Thursday, July 28, 2016

Contest Winner Plus Case Break Minis!

First and foremost the scoring line from last night:

Aroldis Chapmin "closed" it out for the Cubbies last night and they took home the win 8-1.  11 total hits means our winner is #20 in the list:

Congratulations Barry W.!!!

I unfortunately do not have your contact information, nor can I really seem to find a way to get it.  So if you could reach out to me, we can get you hooked up with some Ginter!

On to the Ginter that I opened!

Today we're only going to cover 9 cards, but they are a fun group of 9 cards for me.  I probably will only end up keeping two of them, as I don't have much interest in the other subjects and I certainly don't collect these sets.

We're, of course, speaking of mini parallels (namely the rare ones)!

Regular back:
A&G back:
Black bordered:
No number: theoretically /50 (but not numbered)
Brooklyn back: /25
Cloth: /10 (limited run)
Metal: /3 (limited run)
Wood: /1 
Glossy: /1 (most likely included in retail as well???)

For this post I'm skipping over the first three types of minis.  I pulled a bunch of them... featuring a variety of players.

These first three are of the no-number flavor of mini.  These minis I find to be completely obnoxious because they aren't numbered... and they aren't numbered.  Eh!  Get it?

Alright, I'm done.  Anywho, these used to be hand-numbered to 50 and I figure Topps got lazy because they aren't anymore, yet folks are still fairly certain that there are approximately 50 of each of these floating around in the product still.

None of the above names are overly special, but this below one is kinda fun!

I don't mind having this card, even though she is suspended.  I enjoy watching tennis every once in a great while mostly because I have so much respect for the players and what they can do.  If you combine the two, tennis might be the most physically and technically demanding sport out there.

Obligatory post of the card backs.  Notice the missing numbers... and the missing number.

Onward to other minis says I!  More rare minis!  Next up in that list are these "new" Brooklyn back minis.  These used to be red backs, or Bazooka backs, or... I don't know.  There's been a lot of different names for these.

These now have the word "Brooklyn" on the back of them, so we must call them Brooklyn backs.  Whatever.  I rarely keep these unless I pull a Brave or someone I'm really interested in.  I got a Moose and a guy who makes a living by throwing a Frisbee around.  On a much happier note, these minis have numbers... many of them.

Next in line is the card that you've already seen.  I only got one cloth mini out of the case and it was a doozy.  Bryce Harper staring out into space with that ever confident look on his face.  This one is staying right here... at least for a while.

Next would be the metal minis numbered to 3.  I have never opened a metal mini, and this case did not yield any either.

A quick break in the action to highlight the other rare mini that I plan on keeping.  This is a case hit that is part of a 30 card insert set that is going to end up hitting my wallet REAL hard.  While these minis are still case hits like years past, they are 3X harder to get because there are three times as many.  EBay prices for last years case hits could be seen around $6 if you tried really hard (normally more like $8).  This year, I haven't seen one go for under $10 (including shipping) and they are routinely going in the $12-$15 range.  Not impressed. We're talking about $300-350 for this set.  BOOOOOOO.

The next type of mini is the first type of 1/1 mini.  The wood mini.  I didn't get any.


I did get a glossy mini of Steve Carlton!  I have no interest in keeping it.  It'll probably end up on the eBay eventually, if I don't get anyone really coming after it hard.  I should probably be responsible and re-coup at least a little of my case cost.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Gintery Contest #3 Results!

Contest #3 is in the books!  I asked you all to number the non-baseball hits that I'd pull in this year's Allen and Ginter.  I was unable to find any retail near me by this deadline (of today) so it ended up being my case and the one Gint-a-Cuffs box.

Here's my non-baseball hits!

We start off with two relics.  One of a guy from "Field of Dreams," a movie that I've seen at least 5 times but could have never told you the name of this actor.  The other is of a boxer I know very little about, but he's apparently pretty good... meh.

Two more relics to make four.  Both of these I have zero interest in.  Though, I must say, that blue is mighty vibrant and I appreciate that.

