I googled the site, I suddenly missed those blissful days when I didn't know what Barstool Sports was. Don't click this link if you don't want to be dumber. What a steaming pile of every internet stereotype this thing is. I looked at it for no more than a minute and saw references to Hooters girls, Charlie Sheen and hot sorority chicks. I like pretty girls as much as the next guy, and really where would the world be without boobs, but this site makes me feel like I'm going to contract 47 different viruses, computer or otherwise, after viewing it for 30 seconds. Why is Topps recognizing this? And why oh why in the name of under-the-table deals is there a second card of another Barstool Sports blogger? If A&G is turning into a commercial for stupid shit, I'll stop collecting it. Because A&G used to be known as a set where you could learn something -- other than what the latest teacher sex scandal is.

4. Before I get too grouchy, here's what I still like about A&G: There is no other set on the planet where you can pull minis of both Brooks Robinson and Deion Sanders. That's one of the many reasons why I keep coming back and hopefully will continue to do so. Both of these cards made my frankenset mini binder.

5. Speaking of Orioles (and Braves): Why can't I have this kind of luck with Dodgers? Out of the four Pastime's Pastimes I pulled three were Orioles. I'm pretty sure I pulled the entire Orioles set in one blaster. The other PP was a Brave. By the way, Chris Davis' "pastime" is working out, which I'm pretty sure is part of his job.

6. This is not a black border: This is what passes for a black border this year. It is not a black border. There are rows of white in that border. Black borders are black. Still, Kipnis goes in the frankenset binder because it likes to laugh at me, which is why I have two cards of Jason Kubel sitting right next to each other in it.

7. OK, back to Desmond: What you see on the front is a common variety base card of Desmond Jennings. He is listed as card #114 in the set.

Let's turn the card over:

There is no card number on the back.

Now I'm accustomed to seeing no-number backs on minis, but I've never seen one on the back of a regular base card.

So, the obvious question is: Does this have to do with the Ginter Code?

If it does, I'll never know because I have a job and I don't do codes. The other possibilities are a printing error, a variation, or something I didn't think about because -- ha, ha! -- someone is always bringing up something I didn't think about.

It seems that others are pulling the same thing. Crackin' Wax did a case break and pulled a mess of Jennings no numbers. And the folks at Twitter have already weighed in by claiming "all of them are like that." I don't know how they've seen every Desmond Jennings A&G card that exists, but that's what they say.

But mostly I just want folks to know that there are NO-NUMBERED BASE CARDS.


More meddlin' in the base set.


  1. Your semi-cranky observation saved me $10 that I was going to spend this weekend on A&G.

    Thank I might get through July without being tempted to spend a dime.....did I say thank you!!??

  2. I have my thoughts on what should/could be improved in Ginter as well. For one, I miss the days of getting cards of revolving doors and Old Faithful. Where are my bridges and other assorted inanimate objects in the base set? Two, while I did enjoy getting some legendary players in my Ginter last year, I'd prefer to see fewer legends and more current players. Three, where's the soccer love? Seems strange given that this was a World Cup year. Four, ok, I'll stop here lest anyone think I hate Ginter (I most definitely do not - it's one of my favorite sets every year)!

  3. I can happily say I have never bought any A&G, a set full of gimmicks and almost completely posed non-action photos, I couldn't think of anything less appealing.

  4. As a Mets fan I would like to say that one would have to work pretty hard to come up with a less interesting photo of Shea Stadium. Blue cladding, an American flag, a satellite dish, some trucks, a bunch of light poles.

    If they really wanted to play up the "Fields Of Yore" angle, they could've at least featured the blue and orange 1960's rectangles that used to be on the outside.

  5. Among all the crankiness, can I just say that this year's design looks GREAT on the minis?

  6. 1) If I bought a blaster I wouldn't get one single Oriole. I WOULD get two or three copies of that Nationals' pitcher with the too tall cap.

    2) That Tim Raines card is terrific!

    3) I'm going to get my A&G thrills vicariously this year just reading your posts.

  7. Just to continue your crankiness a bit, another card in the Fields of Yore set is that long lost stadium, Wrigley Field. Yes they actually included a current stadium in Fields of Yore. This was such a fantastic idea for an insert set, probably the best one A&G has had in a while maybe ever, and they screw it up. It's not ruined, but it could have been so much better with the inclusion of Forbes Field, Milwaukee County Stadium, Shibe Park, and the Polo Grounds. Possibly even going way back with Bennett Park or Baker Bowl (the original Bandbox). It could have been so great, but alas Topps managed to disappoint yet again.

  8. I actually pulled the same Clancy card. I instantly thought they could have picked a better blogger to feature. YOU! BTW, if you must get rid of the 3 Pastime's Pastimes O's, I pulled a Kershaw A&G back mini I could offer you.

  9. That Raines is awesome! I love the team history, the uniforms, and a bunch of players that suited up for the Expos.

  10. They say there's a whole set of unnumbered, but I got two Jennings in two hobby boxes too. I think he's the only one...