Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Joy of a Completed Set - 2016 Ginter X

Happy times here at Baseball Card Breakdown HQ, as the COMC order I had been building since June then finalized over the Black Friday weekend was finally delivered yesterday. Now I've got a bunch of blog fodder to get through.

Let's start with this one so it'll give me a chance to squeeze in a post for Sport Card Collectors' #ToppsMomentOfTheYear contest.

While I had several great card-related moments in 2017, the one that jumps to the forefront is pulling a redemption for a Ken Griffey, Jr. auto from a box of 2016 Allen & Ginter X. Hey, an excuse to post this again:


To recap this all again, Topps was clearing out some 2016 Ginter X boxes for something like 60% off, and I grabbed 3 of them. The boxes had perfect collation and I ended up with the complete base set plus just over half of the SPs. The first auto I pulled was Robinson Cano.. which would have been enough to consider the entire experience a win right there. The second auto was Brian Johnson.. not spectacular, but fine. And then the 3rd auto of course was the glorious Griffey redemption, with the card itself arriving a month or so later.

After such a nice experience with the product, I figured I'd try to finish up the set with the remaining SPs I needed. Matt Stupienski was the real MVP here, sending me most of them in our big trade. Then I picked off a couple via Sportlots, and now the last 2 needs arriving from COMC means I've wrapped it up!

Ethier has the distinction of being the last card secured
This is the first big modern set I've built by hand, as it were, and the first set I've ever put together that included manufactured short-prints. Feels like I cheated a bit thanks to Matt taking most of the pain out of hunting down affordable SPs, just leaving me with 4 to find, which I was able to land for about a buck each.

And back in 2016, I was fortunate enough to win a full set (w/ SPs) of the non-X, regular version of 2016 Allen & Ginter from Matt in his big annual contest(s). But not included was one SSP that I wanted to someday track down to give me a nice extra-complete base set.

Joy of a More-Complete Set!

This Julio Urias no-number SSP was pretty pricey back in 2016 so I had to have some patience, but now after a down season for him that ended with Tommy John, his card prices took a dive and I was able to land this on eBay recently for single-digits shipped. So now I've got the full 351-card set of 2016 Ginter to go along with the 350-card set of 2016 Ginter X (there was no X version of the Urias no-number card). I have no intention of working on the insert/mini sets, so that's a wrap for 2016 Ginter for me. Feels good to have both of these collecting goals finished! Sweet closure, how wonderful you are!

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12 Days of Christmas Cards and Beermas - Day 4

On the fourth day of Beermas, my true love gave to me a very appealing Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter. This definitely seems familiar.. it's got a "refractor" label that I recall admiring before, though I don't think I actually drank one. But I'm a big fan of coconut/chocolate beers, so this is right up my alley. I've just now dranken this one (sic), and can confirm it was a pleasurable experience.

Ha, I just now looked it up on Twitter, and yep, I did tweet about seeing this beer in the grocery store this past April. My wife knows me so well!

As for the card, it's a red Christmas Card from the COMC order that just showed up. I was hunting for a 12/25 card I could add to my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, and this fit the bill. Gotta admit I have no recollection of the Ryan Ludwick era in San Diego, as I didn't pay much attention to the Padres from around 2009 through 2013. I picked this card to go with the beer since it's the only refractor in my stack of pending Christmas Cards to feature in this blog series, and I thought a shiny beer should be paired with a shiny card.

It's somewhat of a local beer to me here in Portland, from Caldera Brewing Company a couple hours south in Ashland.

The backs. I've never visited the Caldera Brewery & Restaurant, but maybe someday. The only time I've spent in Ashland was crashing in a motel there one night on the drive up from San Diego. As for Ryan Ludwick, looks like he had a few nice years with the Cardinals. I already had an xfractor of this card in my frankenset, but am happy to upgrade to this Christmas Card.

As you may know, I'm currently running a contest along with this "12 Days" series of posts to bribe you guys to read/comment during a notoriously quiet time on the cardsphere when people often have more important stuff to spend their time on than reading about baseball cards. For what it's worth, the comments have been good, though the views are lower than my blog typically has been pulling in this year. Not that I concern myself too much with that stuff, but of course it's nice to have readers. So anyways, big thanks to those of you reading and commenting!

Ok, here's how the grand prize is looking at the moment. Along with the Don Larsen auto, there are a couple customs, a coupe early cards of champion Astros (here on Team USA), and some assorted Bowman cards including rookie phenom Rhys Hoskins. More cards to come.

For today's bonus entry opportunity, leave a comment below telling me if you have any 12/25 cards in your card collection, and if so, give me some specifics... if you've got more than one, which are your favorites? Don't worry, I won't beg you to trade them to me (though if you've got any available, obviously get in touch, lol!)
Thanks for reading and I hope you're enjoying your weekend!


  1. That Hoyt custom is sweet.

    I was lucky enough to pull two autos /25 from Wal-Mart clearance purchases in a short period of time, but neither hit the magic 12.

  2. comc didn't put my package in the mail until friday, so i have to wait a few more days. good deal on the urias - patience is a virtue!

  3. I love the beer selection in the NW. And great prices. I see some Crux on the shelf, Caldera is excellent as well.

  4. I've got a couple of Christmas cards in my Browns collection and thought of you when I acquired them.

  5. Nice! The black looks good with Ginter. Ive only ever had one 12/25 card in my collection - that Josh Beckett relic I traded you.

  6. I had just one Christmas card in my collection. Pulled it from a Panini Black Friday pack if I recall. I shipped it to this weirdo that has a collection of cards with that serial number on them.

    Something wrong with that boy.

  7. I don't have any 12/25s as far as I know. I do enjoy the virtual beer tour as you've gone through the 12 days so far!

  8. No Christmas cards for me. I only have two cards numbered 12/# but they are out of 99 and 199.

  9. Love the customs, sweet. Congrats on the set completions. You should be getting a 12/25er any day now.

  10. I don't think I have any cards numbered as low as 25.

  11. I'm not a fan of coconut, but I don't know if it would be enough to keep me away from a refractor label and chocolate porter. That would be a tough decision for me!
    I have one 12/25 and it's a Vogelmonster! It's the silver parallel of his 2014 Topps Pro Debut card.

  12. I don't think I could deal with that beer either... Booo. As far as 12/25 cards: after I heard about your 'obsession', I took a dive through a bunch of my boxes looking for any. Alas, none to be found. :(

  13. Congratulations on completing your set. In regards to your question... I can't think of any specifics off the top of my head, but I wanna say that I have at least one.

  14. I don't think I own any #/25, let alone a 12/25...

  15. I gotta look for a cheap Urias too!

  16. No Christmas cards in my collection, I also don't have anything lower than out of 99. I guess there are a lot of coconut/chocolate beers to choose from in the NW to be a fan of them!

  17. I had a hit of a lifetime, Andrew Benintendi Orange Bowman Chrome auto, that was /25. Insane card that I sent in to BGS and got a 9.5.

  18. I think it was 12/25 but I can't remember now