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.
- 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: