Hits: Evan Longoria Autograph, John Higby Yo-Yo String SP, Ichiro Suzuki Bat, Tim Lincecum Jersey, Mike Metzger Auto/239, Carlos Quentin Jersey, David Wright Batting Glove, Jim Thome Bat, Vladimir Guerrero Bat, Manny Ramirez Jersey, David Wright Jersey, C.C. Sabathia Jersey, Rich Harden Jersey, Josh Johnson Auto, Miguel Cabrera Jersey, Justin Upton Jersey, B.J. Upton Jersey, Travis Hafner Jersey, Jimmie Rollins Jersey, Magglio Ordonez Jersey, Yunel Escobar Jersey, Adam Dunn Bazooka Back (#8/25), Blake Dewitt No-Number Back (sent to Nightowl), and the extremely rare Here-To-There-O-Matic mini (roughly one per case).
If you would like to trade for any of these cards, except those in red, just let me know and I am sure we can work something out (first crack at the Wright Batting Glove & Jersey cards to the gals at Dinged Corners).
1) Base Set Design: Adding the borders to the cards was a great idea and really classed up the set. I also love the cards with non-pastel backgrounds...aren't the Joe Mauer and Clayton Kershaw cards some of the best looking base cards you've seen in a long time?
2) Non-Baseball Cards: While the public seems to be split on this debate, I really enjoy pulling a Richard Gatling or an Electron from a pack. It brings some variety to the set and makes it more accessible to non-baseball collectors.
3) Creatures of Legend, Myth & Terror: How cool is it to pull a card of a Kraken or a Unicorn from a pack of baseball cards? This was my favorite insert set of the year and here's hoping Topps can come up with something like this for 2010 (Natural Wonders of the World?)
4) Black Bordered Cards: The intricate design is much more appealing than the past straight black border and they are attainable enough that it is not out of the realm of possibility to complete the entire set (if you have a big wallet and lots of free time).
1) Poor Collation: Despite the fact that I have opened nearly 140 packs (plus another hobby box belonging to my brother) of Allen & Ginter this year, I still have not completed a standard 1-350 base set of the cards; that seems wrong to me. How is it that I can manage to pull 10 of a particular shortprint, but still be missing numerous cards falling between 1-300? By the way if you are interested the cards I still need are: #34, 54, 68, 93, 125, 168, 248, 305, 338 and 343. I would be forever indebted to you for your help in helping me bring in my white whale.
2) Small Autograph Checklist: While there are some great players featured in A & G (Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, Evan Longoria) and cool non-players (Michael Phelps, John Higby, Hannah Teter) the checklist as a whole leaves something to be desired, and I think the set would really benefit from adding more baseball players. How quickly would this product sell-out if there was a guaranteed auto in every box?
3) Sketch Cards: Not to go all Stephen A. Smith on you, but quite frankly these aren't very good looking cards. I would much rather pull another base card than one of these monstrosities (same goes for the National Pride cards).
4) Griffey-less Ginter: In what may be his last go-round with the Seattle Mariners, Ken Griffey Jr. was inexplicably left off the base card checklist. It's not like this is a small set either, if there's room for Bobby Crosby and Melvin Mora, then there is certainly a spot in the set for the only active member of the 600 HR Club. Not coincedentially my second favorite player, Ben Zobrist, was also not included in the set. Topps clearly was not creating A & G with me in mind, how thoughtless.
Of course I would buy Allen & Ginter next year even if they didn't change anything, but I think there is still room for improvement. What is your opinion of 2009 A & G? What do you love/hate?