This year I ordered two cases from Dave & Adam's Card World, who I have been ordering my cases from for the past two years. While the cards don't arrive until the day AFTER the release date, it's hard to pass up their price, service and free stuff!
My official review will be posted after I crack open my cases, but I figured I would celebrate today's release with a list of random thoughts about this year's release!
1) I was surprised and excited when I saw the official checklist released, because there is a relic card of NOMAR GARCIAPARRA!!!! What a great surprise as a long-time fan of Nomar, the Red Sox and Allen & Ginter. While I haven't seen one pulled yet, I'm hoping that it features a relic of his Red Sox uniform.
2) I'm loving the veteran cards that have been added this year. I have seen a few of them posted on eBay and message boards, and I have to give Topps kudos for returning the veteran players to the product. Yaz is obviously my favorite, but it's also great to see some Ginter 1st timers like Koufax, Mays, Bench and Brett.
3) The minis have drawn my interest this year and I've typically avoided the mini insert sets in past years. As a dog owner who is also religious, I'm going to add the Man's Best Friend and People of the Bible insert sets to my "master" set this year. Typically my "master" sets have included #1-350 and the regular sized insert sets, but I'm going to have to make an exception for this year.
4) One of my favorite aspects of the Topps Allen & Ginter release is the high quality of the product and the high percentage of cards that grade a 9.5 (or better). With the big RCs of Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish, plus the addition of the veterans and top-tier non-baseball cards, I would expect to see a high number of cards graded from this set. Not since 2006 have there been this many "stars" in the base set, and I would expect to see a lot of the cards graded. It also leads to this question...
5) What's with the Balloon Boy relic? That is all on that one.
Well, I'll have another post later today about a burning question I have for Allen & Ginter collectors. Until then, #ShowUsYourHits on Twitter!