Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Gint-A-Cuffs VII: Episode 6 (The Yankees Strike Out)


Alright, you can tell that several straight hours (or so it seems... I've been tearing through these pretty fast and probably have missed a couple of FPs and the like... will have to double check) have been getting to me as per this greetings. Love that Mario Andretti hit, too bad the Commish doesn't think it's worth more than +20 points given it is rarer than a red ink auto and can't be modified by favorite team/player unless you picked someone only in that set (Hulk Hogan comes to mind as the only really feasible one...)

Anyways! MOVING ON!

Previous Running Total: +131

Pack 21: 

Huston Street #219
Curtis Granderson #10
Mini Kelia Moniz #93
Ancient Armory War Hammer (+2 AA)
Full Sized Relic Jorge Soler (+6 Full Sized Relic)
Angel Pagan #343
Hisashi Iwakuma #49

Pack Total: +8
Running Total: +139

Pack 22:

Matt Adams #120
Dee Gordon #238
Adeiny Hechavarria #282
Chris Sale #139 (+2 ANY FP)
Starting Point Cole Hamels (+2 SP, +2 ANY FP)
First Ladies Mini Rosalynn Carter (+2 FL)
John Lackey #191
Albert Pujols #198

Pack Total: +10

Running Total: +149

Pack 23:

Jimbo Fisher #268
Jose Bautista #248 (+2 ANY FP)
Steven Moya #255
Starting Points David Ortiz (+2 SP, +2 ANY FP, +1 Favorite Team)
Mini Dalton Pompey #82
Gary Brown #304
Jason Kipnis #244 (+2 ANY FP)

Pack Total: +9

Running Total: +158

Pack 24:

Javier Baez #54
Frank Caliendo #31
Jorge Soler #151
Buck Farmer #81
What Once Would Be: Vacuum Tube Trains (+2 WOWB)
A&G Back Mini Zack Cozart #194 (+2 A&G Back Mini)
Gabe Kapler #309
Gregory Polanco #222

Pack Total: +4

Running Total: +162

Adjustments for bribes: +0


Well, that was a bit anticlimactic. So I lose. Again. Ah well. At least I have these:

I'm still missing several cards for my Megan Kalmoe Master Collection... sad panda.

'Til next time, keep it in the family!


(Also, as in next time, I plan on blogging more continuously throughout the year. I've gotten more into the digital card collecting scene, Topps Bunt, Topps Huddle, Topps Kick, and Topps Star Wars Card Collector... because they're free. I'm a dirt poor graduate student and these let me rip wax without the cleanup, storage problems, or the satisfaction of actually ripping real wax! Er... wait...)

Gint-A-Cuffs VII: Episode 5 (A New Hope)

Hi Ginter Family,

Just a couple more packs to go... hoping for some big things here. Hence the name of the post. A New Hope. Aptly named.

Previous Running Total: +96

Pack 17:

Johnny Cueto #23
Philae Probe #293 (+1 for being awesome)
Daniel Norris #105
Matt Kemp #264
Starting Points Felix Hernandez (+2 SP)
Mini Appomattox Court House #24
Hunter Strickland #314
Manny Machado #179

Pack Total: +3

Running Total: +99

Not the start I was... hoping for.

Pack 18:

Yasiel Puig #142
Jake Arrieta #76
Craig Kimbrel #5 (+2 ANY Favorite Player)
Starting Point David Wright (+2 SP, +2 ANY Favorite Player)
Brian Dozier Mini (+1 Favorite Team Mini)
Alcides Escobar #331
Andrew Cashner #246
Ivan Drago #229 (-1 Drago KO)

Pack Total: +7

Running Total: +105

That little humdinger gives me some... hope!

Pack 19:

Chase Headley #204 (-1 Yankee)
Matt Barnes #68
Rubby De La Rosa #298
Jung Ho Kang #265
Starting Points Matt Holliday (+2 SP)
Mini Ichiro #285
Edwin Escobar #63
Andrew Heaney #149

Pack Total: +1

Running Total: +106

I... hope... the next pack is WAY better than that. At least 25 times better.

