My Allen & Ginter mini frankenset features 27 empty slots.
You'd think that even in a 350-card frankenset with 323 slots filled that it would not be extremely difficult to fill up the remaining spaces. You'd think that even if a mini wasn't going to fill an empty slot, it could still crack the frankenset. Look at the above page. It's filled with players like Ryan McMahon and Yunel Escobar, guys dying to be knocked out of the club. Just about every other page is like that, too.
But I find that time and again, minis are trying and failing to make the binder.
Some of this, I believe, is because Topps earmarks certain numbers for certain "types" in its A&G set. And if I like that "type" -- perhaps it's a baseball legend or a notable off-beat nonsports card -- then a card at that number may be continuously denied. You could be a card of Ryne Sandberg but there is only one Rod Carew, son.
But still, I get hopeful when I come into a collection of minis. Recently, Adam of Cardboard Clubhouse sent me some unwanted A&G minis. They were all Reds and Indians as I think Adam is downsizing his minis. I gladly accepted hoping that a few could crack the club, maybe even fill a vacancy.
But it was a pretty futile exercise. Here is what happened:
First card, Marlon Byrd, who I didn't even know played for the Reds. This isn't a good sign. Byrd is gunning for spot #137 in the binder ...
... and he's gunned down by the legendary sharp-shooter. Nobody is getting past Annie Oakley in this frankenset.
Next up, former Red and Royal, now pitching for the gross Giants. He has a shot in this set because he's not a Giant and also because he's card No. 294, where there is a VACANCY!
An empty spot filled!!! I am now down to 26 cards left to complete the frankenset.
Let's see if I can fill any more.
This looks promising. It's a black-bordered Joey Votto at card No. 59. Votto is already in the frankenset binder, which is usually a strike against another card of the player making it into the binder. But that black border ...
Oof. No chance against forgotten legend Hal Newhouser. It's a privilege to have the former 29-game winner in the frankenset. Check out his run from 1944-46.
Two strikes against Brandon Phillips already. He's in the frankenset binder with his 2008 A&G card, which can be seen in the page at the top of the post. Also this is a horizontal card, which I generally don't like in A&G. Although the 2016 set did a better job of presenting horizontals.
Let's see if he can find room at No. 155 ...
Yogi is the binder I think three times. But Yogi can pull that off.
Johnny Cueto's feeling pretty proud of his inclusion in the frankenset, he's going to get greedy at No. 23 ...
... BUT YOU DO NOT RUN AGAINST YOGI!!
Let's try Amir Garrett. He should be in the binder for taking on the entire Pirates dugout. I can't see anyone standing up to him in the binder at card No. 183 ...
... unless it's THE groundhog on Groundhog Day! You had your day Amir Garrett. But the groundhog gets his day every year!
Next on the list, Billy Hamilton at No. 275. Hamilton is a Brave now, which means this isn't helping his cause here.
And he fails against the formerly long-locked deGrom.
Perhaps former Dodger Jose Peraza can squeeze into the frankenset at No. 258. This is exactly the type of player who somehow finds his way into the binder.
But I'm holding on to Eric Chavez at that spot. This is from the 2008 set, my favorite A&G set and that's enough to keep him there.
Next up ...
Moving on ...
Johnny Cueto again?
Well, black borders always get precedence. So this card knocks out the Cueto I just placed in slot No. 294.
That does it for all the Reds. One card made it into the set. Let's see if the Indians can do any better.
First attempt is Jhonny Peralta at No. 203. This is a solid bid, since he's on the 2008 design. Let's see how he fares ...
Another solid attempt. I'd love to have Carlos Carrasco black border in the binder, trying to come back from leukemia and all ...
... unfortunately, he's going up against a Dodger at card No. 261. And it's a rookie card, too. No chance.
The former Fausto Carmona was in my frankenset binder previously but was booted out so this card isn't making it. Let's see the card that knocked it out ...
The chicken-eater. Adam! Your cards aren't having much luck here!
Jason Kipnis might have a shot since he's at card No. 318 and there are a fair number of empty slots at 300 or above ...
... But in one of the closest showdowns of this particular frankenset battle, Eric Hosmer prevails just based on his role on the 2015 Royals. Not even holding the Padre stuff against him.
OK, I don't know who Trevor Crowe is ...
No deal. Indians! You could have had any shot at all at No. 126 with anyone except some rookie I've never heard of!
Next, a fine 2008 card of Victor Martinez at No. 65 ...
Victor Martinez tries again! This time at No. 41.
Not a chance.
OK, we're at the last mini that Adam sent me.
It's from 2007 A&G and I have great respect for A&G from '06 and '07 since I didn't start collecting the set until 2008. But Sabathia is already represented at card No. 5 in the frankenset. We'll see if he can get a second entrant at No. 106 ...
Foiled again. This is my only mini in the frankenset of Dustin Pedroia.
So, after all of that, there is one more card in the frankenset binder and still 26 slots open.
And now I have a bunch of minis that I don't know what to do with (which is the reason why I started the frankenset because what do you do with these things?)
Oh, well, I did say it was an exclusive club.