I received this snazzy Matt Kemp Chrome refractor from All The Way To The Backstop recently. But that's not the topic of this post.
It popped up in the middle of a whole mess of 2012 Allen & Ginter want list needs, which cut said list down quite nicely. Then Democratic Roadkill weighed in with his share and knocked the list down a few more notches.
A quick look at some cards from both guys:
With these cards from those two packages, I am down to needing 27 more cards for the set -- with another lot on the way.
Remember how long it took me to complete last year's set? Almost a full year.
Now, I haven't actually completed this year's A&G set yet, but the chances are fairly good that I will finish it off in less than a year's time. It's even possible that I'll complete it earlier than the previous three years, when the finish date was in November or December.
So what is the difference between this year and last year?
The only thing I can think of is I didn't buy a hobby box of Allen & Ginter this year.
Oooh, that's a dangerous place to go, right?
I'm not totally disparaging hobby boxes here, but here's another example that doesn't fall on the side of the hobby box ledger.
Duane of Roadkill also sent along a number of Dodger minis from 2012 A&G. Including all those pesky regular backs and A&G backs and full-bleed gold borders and black borders and etc., etc., etc., etc., make it stop, make it stop, make it stop.
Some more examples:
So with this bunch of Dodger minis, let's tally up the number of Dodger minis I've accumulated from each year that I have actively collected A&G.
I've already surpassed 2010 and 2011 and have equaled 2009.
As for 2008? That was the last year I did not buy a hobby box of Allen & Ginter.
There are probably a lot of reasons for this. But one of them is not that I'm buying more Allen & Ginter than previous years. I've probably purchased the same amount with the same dollar amount (having exact figures would be nice, right?)
The reasons could run from luck, to finding the right traders, to more people buying A&G this year, to people getting tired of minis. I don't know. There may or may not be one overriding reason.
But my goal each year with Allen & Ginter is to complete the set and to obtain as many Dodgers as I can. And if I'm doing a poorer job in those areas in years when I buy a hobby box than in other years, then why am I buying a hobby box? For guaranteed hits of players like Gaby Sanchez and Kurt Suzuki?
Perhaps it's me. Perhaps when I buy a hobby box, I get complacent and think my quest toward set completion is practically finished since I bought so many cards at once. Or perhaps it's the collation of A&G hobby boxes that force you to buy three or four (or maybe more) to complete a set.
I don't have any real answers. But one thing is clear:
If I finish this set before the year is out, and I end up with more Dodger minis than even in 2008, then there will be no hobby box in 2013 either.