Pack 20:

Doug Fister #221
Jayson Werth #28
Addison Reed #286
Ancient Armory Chu Ko Nu (+2 AA)
BB Mini John Lackey (+3 BB Mini)
10th Anniversary Issue Framed Mini Auto Mario Andretti (+20 10th Anniversary Auto)
Jon Singleton #39

Pack Total: +25

Running Total: +131

Boom! Mario Andretti auto! I will claim this is the best hit from my case. Which means my case was all around pretty terrible. But oh well. Next year will be better I... hope. :-D

Gint-A-Cuffs VII: Episode 4 (Revenge of the Yankees)

Guten Tag, Ginter Family!

I do not speak German. I'm just trying to spice things up. 

Ehhh? See what I did there? Cake in the last picture, a cupcake here? What can I say, E-3PO loves cake. But what little toddler-droid-thing doesn't. Back to Gint-A-Cuffs...

Previous Running Total: +79

Pack 13:

Mike Zunino #143 (I met this guy once. In Wichita of all places...)
Xander Bogaerts #94
Starting Points Hunter Pence (+2 SP)
Framed Mini Buyback Machiavelli (+4 Framed Mini Buyback)
Mini Jimmy Rollins #250
Howie Kendrick #91
Mike Napoli #338

Pack Total: +6

Running Total: +85

So, not terrible. Could be better. Broke that Yankees streak, so that's good! Also, I could have made BANK if the Red Sox were my favorite team... there are like four of them in there. Maybe only three. But still.

Pack 14:

Drew Hutchinson #181
Gus Malzahn #185
Chris Davis #170
Starting Points Coco Crisp (+2 SP of... cereal)
A&G Back Mini Joe Buck (+2 A&G Back, -1 Joe Buck-ness)
Jhonny Peralta #313
Ryan Zimmerman #290
Ichiro #285

Pack Total: +3

Running Total: +88

Well that pack was less than stellar. Oh well. What's wrong with Joe Buck, anyways? Who is Joe Buck? The world may never know...

Pack 15:

Carlos Gomez #166
Appomattox Court House #24
Mike Mills #37
Great Scott! X-Ray Diffraction (+2 Great Scott!)
First Ladies Mini Louisa Adams (+2 FL)
Clayton Kershaw #339
Nori Aoki #125
Wilmer Flores #4

Pack Total: +4

Running Total: +92

So, did you know that the reference to 1895 on the back of the X-Ray Diffraction card refers to the use of x-rays to find the fragments of a knife lodged in the spine of a sailor who got stabbed during a fight? Trufax. This is what an incredibly expensive education will teach you, folks. 

Pack 16:

Max Scherzer #42
Casey McGhee #74
Carlos Beltran #253 (-1 Yankee)
Kenley Jansen #296
Ancient Armory Flanged Mace (+2 for smashing a Yankee's skull in... I mean, AA)
BB Mini Jordan Zimmerman #290 (+3 BB mini)
Chris Carter #305
Buster Posey #173

Pack Total: +4

Running Total: +96

So. Didn't break a hundred through 16 packs. This is not looking good to make up 80 points here in eight packs. That's an average of OVER 10 points per pack. YOWZAHS. Damn Yankees.

Gint-A-Cuffs VII : Episode 3 (The Card Wars)

Hola Ginter Familia,

Who doesn't love a good Pack Wars? By far one of my favorite things in Des Moines was the monthly Pack Wars. Lots of fun with a lot of good people. Alas, now I live in Minnesota. Closer to the Twins at least.

And who doesn't love more Gint-A-Cuffs. This is what I get for being busy and not getting this done right away. Here comes four posts in one day! (I don't count the previous post, because it was actually done minus the pictures on the same day as the first post...)

Previous Running Total: +55

Pack 9:

Felix Hernandez #16
Jon Jay #279
Brandon Finnegan #41
What Once Was Believed: Rain Follows The Plow (+2)
Mini Mikael Franco #27
Collin Cowgill #335
Grant Miller #79 (Did I miss the Ginter Code this year? Meh.)
Brian Quinn #299

Pack Total: +2

Running Total: +57

Right. So. Two points. It's like we're in the NFL, and I just tackled someone in their own end zone. Yay me.

Pack 10:

Edinson Volquez #224
Ian Kinsler #196
Jon Lester #287
Incredibeard #223 (+1 for having an incredible beard)
Starting Points: Kennys Vargas (+2 SP, +1 Favorite Team)
A World Beneath Our Feet Mini: Borneo Walking Stick (+2 AWBOF)
Stephen Drew #306 (-1, Yankee Jerkwad)
Kelia Moniz #93

Pack Total: +5

Running Total: +62

So, not awful. It would be better if that Yankee hadn't reared his ugly head. Don't I have clone troopers to shoot his ugly mug or something?