Taking a break from relics and jumping over to two of my autographs from my case break.  Ari Shaffir is a comedian that I've never heard of.  To be fair, I really haven't heard of many comedians at all.  The only time I ever listen to comedy is if a random YouTube search brings me to it.

To date I've heard of and listened to the following comedians (more known for stand-up than for acting... the first two are borderline for this criteria):
Jerry Seinfeld - he's okay...
Bill Cosby - I enjoyed him up until his little... incident
Jeff Dunham - I find him to be above average and greatly applaud him for his completely insane talent of ventriloquy
Gabriel Iglesias - I find him to be completely unbearable
Brian Regan - I found him funny in high school... not so much anymore
John Pinette - This guy has my single favorite stand-up routine I've ever listened to (admittedly not a whole lot).  But if you think food is a funny subject and you have an hour, then enjoy.

Otherwise, I'm not very impressed with comedians and I really don't appreciate the recent trend of cornucopias of them showing up in Ginter product.  Oh well.

The other auto is of Vinny G.  He's from Jersey Shore.  Enough said... and yes, I had to look that up.

Hits numbers 7 and 8 bring us back to relics... and oh, looky that.  ANOTHER COMEDIAN.  Boo.

I did know who Steinberg was before writing this simply because I follow sports, but I don't really want a piece of his shirt.

Hit 9 comes from the only guy to beat Joey Chesnut at stuffing food down one's gullet.  Good for him!  I hope that blue is stained with mustard.

Hit number 10 I already showed off once, but it is that of an Ancient Roman coin.  Wooo!

Lookie here!  Did we ever hit it big with this one!  The last non-baseball hit from the case was an autograph of olympian Micheal Phelps!  I was definitely pumped when this came out of the pack.  After Sharapova got suspended for the year, either Costner or this Phelps auto became THE non-baseball auto to hit from this product.  Very happy with this pull.

But wait!  Not done yet!  We still have my Gint-a-Cuffs box.  That box yielded 1 non-baseball hit.  I'm not going to show it here, because that would spoil the fun.  Plus, it could influence Mr. Commish on his scoring.  We don't want to do that.

That means... the winner of this year's Gintery Contest #3 is he who guessed 12 hits!

One person guessed the number 12.

Congratulations to this year's winner!

Wilson (Tenets of Wilson)

You can expect an e-mail tomorrow with prize details!

For those of you who didn't win, remember to watch the Cubs and White Sox tonight!  ...and if you haven't gotten in on the fun yet, YOU STILL CAN!

Gintery Contest #1 Update!

Before I talk about winning, know that there's still one more contest you can join.  It's contest #5 and is located here!

I'm stealing defgav's idea of how to determine a contest winner (simply because I think it more fair and random).  So here's what we're going to do.  I'm going to randomize this list of people 5 times (the number of contests I did) and post it below.

The winner of this contest will be the person that occupies the slot for the total number of runs/hits/errors in tonight's Cubs-White Sox game.  If that number is over 26, we will simply loop the list, so 28 runs/hits/errors will make Josh D. in spot 2 the winner.  Make sense?  Good.

Good luck!

I should have an update on contest #3 this afternoon as well!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

#Box 9

Allen & Ginter was released on Friday.  I had ordered it months ago from the card shop I occasionally work at.  I was talking with the owner over the past week and he wasn't sure if the case would actually come in right on release day (mostly because his shop is out in the boonies and the shipping companies aren't exactly the nicest to him).

I was at work on Friday on a 9-5 shift when I got a text from the owner:

"Your case is in."

Oh yeah!  I had a dilemma though... I was supposed to be getting dinner with the gf later that evening around 6ish.  Here's a map of CT.

Blue dot = work
Yellow dot = home/dinner
Green dot = Allen & Ginter case

See my problem?

So I decided to do the sensible thing... I cut work early.  Shhhh, don't tell anybody.  They have no idea what I did.

