I've probably run it into the ground at this point, but Allen & Ginter has become my new flagship set. After 2020, instead of rather blindly committing to build the Topps flagship set every year, with or without all the rather pedestrian inserts, I'm switching to Ginter, which for the most part has been much more enjoyable to break and collect. Instead of more than one overbloated star card rehash, along with the annual old design redundant tribute, and 1000 base cards that seem to be 73% rookies and guys I've never seen and one or two super short printed legends that I try to trade for the couple I need for PCs, I'd rather build a nice 300 card base set with bunches of retired players, some diverse subjects, and some easy "short prints" that are actually obtainable, plus some regular- and mini-sized inserts that generally have several times the thought put into them.
So to complete my first trifecta of consecutive Ginter set builds, I got three boxes from my favorite Baltimore area dealer for about $20 off at the time. And being so close, I got two day shipping for the regular price.
So here's what came out of the first box...
Nice box topper pull ... at least for someone. I like Polar Bear backs on T2o5s, but Pete belongs with a Mets fan.
Continuing with the decent trade bait, only the Mattingly is spoken for here. This is how I conmplete my insert sets, etc. All minis can go! (Except for Palmer, Mussina, Torre & Fisk if you have them!)
Cool selections in A&G back minis too. Probably the best luck I'll have pulling Bichettes. Dobbins shows up again later, and Pedro with the 'Spos (is that how you spell that?) is very cool. Flipped Ms. Scurry from the futbol net to show the back.
And the black borders. Gotta love the Cubs Fergie, but I guess Correa and Castillo probably carry more hype in the mainstream crowd.
REALLY love the Monster minis! They have subtle glow-in-the-dark images too. This is the best of the Ginter committee's imagination at work this year. The other stuff isn't bad, but doesn't maintain the same level as the last three years or so. The Safari ones seem to all be printed down and in to the right handed batters. And the castles is a mini version of a similar regular size set I'm still working on from a previous year.
The regulation size inserts. Can't complain about any of these. Nice to have a catcher tribute set. The Debuts are elegant and a mix of old and newer guys instead of the same old ones. And the Longball Lores put some graphical power into a familiar theme.
Down On The Farm leads off a couple of the more mundane inserts this year. These seem aimed at the school age crowd, which I don't have a problem with. I'll trade for the rest of these, but I won't buy them.
Same with these rockin' inserts - Digging Deep. OK, rare minerals are sorta interesting, but not really that photogenic that they should be on cards.
The full bleed postcard looking inserts that follow last year's effort History Of Flight, Reach for the Sky features skyscrapers, which are also a previous year subject, though I like these better.
2020 Ginter's most noticeable shift that I see is the number of comedians and writers who got cards. In past years, they would be mixed in with athletes from obscure sports, racehorses, historical figures, and the occasional contest winner collector. Guess this is "standup-routine-worn?" More on this in a bit.
My best hit is what turns out to be the only framed mini relic out of all three boxes. For once, I get a hit of one of the big name guys, though at this point, I imagine Vlad is on the downslope of his Hype Machine domination. But still good enough for me. I might be persuaded to trade him for one of my local teams or player collection guys. I'll have to go over the list.
And finally, Simone here was the first hit I pulled, and she was in the first pack. In fact, all of my hits came in the top packs of all three boxes. Kinda killed the suspense, but I'm not in it for the hits anyway. This was also the only autograph I got out of all 9 "hits". Funny thing, there is no list of the regular size autographs in either the database or CardPedia. There are all the Dual autos, book cards and regular size relics, but no list of the autos.
A quicker look at boxes 2 & 3 next time!