Pack 11: 

Adam Eaton #18
Yimi Garcia #98
10th Anniversary Full Sized Parallel 2011 Rafael Furcal (+3 Full Sized Buyback)
Starting Point Josh Reddick (+2 SP)
Mini A&G Back Brandon Belt (+2 A&G Back, +2 ANY Favorite Player)
Michael Brantley #311
Jeremy Roenick #269
Jacoby Ellsbury #152 (-1 Yankee Traitor)

Pack Total: +8

Running Total: +70

Alright, we ALMOST had a 10 point pack without a hit, and then that traitor Jacoby Ellsbury ruined it. BURN THE YANKEES!

Pack 12:

Brian McCann(ot be a Yankee anymore please) #114 (-1 Yankee)
Paul Goldschmidt #35
Buster (RIP I had a cat named Buster that died recently) Olney #34
Menagerie of the Mind: Hydra (+2 MOTM)
A&G Back Dustin Pedroia (+2 A&G Back)
Rusney Castillo Full Sized Relic (+6 Full Sized Relic)
Corey Kluber #117

Pack Total: +9

Running Total: +79

Oh look. Another nearly +10 point pack, spoiled by a damn Yankee. That's 3 consecutive packs with a Yankee. There is a mission in Borderlands 2 called "Eff Yo Couch". You complete it by jumping on all of the couches in a gang's hideout. I want to go jump on all of the Yankee's couches right now.

At least we got our first hit. Sort of. Half way through our box, and our project total is still hovering around that +160 mark. Yikes.

Gint-A-Cuffs VII Episode 2: (The Yankee Menace)

So, it's only been... a month and 26 days since our last post. It's more like a sprint, than a marathon, really. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've got all the excuses covered. Massive home improvements, large research projects, weddings, school starting, football starting, blah blah blah blah. Well enough of that. This pack has actually been scored for one month and 25 days, I've just been too lazy to take pictures. So NYAAAH! I'm still pretty lazy and need to figure out a better way to take pictures, to be honest.

Previous Running Total: +37

Pack 5:


Kennys Vargas #189 (+1 MY favorite team)
Miguel Cabrera #187
Malcolm Gladwell #67
Mini Madison Bumgarner (+2 for ANY FP mini)
What Once Would Be Jetpacks (+2 WOWB Insert)
Ian Desmond #314
Rusney Castillo #154
Appollo Creed #56

Pack Total: +6

Well, six isn't bad. The 'ole Bumenstein there really saved the pack, so that's good, and you can't complain when a bad boy like Kennys Vargas shows up. I mean, the Twins are pretty decent this year, right? Right!?

Running Total: +42

Pack 6: 


Zack Greinke #199
Yadier Molina #17 (+2 ANY FP base card)
Joe Gatto #80
Mini Derek Norris #207
What Once Was Believed The Four Classical Elements (+2 WOWB Insert and longest name...)
Ben Zorbrist #321
Yasmany Tomas #148
Kolten Wong #21

Pack Total: +4

Aaaand we're going backwards in this pack. Not literally backwards, our total is still moving forward which is great. But four is a pretty weak score. I was hoping each pack would have a bajillion points. Seriously.

Running Total: +46

Pack 7:

Juan Lagares #130
Lakey Peterson #124
Marcell Ozuna #184
Marlon Byrd #137
Menagerie of the Mind Elf (+2 MotM Insert)
Mini Jon Singleton #39 A&G Back (+2 A&G Back mini)
Dallas Keuchel #320
Jonathan Papelbon #89

Pack Total: +4

You know what the best part of the Harry Potter series was? When Doby died. Oh dear, is that a spoiler? Well the little annoying bugger gets what he deserves. If you haven't read it by now, you weren't going to anyways. TL;DR - There is a house elf in Harry Potter that is annoying and he dies which is the highlight of the series.

