Sunday, August 17, 2008

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter

My first post on APAD! Thanks to Ben for letting me in - I've been an on-and-off baseball card collector since the early 1990s (after the A's won the Series and the Rockies came to town), and now I'm back in again.

Generally, my tastes run toward the cheap and overproduced cards of the 1980s and early 1990s, since I like to try and build base sets. Unless they're really special, insert cards have never held much interest for me. This could possibly be because I have horrible luck in pulling them...

...but I digress. Let's move on to the topic at hand: New cards that look like old ones! I've been a fan of the concept since Topps and Bowman went crazy with their 2001 Heritage releases - I love the audacity of using black-and-white photos and rough brown card stock on a brand new set of cards. (Also, gum that isn't brittle is a bonus.) Not all "old-school" releases have worked quite as well - Fleer Tradition, I'm looking at you - but the idea is still sound.

Normally, I'm not a fan of any pack that costs $2.99, but I had to satisfy my curiosity about the new Topps Allen & Ginter set. Let's see what happens.

4 - Roy Halladay (Blue Jays). Well, the design of the cards is certainly clean - other than the typefaces and the nigh-unreadable obverse layout, however, it doesn't seem particularly vintage. (Then again, I guess printing such expensive cards on lower-quality stock wouldn't make much sense.) The back tells me that Roy is a resident of Arvada, Colorado - always nice to see a fellow Coloradan in the big leagues.

258 - Eric Chavez (Athletics). A quality A's player, something I appreciate. It would have been more appropriate to this set to put him in a Philly A's uniform, but that's asking too much.

152 - Lyle Overbay (Blue Jays). Two Jays in a pack of six cards. Meh. This one also came with its very own dented corner - nice quality control, fellas.

316 - Ervin Santana (Angels)

(mini) 16 - Hiroki Kuroda "Rookie Card" (Dodgers)

US38 - Ken Griffey Jr. "Pennsylvania" (Reds). Good for thickening up a three-buck pack, but not much else unless you're a big fan of the Pennsy state flag. Exactly the kind of lame insert card I despise. The back tells me, in regal tones, that Griff was born in Donora exactly 49 years to the day after Stan Musial. Also, now that Junior is playing in South Chicago, this card has become instantly outdated. (Adding insult to injury, this is another card from the pack with a dent on its lower edge.)

208 - Bruce Jenner (Olympian). Now this I like - the occasional non-baseball sports star in a pack of cards. If nothing else, I hope this concept gets more play in the future.

Final thoughts (after the obligatory David Wright promo card): Unless I find it cheaply at some point in the future, I probably won't be tempted to delve further into the set.

More to come - I also picked up one of Fairfield's boxes-o-randomness on the same trip to Target, so look out for that.


--David said...

My Dad refereed soccer in Donora when I was a LOT younger. One contest had us driving away even before Dad had fully gotten in the car because the hometown fans did not agree with some of his calls!

cbware said...

would you be willing to part with the state flag card? I'm trying to put together a 50 state set.

email me at

Steve Gierman said...

Great first post!