Monday, October 13, 2014

In the books

Gint-A-Cuffs VI is in the books.  After careful study of the entries I'm declaring Design On Deck the winner with 207.6 points.

Thanks to Topps I'll be sending a fresh hobby box to DOD.

"What? All those bribes that came in.  And that Canadian posted 217 points.  Recount.  Recount.  Recount."

Let me address those issues.

Bribes are a touchy issues.  Gint-A-Cuffs has always been run as a transparent enterprise and the participants were warned that bribes might not help their final scores.  In order to be fair I negated all bribe bonuses that were brewing in my head.  Don't worry bribers, I'll try to take care of you, card wise, outside of the Gint-A-Cuffs ring.

That Canadian?  Yes, it was an impressive score, but it was submitted too late.  Sorry.

Recounts?  Nope.  Not doing them.

Thanks to all the participants.  We had the highest percentage of returns this year.

So, DOD, please contact me for a shipping address.  mark dot aubrey at gmail dot com

See you next year.  Maybe.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bribe Post - the "I play with dolls" edition

Matt, over at Cardboard Conundrum, offered up a bribe.  A bribe so big that it arrived in two boxes.  Matt did his homework on the "What does the commissioner collect?" front.

I know that some of you will divert your eyes when you see Orel in an Indians uniform and others will grab towels to sop up the drool.

I've been eying the following on ebay off and on for years.

A nice porcelain figure.  No, it isn't a doll and yes, Orel looks like he's about to fall backwards.

He did.  The serial number is a nice nod to his uniform number.

To my wife's relief these are now both displayed in my office at work.

Thanks, Matt, for the bribe.  Now to figure out how many points the bribes get.

Look, Topps can surprise us with unexpected cards in Allen & Ginters.  Maybe the commissioner can surprise us with bonus points for bribes.

Get your final totals in by tonight.  I'll be reviewing the scores and declaring a winner of GAC 6 soon enough.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nachos Grande bribe

Chris, from over at the Nachos Grande card blog, sent in a bribe. He's a fan of the Ginter and knows how to take care of a commissioner.

Two 1971 Topps that I needed.  And what I learned from them is to make sure I mark them off my want list.  I didn't.  I added them to my Zistle collection, but didn't do the want list.  So, when I was leafing through a binder of 1971s this weekend I purchased a duplicate.  I'll live.

The minis are a combo of Munnatawket customs and an Expo.  I'll always take customs and I'll always take Expos.

Thanks, Chris, for the cards.  As always, a bribe offered, or accepted, does not guarantee any bump in scoring.

The time is ticking away quickly for contestants to post their final scores.  There's still plenty of time to bribe the commissioner.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ruling Time

I've been sitting on this one for too long.

When Matt first sent it in (way back at the end of July), I corresponded with him sharing my fear that my initial thought that the points might be too large, knocking everyone out of the competition.

It wouldn't have been too much fun to see a total score posted of 600 points knowing that you're getting ready to rip that last pack, hoping for a good one so that you can get over the 170 point hump.

After I gave my explanation, Matt said that he was cool with that.  But I've waited too long.  It hasn't been fair to him or to the other contestants.

So, let's recap.

Matt wrote:
My box-topper was a five-card mini-pack with red-bordered minis, each numbered /33. What are the point values for these?

After much thought the Commissioner replied:
The individual cards are worth 4 points each, for a total of 20 points.  Favorite Players, Favorite Team and Yankees scoring adjustments are in play.
See that wasn't so hard.

In the interest of fairness, Matt did send in a bribe.  In no way did it influence this decision.  In fact, I haven't opened yet.  I am a fair, if not slow, commissioner.

Okay kids, you have just over a week to complete your scoring and post the results.

Thanks for playing.

More bribes to be shown soon.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hey gang, this is what a bribe looks like.

 David, over at, home of the Pack-A-Daily Circus, sent me a package, hoping to boost his anemic total.

