Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Allen & Ginter Insert Overview Series #96

Set: 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter National Pride
            Total Cards: 75
            Stated Odds: 1 per pack

Bubba’s Derived Odds: 21/24 (first year with 3 hits per hobby box)
           # of Hobby Boxes Needed to Obtain Set: 3.57

Favorite (Owned) Card:

This is easily my favorite card in this set as it features arguably the best pitcher playing the game right now.  It helps that I appreciate Venezuela's flag colors and how it creates a unique, but still good looking background for King Felix's frame.  I would note that 6 years certainly makes a huge difference.  Felix Hernandez looks very young in this photo.

Notes and Comments:
Of all of the full sized inserts that show up at a very high rate (i.e. the large sets that show up once each year and always feature ballplayers), this one is my favorite.  It's not really that I like the theme of the set... in fact, I think the theme is identical to most of the rest of these types of sets (pick some random aspect of a players and plop it on a card so that you can print more mugs of stars).  If I had to pick one of these sets solely for their theme I would have to say that 2012's What's in a Name? is the most creative and (somewhat) interesting of the bunch.

Fortunately cards aren't all about theme and we get to talk about how they look as well.  I happen to really appreciate what this set does with the otherwise strange-looking 2009 Allen & Ginter coloring.  I enjoy the very legible player name and I think my favorite part of this set is the edited in background of the player's home country flag.  Granted, Topps didn't do a perfect job with the photo editing in all 75 cards, but the vast majority of them look very classy.

Not only do these cards look good, but they also have halfway decent card backs.  The standard Allen & Ginter card back is used for this set and it works just fine.  More importantly, the written blurbs are actually relevant to the player and usually fairly interesting.  A lot of the focus happened to be on the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but it also wasn't all that Topps wrote about either.

Arbitrary Rating (out of 100): 83

% of Set Completed: 89%

Missing Cards: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 49

I should probably consider investing in a couple more boxes or blasters of this year.  As you'll see going forward, I'm missing quite a few cards from 2009.  I don't even have the entire base set completed.

Extra Cards:  Too many to list.

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