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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Allen & Ginter Box Break Part 4: The Rest of the Packs


Ok, it's time for the nitty gritty. The big hits have been pulled. We have a mostly trustworthy SP list to work from. No more linking to disgusting CSI: Whitechapel sites, just opening packs of good 'ol baseball cards. And it's all baseball this time, folks, I promise. In a weird collation twist I only got one Champion/Legend/Historical Figure/Architectural Structure/Assorted Rodent or Other Politician card in these last 8 Packs. And the one I got I refuse to talk about because, well, his hair scares me. And that's all I'll say about that. So off we go, let's kill this box.

Pack 17:
167 Jeff Weaver
21 Adam Wainwright
Mini 172 Joe Torre
Dick Perez 14 Gary Matthews
184 Pat Burrell
27 Jonathon Papelbon
284 B.J. Ryan
129 Craig Monroe

Did Jeff Weaver always have that hangdog look on his face or have I only noticed it recently? The poor guy looks like life has just beat him in the ground in all his recent cards, which doesn't make any sense since he just rejuvenated his entire career with last year's playoff run and he's still able to land a big contract. Then again, getting waived so your little brother can take your roster spot could be more traumatic than I realize.

Three questions I need answered: Is this really the same Gary Matthews Jr. that the Braves cut in spring training a few years ago or did the Pod People get him and replace him with someone who could play? With all the good relievers Boston is stockpiling, will Papelbon end up a starter like Wainwright and is that even a good thing? How the hell can Steinbrenner even consider firing Joe Torre for even a nanosecond?? My best guesses: 1) Pod People 2) Yes and Yes 3) The bastard fired Yogi, so he'll probably fire damn near anyone.

Pack 18:
315 Corey Patterson
31 Kenji Johjima
340 Placindo Polanco SP
Mini 350 Adam LaRoche SP
Dick Perez 8 Grady Sizemore
226 Chris Carpenter
201 Freddy Sanchez
184 Phil Hughes RC

Attack of the Minor Stars! Well, Grady's a star, and Carpenter probably would still be one had his arm not fallen off. The rest are all definitely players you only think of when you are pleasantly surprised that you were able to snag in the late rounds of your fantasy draft. Well what about Hughes? He's a hot phenom for the Yankees, and he's probably starting today against the Royals! Yeah Hughes is nice, but it would be nicer if he didn't have a bunch of real rookie cards in 2004. Two short prints are not bad at all though.

Pack 19:
95 Hanley Ramirez
300 Ichiro
Mini A&G 80 Chase Utley
Dick Perez 21 Ryan Howard
199 Alejandro De Aza RC
279 Brandon Inge
70 Jermaine Dye
190 Scott Kazmir

OK, real stars here. MVP, Rookie of the Year, All Star, and two who are all of the above. So Dye's a World Series MVP. It still counts. I recently read an article lamenting what could have been had Ichiro actually played his entire career in the states. I'm pretty happy seeing what he's done so far, he just got his 1500th hit and he's still only 33. That makes for a pretty good run at 3000, plus he may pull a Rickey and just keep on playing until he's forcibly ejected from the stadium. If Ichiro can get some tips on longevity from Julio Franco, we may yet see a run at Ty and Pete.

I got my 5th A&G mini in this pack, with 5 packs left to go, not bad. I swear this is the first time I have ever heard of Alejandro De Aza in my life. After a quick Google, I see why. A former Rule V pick who's been out almost all year with a broken ankle. At least this is a true rookie card. Finally, can we please disband the Devil Rays if for no other reason so that Scott Kazmir can go to a team that is actually good? It's painful watching him waste time pitching for that rotten team. I'd almost (almost, mind you) rather see him pitching for the Mets just so we can see some of that potential come to fruition. Tom Seaver at his prime couldn't win more than 11 games for Tampa.

Pack 20:
89 John Lackey
119 Hunter Pence RC SP
Mini 257 Curtis Granderson
Dick Perez 19 Derek Jeter
304 Ramon Hernandez
281 Marcus Giles
290 Prince Fielder
7 Mickey Mantle

Gotta love Jeter and Mickey in the same pack. Any card of Prince is a good card. The short print Hunter Pence rookie ain't too shabby either. I think this is his true rookie card, he does have a Bowman from last year but those are technically inserts aren't they? Maybe those will end up like the old Traded set XRC cards. Or maybe the entire artificial construct of rookie cards cynically designed to inflate card values will collapse resulting in the hobby reverting to Jefferson Burdick's idea of collecting for collecting's sake without regard to player or team or manufacturer, where the only premium is for truly rare cards. Or maybe I could be crowned Queen of Sweden and rule with an iron fist from an abandoned Volvo plant, served by my magical monkey-elf minions who obey my every command. Probably the XRC thing is most likely to pan out, although I'd surely love some monkey minions.

Pack 21:
198 Frank Catalanotto
220 Ryan Zimmerman
Mini 299 Mark Buehrle
Dick Perez 30 Ryan Zimmerman
139 Bob Baffert
49 JJ Putz
270 Alex Rodriguez
204 Alex Gordon RC

Ryans and Alexes rule this pack. For some reason, even though they are completely different cards, I still feel weird when I get two of the same player in a pack. It's probably just flashbacks to busting open packs of 1991 Upper Deck, where you knew there were massive collation problems if there weren't two of the same card in a pack. The exception to this rule is the pack that had both Jeff Francouer's base and mini card from earlier in the box. I'd take whole cases of Frenchy cards if I could get them. ARod's card looks much better in person than it did on the sell sheet where it was all squished up on the card. This action card actually has some action on it, unlike most of the others from this set. I'm not sure how I feel about Alex Gordon's cards yet. On one hand I'm resentful that I will always have a card #297 shaped hole in my 2006 Topps set, on the other I like good hitting third basemen and Alex looks pretty good at the hot corner so far. Considering I was lucky enough to pull a Gordon Auto card out of a Topps Rack Pack last year, I should probably be rooting for the guy.

