Friday, August 12, 2016

The Siren Song of Allen & Ginter finally takes hold

Every year, I say I'm going to purchase some Allen & Ginter to chase after the non-sports cards inserted into the set, and every year, I don't...mostly because I don't want to spend the money. Yeah, I'm a cheapskate at heart.

Every year, I see them in Target or Wal-Mart and I stand there looking at them, but that's as far as I've gone. I never took the plunge and purchased any.

Well, this year, I was shopping at the local Wal-Mart with my family and mentioned that every year I say that I want to purchase some, but never do because I didn't want to spend the money...they would have none of that, and a jumbo pack was soon in the cart.
14 cards, and I knew most of them would be baseball. I'll be honest- this is the first baseball pack I've ever opened. I may be the only regular card blogger who doesn't do baseball as their main sport...sometimes it seems like it. I have nothing against baseball, I just never got into it. Still, I will give a home to any card, and these are not my first baseball cards...just my first baseball pack.

It turned out the pack I chose was the right one (they had two, I only got one). I knew going in there were about 15 base cards I specifically wanted to add to my collection, and of course the main draw for me is the non-sports stuff. I actually consider the 2016 set's non-sport content to be the weakest since I started learning about the set, but still strong enough that I want them in my collection. Anybody else I got was fine, but I didn't have too high hopes- I mean, what are the odds of my getting even one of the cards I wanted out of a single pack of a more than 300 card set? Turns out, pretty good!

So, let's see the content of my first ever baseball pack, with some commentary on the cards:

The first card out was #298, Jacoby Ellsbury. That makes him the first card from this set in my collection, and also the first from the 2016 MLB season. The card stock is nice and thick, with a good texture. There's a bit of a parchment color tone to the cards which kind of washes out on the scanner. My only dislike is that there is no first name on the card- but I understand that none of the A&G sets have that.
#83, David Wright came out next. Hmm, both New York teams, roughly 60 miles north of the City. I wonder if that was planned? Probably not, as neither team appears again.

#21 Ben Zobrist came next. Even though this looks like an action shot my gut reaction is that this is actually posed. For some reason I've always collected players who have a last name starting with Z- I have no idea why, really, I've just always been drawn to them. If I have an option of two cards that are otherwise equal I will usually pick the one with the Z player.
#16, Trayce Thompson came out next. Yeah! This is the baseball player I wanted to add to my collection most of all out of the set! I'm big into family stuff- you'll see this card again in a future post- and Trayce is the younger brother of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, who happens to be one of my favorite players currently in the NBA. (Also son of Mychal Thompson, NBA Rookie of the Year and Champion) I usually try to track down a card of people related to NBA players in other sports, and at some point I was planning to buy a card of Trayce on I've pulled one! I'd always rather pull a card than buy one, so I was pretty darn thrilled to get this one. At this point I already considered the pack a winner.
#13, Kevin Gausman came out of the pack next. For some reason, based on the photo I thought he may have been one of the retired legends in the set. Nope, he was born in 1991- my 4th year collecting cards. This is the lowest numbered card in the pack.
#120, Kenta Maeda was next. I don't really know anything about him but I know I've seen him referenced on Night Owl's posts.
The Numbers Game #NG-46 Chris Sale came up next. This is a cool concept for an insert set, based on the jersey numbers the players wear. I enjoy tracking jersey numbers....someday I plan to do a post series about numbers in the NBA. (need to do more scanning first)
Baseball Legends #BL-21 Cal Ripken Jr. was next. He is the only person in the pack who previously appeared in my collection. Yes, I keep track of who is in my collection. You'll read more about that in the future as well, probably in 2018. (hint...)
Mini #269, Maikel Franco came next. I like the mini cards. They are fun. A pain to store, but fun none the less. Off the top of my head I think this is my first mini from A&G.
Yeah! A Ferocious Felines mini came out next! (Literally dropped right out on the floor, thankfully it landed flat and was not damaged!) This winning pack keeps up the pace by giving me a mini insert seeded one in every 15 packs! I enjoy animal cards enough that I gave them their own section on my website, so I was glad to pull one of these- and I would much rather have had any card in this set than any of the Mayors minis, so I was quite happy. But the pack wasn't over!
That sleeping kitty doesn't seem too ferocious to me...
#305, Tyler Duffey was next, and if I have payed enough attention to the blogosphere, any card over #300 is a short print. I dislike the concept of short prints in a base set, as I am a set collector. At least this one looks exactly like all the other cards. Can't say I've ever heard of the subject, but how often does SportsCenter cover the Twins? Not very, and that's where most of my baseball knowledge used to come it comes from reading blogs...where they are covered even less.
Unbelievably, I got ANOTHER of the cards I wanted out of this pack! Ernie Johnson Jr., son of former MLB player Ernie Johnson, has cemented a legacy of his own by being a highly respected broadcaster. As the back of the card states, he has been host of Inside the NBA on TNT for about 2 decades now, and while he does have NBA cards, they are not easy to find- you have the Hoops Broadcasters cards of the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons which are so hard to find I've never even SEEN one in person, and then you have the broadcaster autograph sets from the past two years of Threads. Not common cards. I still want to hunt down all of those, but realistically I know I won't. I'm happy to have this one. He's card #203 here.

#196, Josh Reddick was next out of the pack. Don't really know anything about him but it looks like somebody has been chewing on the bat he's holding.
#187, Carl Yastrzemski, was last but not least. After all, how can a guy who's name starts with Y be bad? Yes, like people who start with Z, I chase cards of people with a last name starting with Y...also Q and U. I admit it, I'm weird.

And that's my first ever baseball pack. If I got even one of the cards I really wanted, I would have been happy, and instead I got three. Can't beat that. I think going forward I will have to get at least one pack each year...maybe I will chase the others I want on COMC or elsewhere...but my follow through is not really all that great, LOL. I am glad I finally took the plunge and bought a pack.

Thanks for reading!


  1. You got some good cards there and some of those guys are names I remember hearing about.

    1. I thought so! I keep forgetting you watched baseball back in the day as well.

  2. You pulled some great players. Can't go wrong with Ripken and Yaz

    1. Thanks! I was pretty darn happy with it.