I was presently surprised that, while strolling through my local Walmart, I happened to spy some blasters of Allen & Ginter. It was surprising, since it's probably been about a week since they finally got Stadium Club. I was actually trying to see if there was a reason to go a few towns over, because the Walmart over there gets cards pretty quickly, and it's right next to the closest Target, which usually beats them all.
Who am I kidding, I wasn't "strolling" through Walmart, I was there to find cards! Do I sound obsessed yet?
I'm not even a big Allen & Ginter fan per se, but the only retail-available brand that I don't at least pick up a few packs of is Gypsy Queen. And the possibility of finding some new Padres and/or new inserts was too much to pass up.
Well, my favorite base card of the bunch was the Mike Napoli above, which I guess is a short print, so I don't know if it technically qualifies as a "base" card, but I pulled a bunch of duds (and no Padres), so that's the image I went with.
The biggest downside of A&G is that you get a bunch of random no-name celebrities. I've seen a bunch of cards on Twitter of some guys from a show called Impractical Jokers. Maybe I'm just judging a book by it's cover, but the commercials for that show (back when I had cable) were pretty unbearable, so I can't imagine that show being worth my while (though feel free to let me know if I'm wrong in the comments).
Anyways, getting a card of Val Kilmer was pretty rad. He actually looks a little like Cam, my best friend from high school. I love that it mentions that he was in Top Gun, which is a top 10 movie in my book.
Here are the minis from the eight packs. The Leonys Martin black border is pretty cool, and the Wright and Arenado A&G backs are pretty cool, I guess. The "Hoist The Black Flag"cards could be pretty cool.
It seems like every year, Ginter has a 100 card insert set that overpopulates it's packs. I don't see a lot of people get really excited over these. They're pretty meh for me. There's only one Padre in it, and it's Anthony Rizzo. If you know how much Padres fans hate that trade, you'll know how much that stings.
Here are some other inserts that I scored. These inserts all seem pretty cool, though within the set, there's some really interesting cards and some pretty boring ones. None of these really strike a chord with me, and I'm not trying to put together any of these sets, so like every non-Val Kilmer card above, it's for trade.
Here was the insert that I really dug. I spent two years in Chicago as a missionary for my church, and pretty much everywhere I went, I could see Willis Tower. Never went in it though. Went to the top of the John Hancock Building once, but that was it. The view was killer though.
When looking through eBay images of other "Keys to the City" cards, there's one of the Alamo, which is the only other one that I want. If you've got it, I'll take it off your hands. Before I'd been there, it didn't really interest me, but once I went there, I've just been really intrigued by it. I've been there a few times, and it's cool every time. I have another card of the Alamo Ginter card of the Alamo has been in a few Allen & Ginter sets, and I've been there a few times and it's awesome.
Out of all of those, this card was easily my favorite. This is just the fourth relic that I've ever pulled myself, and I've kept most of them (kept a Trout and a Prado, traded a Hamels, back before he had thrown a no-hitter). This is one that I'll be keeping. I don't have many non-Padres that I root for, but Jones is a San Diego-boy who honored Tony Gwynn at last year's All-Star Game.
If that's not a reason to root for a guy, I don't know what is. Jones was recruited by Tony to play at San Diego State when he was a kid at Morse High School. He decided to enter the draft, and went to the Mariners in the first round (37th pick). He's been with Baltimore since he was involved in the Eric Bedard trade.
Even though there were no Padres, between the Val Kilmer, Alamo, and Adam Jones relic, I'd say this was a pretty worthwhile blaster. Plus, everything besides those three cards are for trade, so hopefully I can spark something up with those as well. I have zero A&G Padres, so if you have any of those or the Alamo card, let's work something out.
Here's the base cards that are up for grabs:
1 - Madison Bumgarner
7 - Eric Hosmer
11 - Carlos Santana
27 - Maikel Franco
53 - Brandon Crawford
57 - David Cross
63 - Edwin Escobar
75 - Brandon Phillips
91 - Howie Kendrick
117 - Corey Kluber
119 - Paul Scheer (the guy from The League)
123 - Micah Johnson
129 - Yovani Gallardo
149 - Andrew Heaney
156 - Brian Dozier
164 - Adrian Beltre
169 - Yordano Ventura
173 - Buster Posey
174 - Joe Mauer
188 - Shelby Miller
200 - Jose Abreu
232 - Matt Holliday
235 - Michael Taylor
240 - Trevor May
314 - Ian Desmond
322 - Mark Melancon
338 - Mike Napoli
And, one more time, all the inserts and minis are up for grabs.