Sunday, July 31, 2016

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box #4 - Packs 9 - 16: Streetcars, Relics, and Natural Wonders (oh my)

The first eight 2016 Allen & Ginter packs from my 4th box were quite good.  Can the next group of eight keep up the pace?

Box 4 - Packs 9 - 16:

This time, I landed a pair of new (to me) Natural Wonders cards.  The Cave of the Crystals card is particularly cool.

The minis were mostly regular backed though two of them were at least short prints (Darvish & Tom Murphy).  I landed a single A&G back and it happened to be another Red!

As for the mini inserts, I found two more including the second US Mayor card from the box and then another cool Subways and Streetcars mini.

And finally, the second hit of the box - and for non-baseball relics, I'd say this is a good one to get!

Pretty cool stuff.

The big question is now, where will Box #4 end up in the rankings of my boxes.  At the moment, the rankings look like this:
1.  Box #1 (Rip Card, Framed Relic, 2 regular Relics, Brooklyn mini)
2.  Box #3 (No number mini, 3 non-baseball relics)
3.  Box #2 (Framed Relic)

Currently, Box #4 is clearly better than #2 and it's probably already better than #3 as well (barring some sort of catastrophe in the final eight packs).  An amazing pull could put it ahead of Box #1 though...stay tuned to find out!

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box #4 - The First Eight Packs (A Brooklyn Mini & an Autograph)!

When I first started opening up my Allen & Ginter boxes I was doing a single pack per post.  Before long I went to two packs per post, then four, and now eight.  I think that's a bit of a statement on the set seeing as how I now feel I have very little to say about most of the cards...

Anyhow, we've made it to the second half of my six box purchase.  Let's rip the first third of box #4!

Box #4:  Boxloader

Once again, I pull a basic boxloader - but again at least it is a new (to me) player.  So long as I don't get any duplicates I guess I'm happy enough - though part of me does hope to pull a rare boxloader still!

Box #4 - Packs 1 - 8:

Let me begin by saying that Box #4, through only eight packs, is already better than Box #2!  There are a LOT of highlights from this box, but let's begin with my second Brooklyn back mini card - this one numbered 02/25 (Brooklyn backs are seeded 1:146 packs so I've done well getting two in four boxes).

The other minis of note included an A&G back mini of Matt Harvey, a black bordered Brandon Drury, and a US Mayors card that I needed.  Good stuff there as well.

And finally, if the above stuff wasn't enough - I pulled my first 2016 Allen & Ginter autograph:

That's Trevor Story - the guy who had an amazing early part of the year!  Autographs aren't easy to pull this year - seeded 1:48 packs or about 1 per every other box.

At this rate, this box has a chance to usurp even the rather great box #1.  I'm obviously happy with the goodies so far - and now I can't wait to rip into the rest of the box!

2016 Allen & Ginter: Finishing Off Box #3 (including the Third Hit)!

This is it, the final four packs of box #3 - including the final hit of the box.

Box 3 - Packs 21 - 24:

First, I finally pulled a new Natural Wonders card - this nice one Devils Tower.

My four minis included three regular back minis (at least the Andy Pettitte is a short print) and an A&G back mini of Carlton Fisk.

And, to finish off the box - in the very last pack that I opened was hit #3.

Yep, a Disc Golf Champion.

If you were paying attention, I ended up with three relics in this box - an agent, a race car guy, and now this disc golfer.  I'm not complaining - part of the "weirdness" is why I love Ginter...but I do miss the interesting relics with the non-baseball folks.  Instead of yet another piece of cloth, give me a piece of his flying disc, or some rubber from an old race car tire...you know, something to make the relics memorable when you end up with one from a guy you've never heard of!

Oh well, it was a fun box to rip regardless.  If I had to rank it, I'd put box #3 firmly in the middle of box #1 (great) and box #2 (fairly terrible).  I'm hopeful that boxes 4 through 6 all finish ranked about this one at least.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box #3 - Ripping Eight Packs at Once!

