Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In-Hand Set Review: 2007 Allen & Ginter Baseball "Milestones and Moments"

I finally got the set I ordered months ago for the 2007 Allen and Ginter etopps Moments and Milestones baseball set. It's quite a long name for a set and just about as long in its size compared to the past Allen and Ginter Presidents' baseball set.

Delivery cost was discounted for a limited time after these cards were allocated at $9.99 for all 12 cards. With 20/20 hindsight, had I known of the delays in shipping I would have gladly paid the full shipping cost to get these sooner.

Whenever an etopps card is allocated online to etoppers, an estimated delivery date is posted on the website for the card in one's account on the "Take Delivery" link. Sometimes this estimate is dead-on. Other times it's not. The main reason it's not is quality control which is what happened with this set. I know it's beyond the hands of etopps to get these puppies printed in a timely fashion but it is in their hands to choose a printing vendor to be more reliable in their work.

What irks me more is the lag time between the date they said the cards were available (January 14) and the day I received them (January 28). Why two weeks after stating on their website it is available? I could have had the set shipped to me quicker if I had purchased each card individually and ordered them delivered on the 14th but I wanted those same serial number for all of the cards. I don't recall the lag time between availability and receiving the set being so long for either the Allen and Ginter Presidents or the Mickey Mantle sets.

What this set lacks in Delivery they make up for in packaging. Like with the Presidents' set, etopps gave more respect for the quality of the cards by shipping them in a secure shipping box rather than a large jiffy bag full of bubble mailers holding one or two in-hands.

When I opened the box it was tightly packed with paper around a smaller box that had the cards. Right on top of the packing paper was the promised bonus pack of 2007 Allen and Ginter baseball cards. Another nice touch was the etopps hologram sticker that sealed the smaller box that contained the cards.

Inside the cards are packed in tightly and took a bit of work to pull one out to peek at the serial number (#s212, 201 and 213). Another nice touch was the index card sized paper between each card to prevent scratching. This is a first (and hopefully not a last).

The cards themselves are the mini version of the Allen and Ginter style so they're kinda small, almost cute. I'm not nuts about them like a lot of A&G collectors are. Their mini size turns me off. They look like what would happen if you mistakenly place a regular-sized etopps in-hand in your dryer with your laundry and out comes this mini card in the holder. Since the Joe Montana Super Bowl Champions Allen and Ginter card is the same picture of Montana from the Classic set, it's tempting to make this dryer scenario on video some day.

Unlike the Topps A&G design, these have the etopps trademark, a reflective finish (read refractor) that make them look awesome but a bitch to capture in a photo. I placed the provided index cards behind each card when I photographed them as a group to give them some kind of contrast. Since

If you have this set and plan to list it, you may have better success at photographing each one like here than just taking a group shot of the set. Just use auctiva to list it and you won't have to pay any extra fees for multiple photos in the listing. What I also like about auctiva is you can schedule the listing for free too.

Here's the line-up for the set:
  1. Craig Biggio (3K hits)
  2. Mark Buehrle (No-Hitter)
  3. Prince Fielder (Home Run 50)
  4. Tom Glavine (300 Wins)
  5. Curtis Granderson (20/20/20)
  6. Pedro Martinez (3000 Strikeouts)
  7. Alex Rodriguez (youngest to 500 Home Runs)
  8. Sammy Sosa (600 Home Runs)
  9. Frank Thomas (500 Home Runs)
  10. Jim Thome (500 Home Runs)
  11. Justin Verlander (No-Hitter)
  12. Barry Bonds (756 Home Runs)
Bottom line:
Delivery: D
Packaging: A
Card Design: B+

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