Regardless, I did the right thing the rest of the night and spent the evening with the girlfriend especially since it was the last day I was seeing her for quite some time as she goes to Disney... without me.

That left mostly yesterday for case opening shenanigans!

As I was opening the case and looking through cards, I was trying to decide how and what I wanted write about.  There are certainly a plethora of subjects I want to touch on this year like the minis, the Mejia SSP, what I got for hits, the card stock, and hobby odds, but this first subject seemingly wrote itself as I was opening the case.

It's simply my story and mindset while opening these packs.

When I obtained this case I briefly debated filming the opening or breaking it down into box-by-box posts, but quickly nixed both ideas.  I wanted to get these cards open ASAP both for trading purposes and so that I could actually mail out contest winnings before going on vacation.  Plus, there's already a blogger out there who loves A&G almost as much as I do and does a very good job with pack-by-pack postings (so if you're looking for that, go check out Nachos Grande).

I quickly opened boxes 1-6 of the case (144 packs for those of you counting) and noted my progress:
  • 1 missing card (#343) for a complete base set
  • Completed 2 of the 3 full-sized insert sets (72/100 of the 3rd)
  • Mini inserts far from complete
  • Notable pulls: 2 autos, 2 RIP cards, mini case hit (Skippers), Urias SSP, a Brooklyn back mini
I paused.  I was very happy with where I was at this point.  So happy, in fact, that I considered stopping for good right then and there.  I had done far "too well" on these first 6 boxes.  Additionally, the whole reason behind opening a case had just evaporated.  I had already hit all my expected "case hits."

Basically my thought process was, "you aren't going to hit anymore RIP cards, anymore Skippers inserts, and you've already had too many 'plus' boxes.  You can only go downhill from here."  My mind was thinking in mathematical terms... in terms of expected value... in terms of those people out there who are in this hobby to make a buck.

That thought iss what kept me opening.  I do this for fun and because I enjoy it.  Sure, I love pulling sweet hits as much as any other person, but I'm not in this to make money.

I opened more.

Box 7 and 8 were pretty much as I expected... not those 'plus' boxes you're looking for.  Three relics for hits and not much in terms of nice minis.

On I went.

On to Box 9... where, I kid you not, this is exactly how the hits revealed themselves:

The very first pack I opened contained this very bland Justin Verlander relic.  Moving on.

Three or so packs later yielded this very colorful piece of Kyle Seager fabric.  I'll touch on this VERY briefly right now because I was very impressed this year.  Topps really upped it's game with jersey pieces in this year's A&G (at least in the fabric I got).  Of the 20-some odd relics I received, the vast majority either featured extremely colorful material, were dual color, or had some other "fun" feature about them.  Trust me... that Verlander up there is in the minority.

Topps seems to think I like Jim Rice.  I actually laughed out loud when I saw this come out one of the packs from Box 9.  This is at least my 4th hit I've pulled of Rice in the past 2 years.  Unfortunately, I was born the year after he stopped playing so I certainly never got to see him on the ball field.  This is my first 1-of-1 of his though, so I'm definitely not complaining!

At this point, I thought I was through with hits for the box.  After all...

...the box specifically counts printing plates as one of your guaranteed 3 hits.  I have opened boxes with 4 hits before; in fact, one of the first 6 boxes I opened was a 3 relic/1 auto box which was pretty cool.  Ginter also always has other rare cards that are non-hits as well; case hit mini inserts, numbered minis, and SSP Urias's.

But I was certainly not expecting this numbered mini to fall out of this Box 9.  I might have to give this card it's own post just because its so purrty.  If you've never seen one of these cloth minis in person, please go out and buy one of your favorite player (just not from 2011... those frames are ugly).  They are that beautiful.

I might have gone a little ballistic when this card showed up just over halfway through Box 9.  I'm still ogling it.  I just went and made the 'B' in Box 9 capital everywhere in this post because I'm still so impressed.  I have dubbed "Box 9" to be a proper noun.  This card will 100% have it's own post... later.

