Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Box Break: 2008 Allen & Ginter


Hold on, don’t I mean 2009 Ginter, the product that has taken over most of the blogs out there?  That will come, but for now it’s last year’s Allen & Ginter that’s in the spotlight.  BlowoutCards had this on a weekend special for $50 a box and that’s the main thing that prompted me to place my order with them.  I only purchased two blasters of 2008 A&G prior to this so a lot of these cards were new to me.

I started things off with a cabinet card.  I guess if you’re going to get a cabinet card then one featuring George Washington is the way to go.  The scene of Washington crossing the Delaware as part of the Battle of Trenton is extremely well known.  It’s not a baseball player, but I was pretty happy with this cabinet card.


In the 07 and 08 Ginter sets, the mini cards look a lot better than the base set.  Many of the base cards have far too much white space around the edges and the tiny photo ends up looking lost.  That’s why I decided to post a picture of this Dustin Pedroia mini instead of a full sized card.

Pedroia is tiny, but he packs some pop.  I saw him play down in Pawtucket and couldn’t believe that he made contact with the giant hacks that he takes at the ball.  He came up to the big leagues and still had that giant swing and still makes great contact with the ball.  He’s got a rookie of the year award, MVP award and a hilarious commercial under his belt already.  All that’s left to do now is win more rings.


I didn’t have much luck with the black bordered minis so I decided that I would scan a Brave.  There seem to be a lot of Braves fans in the circle of blogs that I read and maybe one of them will be interested in it.

2008 Ginter had a little bit of the color wash in the background that would be used a lot more in the 2009 release.  That splash of color reduces the white space on the card and makes them look a heck of a lot better.  The black bordered minis also are much improved in 2009.  If only Topps had also done something to improve the look of the frames on the relic and autograph cards.


I did alright on the Ginter backs.  I’ve pulled a few Russell Martin cards here and there most notably his autograph card from 2006 Upper Deck Future Stars.  I don’t think that I’m ready to start collecting another Dodgers catcher, but I don’t mind seeing Martin’s cards come out of packs.

The other two Ginter backs that I pulled out of the box were Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay.  Halladay just pitched a gem against the Red Sox and may soon be playing for another team.  A bunch of teams have their name in the mix and I’m hoping that he heads on over to the National League.  Pitching for an AL East team, he faces the Sox far too many times over the course of a season.


I pulled a Bull Shark out of my box.  At this point, I can’t remember which sets were tougher than others to pull from a box.  The shark card doesn’t do much for me.  Maybe if it had a frikkin’ laser beam on its head.


I also pulled a Cleopatra World Icons card.  Again, not a set that I’ll be putting together and it’s not a card that wows me.

I pulled a couple of World Leaders that I forgot to scan and I won’t be going back to do that now.  I got Alan Garcia Perez of Peru and Helen Clark of New Zealand.

I don’t know how many people are still chasing the various 2008 insert sets, but these may find their way to eBay or CheckOutMyCards.com so that they can find a nice home with someone who wants them.


Here come the hits.  2008 Ginter boxes stated that they contained two hits.  There were many documented cases of boxes that contained more than the promised number of hits and some unverified boxes that supposedly had a rip card in every pack and cases with extremely high numbers of rip cards.

I got more than the promised number of hits which is a good thing, but it’s mostly more of the same old, same old.  More cards to add to the trade/BlowoutCards pile.

Here’s A.J. Pierzynski.  Probably the most unlikely professional athlete to ever enter a wrestling ring.


Next is good old Curt Schilling.  Whether you agree or disagree with his politics, rants and other actions off of the field, you can’t deny what he did on the field.  He put his career on the line to be able to go in a couple of huge games and he came through big time.  He doesn’t have the most spectacular regular season statistics, but he’s one of the all-time great postseason pitchers.  He, like Josh Beckett, was especially effective against the Yankees which is enough to make him an instant hero to most Red Sox fans.  You still see lots of people walking around town in “Why Not Us?” t-shirts.


I can’t be disappointed with a Tim Hudson jersey.  Of all of the hyped A’s pitchers, he’s by far had the most successful career and has now been successful in both leagues.


This was the only non-blah swatch out of the bunch.  I remember when stripes like this in jersey swatches were a big deal before they started putting all kinds of patch pieces into cards.

The strange thing about this card is that the swatch appears to have been put into the card at an angle.  There’s also some sort of seam or another stripe on the right side of the swatch.  I really wish the far right of this swatch wasn’t obscured by the tiny little Ginter window.  The bottom is obscured as well.  For all I know, I could have a triangle on my swatch.  It wouldn’t make sense, but it could be there.


Last and least, here’s another Curt Schilling jersey card.  It’s not grey instead of white.  It’s not red, green or navy blue from an alternate jersey.  It’s the same old boring white.  The checklist of relic cards is pretty big, but I get a duplicate out of 5 cards in my box.

That’s the thing about Allen & Ginter.  It continues to be hugely popular in spite of non-athletes, very poor collation and mostly weak “hits.”  It goes to show that there are still lots of people out there who like to put together well done sets.  Ginter is enough of a challenge without being ridiculously difficult to collect.

When all was said and done, I had 168 different cards towards the set.  That’s right around 48% which isn’t too bad.  If I’m lucky, I can buy another box somewhere down the line and get to 75% or 80% and then pick up singles from there to complete the set.  I got 19 different states, 5 jersey cards, 1 World’s Greatest Victories, 13 base minis, 3 A&G minis, 4 black border minis, 1 shark, 1 icon and 2 leaders for 192 cards.  For what I paid, each card cost around .26 cents.

Even though I ended up pulling 5 jersey cards, I can’t say that I was overly thrilled with the box.  I love the set and got a great start towards the set, but the packing out of A&G just seems to be sloppy every year.  In three years worth of Ginter, I’ve gotten packs with 4 cards and packed with 10 cards.  I’ve gotten packs with no minis.  I’ve been shorted hits and I’ve gotten extra hits.  Getting the duplicate Schilling bothers me for some reason.  I would have rather just gotten 4 jerseys without the duplicate.  Just me being picky I guess.

Time to pack this all away in preparation for another house showing.  I’m way behind on getting my checklists together so that I actually know what I need for these sets.  If anyone out there is still putting 2008 Ginter together, let me know and I’ll look through the extras that I had once I put the cards from my two blasters into the mix.  If you’ve got extras and are interested in any of these hits or anything else that I’ve posted on the blog, let me know.


Squeeze Play Cards said...

The Helton card is probably a swatch from where the sleeve joins the rest of the jersey.

Offy said...

That's what I was thinking. I've probably got a Helton armpit swatch. :)

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