Saturday, March 05, 2011

Complete Set Chronicles: 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter

Of all the sets that I've collected, 2008 Allen & Ginter might be the one best considered my "gateway drug" set.  It was the first set where I decided to chase all short prints, most of the minis, and a full parallel set.  For that reason alone, the '08 Ginter set deserves a lot of credit for the initial formation (and then continual updating) of this blog.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter:


Alpha:


Many people have accused Topps of harboring a pro-AL East bias...and the 2008 Allen & Ginter set does nothing to dispel those rumors.  In fact, the first and last cards of the set belong to the AL East rivals Yankees and Red Sox.  For the first card in the set, Topps chose Alex Rodriguez.  No matter what you think of A-rod, it's hard to argue against a player of his caliber being the first card in the set.


Omega:


Continuing the AL East bias, Topps chose a Red Sox to end the set with - Kevin Youkilis.  I suppose Youkilis is an alright choice for the other important card in the set, but I think there were plenty of better choices amongst the subjects within the set.


Card Design:


Keeping with tradition, the 2008 Allen & Ginter set has a muted, simplistic design.  The front of each card features the player (or subject) centered with a watercolor-esque swatch of shading behind the photo.  The full name is at the bottom of the card, along with the '08 A&G logo.  Non-baseball player cards look basically the same (compare the Albert Einstein to the Joey Votto).

There are also a few horizontal cards in the set, most of which make use of a photo depicting a bit of action (nothing along the lines of a set like Stadium Club however).  The Travis Hafner card is a great example of an Allen & Ginter "action" shot.

The backs of the cards are also simplistic, though they fit the retro theme nicely.  For baseball players, full career statistics are spelled out (yes spelled out) as well as the player's vitals.  For non-baseball players, a brief paragraph or two fills the back of the card with an explanation of who (or what) the subject is and why they are a champion.


Other:


The cards numbered 301 - 350 were short printed.  Of the short prints, only 5 of the 50 were non-baseball players (Victor Hugo, Harriet Beecher Stowe, James Bowie, Allen Fisher, and Frank Morris).  There was an additional base card printed - Kosuke Fukudome which was unnumbered (and apparently a much tougher pull than any other short print card in the set).

I was lucky enough to pull one of the Fukudome cards early on so I never had to worry about tracking one down.

In addition to the baseball players and other "champions" from other sports and walks of life, there are a few cards depicting places.  Each year, these cards are some of my favorites, especially if the card depicts somewhere I've been.  In the 2008 set, there are cards for Pluto, the Empire State Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge (the only place of the three that I've been to).


Overall:


If it's possible to fall in love with a baseball card set, then this is the set that is my first "crush".  It's not an entirely perfect set, but the base set coupled with some of the insert sets makes this set a worthy addition for anyone's baseball card library.  I give the set a 9.5 out of 10.

