27 July 2015

Pack of the Day 101: I Went Tail Over Teakettle on the Way to Get a Jumbo Pack of 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter (Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Contest #6 Entry Post)

This all ties together in the most tenuous of ways, and it eventually leads to some baseball cards. I wanted some of the new Allen & Ginter, but I hadn't had an excuse to go the the store. On Saturday we ran out of dog food and I needed to get some lunches and dinners for this week as my family is out of town on a trip, so I had my excuse to go shopping, but I needed to take a shower before I went anywhere. I wouldn't want to show up on People of Walmart for being a stinky fool.

So there I was, showering away, when I stepped on a super slippery spot and began to fall. I cast my gaze about for something to grab hold of, but there is surprisingly little in the way of handholds in our tub. I did manage to grab at the hose leading to the shower nozzle, but not in any way that helped me. I was going down. As I crashed through the shower curtain I thought about how I was all alone in the house, and that's how people wind up dying from falls. I also found time to swear a couple of times. I managed not to hit my head on anything, but I did manage to gather a nice collection of injuries. I tore a big chunk out of one of my fingers, either from grabbing at the shower nozzle or from hitting my hand on the lip of the garbage can. I jammed my other wrist on the floor, and that is still pretty stiff. My back took the brunt of the fall, landing awkwardly on the stepstool my sons use to get up the the toilet. I bruised my tailbone pretty hard and pulled something higher up in my back. That injury has been the worst, as it hurts to do common activities like moving and breathing. I am hoping it clears up pretty soon. I am also looking at getting a non-slip mat for the shower.

I wasn't dead, so there wasn't much to do but step (carefully) back into the tub, get the nozzle pointed back in the right direction, and finish my shower. After that, it was off to Wal-Mart. I had intended to go to Target, but I fiddled around for too long in the day and Target was closed. I wasn't expecting Wal-Mart to have any Ginter, but I hoped that they did. As I rounded the corner of the aisle I saw that there were both Jumbo Packs and Blaster boxes. I first grabbed a Jumbo Pack, but then I figured that they'd been searched and I might be better off with a Blaster. I put the Jumbo Pack back on the hook and grabbed a blaster. Then I finished my shopping. I determined that I probably didn't have $20 to spare, so I went back and put the Blaster on the shelf and grabbed a different Jumbo Pack. That is the pack whose contents I am showcasing in this post.

Here is a scan of the pack itself. It is all pretty standard stuff. 14 picture cards are promised, and the little disclaimer at the bottom reminds you that the cards shown aren't necessarily the ones contained in the pack. So apparently there aren't Jose Abreu and Clayton Kershaw autographs inside every Retail Jumbo Pack of 2015 Allen & Ginter. Good to know.

Every base card in the pack was a baseball player. I thought that was kind of a crazy occurrence. Usually you get at least one non-baseball subject. Some people open packs of Ginter that contain no baseball players! My favorite of the bunch was this George Springer card. The Astros have got a huge series coming up against the Angels after dropping 2 of 3 against the Royals over the weekend. They have the same number of wins as the Angels, but have two more losses on the year. A series win could get the Astros back on top of the division. Springer won't figure into the result at all, as he is out for a few weeks with a fractured wrist.

As far as the card design goes, the set looks like every other Ginter set of the past few years. I went back and looked, and it doesn't look exactly like 2013 and 2014 Allen & Ginter but if you held up a card from any of these three years at random and asked which it was I would probably answer wrong much of the time. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know. I guess at least the brand is identifiable. You aren't really going to mistake A & G for anything else.

I like Alex Gordon all right, even if the Royals have dropped a little in my favorite team rankings lately. You might say that me and the Royals have some bad blood after this weekend.

