The sports card blogosphere is in a total frenzy over the release of '09 Allen & Ginter baseball, which officially hit shelves yesterday. Like most collectors I absolutely LOVE the Allen & Ginter line of cards, but there were a few problems facing me with this latest release. First and foremost, I'm trying to be a bit stricter with my card budget these past few months, and I just can't justify the $150+ I'd have to spend on two hobby boxes just to get a start on completing my set. That money will go towards the 3rd of 4 weddings that I'll be attending this summer, ugh. Not only that but I can't deal with the prospect of trying to hand collate another set right now. I'm behind on trades to begin with (packages for Captain Canuck, Sal, Slette and hopefully one or two other people will be going out early next week). I don't have the time or energy to spend scouring eBay for short prints or those last few inserts I need. I still haven't completed my 08-09 O-Pee-Chee and Upper Deck hockey sets, and the 09-10 releases are just around the corner. Even my 2008 Allen & Ginter set is in terrible shape, for some reason I didn't pick up a lot of those last year. So, how did I solve my problem? I cheated... I don't usually buy sets like this, but in this case how could I resist? For the exact price of a single hobby box of Allen & Ginter, I picked up the entire base set, all 50 SPs, the entire 75-card National Pride insert set, and the 25-card baseball highlight sketch insert set (which I am particularly excited about).
Yes, this is disappointing in some ways. I don't get to experience the excitement of ripping a wax box, something I haven't done in quite some time actually. Maybe that hobby box I actually had in my cart at one point on http://www.atlantasportscards.com/ (thanks Dayf!) contained a 1/1 pubic hair of some historic figure that I could've sold and paid off my car with, I'll never know. Here's what I do know; I've got a binder loaded with fresh Ultra Pro pages and ready to go, and I couldn't be more excited that this entire 450 card set is going to be a part of my collection. I don't have to spend the next 6 months trying to finish this thing. I had $15 left in my PayPal account that I had forgotten about as well, so I was only hit for $58 in the end. If I feel like it, I can always pick up some packs at the hobby shop for a shot at inserts and to give me some trading bait. What do you think? Is this set collector sacrilege or have you bought completed sets like this?
I've rambled on long enough. Remember that pack of cards at the beginning of this post? While I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Allen & Ginter set, here's a pack of 1999-2000 Upper Deck cards that McDonald's apparently gave away to commemorate the career of the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. The pack contains only 3 cards, and I'm sure I paid too much for it at $2, but I had never heard of this set so it piqued my interest.
Puzzle Piece 5 of 9 - If anyone out there has the other 8 of these, you know how to get a hold of me!
#10 - New York Rangers - These cards actually look really nice. They have a bit of Collector's Choice and a bit of the 95-96 Upper Deck style in them. I like the top and two sides being borderless, and the photography is excellent as usual.
#1 - New York Rangers - This is just a great photo of Gretzky in celebration. The fans are clapping and you can even see the ref signaling the goal in the background.
#4 - Edmonton Oilers - Definitely my favorite card in the pack. I will always think of the Oilers most when I think of Wayne Gretzky, and this is another great shot.
This is actually a really nice little set of cards. There are only 15 in the set (plus the 9 puzzle pieces). I bought another pack at the same time which I've yet to open. Once I do I'm chasing down the others I need for sure.