David knocked off six of my Elusive Eight.  I had already obtained a few of these prior to receiving his package in the mail, but I won't let my lack of updating the page count against him.  Although, had he been reading my blog he would have known.  Look in the center.  Another 1 of 1.  None of this gimmicky 1 of 1.  This is a true blue auto, with a semi personalized inscription of "Gint-A-Cuffs 6 Bonus Incentives".

Coming soon... A box topper ruling AND another bribe.  Hold on to your hats, team.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New card discovered

2014-½ Topps Allen & Gingers
Lucille Ball

Points have not yet been decided.  Don't know if there are relics or not.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Commissioner wakes from his slumber

I take a nap for a week and lots of stuff happens.  Geesh!  You've been asking questions and I owe some answers.

First, my thoughts on the Conjectures post...

-1 point if you pull the base card of:
  • Snoop Lion (#23)
  • Austin Wierschke (#95)
  • Bill Rancic (#128) 
  • Anthony Bourdain (#210)
+1 point for pulling the base card of:
  • John Sullivan (#46) 
  • The Iron Sheik (#153)
  • Tanner Foust (#224)
  • Chuck Klosterman (#271) 

Since only one contestant offered his thoughts I'll address them.  JediJeff is pretty much spot on for the first set.  All people that annoy me.

The second set?  Close.  John Sullivan?  One of the inspirations behind Gint-A-Cuffs.  The Iron Sheik?  The closest thing I can think of to old school wrestling.  By old school wrestling I refer back to the late 1960s and early 1970s when the television feed came from Montreal.  Tanner Foust?  One of the hosts of Top Gear on the History Channel.  Mostly I like Rutledge Wood, but he's not in this year's set.  Chuck Klosterman is an interesting pick for me.  When I saw his name I immediately stuck him with the first group.  Last year, blogger Kari Wagner-Peck wrote a letter to Mr. Klosterman, calling him out on his choice of words in some of his writings.  In an act of redemption, Mr. Klosterman addressed the issue and made amends.  There's all sorts of posters (you kids call them memes) out there that say something to the effect of: "It is how you react to your mistakes that shape you."  His response is what put him in the second group.

There.  That's your peek into the Commissioner's thought process.  Now on to the questions.

I'm going to paraphrase some of the questions as a few of them came directly to my inbox.

Q: Stadiums of  Yore?  Points?  No Points?
A: No points.  They aren't players, they aren't part of the team.  Yankees Stadium does not get dinged.  Just the +2 points for being an insert.

Q: Is it too late to join Gint-A-Cuffs?
A: Yes, at this point it is.  To add another favorite player to the mix would mess up the scoring.  Next year I'll explicitly state in the rules that the participant field will be closed on the day that the rules become official.  Sorry, Caitlin.  Yes, I emailed her, but not until today.  I'm a slacker.

Q: What are the points for a full sized autograph card?  I got one in another box and I'm asking just in case it shows up else where.
A: Fair question.  Look, I'm having trouble assigning the points for a parallel pack of mini reds.  If a specific card shows up in Gint-A-Cuffs that has not yet been addressed, then I'll deal with it.  I can't deal with "what ifs" right now.

Q: Has the prize arrived?
A: Yes, Topps sent it out quickly and it is hiding in deep storage awaiting the address of the eventual winner.

Q: Shouldn't you be answering our questions in a more timely manner?
A: Yes.

Q: So, what about that parallel pack of red backed minis numbered to 33?  How many points?
A: The research department is still looking into this.  The trouble is finding a balance so as not to tip the whole contest, but to still be fair.  Research, research, bribes, and research.

Thanks for playing, kids.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The prize is in the mail

I just received word from Topps, the official Gint-A-Cuffs sponsor, that the prize that they are providing has been sent today.
A hobby box of 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter is on the way to east Tennessee.  It will sit in the cool of my bedroom closet until the end of September when I'll ship it out to the winner.  Or the participant that bribes the best.  Do your work, guys.  It has been quiet for too long.

