Thursday, July 12, 2012
Maybe the special interest groups have gotten to Ginter
(Did he really just rip the front off of a blaster like it was some early '60s Post card? What's wrong with him?)
Yes, I did rip up a blaster. Only because my scanner detests three dimensions and I wanted to scan the front but had no patience for scissors. I often keep one empty blaster box of each year of Allen & Ginter (I do this only for A&G). But I have a birthday coming up, so there are blasters in my future.
By the way, have you noticed that the packs inside the A&G blasters aren't secured in some sort of cardboard maze like they usually are? They are just sitting there inside an empty box. Someone could pick up the box and throw it across the store and the packs would be bouncing around everywhere. I wonder if they're all like this? I guess that's why I have to buy more blasters.
Anyway, yes, I bought a blaster today. There was a pile of them in Walmart. And I noticed something different in A&G's presentation, which I'm sure has been noted before, but I'll save that until the end.
This is probably the last break of 2012 A&G that you'll see here, as I won't be doing Gint-a-Cuffs. So I'm going to drone on about this blaster as if I was in Gint-a-Cuffs. Only I won't have to add up points (what a relief!)
If you're wondering how many Dodgers I got out of this thing, the answer is "one." But it's a pretty decent one. If you're wondering how many hits I got out of this thing, the answer is "none."
So if there's anyone still here, this is the first blaster o' the A&G season:
#1 - Albert Pujols, Angels
Card #1 in the set and out of the blaster. How do they do that?
#71 - Curtis Granderson, Yankees
#270 - Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
#102 - Huston Street, Padres, regular back mini
#BH-7 - John Smoltz, Braves, Baseball Highlight Sketches
I've already seen this card four times in other posts. I'm not of fan of the A&G sketches -- most have been icky -- but the presentation is better this year.
#WIN57 - Josh Beckett, Red Sox, What's in a Name
The back marvels about how the top two high school pitchers in the country in 1999 were both named Josh. The writer apparently doesn't live near me, where I have been surrounded by Joshs for the last dozen years. There's one that lives next door!
Crack the code ad, apparently of Joey Pants
#219 - Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks
#179 - Cole Hamels, Philies
#39 - Brad Peacock, Athletics
#124 - Jered Weaver, Angels
#99 - Sandy Koufax, Dodgers, regular back mini
The blaster is an instant success. Very happy about this item. Makes me forget how I pulled more Giants than Dodgers in a pack/rack pack/blaster for the 36th time this year.
#331 - Carl Crawford, Red Sox
The short-print ruins what would have been an All-Pitcher pack (Crawford is the closest out of the cards in this blaster to the poor cropping phenomenon I was mentioning. A&G just sneaks in a few belt loops to avoid the dreaded slashed-at-the-waist look).
#153 - Robinson Cano, Yankees
#204 - Adam Dunn, White Sox
#18 - Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
#WTB10 - Metlife Building, World's Tallest Buildings
#CC4 - Casu Marzu, Culinary Curiosities
OK, if you're eating dinner, put the fork down. Or don't read what I'm about to write.
Casu marzu is a Sardinian sheep milk cheese dish in which cheese fly larvae digest the cheese fat, making the dish soft and soupy. When the food is ready to eat, it contains thousands of maggots. And if that's not bad enough, they hop around when you're eating it.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I am just the messenger.
#WIN71 - Joe Mauer, What's In a Name
#92 - Craig Kimbrel, Braves
#15 - Joel Hanrahan, Pirates
Ah, the ol' Upper Deck move, getting a pitcher to perform a classic batter's pose. I hope his teammates gave him crap for this.
#261 - Michael Taylor, Athletics
#224 - Adam Jones, Orioles (in '70s-style Oriole cap)
#290 - Derek Holland, Rangers, black bordered mini
I appreciate A&G continuing the design theme into the black-border minis, which is something it has rarely done. But this doesn't do it for me. I want to see BLACK borders.
#344 - Matt Dominguez, Marlins, SP
#288 - Alex Rodriguez (3 packs have started with Yankees. I would've gotten slaughtered in Gint-a-Cuffs with this blaster)
#46 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox
#177 - Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks
Gas 'n' Go, Murder in Willow Cove Code thingy
The back of this card features the word "Cove" in giant writing. I think if I was ever going to try to solve one of these codes, this would be it. I may be completely mistaken, but it doesn't appear to be filled with so many numbers and mathematics and stuff that makes me want to rip out my brain and punt it into the street.
I like stories. I like the game Clue. This is more my speed.
But I'm still not solving it.
#125 - Ben Revere, Twins, A&G back
I have no idea why Topps got rid of Old Planter and replaced it with this shield. He was like the face of the set.
#WIN66 - Sparky Anderson, Tigers, What's in a Name
This is how big this insert set is. It not only includes current players and retired players, but retired managers. Always appreciate a card of Sparky, but hoo-boy them's a lot of cards in this series.
#57 - Michael Pineda, Yankees
#212 - Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners
#208 - Martin Prado, Braves
#217 - Brian Wilson, Giants
#39 - Brad Peacock, Athletics, regular back mini
#341 - Colby Lewis, Rangers, SP
Lewis belongs in the era of '60s and early '70s ballplayers when everybody looked like they were 49 when they were really 26.
The card back says he's 32. That's not a 32-year-old. I'm thinking he's 48.
#268 - Angel Pagan, Giants
#210 - Willie Mays, Giants
#185 - Starlin Castro, Cubs
#HT4 - The Reformation, Historical Turning Points
This is one of the more interesting insert sets this year in A&G. You know how much I like moments in history. But if I was collecting an insert set this year, it'd probably be the musicians set.
#136 - Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, regular-back mini
Another Ellsbury for my buddy in England. I just sent him a package with several Ellsburys. And I've pulled two more parallels of Ellsbury since then.
#WIN97 - Justin Upton, Diamondbacks, What's in a Name
Joey Pants crack the code ad card
#43 - Josh Johnson, Marlins
#69 - Kurt Suzuki, Athletics
#216 - Corey Hart, Brewers
#30 - Carlos Zambrano, Marlins
#253 - Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies, A&G back
#320 - Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies, SP
And just like the last pack in a box of A&G, that last pack sucked.
But did you notice what I noticed?
Out of eight packs, there was not a single base card that was NOT a baseball player.
Either that is strange collation, or there aren't as many non-ball players in this year's set. I'm thinking it's the latter (I haven't researched it yet).
And that would be too bad, because it means A&G is listening to one special interest group that complains that there are golfers and cooks and inanimate objects in A&G when they want baseball players in a baseball card set.
But if you want baseball players in a baseball card set, you have Gypsy Queen and Bowman and Heritage and Topps base and Opening Day and Update and Finest and Tribute and Triple Threads and stickers.
The charm of A&G is its non-baseball player element. There are baseball players and there is, "oh, wow, that's not a baseball player at ALL. Cool!"
That's what's awesome about the set.
So I really hope I just got a strange all-baseball player box. Because if A&G just becomes another baseball card set, it'll lose the big reason that everyone buys it. And sales will decline, and there will be no Gint-a-Cuffs, and, frankly, things will be a lot more boring. They've already scrapped Old Planter.
Say it ain't so, Ginter.
Put a Kate Upton card in the next blaster I buy.