Monday, November 21, 2016

I Need Your Help Being Decisive

I enjoy minis.  I strive to collect a complete set of regular back Allen & Ginter minis from every year that Topps has produced them.  So far, I have only fully completed one set, but that okay.  It gives me something to chase after.

With all this mini collecting over the years, I've accumlated a vast assortment of "unwanted" minis.  It's not that I don't like them... it's more that they don't fit in any specific collection, so they get set aside.

Today I attempt to change this!

I'm going to be putting together a Frankenset of black bordered Ginter minis with a few rules:

  1. As is typical of a Frankenset, I must include a single card of every number (1-350 in this case).
  2. No card subject can be repeated.
  3. The most "iconic" mini will always make the binder ahead of another mini.
  4. I will attempt to keep each year of Allen & Ginter represented at least somewhat fairly.
This idea originally started coming together after my case break from last year.  In 2014, I pulled a black bordered Bryce Harper rookie card and last year I pulled a black bordered Kris Bryant rookie card.  I figured that these cards were the definition of "iconic" (not to mention a bit pricey), so I wanted to do something with them to show them off.

I spent the past month creating a spreadsheet of Ginter checklists over the last 11 years and slowly eliminated cards until now.

I need your help.  I'm at an impass.  337 of the 350 potential mini slots are accounted for.  These last 13 have yet to be decided.

Statue of Liberty vs. Steve Carlton

Will Clark vs. Orlando Cepeda

Javy Lopez vs. Jack the Ripper vs. Colin Cowherd

Daisuke Matsuzaka RC vs. Chris Johnson RC

Dwight Eisenhower vs. McKayla Maroney

Moises Alou vs. Javier Vazquez

Eiffel Tower vs. Rafael Furcal

PT Barnum vs. Charles Goodyear

Sacagawea vs. Jeremy Hellickson RC

Mario Andretti vs. Albert Einstein vs. Rollie Fingers

Alexei Ramirez vs. Garrett Richards

I know those aren't black minis (trying to find pictures of all the black minis would be tough), but they are the base card counterparts.  If you have any kind of opinion on the above "matchups," throw your thoughts in the comments.  I'll probably listen to you.  :)

Lastly, below is a list of Allen & Ginter card #326 throughout all 11 years of its existance.  I'm completely at a loss as to what to do with this slot.  None of these cards seem iconic to me.  So we're doing a poll... over there --->

Go vote on your favorite card #326.  I'm curious as to which subject will win.  Here's the pictures in case that sways your vote.  Thanks for your help!

Chester A. Arthur

Alex Rios

Adam Kennedy

Cameron Maybin

Aaron Rowand

Jason Castro

Logan Morrison

Ruben Tejada

Mike Olt

Mitch Moreland

Peter O'Brien

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Too Sleepy to Come Up With a Creative Title... But Someone Sent Me Minis!

Red Sox fan and Mookie Betts collector, Greg of My Baseball Card Comeback sent me team bags full of cards.  Lots of them.  Posting about them individually would both take far too long and really not do any justice to the sheer number of needs that Greg was able to cross off my want list.  So, instead of scanning every mini he sent and giving you a visual overload, I decided to place all the minis he sent on top of my scanner and pretend to scan them.

Like so.

That's a lot of minis... and after taking two weeks to go through them all, there was only one duplicate added to my collection.  Greg did good.

Don't worry.  I did scan a few of my favorites.  I decided to keep my favorites to a bunch of non-baseball minis like the above beautiful picture of the Golden Gate Bridge.  The card is so simple, but it still makes me continually stare at it.

A couple non-baseball inserts from 2009, of which I'm severely lacking in quantity.  I had never heard of the Wisconsin State Capitol hoax until reading this card, so Ginter succeeds in continuing to teach me random facts.

An ELECTRON from the same year's base set.  A bit of a silly card I suppose, but I kinda appreciate the seeming randomness of it.

...similar to how I appreciate the randomness of x-rays showing up in 2010, albeit on a much more ugly design.

This Shen Kuo is similar to that of Kate Upton's reaction after Rick Porcello won the AL Cy Young award yesterday.

Greg took to my want list mostly from 2008-2010 (must have been his prime collecting years).  These were years in which I had very little collecting experience and my want lists are extensive.

However, he was able to find a handful of minis I still needed from 2014, one of which completed an insert set for me!  Looking back on the 2014 mini inserts makes me miss the product.  The vast majority of the inserts from that year were above average, while I feel the last two years there have only been one or two inserts that I've really enjoyed.

Greg also knew I was a Braves fan and didn't hold back on sending me non-Ginter stuff either!  An 08 Smoltzy mini came with the package (yes... I know, still Ginter), as well as a bunch of new Julio Teheran's to add to the collection!

The highlight of the Teheran's was definitely this green Bowman numbered out of 99.  Thanks so much for the awesome trade Greg!  I definitely owe you one!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

That Feeling of Instant Splurge

I'm not usually one to post cards I've recently acquired just for the sake of posting them and showing them off.  I usually like to have a reason to do.  Sometimes that reason is highlighting a trade package, having a theme to write about, or simply posting a good story.

Today is a bit different.  Here are some cards.  I bought them.  I didn't have them before and now I do, and I'm excited about that.

I suppose there is a bit of "theming" to all this as the vast majority of the cards have been on my want list for quite some time.  These cards are just rare enough and just old enough that most people don't have them lying around anymore.

I bought a bunch of these 2008 mini inserts off COMC, pretty much grabbing everything I didn't have that came in under $1.50.  Heck, even if I wasn't trying to collect these sets, I still might have spent the $1.50 on a few of these cards.  2008 Allen & Ginter is simply that beautiful to me.

These Team Orange inserts were a bit more than than the $1.50 price-point, but they're also a bit more rare.  Happy to cross them off my want list!

The last of the 2008 minis was also one of my favorites.  It not only finished up my set of Pioneers of Aviation, but I got this card for $0.99!!!  A great deal!

Picked up two of the three flags I need to complete this mini set from 2007.  The last card I need is that of Iceland, a wonderful country that just exceeded all sorts of expectations at EURO 2016.

I also inched closer to this Roman Emperors set.  Hadrian was 1 of 3 remaining for me.

I didn't just limit it to rare and older Ginter.  I picked up some fairly new stuff as well.  I'm still trying to complete the 2015 purple framed relic set because... well, purple!

These six were all on the cheaper end (really, Beltre cheap???) and I needed them, so into the cart they went.

This particular purchase was more of a last-second splurge.  I really enjoy the cloth minis, and I don't have too many of them, so being able to pick up a notable Brave at a decent price seemed like a good idea.

Lastly, I started my Teheran PC out with a BANG!  While I like the way this kid pitches, one of the other reasons I chose him was because of his absolutely beautiful signature.  His autos are actually surprisingly cheap (borderline bargain bin prices), which kinda astounds me.  While he's no Clayton Kershaw, he certainly is still a great pitcher with tons of possible upside.

I ended up with a whole mix of autographs when all was said and done.  Some RC autos, a few on-card, some sticker-graphs, a few numbered ones.

I even obtained the lovely "floating ball" Stadium Club shot.  While this one isn't the best, I've always loved a good floating ball picture.  They do tend to work better when zoomed out a bit more so the camera doesn't have to choose what it wants to focus on.

This one is probably my favorite?  Heck, they're all my favorite.  I like this one mostly because of the card design.  Someone went to town and put a whole lot of pieces together to make this card look nice, and I think they did a fabulous job.  It helps that the clouds background goes rather nicely with the blue parallel.