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Friday, July 16, 2010

A&G Blaster Breakdown

No pack by pack commentary on this one, You're getting plenty of that with the hundreds of Gint-A-Cuffs posts out there. I ripped this sucka with extreme prejudice and here's the final autopsy. I will begin by stating that this might be one of the finest blasters I've ever ripped.

Base cards: 25

The base cards in this pack were practically an All-Star team by themselves. Check out this group of nine:

Ryan Howard: MVP
Joey Votto: All-Star
Dustin Pedroia: MVP
Trevor Hoffman: Future Hall of Famer
Ichiro: Future Hall of Famer
Johnny Damon: All-Star
Brian McCann: All-Star MVP
Chase Utley: All-Star
Troy Tulowitzki: All-Star

You're thinking the rest of the base cards were a bunch of slouches, right? Wrong. Check out this list:

Shane Victorino
Joakim Soria
Matt LaPorta
Mark Buehrle
Dan Uggla
Dan Haren
Alfonso Soriano
Rick Porcello
Kendry Morales

Kendry's hurt and Porcello and LaPorta are 1st round picks still trying to figure out the league, but there's not a stinker card in the bunch. Here's the rookies:

Madison Bumgarner is a good pitcher with the misfortune of trying to break into a ridiculous Giants rotation. Tyler Colvin is playing rather well for a crummy Cubs team. Dustin Richardson has a spot as a LOOGY out of Boston's pen. All three are producing in the league right now. Not bad.

Two Champions were in the box including Meb Keflezighi who is anaccomplished marathon runner with a name as difficult to type as Pierzynski and Samardzija which is no easy feat. When I first saw the name Johnny Strange in the checklist, I thought it was strange. That's a character in a book about 19th century British magicians, not a Champion. Then I looked on the back of the card and saw that Johnny climbs mountains. In Antarctica. When he was twelve. I am now thoroughly impressed with Mr. Strange.

Two Negro leaguers in this box, which is fantastic.

Mahlon Duckett played for the Newark Eagles and Homestead Grays and is the Secretary and Treasurer of the Negro League Baseball Players Association.

Jim Zapp played for the Atlanta Black Crackers which is awesome. I don't have many cards from the ABCs, if any at all. I'm very happy about this card here.

Base card short prints: 4

Pretty much every blaster is going to have 4 short prints in it. This one was right on target.

Adrian Beltre was a pretty nice pickup for the Sox. It seems there are a lot of players in their new uniform among the short prints.

I still firmly believe that had the Braves signed Bobby Abreu instead of Garret Anderson, Atlanta is in the playoffs last year.

Austin Jackson is a nice consolation for Detroit after losing Granderson. Why the heck the Tigers traded Granderson in the first place I'll never know.

Alcedes Escobar scared the heck out of me a couple of times during tonight's game. That guy can hit.

This Date in History: 8

One per pack means eight per blaster. Luckily this set is extremely interesting or I'd be complaining about how it eats one card out of a 6 card pack. The subjects:
Stephen Drew
Andre Ethier
Dan Haren

Yovanni Gallardo
Justin Morneau
Miguel Tejada
Alexei Ramirez
I unfortunately recognize many of these from my hobby box.

Baseball Sketches: 1

Pretty sure I pulled this Daniel Murphy card from one of the loose hobby packs I got. Murphy got the sketch in honor of a behind the back fielding play of some sort. I really hope Topps does this insert set again next year, I can think of three Braves moments worthy of a sketch off the top of my head right now: Heyward's homer on his first swing, Wagner's 400th save and McCann's bases clearing double in the All-Star game. I want these cards next year Topps!

Ok time for the minis. Pay close attention here.

Base mini short print: 1

This card emphasizes a problem with this year's design. Now that there is an actual border, we can now see miscut cards very easily. This one is certainly miscut in a way that is not really acceptable with today's technology. If this was a Strasburg, there would be many torches and pitchforks waved about online. But imagine for a second that green border didn't exist. Just focus on the image of Huston Street. By itself, it doesn't really look all that off center does it? Maybe the logo at the bottom, but who would notice that? It makes me wonder how many other A&G cards I have from previous years that are miscut but I didn't notice or care due to the borderless design.

A&G back minis: 2

Rick Ankiel and Travis Snider. Not sure if they've made the FrankenSet yet, that will probably have to wait until tomorrow as it is getting late.

A&G back short print minis: 1

Angel Pagan will probably make the binder due to the relative scarcity of the high numbers. He's apparently having a really nice year for the Mets, not that I would ever pay attention to such a thing.

