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!