Well, after reading about a few bloggers ripping boxes of Allen & Ginter that seemed to arrive weeks before the Walmart near me (okay, it was just a few days), I finally got my grubbies on the fancy new stuff. Just a pair of rack packs, not a big splurge or anything. Since I already got all the Padres from the base set in a group break at My Cardboard Habit, I'm just trying to hunt down a few of the players that I'm interested in. I mean, Bert Blyleven and Jim Abbot are on the checklist! Awesome.
Anyways, here are the cards from the first jumbo pack.
Anyways, if you buy Ginter, you know you're going to be inundated with insert sets. Here are examples of the "Curious Cases" and "Civilizations of Ages Past". Not bad ideas for inserts, especially if it devotes a card to Area 51. I'll give the nod in this matchup to "CC", since the "CAP" seems to have a busy border, and I'm not much for Vikings.
I feel like if I say that "Heavy Hangs The Head" is a lame insert that I'm some sort of uncultured swine who doesn't care about history. Call me what you want, but I'm not big on these minis. The "Across The Years" subset seems to be pretty cool, though. Not a fan of Castro, so this one is for trade, but there will probably be a few that I'd be interested in picking up, including a Tony Gwynn card. Just in case you were wondering, Starlin Castro has the same birthday as Steve McQueen.
Ok, on to the actual cards of baseball players. Actually, there weren't as many "regular" cards in this pack. You know, of baseball players. This one will be tossed on the trade pile, but the "huge glove" look is a pretty neat one here. This year, I think Ginter looks clean and classy, a touch more to my liking than last year, and I thought last year's was pretty good. Best year of Ginter so far? I'm not enough of an expert on A&G to say, especially since most of the tweaks to the design aren't that radical. But overall, I'm definitely a fan.
But if you're going to add non-baseball players (which I'm not against, by any means), don't give me this. This Boone person is a "mudder" someone who does really tough races that you have to get all dirty to do. Actually sounds pretty cool, but not worthy of a spot on a checklist. Same goes with Mr. Bowden. An old football coach? Maybe somebody like "The Tuna" or "The Hoodie", but not... whatever this guy's nickname might be.
As much as I like the Area 51 card, this was the only card from the pack that will end up in my binder. I've actually been to Grand Central, on vacation one winter with my wife. This was pre-graduation, pre-kids, so it seems like an eternity ago. My wife loves New York City, so she might be interested in this card. But probably not.
Well, as much as I like 2013 Allen & Ginter, the fact that my favorite card/the only card that won't end up in the trade stack from a whole jumbo pack is a card of a building probably says something. I guess I just had bad luck with the checklist, a bunch of players/people I'm not interested in.
The next day, I thought "hey, what's the chance that I'd pull another dud of a pack?" So I picked another one up. Slightly better, but, not a whole lot. Once again, my favorite card of the pack wasn't of a baseball player. This time, it was a card of...
a scattered disc?
In Judson's group break, there was a reasonable price to get a team of your choice, as well as a randomized team (I got stuck with the Twins, which I traded to get the A's). Then, for only a dollar more, you could choose an insert set. I wasn't sure which one I would like, but then I did some research and saw that "One Little Corner" is a set devoted to celestial bodies (in space, not models, although you can find those on the A&G checklist as well).
Well, I snagged a whopping five of those cards out of two whole boxes, and then I picked up a small lot on eBay for three bucks. This one of "Scattered Disc" brings me to ten cards of the twenty card set. This is one that I'd love to complete. I'm not a huge science guy, but these are still pretty cool looking.
Here's the back, in case you're like me and didn't know what a scattered disc was. It'd be cool to try to incorporate these cards into a lesson for my classroom, but being back in first grade pretty much makes that impossible, as they are not quite up to the "Ginter" level of reading, and the curriculum doesn't touch on much in terms of astronomy. Still, did I already say this? I really like these cards.
So, in conclusion, astronomy and Area 51 = very cool. Design = looking good. Non baseball players = not as interesting as I'd like 'em to be. Blah blah blah, blah blah blah.
Looking at some of the images that've been used on Ginter inserts in the past, some of them look kind of creepy, which reminded me of our recent vacation that we took. I posted about it here, but I didn't mention much about our hotel. It was decently priced, and clean and comfortable, but there was one very unsettling thing that I noticed right away.
This was the painting that they had on the wall next to the window. How creepy is that? This would be great for it in next year's "Big Families" insert set.
You're welcome, Topps.