Running Total: +50

Pack 8:

Clay Buchholz #168
Sonny Gray #256
Troy Tulowitzki #109
Ancient Armory Trident (+2 AA Insert)
Mini A World Beneath Our Feet Pennsylvania Firefly (+2 AWBOF Mini Insert)
Val Kilmer #328
Brian "The Friggin' MAN" Dozier (+1 MY Favorite Team and all-around general AWESOMENESS)
Eric Hosmer #7

Pack Total: +5

You know who should have been an All-Star Game Starter? Brian Dozier. You know who was also in this pack? Brian Dozier. The world needs more Brian Dozier.

Running Total: +55

Projected Total: +158 (YOWCH...)

Well, 7 points per pack isn't bad, considering we had a horrible box topper. Here's looking to the last two thirds of the box to boost the score!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Gint-A-Cuffs VII: Episode 1 (The Cards Awaken)

And so the greatest saga in card collecting history commences... again... for the 7th time.

What makes this year so special? Well, if you've read anything in my blog, you already know. But more importantly, the theme selected by the Commish this year is exceptional. We're in for a real treat. I said I was toying with the idea of filming the break. I have decided against it for two reasons. 

First - I hate watching breaks. While I could probably make it fun and interesting, I'd rather just list things the way people are used to and they don't have to try and pick the right spot where I pull the Select Picks Relic (at 12:07, FYI).

Second - I don't have the equipment. Filming on my web cam on my computer inverts things like a mirror. Eff that. Filming on my smart phone seems... cheesy. I'd rather do it with some quality. I'll look into actually getting a legit camera to do the shoot with and setting an awesome stage up in my basement. It'll be great. For next time.

As for this year... LET THE RIPPING COMMENCE! I stayed up until 0001 to commence the ripping, despite the rules being posted early. Gotta love some self-control.

Oh, you noticed the comment about a Select Picks Relic? Well, I don't want to spoil anything, but here is a teaser...

Onward to Episode 1: The Cards Awaken! (Or is it Episode 7: Act 1? Whatever... I like Episodes better)

The Box Topper:

Oversized Cabinet Card of #339 - Clayton Kershaw (+8 points)

Well, we KNEW this was not going to be of my favorite player. No surprises there. But how does no one have Clayton Kershaw as their favorite player? He is THE most dominate pitcher in all of baseball. He can even hit home runs. This is cray-cray. I tell you what, getting a FP/YOUR FP as a box topper basically is going to win you Gint-A-Cuffs this year. Points are EXTREMELY hard to come by.

At least we're in the green.

Running Total: +8 points

Pack 1:

Megan Kalmoe #30 (MY FP +4)
Bernie Williams #177 (one of The Commish's Fav Four +1)
Carl Crawford #88
Ancient Armory Tomahawk (Full-sized insert +2)(?)
Mini First Ladies Ellen Wilson (+2 mini insert)
Masahiro Tanaka #350 (-1 Stormtrooperrr.... I mean Yankee.)
Mookie Betts #274
CC Sabathia #241 (-1 Battle Droid.... I mean Yankee!)

Pack Total: +7

WOW. Right. Off. The. Bat. 1st card. I see my sister smiling and waving at me holding the 'MURICAN flag! That has GOT to be a sign. And a good one at that! Also, poor Carl and Mookie, they have got to feel left out being the only two non-scoring cards in the entire pack. Though a little heavy on the Yankees for my taste. I don't exactly know HOW Bernie Williams is worth positive points when HE WAS A YANKEE FOR 16 SEASONS but hey, who am I to argue with points from the Commish? Also, Tanaka and Sabathia... seriously? That is a lot of Yankees. And to be fair, they are a lot like Stormtroopers and Battle Droids. Neither can hit anything and are kind of mindless automatons that are only popular because they're with the evil people. Nyyyah!

Also, I have tentatively scored the Ancient Armory insert card as +2 points. They are technically not listed on the scoring page, but the retail-only full-sized insert Keys to the City are. I suspect this is purely oversight and have raised the question. I will correct later if I am wrong!

Still, hell of a first pack.

Running Total: +15

Pack 2: 

Danny Santana #160 (+1 MY favorite team)
Mark Trumbo #25
Zach Lowe #163
Starting Points Nelson Cruz (+2 Starting Points)
Jenrry Mejia No-Number Mini (+6 NNO Mini!)
Mark Melancon #322
Michael Taylor #235
Kendall Graveman #97

Pack Total: +9

KABOOM! Right off the stack AGAIN we hit a point card. Instead of "I've got a bad feeling about this" how about we use our Gint-a-Jedi senses and say "I've got a good feeling about this!" We hit a solid mini to boot that nets us as many points as a relic hit! A VERY solid second pack. And best of all - NO YANKEES!

