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

Topps-has-an-app advertisement.


#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.


  1. I noticed that the 2012 Gypsy Queen blaster I bought recently also did not have anything in the middle securing the packs. I guess making sure that the cards aren't damaged is too expensive to maintain, but the absurdly large amount of shelf space that the packaging takes up is still really important.

    It does look like retired baseball players have replaced most of the non-baseball subjects in this set. I am surprised that I haven't read much about this yet.

  2. It's funny you mention the Hanrahan bat pose, I was thinking to myself today that we'll likely see at least one Pirate card in the update set with the player doing the "Zoltan Z" which is all the rage in Pittsburgh these days...

  3. There are a few non-baseball entities in the set, but there's nothing but real people in the base set (oh for the days of revolving doors and bridges). I guess Topps moved most of that stuff to the inserts (which seem to be much less frequent than last year as well, at least the minis). I think this is the year that the mini insert sets become challenging to complete (I'll let you know in a few weeks as I'll be going for all of 'em because I'm a sucker for Ginter)!

  4. My Archives blaster had no securing mechanism, nor did my Ginter, so I assume this is just another Topps cost cutting method. Of course, they will lose a lot in the complaints about dinged up cards and such. Typical.

    And it is not you, they pretty much got rid of all the oddities from the base set, sticking with just baseball players and a few odd "champions" of other sports. Blech.

    And I totally agree with you about the black bordered minis. They are basically just a busy version of the regular design.

    And with all my complaints and agreement with others complaints, I still like the damn thing.

  5. The Koufax is so cool I forgive you for deciding to scan and post a card of some guy named Revere over Adam Jones.

  6. Hi. I'm new to Ginter. This is only my second post about it (read about ole Planter on dayf's blog)...

    has anyone mentioned how in the hell 1 extra pack added to your original 7 is 20% more value??????

  7. Since nobody else drooled over it, I'll ask for the Holland mini. Glad you pulled a Koufax. It feels good to get a card you actually want, doesn't it?

  8. Papelbon wants YOU to help get the Phillies out of last place.

  9. @FanOfReds: More revolving doors!!!!

    @JM: I still like the damn thing, too. I think I complain because I care so much ... and that just made me sound like my mother.

    @CommishBob: Perhaps you've noticed, I don't care about the Orioles. Revere won out because he was a mini and I wanted to talk about old Planter. Context rules.

    @Captain: Did you just ask the writer a math question?

    @PATP: Already in your stack.

  10. Since you've outed yourself as not caring about the Orioles (okay, we already knew that), I wanted to make sure that you were aware that the team officially switched back to the cartoon bird this season. They made some tweaks...most notably, the bird now wears an "O's" cap, which they still use as an alternate. The older bird logos just had a splotch of orange and white to evoke the image of an Orioles cap. Anyway, the 2012 O's wear the tri-colored cap at home and the solid black cap with an orange bill on the road (that one is my favorite).

    Was this long and somewhat rambling paragraph an attempt to torment you for explicitly stating (even if it was probably a playful jab at the Commish) that you don't care about my favorite team? Only partially. ;)

    Oh, and if you want to split hairs, Sparky Anderson was also an ex-player...just a terrible and short-lived one. He hit .218 with a .282 OBP and .249 SLG in 152 games for the Phillies in 1959. That was his only big league season!

  11. I think I'm probably part of that minority that wanted more baseball players (sorry!). Note however, I wanted "more", not "all". I actually liked the non-players too, but 2011 was nearly 60/40 players to celebrities. If it's a 300-350 card set, I totally wouldn't mind the last 100 or so being non-baseball, plus all the inserts and minis. I think that would be a good mix. Then again, I'm the minority... says the middle class white guy, lol.

  12. I'm not generally a Ginter fan but I like that Granderson card.

    A MetLife Building card? Seriously? Is that for the "most boring office buildings" set? Notice the most interesting thing on the card is the clock and sculpture of the Helmsley building. I actually almost took a job at a company in the MetLife Building last year. It's a pretty typical office building, the only cool part is that it sits directly on top of Grand Central.

    I currently work in the Grace Building, also a famous design but boring building. If A&G made a card of that I'd trade for it. Or a card of Bryant Park which is across the street from my office.

  13. OK, OK, point taken :::sniff:: And I didn't understand why they took the Planter guy off the back either, he was pretty cool. Hadn't realized they did it.

  14. @Captain Canuck:

    Packs are $3. $3x8=$24. Blasters are $20. $24-$20=$4. $4 is 20% of $20.

  15. We can't have a world without Gint-A-Cuffs. Perish the thought.