OK, so after I grabbed my box from Darth Vader, I’m on to my first attempt at Gint-A-Cuffs. Should I be nervous? The rules seem a bit daunting – I’m sweating a little bit. Oh, wait, that’s because it’s 100 freaking degrees with maximum humidity here in New Jersey. So, first, turn up the AC – now I’m up for the challenge. The first thing I had to do was pick out of the two boxes I ordered. I picked the bottom one from the shipping box – hopefully that doesn’t doom my chances.
The Box Topper
#N43-NJ – Ubaldo Jimenez (+5 points for N43)
An N43. The worst possible box topper. And it’s of a Rockie. I just got into a big debate with Hiflew about the fairness / unfairness of factoring in Coors field from the 1990′s. This is truly a bad omen. If Barry Larkin (the other part of our debate) somehow makes it into the Ginter box, I’m really screwed. OK, just checked – he’s not in the checklist. Phew!
Running total: 5 points
#78 – Luke Scott.
#103 – Andres Torres. I’m pretty sure this is the same picture they have on his Gypsy Queen Autograph. Sorry, same painting.
#23 – Aubrey Huff.
#162 – Mat Latos.
#198 – Freddie Freeman.
#15 – Diana Taurasi (-1 for playing for Geno Auriemma). Ah, that’s why she’s not in Goodwin Champions. Wait, what! Minus a point! Good thing I opened the box topper first. Otherwise I’d be in the red!
#261 mini – Carlos Pena.
#HH31 – Jake Peavy (+1 for Hometown Heroes).
#NNO – 15% off an Allen & Ginter binder. They gave me a 9th card!!!!
Pack total: 0 points
Running total: 5 points
0 points in that pack – hopefully the first is the worst. If I continued at this rate, I’ll end up with: 5 POINTS!!!! Kind of like how Tuffy Rhodes should have hit 486 home runs that one year.
#181 – Mark Buehrle.
#18 – Daniel Hudson. Somebody’s favorite player. Oh, wait. That’s Tim Hudson. Damn.
#187 – Jim Nantz. No points for Jim? But he traded an old model for a newer model!
#AOM2 – Eukaryotes (+1 for Ascent of Man). According to the back, these are hidden from the naked eye because they are microscopic. And I just thought they were playing hide and seek!
#345 – Zack Greinke (+2 for SPs).
#UG5 – Amityville Haunting (+3 for Uninvited Guests). 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, NY. I mapquested it – 1 hour 24 minutes from my house.
#FF1 – HMS Victory (+2 for Floating Fortresses). Sank in 1744. Found in the English Channel in 2009. I also mapquested from my house to the English Channel. Google was unable to calculate that. I wonder what it’s like when the first person finds a sunk ship. Do you get all excited, kind of like the excitement a card blogger feels when opening a pack containing a Floating Fortress insert card?
#NNO – Be the first to crack the Ginter Code. Another 9th card!!!
Pack total: 8 points
Running total: 13 points.
New pace: 101 points.
#167 – Adam LaRoche.
#193 – Jorge De La Rosa.
#260 – Alex Rodriguez (-1 for Yankees). Should also be minus ten points for Topps – for using the same damn photo from this year’s Heritage set. Seriously? You don’t have enough photos of A-Rod that you have to use dupes? C’mon, there are plenty of him kissing himself in the mirror!
#212 – Aramis Ramirez.
#AGR-JVE – Justin Verlander (+10 for Relics). I have a friend who named his cat after Jeremy Bonderman. Picked the wrong guy, wouldn’t you say?
#SRU9 – Knife Throwing (+3 for Step Right Up mini). ”Circus knife throwers have aimed at subjects tied to a rotating wheel of death for almost a century.” Sign me up!
#HH44 – Delmon Young (+1 for Hometown Heroes). Only 7 cards for this pack – what a rip, the last couple had 9!@!@! Oh, wait, it says it on the pack front.
Pack total: 13 points
Running total: 26 points.
New pace: 173 points.
#240 – Matt Holliday.
#186 – Yunel Escobar.
#114 – Brandon Phillips (+1 for Reds FT). Dat dude.
#288 – Rickie Weeks.
#125 – Clayton Kershaw (+2 for someone else’s FP). This scan doesn’t seem to want to work. You’ll have to trust me.
#310 – Matt Kemp (+2 for someone else’s FP, +2 for SPs). That takes care of the Dodgers FP’s.
#160 black mini – David Wright (+3 for black mini, +3 for someone else’s FP mini). 3 favorite players in a row. I almost picked BP instead of Bruce – that would have been 4 in one pack (3+1 = 4 – it’s kind of like cracking the Ginter Code).
#HH17 – Scott Rolen (+1 for Hometown Heroes, +1 for FT). Jasper. Indiana. Baby.
Pack total: 15 points
Running total: 41 points.
New Pace: 221 points. [(41 x 6) + 5].
OK, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and apparently a box of Ginter won’t be broke in less than a few days (or a week). But there’s the first part of my foray into Gint-A-Cuffs.
MVP of the post: Justin Verlander, with all apologies to David Wright.