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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Framed cards, that is. This is where the bulk of the three guaranteed 'hits' per box will come from. Mini cards with an autograph on them or a little bit of bat or jersey embedded within. Then the mini card itself is encased inside a plastic frame so it is the traditional 2.5 by 3.5 inch card size. The checklist for both as with all A&G sets is a mix of baseball players and non-baseball players. I was going to gank a couple of images off of eBay to show of this year's design, but eBay is sort of bare right now. I guess the early auctions were a fluke and the case breakers haven't geared up yet. Maybe today... You can see an auto card here. The nice thing about this year's design is that they actually put '2009' right on the frame to differentiate it from the 2008 version.

The Autographs:

These are always extremely popular as they are all on-card and there are some obscure subjects in the checklist. The baseball list is ok, it has a few big names like Longoria, Braun, Howard and Big Papi, but most are guys like Justin Masterson, Scott Olsen, Denard Span and Conor Jackson. Guess which ones will be short printed? I'm bummed because the only Brave on the list is Jeff Francoeur, who also had an auto in last year's set. Get someone new Topps!

Usually the non-baseball subjects are shortprinted to 200 or less so expect these to sell well. The biggie this year is Michael Phelps. The rest of the non-baseball auto subjects (with two exceptions I'll discuss shortly) are to me at least fairly obscure. The only three I recognize at first glance are Cat Osterman, Steve Weibe and Apolo Ohno. There are a few To Be Determined slots open and anything on these pre-sell checklists are subject to bait and switch without notice anyway so maybe some more recognizable signatures are in the works. Hey Topps! Get Crystl Bustos on an A&G card! Guys dig the longball!

Now to those other two subjects: One filled me with ecstasy, the other with agony. Let's get the bad news out of the way first:


That's right, a mascot autograph. Dear God in Heaven, why. Ok, so it's kind of cute, and Topps will get lots of blogger keystrokes (and the resulting publicity (like this right here) from idiots like me) complaining about such a mind-numbingly daft gimmick card. Worse than that, I now know that I am doomed to pull this stupid card. If I sold my car and used the proceeds to buy a, um, pack or two... of A&G... wait, let me start over. If I sold my house and bought a few cases of Allen & Ginter I know for a fact that I would pull only Billy the Marlin autographs for I am a schlemiel. Damn you Topps, for cursing me with this card!!!

Ok, enough angst, there's the good card:



Phooey on Michael Phelps, this is the premier hit in this set.

The Relics:

There's a ton more relics in the set than autos, obviously. A few players even have two or even three different versions, most likely a jersey and bat variety. I'm not sure what the third one would be, maybe a patch? Here's the list of multiple versions:
  • Ryan Howard (2)
  • Rocco Baldelli (2)
  • Ichiro (2)
  • David Wright (2)
  • Albert Pujols (3)
  • Manny Ramirez (3) (jersey, bat and needle)

Again, take the list with a grain of salt (especially the needle card). Braves (and Hawks) are all I care about:
  • Tim Hudson
  • Chipper Jones (yess!!!)
  • Casey Kotchman
  • Yunel Escobar
  • Nate McLouth

Let me just say this now: if any of you reading this pull a Nique relic (or auto) I will reward you handsomely for it. there are very few cards in my collection I wouldn't trade for an A&G Nique, so keep me in mind, please.

The non-baseball relic list is very similar to the auto list, and probably just as short printed. Billy the Marlin is sadly on the list again which raises questions... Did Topps lure Billy into their offices to sign the autographs and then MURDER him so they could cut up his Marlin costume for cards? *shudder* The thought is too horrifying to contemplate. Think I'm kidding? The last relic on the list is #AGR-PBR. Bones. That's right, BONES.

Ray, there's no doubt anymore. This is real. Topps is murdering mascots. They're chopping them up. They're putting them in relic cards. Ray... this is Walter Billy! AAAAaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaHHHHHHhhhhHHHHH!!!111!!!!1!1!11!

I'm afraid of this set now. The allure of a Nique autogamer is too strong though, I must rip a box, no matter the cost to my eternal soul.


JD's Daddy said...

I'll keep my eyes peeled for any Braves non-base cards and mr wilkins for you. You keep an eye out for Billy, cuz he ROCKS! Just kidding. Red Sox cards are cool though.

Joe S. said...

I'll be buying a handful of packs of these, no doubt. The mascot autographs kinda ruin it for me - I don't want to spend a lot to pull some bullcrap like that. Same goes for the scouts autos in Bowman (I believe). I have no problems with gimmick autos, just don't include them in "hit" insertion rates!!!

NicoLax24 said...

A Men to that! I want my hits to be baseball players, quality baseball players!