Pack 22:
314 Yadier Molina
325 Grady Sizemore SP
Mini A&G 1 Ryan Howard
Dick Perez 12 Carlos Lee
116 Ryan Braun RC
150 Derek Jeter
250 Brandon Webb
313 Moises Alou

Dang, I'm getting swamped with Ryans here. the next pack will probably have Ryan Langerhans, Nolan Ryan, Ryan's Grill and Ryan O'Neal at this rate. Which is fine with me as long as there's no Ryan Seacrest. Howard is my 6th A&G mini card. Six cards at a rate of one in 5 Packs in a 24 pack box means I have officially beat the odds. I would have actually preferred the one in 17,072 framed original A&G card type beating the odds, but I'll take Ryan Howard with no complaints. Ryan Braun is a nice pull as well, even if there are 2005 rookie cards out there for him. This card caused my scanner to get weirded out again, but there does seem to be a sort of a logic to the skewed angle this time.

You all have already figured out my brain tends to work in slightly offbeat ways, so it's probably safe to tell you that there are several baseball players whose names are permanently associated with a popular song in my mind whenever I hear it. Whenever I hear the name Luis Sojo, for example, I automatically start singing it to the tune of Rancid's Ruby Soho in my head. Try it, It's fun! Destination uuuuuunknown! Luis Luis Luis Luis Sojo! However once you do it, you can never undo it. Same thing happens with Edgar Renteria and Sublime's Santeria. I don't know why, it just does. The latest earworm to insinuate itself into the section of my brain reserved for baseball is Daddy Yankee's Gasolina, which has latched onto Yadier Molina. It doesn't work with Bengie or Jose, just Yadier for some odd reason. Problem is, while I really like Rancid and Sublime, Daddy Yankee is on my annoying meter somewhere in between 'My Humps' and the Theme from Titanic. Thank goodness I'm not a die-hard Cardinals fan. That would be torture akin to hearing the Everly Brothers in my head every time I thought of Sid Bream sliding home in the 1992 NLCS.

...

Oh dear God what have I done.

Pack 23:
34 Mark Grudzielanek
100 David Ortiz
Mini Black 17 Jhonny Peralta
Dick Perez 16 Prince Fielder
22 Huston Street
285 Nick Johnson
102 Preston Wilson
105 Lance Berkman

Is there a Twins fan out there that can tell me why Minnesota gave up on David Ortiz just when he was getting it all together? If this is a sore subject I apologize, I seriously don't understand why they did that. My third mini black means I beat the odds again. I should go to Vegas and do some high-stakes gambling. (insert Upper Deck tin joke here) Anyone who is not as great a ballplayer as Carl Yastrzemski should not be allowed to have a last name as grand as his. Mark G. and Doug M., that means you. Huston Street is one of those players I wouldn't care anything about were it not for the fact that I pulled one of his cards one time. I got a Team USA jersey card of Street out of an Upper Deck pack a few years ago and the name stuck with me. That was a lucky pull for me, the card may not be worth much but the saves I've gotten since I grabbed Street off fantasy waivers before anyone else knew about him have come in handy.

Last one:
46 Cole Hamels
218 Johnny Estrada
222 Rocco Baldelli SP
Mini 67 Ryan Shealy
Dick Perez 5 Alfonso Soriano
35 JD Drew
78 Carlos Guillen
287 Travis Hafner

Well here it is, the last pack. Let's go through each card to prolong the box as much as possible.

Cole Hamels is a damn good pitcher. I really hope the Phillies don't screw him up.

I'm really surprised that Johnny Estrada has been able to come back and be as productive as he has after Darren Erstad tried to murder him. Good for you Johnny.

The SP's skip every other pack like clockwork. Remember that if you manage to get your hands on a box that hasn't been picked through or mixed up. Baldelli is another player I learned about through a good pull, I got his auto from some oddball Topps set a while back. Topps Fusion or something like that. He hasn't panned out quite as well at Street, although the local beat writer's blog was filled with calls for John Schuerholtz to trade for Rocco this past offseason.

Yep, I knew there was going to be at least one more Ryan in the box. I did a search for Ryan Shealy on eBay and a full third of the listings has Alex Gordon instead of Ryan Shealy in the title.

Dick Perez must be a Cubs fan. That's the only explanation for why Soriano looks like the second coming of Ernie Banks and Edmonds looks like he just lobotomized himself with a stick blender.

With such dead arms as Mark Redman, Kyle Davies, Jojo Reyes and Lance Cormier filling out the 5th starter spot in the Braves' rotation, there are a lot of Braves fans regretting sending Adam Wainwright to the Cardinals in the JD Drew deal. To be fair, though JD did have a pretty good year. Too bad it was just one.

I'm really surprised that Johnny Estrada Carlos Guillen has been able to come back and be as productive as he has after Darren Erstad Tony Phillips tried to murder him. Good for you Johnny Carlos.


Last Card:

Pronk.

Not a bad box overall from Rollins to Pronk. No massive hits, but a good bunch of cards overall. I need to get all these cards in sheets and then take a nice long nap. Maybe later this weekend I'll do the traditional listing out of percentages and such. I hope you enjoyed the box break, and sorry again about the Jack the Ripper link.

2 comments:

Joey said...

I really like the landscape cards.

I also enjoyed your musings. Are you going to try to build the entire set?

Chris Harris said...

Two things I'd never thought I see in the same blog entry: Rancid and Allen & Ginter