Checklist:
Below you will find the complete 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Checklist in a (hopefully) printable format.  You should be able to copy and paste the table into a Word document and print it out nicely.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter – Complete Set Checklist
1 Alex Rodriguez
2 Juan Pierre
3 Benjamin Franklin
4 Roy Halladay
5 C.C. Sabathia
6 Brian Barton
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Brian Bass
9 Ian Kinsler
10 Manny Ramirez
11 Michael Cuddyer
12 Ian Snell
13 Mike Lowell
14 Adrian Gonzalez
15 B.J. Upton
16 Hiroki Kuroda
17 Kenji Johjima
18 James Loney
19 Albert Einstein
20 Vladimir Guerrero
21 Miguel Tejada
22 Chin-Lung Hu
23 A.J. Burnett
24 Bobby Jenks
25 Aramis Ramirez
26 Corey Hart
27 Brad Hawpe
28 Adam LaRoche
29 Empire State Building
30 Miguel Cabrera
31 Ryan Zimmerman
32 Mark Ellis
33 Nick Swisher
34 Bill Hall
35 Eric Byrnes
36 Michael Young
37 Pedro Martinez
38 Andruw Jones
39 J.R. Towles
40 Justin Upton
41 Paul Konerko
42 Luke Scott
43 Rickie Weeks
44 Adam Wainright
45 Justin Morneau
46 Chris Young
47 Chad Billingsley
48 Kazuo Matsui
49 Shane Victorino
50 Albert Pujols
51 Brian McCann
52 Carlos Delgado
53 Chien-Ming Wang
54 Takashi Saito
55 Josh Beckett
56 Nick Johnson
57 Ben Sheets
58 Johnny Damon
59 Nicky Hayden
60 Prince Fielder
61 Adam Dunn
62 Dustin Pedroia
63 Jacoby Ellsbury
64 Brad Penny
65 Victor Martinez
66 Joe Mauer
67 Kevin Kouzmanoff
68 Frank Thomas
69 Stevie Williams
70 Matt Holliday
71 Fausto Carmona
72 Clayton Kershaw
73 Tadahito Iguchi
74 Khalil Greene
75 Travis Hafner
76 Jim Thome
77 Joba Chamberlain
78 Ivan Rodriguez
79 Jose Guillen
80 Hanley Ramirez
81 Vernon Wells
82 Jayson Nix
83 Masahide Kobayashi
84 Bonnie Blair
85 Curtis Granderson
86 Kelvim Escobar
87 Aaron Rowand
88 Troy Glaus
89 Billy Wagner
90 Jose Reyes
91 Scott Rolen
92 Dan Jansen
93 David Eckstein
94 Tom Gorzelanny
95 Garret Atkins
96 Carlos Zambrano
97 Jeff Francis
98 Kazuo Fukumori
99 John Bowker
100 David Wright
101 Adrian Beltre
102 Ray Durham
103 Kerri Strug
104 Orlando Hudson
105 Jonathan Papelbon
106 Brian Schneider
107 Matt Biondi
108 Alex Romero
109 Joey Chestnut
110 Chase Utley
111 Dan Uggla
112 Akinori Iwamura
113 Curt Schilling
114 Trevor Hoffman
115 Alex Rios
116 Mariano Rivera
117 Jeff Niemann
118 Geovany Soto
119 Billy Mitchell
120 Derek Jeter
121 Yovani Gallardo
122 The Gateway Arch
123 Josh Willingham
124 Greg Maddux
125 John Lackey
126 Chris Young
127 Billy Butler
128 Golden Gate Bridge
129 Joey Votto
130 Tim Wakefield
131 Todd Helton
132 Gary Matthews
133 Wild Bill Hickok
134 Jason Varitek
135 Robinson Cano
136 Javier Vazquez
137 Annie Oakley
138 Andy Pettitte
139 Greg Reynolds
140 Jimmy Rollins
141 Jermaine Dye
142 Eugenio Velez
143 J.J. Hardy
144 Grand Canyon
145 Bobby Abreu
146 Scott Kazmir
147 James Fenimore Cooper
148 Mark Buehrle
149 Freddy Sanchez
150 Johan Santana
151 Orlando Cabrera
152 Lyle Overbay
153 Clay Buchholz
154 Jesse Carlson
155 Troy Tulowitzki
156 Delmon Young
157 Ross Ohlendorf
158 Mary Shelley
159 James Shields
160 Alfonso Soriano
161 Randy Winn
162 Austin Kearns
163 Jeremy Hermida
164 Jorge Posada
165 Justin Verlander
166 Bram Stoker
167 Marie Curie
168 Melky Cabrera
169 Howie Kendrick
170 Jake Peavy
171 J.D. Drew
172 Pablo Picasso
173 Rick Ankiel
174 Jose Valverde
