After hearing about the Matt Harvey injury yesterday, I ran through the The Kübler-Ross model a couple of times. I have, though, settled in to accept the fact that I won't see him pitch again until 2015 and that 2014 will be yet another stepping stone year for the Mets. Ugh.
No matter how you deal with the stages of grief, the depression often lingers the longest. So to cheer myself up, while shopping for a few odds and ends in Target, I decided to break my vow not to buy any and plunked down for four rack packs of Allen and Ginter.
Each one of my therapy sessions costs $200+ and these only cost $25, so since I don't see my shrink until Thursday, this seemed like a fine immediate investment in my sanity. Let's take a look at what I got, all 56 cards:
First off, let's look at the legends cards:
I would like to commend Topps in selecting a few different players this year. Red Schoendienst, Bill Buckner, Will Clark...it's refreshing to pull some unfamiliar names (and photos) rather than the same 30 names over and over again. Notice something? Yeah, I got two Andre Dawson cards. This will be the start of a pattern (I will also need a ninth old player for my page, email me if you have one for me).
Ginter means kooky historical inserts:
The write-ups on the Civilizations of the Past cards are nifty, history geek Max like. The One Little Corner inserts might need to be bought en masse, since astronomy geek Max needs to be satiated too. I hope the photos on the Curious Cases cards are more interesting than the one there for MKULTRA - why not show someone in an acid freakout? Finally, the player-based insert set is the Across the Years (and for the first time in a while it isn't horizontal) and they are okay, I suppose. Hey, look! I got two Jacoby Ellsburys, who seems to be saying "come here and pull my finger..." Classy.
Allen and Ginter also means minis!
The Johan is obviously staying. Vida Blue got a great write up from Night Owl recently, so it was nice to see him conjured somehow by my enjoyment of that post. The black minis seem to work nicely this year; Topps seems to go back and forth on those. There are a couple of insert minis here too: Peacemakers, with the Babe Ruth of peace Gandhi, and a well-referenced (if incorrectly quoted) Heavy Hangs the Head insert with King Richard the I. I was very excited when I saw a card that said "Marley" on it, but imagine my disappointment when I saw it was Ziggy and not Bob. Sort of like pulling a Tommy Aaron in 1966 rather than a Hank. Finally are the three rookie logo-ed cards I pulled, including the wonderfully named Jurickson Profar. His moniker sounds like Kurt Vonnegut and Charles Dickens collaborated.
What about the base cards? Well, fine, we can run through those too.
I like the borders on the Ginter this year, but is it me, or do the pictures seem like 5% too small? Maybe they could have stretched that fancy stuff out just a touch. When working in 2.5" x 3.5" every millimeter counts (to mix my metaphors and my measurements).
Here is more base:
I have already made a page out of these baseball players, but if there is any card you would like to trade for, drop me a line before the remaining lot of these winds up on ebay. Keep in mind that the Brett Lawrie and Andre Either already have destinations, though. I only got two high numbers in four packs (which I think was the ratio anyway) and, of course, both of them are Freddie Freeman. As a Mets fan, that is like a double punch to the stomach. I also only got two non-baseball subjects, though I know they have cut back on those in recent years. Needless to say, John Calipari and Scott Hamilton are, um, underwhelming.
Last batch, the horizontal base cards:
I know some people complain about the horizontal Ginters, but if the photo is great, I think they work fine. I would say, in fact, that all seven of these are good to excellent, with that Reddick being spectacular. Speaking of Kurt Vonnegut, he gets a shout out on the advertisement for whatever silly contest they are running this year (always nice to see my favorite author get some props). Oh yeah, and my retail purchase certainly beat the odds and netted me an autograph. Granted it is Tommy Milone, but beggars and choosers and whatnot. It was a nice feeling to get a hit out of packs from Target. It actually made me briefly smile for the first time in two days.