Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A good ol' fashioned box bust

It is very easy to get caught up in the allure of the baseball card collecting hobby. What once started off as a nice, easy "i'm going to collect full Topps sets for my son" collecting idea has oft spiralled into delusions of silks and printing plates, and cut-auto books, and superfractors....

Being one with an addictive personality, I can easily get sucked into the allure of the big hit. At times the money has flowed freely, and the cardboard piles have grown throughout the house. I really hate it when I get an entire box and just fly though about 98% of the cards looking for the "hits". It often time makes you wonder why you don't just by the hit off of Ebay if you are going to disrespect the rest of the cards.

That is why I am glad that the Hobby brings us Allen and Ginter. Every now and again I will open a product that can be surprising fun to check out ALL of the cards, and then go back later and look a little closer. Topps Chicle was one of the surprisingly fun rips this year, as was Goodwin Champions last year. Some people may complain about the artsy cards, or the non-sports cards inclusions in some of these products, but for me personally, I can only stand so many variations on the same players image over and over again. I swear that John Smoltz only had one photo taken in his career, and they just keep photoshopping new uniforms on him. We see this with other players as well. Koji, anyone? It's nice to shake things up with an inventor, or an animal, or a world-champion.

So when I wandered into Cranky's store the other day, my mission was to grab a box of something that I would truly enjoy and not just throw to the side. Cranky recently acquired several boxes of 2007, 2008, and 2009 Allen and Ginter. I have pretty much played out 2009, had recently ripped one box of 2007, but had yet to sample Ginter 2008, the Jason Wong edition!

It was a great box! regardless of the plate hit, I believe that 2008 Ginter really hit it on the head with great artistry, great subjects, and a few extra surprises here and there. I did NOT have the same thoughts about the 2007 set...I felt that only some of the cards were truly acceptional, and the Dick Perez "1/1" sketch cards were pretty sketchy and pretty ugly to boot. I thought that a lot of the cards had a faded look to them, and also the florescent colors of the hit frames further added to the faded quality.

Bring on 2008! As mentioned before, this was one fun rip and it started right from the get-go with my box-topper.
Awesome card, by far the best cabinet card I have pulled from any Ginter boxes to date. I could see Howard peeking through the wrapper and had delusions of a sweeping autograph across the cabinet card, but alas it is just the standard card. Still, this bodes well for the box!

Here are my two hits. One you already know about. I have always wanted a B&W plate, and even though it is a Yankee, it could be worse, it could be Shin-Shoo Choo or Kendry Morales. Big Z was my other hit. The frames are MUCH better for this set. They still have the tradition Jimmy Buffet look to them, but the cards pop so much more, especially the plate.

These are sweet. I did NOT pull the empire state building, but am looking for it if anybody has an extra. Pluto, the shunned planet rocks, and the Golden Gate Bridge is classic looking. Were there any other location cards in that set?

These State cards replace the creepy Dick Perez sketches of 2007. These are the 1 per pack hits. The images of the players are the same as their base card, but it is still an interesting concept. I have already jumped on Ebay to order up my Jacoby/Oregon card.

Lots of nice looking base to choose from here, but the Longoria RC is the big winner of the set, along with several other classic cards.

Here is the code card of the box. I like the themes and the stories on the back, which I believe played into the code itself. I learned of a 2004 ALCS code card that I cannot find anywhere. If somebody has an extra, I would love to trade for it.

Now the fun stuff. I love the oddie cards and by far the most shocking pull of the box...

Bigfoot! Man, I had forgotten all about Bigfoot! Memories of childhood came flooding back. I am VERY curious what the bigfoot relic card looked like if anybody can share that with me!

And of course the minis. Now that I have proper storage sleeves for these I have warmed up to them. These are the notables including a shark card from a secret subset (more on this card in a future post) Kerri Strug (who every time I see I remember the Chris Katan SNL skit) and a classic #7.

I had a lot of fun with this one, which makes me ready for at least a box or two of the 2010 product, hitting the shelves soon. One gripe I have on Ginter is just how amazingly difficult it is to gather the subsets...some are seeded only 1 in 12 packs, which is outrageous considering how much a box is, but I guess it is about the thrill of the chase!


  1. Ya know, I've always kinda hated the crazy cards in Ginter of inventors, pole vaulters, kids with guitars, yo-yos, etc. But I completely agree with what you said about it being better than five thousand parallels of the same exact picture.

    I also agree that 2008 was the best year for the current generation of Allen & Ginter.

    I'm still not a fan of minis, just mini top loaders.

  2. There's a Grand Canyon card, and it's stunning.

  3. Oh yeah, I have the grand canyon card. Remember when Pluto was a planet? Heh...

  4. Grand Canyon? Sweet, I will have to see if I can locate that one!