Allen & Ginter is here

July 23, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Topps | 1 Comment

So today is July 23, and that means that 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter is now available. While many collectors are as excited as little kids on Christmas morning, I’m just happy that it’s out. The truth is that I like Allen & Ginter, but I don’t love it. I love 2007 Goudey and I love 2008 Topps Heritage. Those are my favorite retro sets. Allen & Ginter ranks below those sets for me.

I bought my first hobby box of 2007 Allen & Ginter after I read a ton of rave reviews about it on blogs and message boards. When I opened the box, my expectations for sky high, but feelings about the cards were mixed. First, I’ll admit that I feel weird getting cards of historic figures like Gandhi and Susan B. Anthony in my packs of baseball cards. I feel even weirder when I get cards of buildings like the Eiffel Tower. I know that it’s a tribute to the Allen & Ginter cards from the 1800s that featured more than just baseball players, but it’s hard to get excited about cards like these. I just chuckle when I find them in my packs and wonder who picks all of the non-baseball cards to include. Then there is all of the white space. I agree that the cards have a somewhat artistic quality to them, but when you’re going through a big pile of them, or looking at them in a binder, all of that empty white space can get boring. That’s a big reason why I prefer the more colorful Goudey cards. My third issue with Allen & Ginter is the backs of the cards. Why exactly is it necessary to spell out in words all of the numerical statistics? Actual numbers would be so much easier to read, and I know that the original cards in the 1800s didn’t have any stats at all, so you can’t use that as an excuse.

Despite the flaws that I mentioned, I do like and collect Allen & Ginter. I eventually bought a second hobby box of the 2007 set and bought some singles from other sources, and now I am close to completing a base set. I loved the Roman Emperor inserts and collected a full set of those. It’s one of the few products out there that has a base set that is fun to build. And I’m going to buy at least two hobby boxes of 2008 Allen & Ginter. I’m just not quite as caught up in the hoopla as a lot of other people are.

Anyway, I’m planning to buy my boxes at Cardiacs Sports Cards in Cary, North Carolina. They ordered a few cases and they’re planning a “Case Bustin’ Party” this Friday, July 25, at 6:00 PM. It should be fun to open packs with a group of people, see what hits everyone gets, and maybe trade some doubles. The owners of Cardiacs are going to order food and drinks for everyone too. If anyone reading this is located in the Triangle area of North Carolina, it would be great to see you there. I’m planning on wearing a Scott Kazmir Rays jersey shirt so you’ll know who I am. Just call Cardiacs ahead of time to reserve your boxes. It should be an exciting event.


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  1. Just an FYI, I am up for trading/buying any Mauer/Morneau stuff. So if you pull/see pulled their cards, let me know.

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