Well, we've made it to the end of the 6-Pack Analysis of 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter without encountering a true Perfect Pack. Pack 1 came close, but then Matt Cain and his losing record crashed the party. Packs 2 through 5 didn't really pass the test, either.
And of course, as I noted at the top of this exercise, the idea of the Perfect Pack has changed. With so few cards per pack and a bevy of relatively easy-to-find chase cards numbering into the thousands, it's increasingly difficult to rate base cards. Therefore, for the purposes of this 6-Pack Analysis, all cards were treated as base cards. When a David Wright relic card appeared in Pack 1, it was rated as one singular card in a pack of eight cards, not weighted to the value of two or three cards.
Based on the overall strength of Pack 1, it came as a surprise to me that Packs 2 through 5 didn't pass muster. Some other things that surprised me:
• I got 4 relic cards in the box that I opened
• I didn't get any doubles
• I got a smattering of inserts, including a Fukudome card with no number and a baby Team Orange card that I kind of like (even if the team is fictional)
One more thing: I've started calling mini cards Baby [Player Name], so watch out.
Khalil Greene The funkiest name of any white boy--wasted on a mediocre shortstop.
Troy Tulowitzki Troy looks bored out of his mind. I guess that's what happens when you're injured for the whole year.
Mark Buehrle Buehrle has the same eyes as Rich Gossage. And if you squint hard enough, you can almost see Goose's fu manchu facial hair on Mark's face, can't you? Someone ought to start a letter-writing campaign to Buerhle...
A.J. Pierzynski Who would win in a lunchroom free-for-all: Shawn Chacon or A.J. Pierzynski?
Baby John Lackey The man got within two outs of tossing the first visitor's no-hitter at Fenway in fifty years.
Carlos Zambrano Framed Silk (#1/10) This is the dumbest-looking card I've seen come out of one of these packs. And yet... wouldn't it be kind of cool to sew all the silk cards into a shirt?
Bram Stoker Just out of curiosity, who were the 40 or so players that were left out of this set to make room for the World's Champions subset? Had I been bumped for James Fenimore Cooper, I would probably would've been pissed. Bram Stoker? Not so much.
Luke Scott Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Irrelevant!
Pack 6 Success Rate: 62.5% (5/8)
Good: Baby Lackey, Stoker, Pierzynski, Buerhle, Zambrano
Bad: Greene, Scott, Pierzynski
Ah hell, move Pierzynski up to the 'Good' side of life and give this one a 75% Success Rate.
So, what to do now? Well, for one thing the Code thing intrigues me, but I'm not good with ciphers, so I won't seriously entertain cracking it.
Do I like the set? Yes. I wish a few things had been done differently, like alternate artwork used on the baby, er, mini cards. But the base card is nice, and I enjoyed opening a box and not finding a single double. It encourages building a set.