Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Topps Allen & Ginter Retail


Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and are getting ready for New Years hijinks!

First a PSA...I had my first colonoscopy a couple of days ago (you all didn't think a post would veer into health topics did you?).  Fortunately, nothing was found and I was given a clean bill of health, so I guess that means my next experience would be 10 years from now.  They need to find a better method than that liquid concoction they make you chug.  Anyway, if you're stalling about undergoing the procedure, just get it done could save your life!

Since baseball cards are back at retail (especially if you time your visits around the time the card vendor stocked the shelves), there's more choices available for us.  There's still some things missing like rack packs (besides Topps Flagship) and gravity feeders, but these days you can go to the card aisle and generally spend a minute or two there looking at options as opposed a year or two ago.

A few weeks ago during a Target shift I saw a box of Allen & Ginter on the shelf.  All the packs were in the box so it must have been put there recently.  I'm not an A&G guy but I usually get a pack or two to sample the set.  I picked one up at the end of the day, $3.50 for 6 cards.  Here's who I got:

#249 - Drew Rosenhaus
#126 - Tom Seaver

Drew represents Gronk, among other NFL players.  Nothing wrong with getting Tom Terrific either.

#324 - Sal Bando

Here's a guy you don't expect to see in sets these days.  Bando is a Short Print, which comes 1 in every 2 packs.

There's 350 cards in the set, but there are some oddities.  Cards #167 and 181 do not exist, and there are 2 versions of Cards #337 and #344 (in the SP section).  Those second versions, for Manny Ramirez and Luis Castillo, are not Short Prints, which makes me think they were supposed to be in the main set.  Great quality control during your pandemic-related delays, Topps.

#BS-43 - Reggie Jackson (Banner Season)
#TO-1 - Power Outage (Time Out! Mini Set)

There's 50 cards in the Banner Season set, while there's just 10 cards in the Time Out! set.  

#189 - Rob Riggle

Hey, not a bad final card.  The Marine-turned-Comedian has been in a bunch of fun stuff, from Step Brothers to Holey Moley.

Here's some card backs because New Year's:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Odd to open a pack of baseball cards and not get a current player but that's A&G for you.

Everyone have a safe and happy New Year!  May 2023 be infinitely better than 2022!  Get that colon checked...and thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

2013 Panini Cooperstown (Hobby)

It's 17 degrees here in Massachusetts so lets open some 2013 Panini Cooperstown.

We have previously opened the retail version of this product, today we take a look at the hobby variant.

6 cards-per-pack. 24 packs-per-box. 1 on-card autograph per-box.

Opening these hobby products is always a bit of a gamble years later because you run the risk of paying a large chunk of cash to get an expired redemption.

We have Paul "Big Poison" Waner, a member of the 3,000 hit club and former NL MVP, and Phil Niekro, legendary knuckleballer.

Next we have Jim Bunning, class of 1996, and "Year of the Pitcher" legend Bob Gibson on an 025/499 blue parallel.

Here is "The Frenchman" Napoléon "Nap" Lajoie, collector of nicknames and 5x batting champion. This is part of the "Stars of the Diamond" rounds subset, 1/pack.

And finally, our autograph hit from the box is Juan Marichal, 196/200, Class of 1983.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

2022 Topps Archives Baseball Blaster Pack


Hope everyone is doing well.  The holidays certainly crept up on us this year.  The house is still a mess and we host Christmas celebrations Sunday afternoon.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Less loose packs in the stores during the pandemic means more blaster box purchases.  Is there a rack pack for this year's Archives?

I was able to pick up a blaster of Archives after a recent Target shift (last month was my 20th anniversary there, holy crap!) but then my eldest came back with a blaster box of his own a few days later.  We saw a hobby pack a while back, so why not a blaster pack?

He let me scan one of his packs before they disappeared into the abyss that is his room.

25 bucks for the blaster.  3 exclusive 1988 Topps Big Foil cards are included in the box.  Here's a pack of what he got:

#61 - Hoy Park (RC)
#47 - Matt Manning (RC)

A couple of rookies in the 1963 design start the pack off.  Manning has a background color variation card in the set...obviously this isn't it.

#134 - Jose Abreu
#167 - Ronald Acuña Jr

We move on to 2 cards with the 1978 design.  Abreu moved on to the Astros in the offseason.  Sox fans will miss him for sure.

Acuña also has a design color swap variation...this isn't it either.

#PC-11 - Jose Ramirez

The Topps Post Cards insert come 1 in 8 packs.

#281 - Willy Adames
#230 - Salvador Perez

Hey, kudos to Topps for using the often ignored 1987 design.  It's been 35 years...about time they brought it back!

#289 - Sonny Gray

Here's the checklist for those who need it, and here are the backs because it's the most wonderful time of the year:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Nothing earth-shattering in the blaster, just the 3 Big Foils and a couple inserts here and there.

Hope you all have a great holiday season!  Hopefully there'll be time for one more pack before the end of the year.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

2022 Topps Series 2 Retail


Hope everyone is enjoying their Turkey Day!  The Wifey is in Arizona with her sister for a couple of weeks, so the boys and I are making due without The Boss around.  Thanksgiving festivities are at my sister's house this year, so while waiting for go time there's enough time for a pack (the first Thanksgiving post since 2018).