It's a Saturday evening and I felt like ripping through a lot of Ginter, what can I say - it's a fun rip!  Anyhow, tonight I have the highlights from the next eight packs out of my Ginter box.

Box 3 - Packs 13 - 20:

Perhaps I should have used this box for Gint-a-Cuffs - that's all I could think when I pulled this Johnny Bench Baseball Legends card...

...and then shortly thereafter a Devin Mesoraco black bordered mini.  I also got a Steve Spurrier A&G back mini an four regular minis including a nice Altuve (my current favorite non-Reds player).

Keeping with the minis, we end the highlights of this group of eight packs with TWO mini inserts (bringing box 4's total up to 4 such mini inserts).  I got my second US Mayors card of the box - a mayor with a great last name I might add and another Ferocious Felines card.

Pretty good stuff there.  Unfortunately, I pulled a pair of duplicate Natural Wonders cards (I think all of my Natural Wonders cards from this box have been duplicates actually).  I also got the usual short prints and Numbers Game cards but I think most people are sick of seeing scans of those by now so I'll refrain.

More to come including (hopefully) my third and final hit of the box in the last four packs.

2016 Allen & Ginter - Box #3: Packs 9 - 12 (In Which We Find Hit #2)

After this post, we will be halfway through box #3 of my 2016 Allen & Ginter purchase.  As you'll see momentarily, the second hit lurks within the next four packs!

Box 3 - Packs 9 - 12:

Two more Numbers Game cards, two more base short prints (including a Trea Turner which is new to me I think).  The Numbers Game cards were of Matt Harvey and Willie McCovey, both of which I think I needed as well.

Sticking with the regular sized cards, I pulled a pair of Baseball Legends.  The Honus Wagner card is particularly nice if you ask me - it works within the old timey feel of Ginter!

My minis were also pretty good - three regular backs (but the Beltran is a short print) plus one insert - another nice Subways & Streetcars card.

For my money, the Subways & Streetcars is the early favorite for best mini set in 2016 Ginter.

And finally, the promised second hit of the box:

Yeah, that would probably mean more to me if I knew anything at all about racing.  I've never even heard of Ricky Craven before - but at least the relic isn't grey or white.

That's it for the first half of the box.  So far, it's been better than box #2 but still nowhere near the quality of the first box I opened.

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box 3 - Packs 5 - 8: Some Nice Minis!

Woah, I just looked at the calendar and realized that tomorrow is the last day of July.  That's a big bummer!  At least I still have some 2016 Allen & Ginter to cheer me up (and make me forget, at least momentarily, about the upcoming school work year)!

Box 3 - Packs 5 - 8:

Two base short prints, two Numbers Game inserts.

That seems to be par for the course.  At least I pulled a nice Votto insert that I needed...and now I won't have to try and trade for the Kris Bryant (which is also a good thing for me).

My minis included a pair of regular backs of some big name stars (Roger Clemens and Frank Thomas).  I also got my first A&G back mini of the box - and it happens to be the first Reds A&G mini.  This pairs well with the no numbered A&G back mini that I already pulled!  And finally, I got my first mini insert - another US Mayor card (but I needed this one so it's all good)!

My two other full sized inserts included another Natural Wonders card that I already pulled (Punalu'u Beach) and a Carl Yastrzemski Baseball Legends card that I am also pretty sure I already pulled (so I didn't bother scanning either of them).

Clearly the minis were the highlight of this group of packs.  However, with 16 packs remaining in the box (including two more hits) this box still have a chance to be pretty good.  Fingers crossed.

Friday, July 29, 2016

2016 Topps Allen & Ginter: Beginning Box #3 - Here's Hoping for a Better Box!

At this point, I've opened up two boxes of 2016 Topps Allen & Ginter.  The first box was great - four hits including a rip card and a nice Brooklyn mini.  The second box was, well....not so great.  Let's hope the third box gets us back on track with great boxes!