I also have some beef with that Fernando Rodney guy. This is mostly because sometimes in fantasy baseball you find yourself in need of saves, and over the last few years Rodney has been in the discussion for saves on whatever team he plays for. His ratios can be so awful, though, that it's like shooting yourself in the foot to pick him up. He recently got another shot at the Mariners closing job and lost it again to Carson Smith. Wins and saves are cruddy stats anyway, but they are the standard in most leagues so you have to account for them.

Tulowitzki has had an interesting career. Most recently he was in the news for misspeaking (or at least for speaking his mind) and saying that he would continue going out and playing like the Rockies' games matter. It's got to be tough to be one of the better players in the league and spend your whole career on a team that just can't get it together for any meaningful runs. edit: Of course, as soon as I post something like this Tulowitzki would get traded after years and years of trade rumors falling through. He's going to the Blue Jays in exchange for Jose Reyes and prospects.

I didn't realize that Adam Jones had been a Mariner, but I also wasn't paying much attention to baseball in 2006 and 2007. I did still have fantasy baseball teams in those years, but I can cruise through just about any fantasy sports season and barely look at names and teams. It's all a spreadsheet game. I probably do worse in years where I am paying attention to real baseball, because I get hung up on the 'name' players and have a harder time letting someone go when they're doing poorly. That's why I do pretty well at fantasy hockey. I've never watched a hockey game in my life, so it's all just numbers to me. Jones has been a regular on my rosters as an Oriole for several seasons now. This year he hasn't quite lived up to his draft position. He hasn't been a slouch at all, but he hasn't delivered on his late first - early second round price tag.

My one full-size insert from the pack was this What Once Was Believed card about the Flat Earth theory, which is pretty much what it sounds like. People used to believe that the Earth was flat, with edges and corners and whatnot.

I got two minis in the pack. One was a regular old Dellin Betances mini, and the other was a First Ladies insert of Caroline Harrison. She's got a bit of a mullet going on there, so I guess that makes her pretty Metal as far as First Ladies go.

The last card in the pack (actually it was in the middle of the bottom half of the pack, so it was probably like the tenth or eleventh card in the pack) is this purple-framed relic of Zach Wheeler, the Mets pitcher who is early in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery. It's a nice-looking card, even if the relic piece does have a large glob of dusty lint attached to it. I don't know that it would survive a trip through the laundry, although now that I've thought of it I am kind of tempted to try it out just to see what it would look like in the end.

I also wonder what was left behind in the Jumbo Pack and Blaster box that were originally in my cart. I probably wound up with the best pack out of the bunch, but any time I pick something up and put it back I can't help wondering if I had some mega hit within my grasp.


  1. You did pretty well. I guess the pack searchers don't like Ginter.

    Take a look at that Adam Jones trade. One of the worst in recent memories. The Mariners got jobbed.

    1. I vaguely remember all the talk of how Bedard didn't pan out given how much Seattle gave up for him, but I guess I never made the connection between that and Adam Jones. Or it's been so long that I don't remember being aware of it at the time.

    2. Our local pack searcher doesn't make it out as far as Wal-Mart. They usually only have a few jumbo packs on the shelf, so it isn't worth the trouble. He spends most of his time at Target and Shopko. I am assuming it's just the one guy. I've seen him a couple of times, and he always puts the searched packs back on the shelf in a certain way so I know when he's been through the new product. I am not a confrontational guy, so I haven't said anything to him about it.

  2. Awesome hit out of retail. If you aren't looking to keep it, I'd be interested. I think I'm going to try and get a complete set of those framed relics this year... mostly because they're purple.

    1. We could probably arrange a trade. I am not particularly attached to it. Although if we do trade I won't be able to do the laundry experiment.

  3. Sorry to learn of your fall in the shower. At least you didn't wind up with a broken hand like Ken Griffey, Jr. did back in 1989.
    Nice pull on the Wheeler framed mini!

    1. I am lucky that I didn't get hurt worse. I managed to keep my head up and avoid getting a concussion or something. Everything seems to be healing up nicely, although my back will probably be stiff for a few days yet.