Friday, December 16, 2011

Blog Bat Around - dissing A&G one last time in 2011

Favorite Release of the Year – Topps Lineage

Without a doubt, my favorite release of the year was Lineage. I’ll say it up front – I hate the card backs. Major flaw in the set and a miss by Topps. The one or two sentences instead of stats was a poor call. With that out of the way, I’ll focus on what I liked. First of all, the set checklist. It was a lot of fun opening each pack and seeing such a nice mixture of Hall of Famers and current stars. I have every intention of picking up the complete set, and using it to educate The Lost Collector Jr (due in 11 days!) on the players who were stars the year he was born, as well as some of baseball’s greatest players of all time.

Second, I loved the minis and mini relics. This was the coolest insert set of the year in my opinion. The relics were tastefully done and looked great as a mini. I also had success with them, pulling an Eddie Murray from a blaster and receiving a CC Sabathia as a contest prize (thanks Robert!). That certainly helps my perception of them. The non-relic minis were fantastic as well. While the colors and schemes may have differed slightly from actual ‘75s, I didn’t mind one bit and have had fun trying to collect all the Yanks.

Third, I liked the parallels. Two kinds of shiny parallels – and although the names still confuse me, both were good looking cards at the end of the day.

Unfortunately I didn’t pull one of the cool 1952-style autos, but that won’t change my opinion for Set of the Year.

Least Favorite – Allen & Ginter

This man signed over 1,000,000 autos for Topps this year.

I just don’t get the fuss with this set. I thought it stunk. The cards were ugly compared to past years. The autos and relics were mostly Angel Pagan and David DeJesus. There were cards of flowers and states and ghosts. Why would I want one of these? I have a serious problem buying a pack of baseball cards and getting a card of Guy Fieri. I’ve stated multiple times that I think he is a loser. I think it’s because of the TGI Fridays commercials. Or the frosted tips. Or both. I just don't need a card of him.

I thought the card design was poorly done. I like the simple design from earlier years, such as 2008. It was classy. These weren’t. Not that they should use the same design every year, but this year's felt like they were trying too hard to be different.

It’s all a matter of personal tastes and I understand and respect that. Most found this to be an attractive set. Some like the minis or trying to crack the code. Many bloggers enjoy the subsets and the variety. I, for one, do not. I’ll absolutely give A&G a try again in 2012, and maybe I’ll be singing a different tune. But for 2011, give me anything else please.


  1. Just a note...A&G was never claimed to be a baseball set. It's a mostly baseball set. Sure there are questionable inclusions (fieri, supernanny) but the majority of the non-baseball inclusions are people who deserve a card, but would never have a set made of what they are a champion in. The design was certainly not their best this year, though.

  2. That's certainly a fair point, Spankee. Thank you for pointing that out. It doesn't change my opinion, but I do respect the fact that it is not marketed as a baseball only set. I will note that Topps' own website does call the product "2011 Allen & Ginter Baseball", although the package does not say this other than the MLB logo I believe. Not that their website is the most accurate thing in the world, but I thought it was interesting.

  3. Yeah, my best guess is that it comes down to licensing. Something like Goodwin Champions can be more broad and less baseball-centric since UD avoided licensing issues by using generic pictures. With Topps, though, they probably release it as a baseball-heavy set so that it counts in their 17-set allotment, or whatever it is.

    If they improved their selection of non-baseball candidates, I think it would be a much better set.