Box 3:  Boxloader

I am now three-for-three in pulling oversized boxloaders, but at least all three have featured different players.  The Posey card shows off his Ginter rookie card from 2010, that's kind of cool I guess.  I like these boxloaders more than some of the similar "single player" boxloaders from previous years...enough that I could consider collecting the entire set if there are enough trading partners out there!

Just like with box #2, I'll go over the highlights from each pack rather than show off every single card. I think I'll do this in proper batches rather than trying to break down each pack - boring packs to write about are most definitely boring packs to read about.  Hopefully this new method makes for a better blog reading experience!

Looking at the first four packs now...

Packs 1 - 4:

I found a pair of base short prints which is nice.  I haven't yet collated all of the base cards - I'll probably wait until I finish ripping all six boxes before doing that - but with only 12 short prints (out of 50) in each box, I know I have quite a ways to go yet before I'll have the full base set!

As for the minis, I found my first Reds' mini (Billy Hamilton A&G no number back - seeded 1:73 packs) to go along with a Melky Cabrera black bordered mini.  The other two minis are both of the "regular back" type.

Another set that I have a ways to go on is the Numbers Game set since it is 100 cards strong (I believe).  You get 12 of those in a box as well...which means I really have a long ways to go before I have that set done.  The good news is that they are common enough that I imagine trading options will be plentiful.  My two Numbers Game cards from this group of packs included Yasiel Puig and Giancarlo Stanton.

Next, I ended up with a single Natural Wonders insert.  The Ngorongoro Crater.

Unfortunately, I already pulled this card in a previous box so it'll be on my trade bait page!

And last, but certainly not least, my first non-baseball relic from 2016 Ginter (and the first hit of box #3)...

That's Leigh Steinberg who is an agent.  I have no idea where that relic piece came from - it has a rather odd texture to it that I can't seem to adequately describe!

That was a nice start to the third box - let's hope it gets even better from here!  I'll have even more Ginter soon, stay tuned!

2016 Topps Allen & Ginter - Box #2: Packs 21 - 24 (The End of the Box)

It's time to finish off my second box of 2016 Topps Allen & Ginter.  This box hasn't been nearly as good as the first box, but it's still been fun to rip.  Let's see if we can't get something neat to finish it off.

Box 2 - Packs 21 - 24:

Pack 21 had the eleventh base short print in it (Tyson Ross).  It also had a black bordered mini of Corey Dickerson and a Natural Wonders card of the Great Barrier Reef.

Pack 22 had a Numbers Game card of Jackie Robinson and a Kendrys Morales regular back mini.  I'm pretty sure I had the Robinson from the first box so I didn't bother scanning it again.  Not the most exciting pack.

Pack 23 had the third black bordered mini of the box (which are seeded 1:10 packs).

And the final pack of the box had a regular mini of A.J. Ramos (yawn)and a Numbers Game card of Eric Hosmer (yawn again).  The only highlight was the Pulpit Rock from the Natural Wonders set.

And that does it for box #2.  I think I should have not bothered ordering this one...pretty crappy box (but it's balanced out by the really excellent first box).  I still have four more boxes to go - let's hope the rest are better than this one!

2016 Allen & Ginter - Box #2 - Packs 17 - 20 (Including Hit #3 from the Box)!

It's hard to believe that July is almost over already.  The month certainly flew by...and with school starting back up next month, I have a terrible feeling that my last couple weeks of summer vacation will be over before I know it!

At least I have some 2016 Allen & Ginter to cheer me up!

Box 2 - Packs 17 - 20:

Pack 17 had another base short print (Ryan Zimmerman) but the real highlight was my fifth mini insert out of the box - this time a Laureates of Peace card of Henry Dunant.  Pretty cool - and now I am one card closer to completing that set.

Pack 18 had a Stephen Strasburg regular mini plus an Eddie Mathews Baseball Legends card (to go along with a David Price Numbers Game card).  Nothing really jumped out at me though so I'm resting the scanner for this pack.