175 Chipper Jones
176 Claude Monet
177 Evan Longoria
178 Jose Vidro
179 Hideki Matsui
180 Ryan Braun
181 Moises Alou
182 Nate McLouth
183 Harriet Tubman
184 Felix Hernandez
185 Carlos Pena
186 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
187 Les Miles
188 Kelly Johnson
189 "Rampage" Jackson
190 Grady Sizemore
191 Francisco Cordero
192 Yunel Escobar
193 Edwin Encarnacion
194 Melvin Mora
195 Russ Martin
196 Edgar Renteria
197 Bigfoot
198 Steve Holm
199 Daric Barton
200 David Ortiz
201 Tim Lincecum
202 Jeff King
203 Jhonny Peralta
204 Julio Lugo
205 J.J. Putz
206 Jeff Francoeur
207 Yuniesky Betancourt
208 Bruce Jenner
209 Clete Thomas
210 Carlos Lee
211 Josh Hamilton
212 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
213 Brendan Harris
214 Dustin McGowan
215 Aaron Harang
216 Brett Myers
217 Friedrich Nietzsche
218 John Maine
219 Charles Dickens
220 Erik Bedard
221 Tim Hudson
222 Jeremy Bonderman
223 Nyjer Morgan
224 Johnny Cueto
225 Roy Oswalt
226 Rich Hill
227 Frederick Douglass
228 Derek Lowe
229 Joe Blanton
230 Carlos Beltran
231 Huston Street
232 Davy Crockett
233 Pluto
234 Jered Weaver
235 Dan Haren
236 Alex Gordon
237 Zack Grienke
238 Todd Clever
239 Brian Bannister
240 Magglio Ordonez
241 Ryan Garko
242 Takudzwa Ngwenya
243 Gil Meche
244 Mark Teahen
245 Carlos Guillen
246 Jeff Kent
247 Lisa Leslie
248 Lastings Milledge
249 Serena Williams
250 Ichiro
251 Matt Cain
252 Callix Crabbe
253 Nick Blackburn
254 Hunter Pence
255 Cole Hamels
256 Garret Anderson
257 Luis Gonzalez
258 Eric Chavez
259 Francisco Rodriguez
260 Mark Teixeira
261 Bob Motley
262 Mark Spitz
263 Yadier Molina
264 Adam Jones
265 Brian Roberts
266 Matt Kemp
267 Andrew Miller
268 Dean Karnazes
269 Gary Sheffield
270 Lance Berkman
271 Paul Lo Duca
272 Matt Tolbert
273 Jay Bruce
274 John Smoltz
275 Nick Markakis
276 Oscar Wilde
277 Dontrelle Willis
278 Kevin Van Dam
279 Jim Edmonds
280 Brandon Webb
281 Joe Nathan
282 Jeanette Lee
283 Andrew "William Ocean" Litz
284 Daisuke Matsuzaka
285 Brandon Phillips
286 Pat Burrell
287 Chris Carpenter
288 Pete Weber
289 Derrek Lee
290 Ken Griffey Jr.
291 Rich Thompson
292 Elijah Dukes
293 Pedro Feliz
294 Torii Hunter
295 Chone Figgins
296 Hideki Okajima
297 Max Scherzer
298 Greg Smith
299 Rafael Furcal
300 Ryan Howard
301 Felix Pie
302 Brad Lidge
303 Jason Bay
304 Victor Hugo
305 Randy Johnson
306 Carlos Gomez
307 Pat Neshek
308 Jed Lowrie
309 Ryan Church
310 Michael Bourn
311 B.J. Ryan
312 Brandon Wood
313 Harriet Beecher Stowe
314 Mike Cameron
315 Tom Glavine
316 Ervin Santana
317 Geoff Jenkins
318 Andre Ethier
319 Jason Giambi
320 Dmitri Young
321 Wily Mo Pena
322 Hank Blalock
323 James Bowie
324 Casey Kotchman
325 Stephen Drew
326 Adam Kennedy
327 A.J. Pierzynski
328 Richie Sexson
329 Jeff Clement
330 Luke Hochevar
331 Luis Castillo
332 Dave Roberts
333 Coco Crisp
334 Jo-Jo Reyes
335 Phil Hughes
336 Allen Fisher
337 Jason Schmidt
338 Placido Polanco
339 Jack Cust
340 Carl Crawford
341 Ty Wigginton
342 Aubrey Huff
343 Bengie Molina
344 Matt Diaz
345 Francisco Liriano
346 Brandon Boggs
347 David DeJesus
348 Justin Masterson
349 Frank Morris
350 Kevin Youkilis
NNO Kosuke Fukudome

1 comments:

Ryan said...

Of the now six Allen and Ginter sets (2006',07',08',09',10', and 11') this one remains my favorite.

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