Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Complete Set Chronicles: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter: Baseball Highlight Sketches

The 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter set had a few full-sized insert sets.  One of those sets was the familiar Baseball Highlight Sketches set.

Alpha:

The Baseball Highlight Sketches set begins with the first highlight of the new year - the Twins opening of their new stadium.  Unfortunately, after card number 1 the rest of the highlight cards are not in chronological order.

Omega:

The final card in the the 25-card set is of Ichiro celebrating his 10th straight 200+ hit season.  As with many art sets, the drawings are a bit hit or miss - including this Ichiro who looks more like Jose Bautista to me...

Card design:

The cards are fairly well designed and all feature a nice write-up on the back with details of the highlight in question.  I don't care for the layout of the horizontal cards but that's a fairly minor quibble as there are only six (out of twenty-five) in the set with the horizontal design.

Other:

As with any set with only 25 cards, not all the MLB teams are represented.  However, the selection is a bit worse when you consider the Phillies, Reds, and Giants all got two cards and the Yankees ended up with four highlights.  That only leaves 15 cards for the remaining 26 MLB teams to fight over.

Overall: 

I like the concept of the Highlight cards because they do serve as a nice "yearbook" for each MLB season.  Looking back at the set, it was fun to recall some of the moments that I happened to catch on TV (especially Bruce's walk-off home run).  That said, the poor decision to make some of the cards horizontal coupled with some rather dubious sketches does drag the overall score down a bit.  I give the set a 7.0/10.

For completion, here is the entire set (in order):

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