Black Bordered minis: 1

This card looks freaking amazing with the black border. In my Piggy post, Dinged Corners wondered if my Three Little Pigs card was a candidate for the Modern But Vintage-Like Mini list. I don't know about that one, but this one here is pretty dang close to an original Allen & Ginter N14 card.  This one goes in the binder regardless of what other card #152 might be in there.

National Animals: 1

The Markhor is the largest goat in the world and the national animal of Pakistan. It is extremely endangered, but Pakistanis are still hunting them for food. You'd think the people of Pakistan could maybe hold off on killing the last specimens of their national animal until their numbers recovered. Even Colonel Sanders shut down his Kentucky Fried Eagle franchises and retooled the recipe for chicken instead.

Lords Of Olympus: 1

Here's yet another mini set I adore this year. Speaking of Eagles, now that Zeus isn't really the top dog amongst world religions anymore, you think Prometheus got pardoned? I'd hate to think the poor guy is still getting his liver eaten every day.

World's Biggest: 1

YES!!! I desperately wanted one of these since first seeing one on Hand Collated. Got #1 in the set too, Blue Whale. I don't even know why I love this insert set so much. Probably some kind of instinctive PT Barnum ZOMG LOOKIT THAT BIG THING OVER THERE attraction. I was contemplating picking up a second hobby box of this stuff but after seeing this is a retail-only insert, methinks I shall be putting that money towards a half a dozen blasters instead.

Ok, were you paying attention to the minis? Notice anything? Notice anything... missing? Where are the base minis? I got an entire blaster without one single base mini. Considering I got exactly one in the first half of my hobby box I'm starting to think the extreme scarcity of base minis is not just a fluke. Has Topps added so many inserts and parallels that the base minis have been squeezed out of the set? What was once ridiculous is now plausible. Oh yeah, also a certain player can only be found as a base mini card, no parallels. Food for thought, that.

Almost done with the blaster, just one card to go:

Jackpot! A hit in a blaster is always welcome. Mat Latos isn't a big name now, but he is starting to look like the guy who will make people in San Diego forget all about Jake Peavy. 10 wins already this year for the Padre prospect. Of course right when I type those words I find out he's been put on the DL after pulling a muscle after stifling a sneeze. Don't laugh, as someone who has dealt with back pain, I know damn well that a sneeze is nothing to sneeze at. Let the kid get a little rest, it's a long season.

There's the blaster. A Code Ad card (anyone figured that thing out yet?) and Checklist three of four was also found therein. I have to say this blaster completely exceeded expectations. I seem to remember that in years past that blasters that were opened early seem to have some very good results. I may be scrounging around for a few more tomorrow now.


handcollated said...

This isn't confirmed at all, but it seems those world greatest 1-5 are 1:12, and the rest are harder to hit. That's just judging by the frequency of hits (I've seen three blasters broken - two trees and your whale) and the frequency they show up on eBay. still waiting to hear from Topps, though.

PunkRockPaint said...

Padre fan: Jake who?

I'll trade you a McCann jersey I pulled outta my blaster for the Latos.

I bought a blaster last night and got a Tree...

John said...

I have seen the Abreau pose before

Colbey (flywheels) said...

I've got 2 hits from retail A&G so far - both Autos too! One came from a blaster and the most recent from a rack pack. Love the light blue wrapper and the bright orange/red frames...makes it semi-easy to spot in the rack packs!

Andy said...

As the years go by in these A&G sets, I find the cards increasingly washed out and poorly drawn. This set holds no interest for me and is about 10% the quality of National Chicle.

Lonestarr said...

Had a blaster sorta like that with no regular base minis, though it wasn't nearly as good. Not sure if it had any mini inserts even.

Oh, I have World's Biggest mini #2, the Skyscraper Burj Khalifa if you want it. Can throw it in with the random assortment of Braves I'll be sending when I have money again.

Lonestarr said...

*had a blaster like that last year

madding said...

So many nice inserts in this year's set. I've definitely done a 180 on deciding to collect it.

Also... good god, why would anyone try to stop a sneeze? Just let it go, man!

Lonestarr said...

Pulled a #8, World's Largest Waterfall. Anyone ever figure out what the odds are for the the higher numbers yet?

Word Verification: tings

dayf said...

Did you pull that #8 from a blaster or from a loose retail pack?

I have a theory that #1-5 are in blasters and #6-25 are in loosey packs, but have not confirmed this yet.