Let's review:
  • Version A Relic - 1:24
  • Version B Relic - 1:24
  • Printing Plate - 1:415
  • Cloth mini - 1:443
  • Ancient Rome Relic 1:1110
All in the same box, Box 9.  The chance of having the two relics, a printing plate, and a cloth mini show up in the same box: 0.313%.  That's impressive.

The chance of those showing up with an Ancient Rome Relic?  


Cool.  Go Box 9!

That awesome Ancient Coin showed up around roughly pack 18 of 24 and I was overjoyed.  I made such a loud verbal exclamation that my roommate who has very little interest in baseball cards came out of his room to see what I had pulled.

Box 9 had exceeded all expectations.  The 6 packs remaining weren't your 'run-of-the-mill' packs either.  No, Box 9 will not relent!

No big deal.  Just a sweet looking autograph of a former Braves prospect that is young and has tons of speed!  We can add a 6th "hit" to that list.

  • Framed Mini Autograph - 1:48
We're now at a .0034% chance of this box coming together at random.

In other terms, this is a 1:29,412 box... or you'd have to open 2,451 cases to see a box like this!  To be fair, I've seen a bit of talk of these kind of seeming "hot boxes," but nothing this insane.  Bryce Harper cloth! Common.

I'll recap the rest of my case and show some more pretty pictures in another post.  This one is long enough as is.  In the meantime:

 #Box 9

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gintery Contest #4 Results!!!

Contest #3 is in the books!  Thank you all for participating!  I had 16 different entries and ended up choosing 4 finalists that had me giggling the most.

The winner of this contest (according to a variety of different people that read over these 4 finalists) is defgav of Baseball Card Breakdown!  I'll shoot you an e-mail once the other winners have been determined.

Meanwhile, enjoy the MadLibbing of our 4 finalists below and come back next week for the revelation of two more contest winners!!!

Bloggers take notice!  An 89UD Griffey #1 has been seen pulsing to the tune of Get Out of My Dreams (And Into My Car).  Weird Al attempted to shower on Take Your Daughter to Work Day but failed in his effort.  Authorities decided to urinate, and caught the perpetrator in the process.  However, it has been determined that the unopened packs of 1989 Topps are still not safe.  To combat the further busting of the Upper Deck Griffey RC, please refrain from PSA grading while writing blog posts.  Furthermore, to encourage a PSA Gem Mint 10 community, always lick while reading other blogger’s creations.

Thank you for your stinky assistance in this matter.

-The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Bloggers take notice!  A pizza has been seen skywriting to the tune of I'd Do Anything For Love (But I won't Do That).  Tom Sawyer attempted to twerk on Saturday but failed in his effort.  Authorities decided to pounce, and caught the perpetrator in the process.  However, it has been determined that the balloons are still not safe.  To combat the further jumping of the pizza, please refrain from counting while writing blog posts.  Furthermore, to encourage a blue community, always whine while reading other blogger’s creations.

Thank you for your spotted assistance in this matter.

-Mr. Bean

Bloggers take notice!  A pig has been seen shrieking to the tune of Pompeii.  Pete Rose attempted to beat it on Wednesday but failed in his effort.  Authorities decided to walk, and caught the perpetrator in the process.  However, it has been determined that the pull tabs are still not safe.  To combat the further killing of the pig, please refrain from roasting while writing blog posts.  Furthermore, to encourage a slovenly community, always leave while reading other blogger’s creations.

Thank you for your churlish assistance in this matter.

-Jay Barker

Bloggers take notice!  A baseball has been seen collecting to the tune of I Remember You.  Madison Bumgarner attempted to jump it on Friday but failed in his effort.  Authorities decided to vomit, and caught the perpetrator in the process.  However, it has been determined that the binders are still not safe.  To combat the further running of the baseball, please refrain from punching while writing blog posts.  Furthermore, to encourage an ugly community, always fight while reading other blogger’s creations.

Thank you for your colorful assistance in this matter.

