Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Yesterday, I completed the 2010 Allen & Ginter set. Reader Scott contacted me and sent me the last four cards I needed.

That included the Ervin Santana card, and these three others:

Not a terribly exciting quartet there, but the set is official and that is what matters most.

It's the third straight year I've completed the A&G set. Each year I complete it right around this time. A year ago it was in December. Two years ago I completed it exactly two days before I did this year.

As usual, bloggers and other readers are the only way I can finish off this thing. I don't have the money to buy multiple boxes or even multiple blasters. And the only reason I was able to complete it more quickly than last year is because of the mutant blaster.

So, I owe a big thanks to you all for helping me wrap up the only modern set I plan to complete each year.

But I think you can sense the excitement missing in my write-up.

It's not that I'm not pleased. I am.

I'm just not as enthused as before.

Part of it is newness has worn off. Part of it is that I wasn't crazy about the look of A&G this year -- probably my least favorite of them all. Part of it is the realization that there are too many rookies in the set.

And I know that means some of you are waiting for me to say it, that I'm bored with A&G and it's time to retire the set.

But I'm not gonna.

Maybe I am bored with A&G. I haven't figured that part out yet. I don't know if I'm going to collect it next year, which is a huge change in viewpoint from the last three years. The summer has a way of changing things. There is Gint-a-Cuffs in the air, and I actually have some cash then, so who knows.

But I definitely don't think A&G should be retired.

The set is wildly popular. Still. Obviously people have an interest in it. I totally see why they do, year-after-year, too. To suggest that Topps step back from that and turn away all the collectors who love it, is fantasy. It makes no sense.

Tweaking it, I can see.

For example, I can do without the sketch cards.

This thing, which I also received from Scott -- and let me stress that I asked for this card -- is frightening. I don't know who that is, but it's not Andre Ethier. It looks like Andre-the-Giant's illegitimate child.

Maybe breathing some life into some of the inserts would help. The minis I still love.

There's another one from Scott.

The non-baseball subjects mixed with the baseball subjects I still love, too. I just think there needs to be something a little more interesting to get me to go back for year four. I can't deal with another year of pale green backgrounds. I feel like I'm staring at a hospital wall.

Next year will be interesting for me collecting-wise. I have no commitment to any set, and that's the first time I can say that in five years.

It will take something special to get me to collect a set with a 2011 copyright date.


  1. I think it would help if they made them all black bordered like the mini insert set.

  2. Ethier looks like Richard Simmons.

  3. Oh, c'mon. It's the mid-November ennui. Stop listening to the Smiths and the Cure, dressing in all black and pontificating about Sartre (that olde fartre). Have some fresh fruit. LIVE!

    As soon as those packs turn up in Target or your hobby store, you'll be ringing the cash registers.

  4. A&G is my favorite set, although I am hoping for better artwork in 2011. Congrats on completing it!

  5. Ethier looks like the shorter of the 80's duet Air Supply. Sickening.

  6. I think the sketch card is an obvious guerilla marketing tool for this summer's biggest baseball blockbuster.

    Tom Hanks is Andre Ethier.

    Coming soon to a theater near you.