You know that thing I said about not having to buy current cards every week? And that other thing I said about not having any Allen & Ginter where I live?
Well, never mind.
The difference between the cool kids and the rest of us, apparently, is that the truck stops and unloads at their place three days before ours. As for not buying current cards, the first arrival of Ginter is a very worthy exception.
My second stop at Walmart this week revealed all the 2013 A&G I could ever want. But since this is AUGUST, thank you very much Topps, I couldn't buy all the A&G I could ever want.
So I ignored the blasters (I've heard bad things) and grabbed two rack packs and a single pack. Believe me, I felt like I was blowing the budget doing that.
Before I show the cards, I'll give you my impressions, good and bad.
Hey, stop whining, it's not like these cards haven't been everywhere lately. Besides, you know how to scroll.
- The design is understated yet has a little color. To me, they are the best-looking A&G cards since 2009, possibly 2008.
- So many Hall of Famers. So, so many. Almost half of the cards of players that I pulled were HOFers. I do enjoy that A&G is featuring some new ones this time around, but this is probably going to chase away the last of the WE WANT CURRENT PLAYERS crowd that doesn't like Ginter in the first place.
- The set is still entertaining. When I was watching the busting going on a few days ago, I was worried that I was over it. I wasn't feeling the excitement I usually feel with Ginter. Fortunately, opening a couple packs showed me A&G's still got it. This set is still so amusing.
- Way too many freakin' inserts. This has been a growing problem and it's not getting any better. I count 12 different insert sets and I know I'm missing some. I really haven't been interested in completing an A&G insert set in years, so getting one in a pack is annoying, and getting a mini insert set in a pack is downright upsetting. If it continues at this rate, A&G will be more difficult to complete than Heritage.
- Lots of Braves. This ain't good.
OK, I'll start with the 6-card pack first and then go to the rack packs:
#295 - Dan Uggla, Braves
See what I mean?
#113 - Brandon Beachy, Braves
#141 - Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks
If I don't succeed in completing this set (distinct possibility), this card is useless to me.
#PS-FK - Fort Knox, Palaces & Strongholds insert set
This place also includes approximately how much gold you'll need to buy most Yasiel Puig cards.
Let's count the number of insert sets I find. This is (1)
#HHH-GTG - Cyrus The Great, Heavy Hangs The Head mini set (2)
Founder of the Iranian Nation, according to the back. I wish I could say I was enlightened and cared about these types of insert sets. But I don't.
#330 - Rickey Henderson, A's
A short-print and the first of the Hall of Famers. And let's count up the HOFers (1)
Also, why the hell did they use this picture of Henderson sleeping standing up with a bat in his hand?
RACK PACK 1
#49 - Kris Medlen, Braves
#241 - Matt Cain, Giants
And get worse.
#275 - Josh Beckett, Dodgers
First Dodger! Woooooooo! Now let's find one that hasn't sucked this year!
#125 - Matt Holliday, Cardinals
I was informed while watching the Cubs-Cardinals yesterday that players who swing as vigorously as Holliday are described as "hitterish."
#347 - Stephen Strasburg, Nationals, SP. I guess you'd consider him "pitcherish."
Not bad with the SPs, so far.
#190 - David Murphy, Rangers, A&G back mini
Murphy is headed to Play At The Plate. Also, Murphy's a future blog post topic. Mark your timing devices.
#MM-SP - Spartans, Martial Mastery insert set (3)
This is SPARTA!
#220 - Jim Rice, Red Sox
Wondering where all the HOFers are? Get ready. (2)
#158 - Brooks Robinson, Orioles
This is obviously a photo from earlier in his career (3)
#142 - Garrett Jones, Pirates
#37 - Nelson Cruz, Rangers
#153 - Alex Cobb, Rays
#322 - Robin Yount, SP mini (4)
Very nice mini. And headed to Thorzul.
#ATY-WS - Willie Stargell, Pirates, Across the Years insert set (4)
I suppose this is the "main" insert set of A&G this year. It doesn't do much for me, not crazy about the look. But at least it's a Hall of Famer (5)
RACK PACK 2
#213 - Jim Bunning, Phillies (6)
It's very cool that Bunning is in this set. It helps remind me that Bunning is in the Hall of Fame.
#263 - Ralph Kiner, Pirates (7)
#6 - Chanel Iman
I guess models appearing on Allen & Ginter cards is now a thing. Not that I have any complaints.
#100 - Bill Walton
My knowledge of Walton is very poor. I might as well live in ... well, where's a place they don't play basketball? If I wasn't surrounded constantly by people saying "Throw it down big fella," I think I'd know even less.
#CC-PE - The Philadelphia Experiment, Curious Cases insert set (5)
The Philadelphia Experiment is kind of a Bermuda Triangle-esque story that I remember as a 1980s movie starring Robocop actress Nancy Allen.
#340 - Yadier Molina, Cardinals, SP mini
Sure am uncovering the short-printed SP minis. But this one is headed to madding.
#OLC-SD - Scattered Disc, One Little Corner insert set (6)
I mistakenly thought this set was a mini set and am a little disappointed it is not. But I still like it best out of all the insert sets.
#1 - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
The bottom left corner is dinged. Boooo.
#155 - Austin Jackson, Tigers
#10 - Sandy Koufax, Dodgers (8)
I was being taunted on Twitter with this card by one of the cool kids. But I knew it'd come my way sooner than later. Koufax is in every set.
#115 - Stan Musial, Cardinals (9)
#189 - David Freese, Cardinals
#FF-L - Olduvai Gorge/Lucy, Famous Finds mini set (7)
A&G periodically repeats itself. Lucy was a base card in 2010 Ginter
#ATY-MTR - Mark Trumbo, Angels, Across The Years insert set
(I believe it was Nachos Grande that mentioned that the move from "numbering" insert sets with letters instead of numbers is annoying and frustrating. He's absolutely correct. Numbers are easy to grasp and the letters are very awkward. I don't know why this would be changed.)
I do like the backs of this insert set.
The backs list famous people who share birthdays with the player featured on the front. And it's not just a couple names. It's everyone from Frank Zamboni to Dizzy Dean to Aaliyah. That is cool. I might even display these with the backs facing front.
OK, so there were only three Braves. Sure seemed like a lot when I was opening the packs.
So that's your 487th look at this year's Allen & Ginter. But not everybody showed every card, did they?
Now that A&G is here, I know it will be more difficult to avoid the big box stores. But with the austerity budget in force, I'm sure I'll manage. I'm being watched.
But just think, if I do somehow complete A&G this year, it's going to be one hell of a party.
(Oh yeah, and check your lids, rich kids).