Running Total: +24

Pack 3: 

Brandon Moss #153
Robb Wolf #228
Andrew McCutchen #46
2013 John Axford #187 (+3 Full-Sized buyback)
Starting Points Jorge Soler (+2 Starting Points)
Mini Johnny Peralta #313 (+3 SP Mini)
Jason Heyward #330
Grant Balfour #292

Pack Total: +8

JEEZE. These packs. I tell you! Now, I'm all-but-guaranteed to get two full-sized buybacks, so this isn't entirely unexpected. But these packs are starting out STRONG. SP Mini on top of that? Yowzahs. We've had three EXTREMELY good non-hit packs. Onwards!

Running Total: +32

Pack 4:

Hanley Ramirez #209
Johnathan Schoop #259
Evan Longoria #38
Starting Points Jimmy Rollins (+2 Starting Points)
Mini Mark Melancon #322 (+3 SP Mini)
Justin Morneau #301
Travis d'Arnaud #178
Billy Hamilton #275

Pack Total: +5

Right. So not QUITE as strong, but still. Another SP mini to keep the pack average pretty high! If you figure you need to average 8.33333 pts per pack to break 200 (which is high enough with the reduced scoring this year that it is possible! Though the increased participation and thus more favorite players will help balance that out, I suppose...) we're currently averaging 9.25 (with the box topper points... otherwise we're at 7.25 without any hits!) If only good 'ole Justin Morneau was still with the Twins... we could have had it all. Alas.

Running Total: +37

Recap: So, a very strong performance in Episode 1. We haven't exhausted any of the hits so far! I can't reiterate just how important that is! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Pack Review - 2015 Ginter

Right. So. All of this talk about 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter but we have yet to actually give any examples of what the product looks like. Lets take a peek shall we? I've set aside this single pack from those remaining in my non-Gint-a-Cuffs boxes for this purpose as part of an on-going contest over at Bubba's Blog 

The "goods"

Yep. A fairly standard pack. Mr. Trout's face was the first to greet me, which is always nice to be greeted by a smile. Nothing gets me more than a baseball card with a guy who is frowning or something on it. YOU PLAY PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL FOR A LIVING! YOU SHOULD BE SMILING! Unless it is an action shot of exertion, it's hard to smile when you're exerting yourself. But otherwise, smile.

Next up is Darren Rovell, a sports writer. He graduated from Northwestern University in 2000, but he's from New York. So he's basically a Yankee. You know how Yankees are treated on this blog.

How about that Bartolo Colon? The guy hit like doubles in back to back games. What would have been a triple for most guys and an in-the-park HR for the likes of Billy Hamilton, he got to 2nd base. But he didn't have to slide. What a guy. And he's smiling!

David Price was next sporting his schnazzy Detroit Tigers uniform. Good for him. Exertion shot, so he's excuse from smiling. A note on the design, it is very similar from last year. I would have preferred a bit more to differentiate the two. Heaven forbid I should accidentally mix a stack of the two years together. They'll never get sorted out. Also, in past years David would be a SP. Unfortunately, we cut out SP's this year to... save money!? I don't know. Moving on.

Right! A little birdie told me Chris Tillman is up next. Get it? He plays for the Orioles? Birdie told me? Yeah. Getting cheesy here. 

Didi Gregorious plays for the Yankees. No comment except BOOOOOOOOOOO.

I don't even get to boast about my mini, because it's another damn Yankee. Friggin' Jacoby Ellsbury. A traitor from Boston. A turncoat! Throwing tea in the harbor then joining the enemy. What gives man?

Last but not least we have Nelson Cruz Starting Points. As a Brewer. I really do enjoy these 100-card insert sets each year. They provide a solid chase to put together the set and are usually loaded with good names and decent artwork. Like, Nelson Cruz.

That's all I've got for now. Sorry there were no hits. The box was pretty much dead so I wasn't expecting much. But, at least I've given you a glimpse at what Ginter looks like... for us normal people who don't hit five booklet cards in one pack. 

On a final note, I'd be starting out in the red if this were a Gint-a-Cuffs pack. Maybe things are looking up for this contestant since I didn't get stuck with this dud of a pack?

You never know...

Until next time, keep it in the family.