I've noticed retail packs aren't as plentiful as previous years.  Don't know if Topps purposely scaled back since The Virus or if they've changed their marketing strategy (Target and Walmart exclusives), but there hasn't been a gravity feeder since the pandemic.

16 cards per pack, but it costs $3.50 a pack now.  Yikes!

#614 - Jack Mayfield
#451 - Randy Dobnak

As usual, there's 330 cards in the set.  Here's the link to the checklist if anyone needs it.

#586 - Ryan Vilade (RC)
#562 - Zac Gallen

Vilade played 3 games for Colorado in 2021 and stayed in AAA in 2022.  Not sure if that warranted a card.  

#382 - Jordan Montgomery
#428 - Patrick Sandoval

Montgomery was traded to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader, a trade which surprised many fans.  Enjoying that Angels throwback.  

#373 - Ryan Feltner (RC)
#529 - Mitch Garver
#599 - Jose Siri (RC)

Siri was sent to Tampa Bay as part of the 3-team trade that brought Trey Mancini from Baltimore to Houston (and a World Series ring).

#87TB-39 - Mitch Haniger (1987 Topps)
#SMLB-39 - Jose Abreu (Stars of the MLB)

According to the back of the pack, the 1987 insert came 1 in 8 packs.  Every pack came with a Stars insert.

#464 - San Francisco Giants Team Card
#476 - Adbert Alzolay

Yes, in hand it did seem like the Player Position font was harder to read for the horizontal cards when compared to the vertical cards.

#449 - Kolten Wong
#448 - Nick Castellanos
#465 - Baltimore Orioles Team Card

Sorry, not sure why this picture is so small.  Too bad, since those are some nice shots of Kolten and Nick.

Here are the backs, because gobble gobble:

Anyway, that's the pack, and look at the time, it's time to eat.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

2021-22 Panini Chronicles Basketball

Chronicles is certainly one of the weirder offerings by Panini, but it's also one of my favorites. This rookie-heavy set is Panini's chance to show off all of their brand names in one place, even if most of those brands didn't warrant their own sets this year. This is a pack from one of the blasters I opened recently.

59 - Scottie Barnes - Right off the bat we have a card from the Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, there's a little notch in the top of the card. Normally I would blame pack searchers, but this was inside a blaster.

21 - De'Aaron Fox - The lone non-rookie of the pack. This is also a look at the "base" Chronicles design for this year.

214 - Cade Cunningham - Cunningham was the #1 overall pick in last year's draft. Chronicles is a good way to pick up the top rookies for a relatively cheap price.

61 - Austin Reaves Pink - It's tough to tell by the scan, but this is a pink parallel as the player name is printed in pink foil.

111 - Scottie Barnes - Another Scottie Barnes? It's actually a pretty common occurrence to get the same player multiple times in the same pack.

339 - Bones Hyland - People seem to like this guy. I think his name helps a bit.

375 - Cameron Thomas - The last card shows off the XR brand. I'm not sure if I've bought a real XR card in my life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

2021 Panini Contenders Football Value Pack

Here's another 2021 NFL set that saw release during 2022. I must have purchased this jumbo sized pack back in the spring when I couldn't find any baseball cards, because that's usually the only reason I would ever dabble in football.

100 - Chase Young - Cards from the Washington Football Team years are going to be looked back at with some amusement in the future.

58 - Henry Ruggs III - Contenders is known for its rookie autographs. If you want rookie base cards, you're pretty much out of luck and will have to settle for second year cards like Ruggs here.

16 - Khalil Mack - Mack is wreaking havoc for the Chargers these days.

73 - Daniel Jones - I did fantasy football for the first time in a really long time this season and was stuck with this guy as the backup QB for a bit.

30 - Von Miller - Miller was with the Rams just about the minimal amount of time needed to get a ring before signing a long term deal with Buffalo this past offseason.

87 - Tyler Lockett

45 - James Robinson - The Jaguars are still going with that whole teal thing, I see.

3 - J.J. Watt - Like Miller, Watt is another big name defensive star that switched teams recently.

61 - DeVante Parker - There are a lot of wide receivers out there with the name DeVante in various spellings. I don't know if I could keep track of them all.

11 - Stefon Diggs - Diggs has been a big part of the resurgence of the Bills.

34 - Aaron Rodgers - Well, you know this guy...

91 - Tom Brady - ...and this guy. Sheesh.

49 - Travis Kelce - If you were to ask an average person to name a tight end in the NFL, I'm guessing Kelce's name would come up the most.

7 - LaMar Jackson - Justin Fields is starting to give Jackson a run for his money as the top rushing QB in the league.

65 - Dalvin Cook

23 - Myles Garrett - This is a very large man.

80 - Miles Sanders - Who is your favorite Myles/Miles?

37 - Jaire Alexander - I feel like I don't know much about the NFL, and yet this is one of the few players in the entire pack that I haven't heard of.

MVP-PMA - Patrick Mahomes MVP Contenders - The back of the pack is loaded with inserts.

LGD-JRI - Jerry Rice Legendary Contenders - Well, of course I've heard of this guy.

GLD-SME - Shawne Merriman Gladiators - Can't say that I'm excited to see a new card of this guy.

CM-SBA - Saquon Barkley Chain Movers Green - Finally, we hit on our hyped retail exclusive emerald parallel.