Alright, the All-Star Game is over, and as we head into the second half of the season, that means that big trades will be made, playoff races will heat up, and big trades will be made.
It also means that (for me) the card releases slow down. There may be some "high end" sets that I'm forgetting about, since I'm on the "lower end" of the collecting scale, but for me, the main sets are Topps flagship, Archives, Heritage, and Allen & Ginter. Panini gets no love, as I don't really see their cards in my neck of the woods. Anyways, A&G came out recently, so that just leaves Topps Update as the last big set, although I'd like to maybe look into getting a box of Heritage Minors when that comes out.
So, without further ado, here was my first venture into the new Ginter set; a humble rack pack. This was my first card:
Of course, it had to be the guy that has no-hit my Padres twice in the last two seasons. And it's a horizontal card. While this one doesn't look too bad, I think that Ginter looks better as a regular card. Whatever, I used to kind of like you Timmy.
Here were all of the "regular" base cards I got. The Rod Carew looks sharp, and reminds me that I wish they were still called the California Angels. Can't decide if I like the Yoenis Cespedes or the Jeremy Hellickson better, but Jose Canseco wins out for the worst card of this group. There were also two other "personalities" or "entertainers" that Ginter is known for putting into the set, but I had never heard of either and they didn't seem interesting to me, so I won't even mention them here.
Here are some other ones. The Curtis Granderson is one of the short printed cards, which has a home with my buddy Mark if he needs it. The Derek Jeter mini seems timely, since the whole All Star Game seemed devoted to him. I'm not sure who Joe Kelly is, but if he's a pitcher for the Cardinals, he's probably going to be an All Star next year.
These "Pastime's Pastimes" cards look great, but I couldn't have pulled a player that I would've been less enthusiastic about. Really not sure why A-Rod was even included in this set. Seem to pull tons of cards of Ryan Braun as well, who falls into a similar category as Alex. On the back, it describes some of the player's hobbies, and (from what I've heard), most of them are philanthropists. Not that it's not a worthwhile hobby, but, c'mon, really? Maybe there's a court order that prohibits Rodriguez from talking about his hobbies.
There is always crap that gets put into Allen & Ginter sets, but there are also some gems. Last year, I put together the "One Little Corner" subset, which showed planets and stuff in our galaxy. Pretty cool concept, and it looked great. This year, there isn't one that sticks out to me like that one, but the "Air Supremacy" subset is probably the closest. I would love these even more if I knew something about planes, but my knowledge is pretty limited.
There was one card that I was really hoping to pull in that pack, but I ended up finding it on eBay for a buck and a half. It hasn't gotten here yet, but here's a pirated image.
I wouldn't consider myself much of an outdoorsman, but I am and Eagle Scout, and I went on a couple of hikes with my troop every year. I don't know how many times I've been to Half Dome with my dad, but I'd say three or four times? Man, that is a beautiful trip. And while it's not completely baseball related, I'm pretty sure that that's where some of our best baseball talk happened - my dad would keep me going as I trudged along by debating who should be in the All-Star game or who the best Padres of all time were. Great, great memories in Yosemite National Park, and very cool to see hobbies collide. It might not look like much from this picture, but from the top, well…
… it's pretty amazing. Once again, a pirated image, but when I'm home in a few weeks, I'll try to dig up some photos of me, my dad, and my buddies up there. I never ventured out onto the "diving board", because I didn't want to die, but I had a friend who did a hand stand at the top, but don't worry, another guy was holding his legs. I'm really surprised that none of us died.
Well, that's it for a while for Ginter. Gotta make sure that we've got enough cash to do some fun stuff in San Diego in a few weeks. Plus, of the 350 cards in the set, only four are Padres. Of those four, one hasn't played for over a decade (Tony Gwynn), and the rest are on the disabled list (Jedd Gyorko, Casey Kelly, and Yonder Alonso). I know the Padres are bad, but to only comprise 1.14% of the checklist? Well, I'll let Bud Black voice my opinion:
GIF courtesy of @jodes0405 on twitter, one of the most optimistic Padres fans I know.
I'll end on a more positive note. While Major League Baseball did nothing to honor Tony Gwynn during the All Star Game (I don't know if there's a precedent for that kind of thing, but I still thought there might be something?), Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who went to Morse High in San Diego sent this picture from the dugout.
Way to go, Adam. We still love ya, Tony