Monday, November 10, 2014

2014 Gint-a-cuffs: The Epilogue

Well, it looks like I ended up winning Gint-a-cuffs again this year. I guess I should add Jose Altuve to my favorite players list since this extra hit pretty much lucked me into first place. This was my third year to participate and it's my second win. Part of me feels like I should take 2015 off but it's so much fun and, really, what are the odds I'd actually come in first again? Hopefully there will be plenty more participants and we'll all get awesome boxes so nobodies disappointed. Whenever the Commissioner opens up shop next June or so I'll be sure to make note of it here and encourage everyone to participate. I mean, look how easy it is to win! *joking, please don't hate me*

My prize box arrived in the mail Saturday, which was perfect timing. This season, my interest in football has been at its lowest since I was in elementary school. I was probably this close to watching a game or two this weekend until I had some leftover baseball to tweak out on. I unwrapped that sucker and started methodically opening each pack, thumbing through every card to eyeball any that I had yet to see this season. Knowing it would most likely be my final box of 2014 cards, I leisurely made my way through the stack.

Here's an overview of what all was inside. I actually went through and totaled up the score from this box just to see how it would've fared in the rankings. Final score: 202, which was actually less than the "winning" total. You can see the boxloader was a Roberto Clemente Oversized Reprint. I had a stack of SPs, a pretty even amount of Yankees (baseball and non-) and cards from the Favorite Players list. The scoring on the minis seems to have dipped in this box. And my pile of inserts was equal to the number of packs in the box, 24. Now onto the hits....

Here were the first two I pulled. An Allen Craig Full Size Relic with a white swatch. Definitely a step down from the relics I pulled from my first box. The Casey Kelly Auto is nice since I didn't get an autos from box one. But how many Casey Kelly collectors are out there? As for the last, you may notice something odd in the overview pic up there. That hit stack looks a bit tall for 3 hits.

I wish I would've taken a photo of this thing in the pack. I was just too excited to open it, though. It was easily twice the thickness of a regular pack. I think a packsearcher could probably pick it out blindfolded with mittens on.

This is the first booklet card I've ever pulled. And it's of a no-doubt Hall of Famer. Steve Carlton retired just before I started following baseball so I don't really have a firm grasp on where he ranks amongst other HoF pitchers. But he's definitely a worthy HoFer. And this is definitely much more exciting than Mark Trumbo or Hisashi Iwakuma or something.

It's numbered 02/10. And, for some reason, has a jumbo relic of a bat. I'm not complaining, though. This thing is freaking cool. Seeing photos online of booklet cards doesn't really do them justice. I need to restrain myself from opening it up over and over again. Hopefully I can get a case or something for it with relative ease.

I'm really surprised that even with this huge hit, this box scored less than my previous one. It just goes to show you how it isn't all about the hits. And hopefully it gives hope to anyone contemplating whether or not to participate next year. You can still have a great box even if you don't end up at the top of the leaderboard. And you can definitely have a great time, no matter how the cards fall.

Thanks again to the Commissioner, Mark, for all the time and effort he puts into Gint-a-cuffs year after year. It can't imagine the patience it takes to coordinate this thing. It seems odd to reward him with more work but the best way to show my gratitude is to encourage everybody to sign up for the 2015 contest. Unless he'd prefer some cookies or something.

Also, thanks to Topps for ponying up the prize for this thing. I feel like it helps legitimize the card blogging community when they're willing to donate.