Pack 19 had a Nick Castellanos base short print and a Ty Cobb Legends of the Game card but the only thing worth scanning was the Jake Odorizzi A&G back mini - the third such A&G mini from the box.

Pack 20 yielded our third US Mayors card (yay!) along with a Numbers Game card of Jacob DeGrom.  Of course, most people would find the Justin Verlander relic to be the star of the pack...but I think I prefer the mini!

That does it for those packs - only four packs remain in the box (and now we've located all three promised hits).  Of course, the first box had 4 hits so you never know I guess!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

2016 Allen & Ginter - Box #2 - Packs 13 - 16 (Including a Bikeshare)!

I found my second hit of the box in the last post but I will warn you, it sucked (at least if you are a Reds' fan).  In fact, I have to say that entire first half of the box was less than awesome...let's hope the second half makes up for it.  No time like now for things to get better!

Box 2 - Packs 13 - 16:

Pack 13 tried its best with a Richie Shaffer regular short print and an Adrian Gonzalez regular back mini.  Unfortunately, neither are scan worthy.

Pack 14 finally gave me something to smile about - another US Mayors mini insert!  There was also a Strasburg Numbers Game card which I was happy to get because I still needed it for my set (I think).

Pack 15 had another Numbers Game card (Jose Bautista) to go with a nice looking Baseball Legends card of Nolan Ryan.  The mini was another regular mini (Miguel Sano).

Pack 16 finally got me excited for the second half of the box - a short printed base card helped (Welington Castillo) but the real reason was a new Subways and Streetcars mini:  Bikeshare.

I guess I can't complain too much about getting a pair of mini inserts - especially since I WANT THEM ALL!  If you have any for trade, let me know!

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box #2 - Packs 9 - 12 (Including my Second Hit of the Box)

I am making much faster work of 2016 Allen & Ginter box #2 as compared to box #1 since I'm only scanning and writing about the highlights of each pack.  Of course, so far at least, box #2 hasn't been nearly as good as box #1...so there's been less for me to discuss as well.  That said, I should still have two more hits lurking in the box, there's still a chance for something cool!

Packs 9 - 12:

Pack 9 had a regular back mini of Rick Klein (not shown) and a pair of Baseball Legends.  One from the aptly named Baseball Legends set (Jackie Robinson) and the other from the Numbers Game set (Joe Morgan).  I happen to like both of those cards a lot!

Pack 10 had a Shawn Tolleson regular short print (not shown) to go along with my second A&G back mini of the box (Jen Welter).  I also got my third Natural Wonder card - this time of a wonder that I've actually witnessed in person (Old Faithful).  It's always fun to get cards of places you've been to and seen!

Pack 11 held a Marcus Semien regular back mini and a Carlos Correra Numbers Game card (neither shown) as well as my second hit of the box...and it's one that I don't like at all.  That's Adam Wainwright of the hated Cardinals.  Blech.

Pack 12 had a Raul Mondesi regular short print (not pictured) and a Jonathan Schoop regular back mini (also not shown).  In other words, Pack 12 had nothing of particular interest to me.

Well, in a word:  Ouch.

After the awesomeness that was the four-hit first box of Ginter, the second box has been stinking it up through the halfway point.  The framed relic was nice (mostly because it's rare) but it was a Yankee...and now my second hit is a Cardinal.  Yuck.  Nothing else to write home about from the box yet either...let's hope the second half somehow redeems the stinkfest that was the first half!

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box #2 - Packs 5 - 8 (Including a Yankee Short Print, a Harper A&G Back Mini, and the Baobab Forest)

I ripped the first four packs from box #2 of my 2016 Allen & Ginter purchase yesterday.  Today, I hope to make some serious headway into the remainder of the box.  Here we go!

Packs 5 - 8:

Once again, I'll stick with scanning the highlights of the packs rather than every single base card - this drastically speeds up the amount of time required to write a post at least!

Pack 5 was a pretty good pack - it included a Numbers Game card of Jose Abreu (not scanned) along with a Natural Wonders card of the Baobab Forest.  In addition, there was a short printed regular back mini of Rob Refsnyder to round out the pack.  Not bad at all!

