Allen & Ginter First Impressions…With Gint-A-Cuffs Practice Scoring!

July 18, 2009

The other day I had a job interview in the small town where I went to college.  While I was there, I stopped in the local card store to check out some 2009 A&G.  These are the three packs I purchased.  I’m going to use them to practice for my upcoming Gint-A-Cuffs! boxes.  Away we go

Pack 1
65 Dexter Fowler
258 Felix Hernandez

333 SP
172 mini
54 Carlos Guillen
13 Travis Hafner
333 Nick Swisher SP +4 points (+5 SP -1 Yankee)
AGHS22 Ken Griffey Jr. +3
172 mini Jarrod Saltalamacchia (This guy’s name almost spans the width of the back of the card)
NP71 Josh Hamilton +4
Pack 1 Total: 11 points

Pack 2
127 J.D. Drew -2 (I am penalizing myself for purchasing a pack with this greedy bastard in it)
3 Manny Parra
25 Evan Longoria +2
37 Andre Ethier
125 Randy Johnson
178 Adam LaRoche +2
NH22 mini William Wallace Scotland +5 (Whoo Braveheart Mojo!)
NP74 Yadier Molina
Pack 2 Total: 9 points Gint-A-Cuffs/+7 points modified patsearcher rules

Pack 3

169 Kazuo Matsui
242 Mark Teahen
51 Ryan Perry
152 Phil Coke -1
96 Geronimo
254 Code Parallel John Maine +2
293 Mini Black Border Ian Snell +3
NP3 Jason Bay
Pack 3 Total: 4 points
Twenty-four points between three packs wouldn’t have been too bad a start to Gint-A-Cuffs.  I think this year’s version of A&G is the best yet.  Eliminating a lot of the white space has really made these cards a lot more appealing.  Three packs was enough to whet my Allen & Ginter appetite and I’m really looking forward to tracking down a box now.

Topps Magic is Making Me a Football Collector!

July 16, 2009

First let me say that I’ve never really collected football cards.  I’ve watched football all my life and played all the way through high school, but I never got into collecting football the way that I did baseball.  I have a few cards lying around – maybe 500 from the early ’90s – but I’ve never really been enticed to purchase any packs of cards.  Last week I changed my mind after seeing a box of Topps Magic busted on YouTube.  I loved the retro look of the cards and the college uniforms.  I decided that the next time I found myself in the card aisle at my local big box retailer, I’d pick up a pack or two to check them out for myself.  Here are the results of my first pack, from top to bottom:

157 LaMarr Woodley


It’s only fitting that the first Magic card I see in person is of a Michigan Wolverine.  Michigan is the team I grew up rooting for, mostly because their games were on TV every fall Saturday afternoon.  I’m still a huge fan, despite the tough times that have hit the program.  If I wasn’t already planning to try to build this set, I was after seeing this card.  I’m not sure if I’m going to go after the full mini set or not, but I will be chasing all parallels of the Michigan cards, the UVA cards, and Joe Flacco’s Delaware card.  I think Topps planted this card and two more Michigan cards in the other three packs I purchased just to get me hooked into this set.

59 DeShawn Wynn


The design on these cards, which is derived from the original 1951 Topps Magic, is pretty similar to 1951 Bowman baseball, with the addition of the position and the college team nickname.  The black bar is also centered at the bottom of the Magic design, as opposed to off to the left on the Bowman cards.

191 John Carlson


123 Justin Vargas Mini


You may have noticed the very bland backgrounds of all of these cards.  The vast majority of the cards that I have seen feature mostly grass with maybe some shrubbery or trees in towards the top.  Unfortunately, on this point Topps deviated from the original 1951 cards, which had a lot of character in the backgrounds.  Hopefully this is just an anomaly among the cards that I have pulled from packs.

186 Philip Rivers


159 LenDale White


On the closer inspection afforded by my scanner, it appears that most of the faces on these cards are pretty lifeless, much like 2009 Goudey.  Granted that his face is behind a facemask, but Philip Rivers really only has eyes.  Even LenDale White’s face is a little flat compared to the rest of his body.  Overall though, I really like this set and I’m going to attempt to put the set together.  However, Topps has made that task very, very difficult.  Both retail and hobby have a 1 in 3 insertion rate for the short prints.  However, according to the officially released checklist, there are 50 SPs among the 250 base cards.  Given nearly impossible perfect collation, that’s 150 packs for the short prints.  Retail has roughly 4 base cards a pack, so you should be able to make 3 complete short sets before you complete the SP set.  Right now I have 2 SPs, so I’m 4% of the way there!  This heavy SP load surprises me, given that Topps seems to have found the right balance in both Allen & Ginter and Topps Heritage.  Both of these baseball sets feature robust SP lists, but at a ratio that makes completing the set both possible and challenging at the same time.  Back later with the goodies from 4 more packs of Magic.

The Best of the Rest – Topps Heritage

June 17, 2009

To save you from the boredom of reading six more pack breaks of a thoroughly blog-dissected set, I will just post the SPs, inserts and chromes from the other packs.

#438 Chris Coste SP

#490 Ryan Braun AS SP


In my recent move back home from a certain “Mr. Jefferson’s University”, the SPs and inserts to ’09 Heritage have been separated from their short set compatriots.  As a result I cannot confirm my feeling that I have both of these SPs already.  I am fairly certain on the Coste, but the first copy found its way into my Phillies team set.  This copy should fill a nice hole in my set.  If I do have the Braun, he will be for trade.

#455 Baltimore Orioles Coaches


I’ve found that one of the drawbacks of reading other people’s blogs is that I can’t remember if I have a card.  Usually I will know by whether or not I have seen the card before, but now I see the cards on other people’s blogs and I get all confused.  This is one of those cards.  I don’t think I have it, but I know I’ve seen it somewhere.  Maybe in my box o’ Heritagey goodness, maybe on your blog.  It’s good to see former Phil Juan Samuel on a card though.  If anybody has an extra copy or two of the Phillies coaches, I am in great need.

#C55 Russell Martin


The only Chrome card that I found in the seven packs was this card of Russell Martin.  I used to really enjoy Russell Martin, especially what he brought to my fantasy teams, but then I was exposed to him for an extended period of time during the 2009 NLCS.  I got a very whiny vibe from him during those five games, very much like former Dodgers/Mets catcher Paul LoDuca.  I’m much less of a fan nowadays.

#TME-CJ Chipper Jones

#TME-AS Alfonso Soriano

#BF5 Luis Aparicio


Two more Mayo inserts and a Baseball Flashbacks insert.  Once again, the Mayos are simple, elegant, fantastic-looking cards.  I have a great respect for Chipper Jones and the way that he plays the game.  Soriano is a great player who I still wish had signed with the Phillies a few years ago.  Mr. Aparicio gets this flashback card in rememberance of Bill Veeck “as in wreck” placing last names on the back of uniforms for the first time.

That’s it for the SPs and inserts.  Of the base cards in the packs, I found nine that filled holes in my set.  I will try to get a want list up as soon as I can find the SPs and inserts.  The nine new cards are #45 Jeff Keppinger, #98 Shaun Marcum, #200 Ken Griffey Jr., #253 Alex Cintron, #286 Francisco Rodriguez, #289 Carlos Delgado, #317 Joey Votto, #379 Michael Young, and #399 Young Hill Stars.

I will be out of town for the next few days, but I will have a good luck post up tomorrow.  Happy collecting.