So, a big thanks goes to the good folks at Topps.

Conjecture time

Every year I select four base cards that get dinged and four base cards that get a bonus.  I sometimes share a reason.  This year I've selected the following:

-1 point if you pull the base card of:
  • Snoop Lion (#23)
  • Austin Wierschke (#95)
  • Bill Rancic (#128) 
  • Anthony Bourdain (#210)
+1 point for pulling the base card of:
  • John Sullivan (#46) 
  • The Iron Sheik (#153)
  • Tanner Foust (#224)
  • Chuck Klosterman (#271) 

Just to have some fun (read: no extra points to be awarded), would anyone like to guess the reasons behind why I chose them?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The participants ask questions

And the Commissioner tries to answer...

Jedi Jeff posted:
I am guessing the -1, but let me ask: What about the Field of Yore Yankee Stadium card?
The Commission answers:
Ah, JJ, don't guess with Gint-A-Cuffs.  A good guess, but just don't.  The Fields of Yore Yankee Stadium is immune to the effects of actually being a Yankee player.  Many historic events happened there and shall not defame it with a point ding.  Official Ruling: Only cards with a Yankee Player (or players) shall suffer a -1, not the Fields of Yore cards.  The card is worth +2. 

Matt Pederson asked:
My box-topper was a five-card mini-pack with red-bordered minis, each numbered /33. What are the point values for these?
The Commissioner answers:
Hmm.  Good question.  I had to do a bit of research and found that these are mini parallel packs.  They are a 'case' hit.  Just one pack per case of Topps 2014 Allen & Ginter.  I don't have a solid answer right now, but I'm working on it.  Some guys. Yikes.

I've included one of the card scans that Matt provided to aid my research.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GAC 6 is live

Again, I apologize for the delay.  We've added one more participant during that lull.  Welcome, Brady.

The rules are posted and I'm betting you're going to have questions.  Ask away.  All answers and decisions will be impartial.  Except for those who send me tangible bribes.  Maybe.  Example:
2009 Press Pass Fusion
Orel Hershiser (card # 4) #'d 1/1
This fine piece of cardboard came to me by Spankee. It was clearly marked Bribe.

I cherish the thought that went into the graft.  Being the corrupt commissioner that I am I might, or might not, use it to influence my decisions.

So, start tearing into those hobby boxes and show your stuff.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Big Head Smack

So, I've been working on the rules, which is basically the points.  I transcribed the odds from a wrapper and have been basing everything off of that.

This is the wrapper from the first pack of new cards I've purchased in over 18 months.  A pack that I purchased at Wal-Mart.  You know, the retail store.  So they are retail odds.  Not the hobby odds.

Of course, that messes things up.  To the point that I can't fix it tonight/this morning (depending where and when you're reading this).

Is it close?  Yes.  But it is not ready for prime time.

We never like delays and I apologize.

The Commissioner

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A slight delay while we collate

There have been some collation issues here at Gint-A-Cuffs headquarters.  Like card companies, we sometimes have to push back the release date while we wait for things to be finalized.  We don't want to sent out redemption notices if that one player would just turn in their stickers.

I've fallen a bit behind in setting up the scoring and my nature is that I'd like it correct the first time.

I know that, as in past years, I've had to make rulings based on my misinterpretations of the cards, vague rules, or something I just didn't see coming.  I'm trying to stave that off while producing a good bit of Cuffing.

I don't see how this could slip past Saturday, the 26th of July.  I'm sorry for the delay and ask your forgiveness.

-- The Commissioner

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Good news, bad news

The good news is that Topps is our main sponsor again this year.  And we thank them.

The bad news is that I have not been able to secure a dealer sponsor.  That means that all the contestants will be forced to find the best price for a hobby box on their own.

Several contestants have offered to or did provide a scan of the odds.  I present it here:

Now that I know the odds I'll be putting together the rules. I'm sure that they'll be tweaked.