Pack 6 had a Yasmany Tomas base short print and a Anthony Rizzo regular back mini in it.  For my money, neither was worth scanning so we will move right along.

Pack 7 was much better than the previous pack - another Natural Wonder (Cliffs of Moher) and a Number Game (Maeda) but the real highlight was another mini insert - this time a US Mayor card of Seattle's Ed Murray.

Pack 8 had another base short print (Ryan Weber who I never heard of - he plays for Atlanta) and a Bryce Harper A&G back mini.

I think the Harper is probably the best overall pull from the four packs from a monetary standpoint - but I prefer the mini mayor card the most since I'm going to try and collect all the mini sets this year!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box #2: Boxloader plus Packs 1 - 4 (Including a Framed Hit)!

I had a blast ripping through my first box of 2016 Allen & Ginter - probably because I pulled some great cards including four hits (2 "regular" relics, 1 framed relic, and rip card) plus a Brooklyn mini.  It will be hard to the remaining five boxes to top my first box - but here's hoping!

For box #2, I'm going to only show off the highlights - rather than typing up every single base card.  I scanned each and every card in box #1 - so if you really want to see what all the base cards look like go back through my blog archives!  For this box, it'll be more packs per post in an effort to speed things up a bit!

Box 2 - Boxloader

My second boxloader of 2016 is another oversized card - this time of Paul Goldschmidt.  The one thing that I like about the design of these is that Topps showed off some previous year's mini cards of the featured player - in Goldschmidt's case, 2012 Ginter gets featured (along with 2016 Ginter).  That's a nice touch.

Box 2 - Packs 1 - 4:

As I said, I'm only going to go with the highlights of a bunch of packs each post from here on out.

Pack 1 gave me a nice Carlton Fisk black bordered mini (and a base short print of Wei-Yin Chen, not pictured).

Pack 2 wasn't very exciting - a regular mini of Edwin Encarnacion and a Curt Schilling Numbers Game and that's it.

Pack 3 was a lot better than the first two - there was a Travis D'arnaud base short print (not pictured) to go along with a George Brett Legends of Baseball and my first mini insert of Box #2 - a Ferocious Feline card of the Classic Tabby!

And finally, Pack 4 gave me my first hit of the box - another framed relic - this time of Jacoby Ellsbury (with a nice pinstripe on the bit of cloth).  I also got a Numbers Game card of Reggie Jackson and a regular mini of Brett Gardner, just in case I needed another Yankee in the pack.

Through four packs, I'm happy to land my second framed relic out of my boxes (they are seeded 1:122 packs so I'm really beating the odds there).  I'm also glad to get one card closer to completing the Ferocious Felines mini set - and as usual, if you have any mini inserts for trade, let me know!!

I'll have more from box #2 soon - I hope!

2016 Allen & Ginter: Box 1 - Did Someone Say Rip Card?!

This is it, the final two packs of my first box of 2016 Allen & Ginter (and what a pair of packs they turned out to be)!

Pack 23:

17.  Ian Desmond
101.  Roger Clemens
136.  Matt Kemp
154.  Ervin Santana
215.  Khris Davis
263.  Hanley Ramirez
331.  Taijuan Walker

Mini:  Ferocious Felines:  15.  Siberian Tiger

Another nice pack - especially since it held my first Ferocious Felines mini.  As yet another reminder, I WANT YOUR MINIS!

Pack 24:

16.  Trayce Thompson
108.  Justin Turner
198.  Ari Shaffir
The Numbers Game:  5.  Carl Yastrzemski

Reg. mini:  207.  Brandon Belt

RIP CARD!  RIP-32.  Lorezno Cain (#03/25)

Woah!  I never expected to end up with a Rip Card (seeded 1:180 packs) - especially in this box since I already found my three promised hits!  That's an awesome pull - and a great way to end my first box!

Next up?  Box #2!