-Johnny Bench

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Gintery Contest 2016 Edition #5

Allen & Ginter releases on 7/22!  I haven't posted about this contest series in a bit so just a reminder that you can still get in on 3 of the 4 previous contests if you haven't entered yet!

Contest #1: Deadline 7/27

Contest #3: Deadline 7/20 (yes... that would be tomorrow)

Contest #4: Deadline 7/27

For this last contest, we're hearkening back to last year again and we're all going to be opening a pack of 2016 Allen & Ginter.  That's the theme of this contest after all... is it not?  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find a single pack of this year's Allen & Ginter.  It can be hobby or retail.  It can be part of a blaster, a case/box break you're doing.  Whatever.  All you have to do is designate it as the pack for this contest.

Open it.  Review it. If you have a blog, post about it.  If you don't have a blog, e-mail me your review.  I'll post it for you!  If you choose the first option, make sure you comment on this post with a link to your pack review (so that I can actually read it)!

I'll probably have a group of my friends decide the winner for this one and it'll probably be based loosely on what's in the pack, the creativity of the review, and perhaps some other things.  I'm going on vacation to visit the glorious green carpets (yes... mini golf) of Cape Cod from 7/31-8/6.  I feel that giving folks only a week to do this would be a little unfair to those whose Wal-Marts and Targets are slow to get new product on the shelf, so this contest will have a deadline of the day I get back (8/6).

Good luck!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Allen & Ginter Insert Overview Series #81

Set: 2009 Allen & Ginter Baseball Highlights
            Total Cards: 25
            Stated Odds: 1:6

Bubba’s Derived Odds: 1:6
           # of Hobby Boxes Needed to Obtain Set: 6.25

It's been some time since I last wrote one of these up.  We're currently on post #81 and we're going backwards so I'm really on post number 20... out of 100.  I went back in time recently to accommodate the newer 2015 sets and we're just now back to where we should be in the countdown.  Here's the link to #82 which was the 2010 version of this same set.

Both sets require the same 6.25 hobby boxes to complete but this set gets the nod as slightly more difficult to complete due to its size of 25 cards compared to 15.

Favorite (Owned) Card:

I don't really like the Yankees, and Jeter isn't exactly my favorite player in the world, but this card, and this play will always live in my memories.  I have always enjoyed when players go all out for fly-balls, especially when they end up crashing into the stands or a dugout.  Perhaps the only defensive plays I enjoy more are insane throws from deep in the hole or from way out in the outfield.  It just so happens to be quite difficult to capture that type of play on cardboard, so this becomes my de-facto choice for defensive themed cards.

Notes and Comments:
The set design itself: Topps made similar insert sets to this one from 2009-2012.  They were occasionally given different titles, but the general concept was the same.  Find some baseball highlights either from the past year or from recent baseball history and make cards about them.  At its heart, I think this is a fine idea.  This 2009 version of the set just so happened to pick highlights from the past decade.  It features multiple cards of superstars from the day (Griffey Jr., Jeter, Chipper, and a bunch of other Yankees) achieving a milestone of some sort or having some highlight play.  This works for me.

The 2010 set does something very similar, but only focused on highlights and milestones from the previous season.  This also worked for me.  It invoked some fond memories of that 2009 season and featured players that weren't necessarily superstars.

As you'll see in future posts, I didn't like the 2011 or 2012 versions of these sets (even though they're quite similar to these two sets that I do enjoy).  I think the problem is two-fold: design and repetition.  I'll go deeper when I review those sets individually.

As for this set, I truly love it.  I think the watercolor feel to the pictures are phenomenal (not to mention that the cards mesh so nicely with the '09 base set).  I also am a big fan of these particular card borders and titling.  They almost remind me of those old barber-shop polls, just in a different color.

Arbitrary Rating (out of 100): 81
Click link above for complete up-to-date ratings

% of Set Completed: 80%

Missing Cards: AGHS2, AGHS3, AGHS4, AGHS7, AGHS22

Extra Cards: AGHS9, AGHS10, AGHS11, AGHS14, AGHS15, AGHS18, AGHS23, AGHS24