Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mini wars

I bought two blasters of Allen & Ginter with some birthday money yesterday. You're going to be reading a lot about what I did with my birthday money in the coming weeks, so get used to it.

(By the way, Target has 2012 A&G blasters sitting right next to 2011 A&G blasters and the 2011 A&G blasters are STILL FULL PRICE. Shouldn't we be picketing Target for this?)

The blasters didn't yield anything special and everyone has seen all of the base cards already. So that automatically makes the minis the most interesting part of the boxes.

I thought I'd figure out the best mini out of the two boxes, bracket style -- since eight out of each blaster makes it so convenient.

Join me won't you? What else you got to do?


#1 - Nelson Cruz black border vs. #8 - Geovany Soto regular back

Winner: Cruz bb

Reason: I can't think of any situation in which a .189-hitting Cub could win.

#2 - Reggie Jackson regular back vs. #7 - Luke, People of the Bible

Winner: Reggie, Reggie, Reggie

Reason: Although I appreciate the People of the Bible insert set and the fact that Luke was a notable writer in biblical times, it's probably one of the least interesting cards in the set. Meanwhile, Reggie stirs the drink.

#3 - Logan Morrison SP vs. #6 - Shetland Sheepdog, Man's Best Friend

Winner: Shetland Sheepdog

Reason: The first upset of the bracket. The Man's Best Friend set is just so cutey, wooty, wooty, aren'tja such a cutey wooty buddy boy? Meanwhile, Logan looks like he's trying real hard to be the devil.

#4 - Roy Halladay, A&G back vs. #5 - Chad Billingsley SP & A&G back

Winner: Billingsley

Reason: 1. Billingsley was put on the DL at almost the exact same moment I pulled his card. 2. I just KNEW  Halladay would end up coming back and helping the Phillies beat the Dodgers (I HATE it when opposing pitchers return from the DL against my team). So, yes, I'm being vindictive. It's my bracket.


#1 - Carl Yastrzemski, regular back vs. #8 - J.J. Hardy, regular back

Winner: Yaz

Reason: Yaz

#2 - Justin Verlander, A&G back vs. #7 - Carlos Pena regular back

Winner: Verlander

Reason: 1. Verlander got to talk to Kate Upton; 2. Verlander helped the N.L. win the All-Star Game.

#3 - Annie Duke, regular back vs. #6 - Johannes Brahms, Musical Masters

Winner: Duke

Reason: With as much musical talent that there is in my family, I really love the Musical Masters set, but Duke wins out after I read the back. She ditched trying to become a teacher after winning $70,000 in poker.  For a weird reason that I can't explain, this makes me want to high-five her, buy her a beer and ask her if she wants to make out all at the same time.

#4 - The Queen, Fashionable Ladies vs. #5 - Sannakji, Culinary Curiosities

Winner: The Queen

Reason: I have not seen an A&G checklist in a single pack this year. Is the Fashionable Ladies set an unannounced insert set? Anyway, the Queen wins out over cutting up living baby octopus.

BRACKET (BLASTER) 1 (reseeded):

#1 - Nelson Cruz black border vs. #5 - Chad Billingsley SP & A&G back

Winner: Billingsley

Reason: Another upset! I'm not digging this year's black borders at all. It almost has that black-and-white mixing with color look that I don't like. I want BLACK borders, dammit! Besides, this is the second black-border Ranger I've pulled already. Play At The Plate should be buying these things.

#2 - Reggie Jackson regular back vs. #6 - Shetland Sheepdog, Man's Best Friend

Winner: Reggie

Reason: I just had an incident with my dog while writing this post. Sorry to project Sheepy, but Reggie isn't annoying me right now.

BRACKET (BLASTER) 2 (reseeded):

#1 - Carl Yastrzemski regular back vs. #4 - The Queen, Fashionable Ladies

Winner: Yastrzemski

Reason: I do like a fashionable lady, but I'm not into royalty.

#2 - Justin Verlander, A&G back vs. #3 - Annie Duke, regular back

Winner: Verlander

Reason: He plays baseball for a living, not poker. And, he helped the National League win the All-Star Game!

BRACKET (BLASTER) 1 (final):

#2 - Reggie Jackson, regular back vs. #5 - Chad Billingsley SP & A&G back

Winner: Jackson

Reason: Normally, I'd never pick a Yankee over a Dodger. But Bills, you've frustrated me for too long.

BRACKET (BLASTER) 2 (final):

#1 - Carl Yastrzemski, regular back vs. #2 - Justin Verlander, A&G back

Winner: Yaz

Reason: Yastrzemski played in an era when a pitcher could go more than one or two innings in an All-Star Game.


Blaster 2 champ - Carl Yastrzemski vs. Blaster 1 champ: Reggie Jackson

Winner: Yaz

Reason: You've read about my childhood. Red Sox good. Yankees evil.

Yaz wins the Mini War!!!

OK, by now, some of you have probably wondered whether certain minis on this post are available (I really couldn't have picked nicer minis from these blasters).

The short answer is: no.

If you have a Dodger mini that I don't have -- from this year's A&G or past years -- then I'll work out a deal. But otherwise, I think I'm going to hop on board the A&G mini frankenset train.

I've held off from doing this for so long. This was a project for other collectors -- people more enthusiastic about A&G minis than I was.

But then it occurred to me: I accumulate A&G minis unlike anything else that I collect. I have no intention of completing the set, yet I MUST HAVE THEM. So, every year, I end up with a healthy set of minis, but not anywhere close to having half, or even a quarter, of the set.

So, why not make the minis work for me?

And those of you who already are doing frankensets are now saying: "DUH!"

Sorry. It just takes me longer to absorb stuff sometimes.

This will be just my second Frankenset project (The Night Card Binder is the other). I'm looking forward to it.

Better start ordering some more mini pages.


  1. I think I might have a black border Dodger for that Cruz. And yes, I should be buying those.

  2. The Fashionable Ladies and Guys In Hats mini insert sets were both unannounced and are both inserted at a rate of approximately one per hobby CASE.

    Great pull from a blaster!

  3. When you start your frankenset keep me in mind for any Red Sox that get displaced.

    And happy late birthday.

  4. I have some extra mini pages. Let me know how many you need and resend me your address.

  5. Shouldn't we be picketing Topps instead? The list of reasons must be an arm long by now. Oh right, they wouldn't care, they have a monopoly!

  6. I have black bordered minis: 84 (Ethier) and 298 (Gordon) plus an A&G back mini 180 (Federowicz) that would love to be traded to you for that fashionable lady... I could also help out with some base set needs if you have any?

  7. Even I can't argue JJ Hardy over Yaz. So I'll stick to saying that Annie Duke is more attractive than her card would suggest. OTOH if Nadia Bjorlin, your featured Dodger babe had a mini, THAT mini wins! Woohoo!

  8. @FoR: I haven't figured out my base card needs yet, but I'll get back to you depending on what PATP has for me,

    @mmosley: I haven't figured out how many pages I need yet either, but I'll let you know. Much obliged.

  9. I'm just stunned that you held the recent dog incident against poor sheepy even more than Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. I guess time heals all wounds!

  10. What do you have against a .189 hitter on the Cubs? Sometimes (1976) we call those guys All-Stars. Gotta love the Little League rule that gets a Cub in the ASG each year.