For the contestants, please submit your Favorite Player and Favorite Team.  I'm expanding the FP to any  person depicted on a card in the set, cards #1-350.  This could be a race car driver, a coach, etc.  Now, if you pick a non-baseball player the chances are that you'll be at a disadvantage in scoring during the contest.

Pick away.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Just around the corner 2

So, you've all been wanting an update.  Here it is.  In theory, the cards will be released this week.  I've contacted Topps to provide some prizes.  I've reached out to an internet card wholesaler to be our official dealer sponsor, hopefully they can provide a discount on boxes.

GAC will start up two weeks after the cards officially hit the street.  I'll accept participants up to that date (estimated July 23, 2014).

To the participants, start thinking about your favorite team and your favorite player.  They will affect scoring.

When they're available I'd like to request a high quality scan of the checklists and the wrapper (with odds).

So, that's what I know.  We'll get this party started sometime.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Intro to Gint-A-Cuffs

Gavin asked a serious question in a comment.
I'm embarrassed to admit I have no idea what Gint-A-Cuffs is. I mean, I've heard about it on the blogosphere several times in passing, and I know it involves Allen & Ginter.. some sort of contest? group break? giveaway? So confused.
For those bloggers and curious onlookers who have either been involved as a participant or in the coach's boxes looking in, it doesn't need explaining.  But for those who are new to the blogging scene or haven't stumbled across this dark corner of the internet perhaps some explanation is in order.

Many, many moons ago (this is the sixth annual GAC - you count them), a blogger named Beardy came up with the idea of having a contest using Topps Allen & Ginter cards as a scoring mechanism.  I was asked to assist in the craziness, either as co-moderator, assistant score checker, whatever.  Beardy has since moved on from maintaining a blog so I've taken the reins and am now running with them.

Basically a contestant purchases a hobby box of Topps Allen & Ginter, then breaks it on their blog.  As commissioner I assign points based on my own personal tastes or I look to see which way the flag is flying.  There is some form of method to my madness.

The blogger then opens each pack, showing (at least) the point cards on his (or her) blog.  They can get points for favorite player, favorite team.  Blah, blah, blah.  Look at last years' rules.

In past years the winner has received a hobby box of Topps Allen & Ginter for their luck.  Really, there is no skill to this.  During the six to eight weeks or so of the contest it provides bloggers something to do.  Got to generate posts based on something.

So, it is a contest.  Group break?  Not really.  Giveaway?  Sure.  Last year the winner got a box.  The loser got a box.  Then I randomized the remaining contestants and someone else got a box.

But, you ask, who provides the boxes as prizes?  Is there an entry fee?  Topps has provided the prize boxes.  There is no entry fee, only that you purchase a hobby box of Topps Allen & Ginter.  I've been fortunate in that some of the online card stores have provided those boxes to the contestants and a discount.  See?  Everybody wins.

Gavin, be confused no more.  Until the contest actually starts.  Generally the scoring system is not finalized until a week after the cards hit the streets.  We used to do it on the day that they came out until we realized that Topps includes cards that aren't on the actual checklist.  Sneaky so-and-sos.

Along the way contestants will ask for a commissioner's ruling.  Which means that I didn't actually think the thing out ahead of time or I just didn't understand what Topps was trying to do.

Rulings tend to go in the favor of the contestant that asked the question, especially if that contestant offers a bribe.  Lately the bribe offers have been rather pitiful.   And you all paid the price for those.

It is a bit of bragging, a bit of contest, a bit of fun.  And Spankee continues to make great banners.  If you have any more questions, please ask.

Gint-A-Cuffs VI is just around the corner

Once again Spankee has created a killer banner for Gint-A-Cuffs. The product will be hitting the streets about July 11, 2014. That's just over five weeks away. I'm on the verge of contacting potential sponsors.

SportsCardRadio has issued a potential checklist.  GAC scoring details and rules to follow.

If you'd like to play this year, please leave a comment below.