We wax poetic each year about how important Topps Series I baseball is to the hobby as a whole. A good Series I product gets the baseball collecting year off and running and then Topps tries to ride the momentum from there. However, in the middle of the year comes one of the quirkiest but most anticipated releases. Yes, there are a major cadre of collectors who look forward to Allen and Ginter each July.
The base card and short print sets are both reasonably easy to complete. Since the short prints come one every two packs you get a nice foothold on them with one hobby box and then you should be able to finish a base set by basically using two boxes. And even more important, are the personalities you wouldn't normally expect in a 'baseball card set'.
The base set features a drawing against a white background with their team name in the upper left and their last name in the upper right. The backs feature biographical information on the players and an informational blurb on the personalities. There are 24 packs per box and eight cards per pack. Each box contains three "hits" and in my box, all three hits were the top pack of each row. I hope Topps did a bitter job of placing their hits in other boxes.
My local card store (Triple Cards in Plano TX) reported selling out of his approximately 100 box order at $102.75 per box and says he is looking to restocking Allen & Ginter. He remembered seeing two "originals" pulled from his boxes. Meanwhile leading on-line retailers are currently between $95-100 per box.
Here's what we pulled:
Base Cards:124 of 300. It will take you a little over two boxes to finish a set or if you wish, many of the inserts may be tradable for the base cards to finish these sets.
Short Prints :Yonder Alonso, Billy Butler, Dennis Eckersley, Paul Goldschmidt, Curtis Granderson, Erik Johnson, Matt Kemp, Ian Kinsler, Manny Machado, Phil Niekro, Mike Olt, Christian Yelich
Minis: Matt Cain, Michael Cuddyer, Michael Eisner (I guess if you won the company, then you can sure have any cards of yourself you want), Gio Gonzalez. Bryce Harper, Dale Murphy, Polar Vortex, Mariano Rivera, C.C. Sabathia, Kyle Seager, Mark Trumbo
Mini Allen and Ginter Back: Jason Castro, Roberto Clemente, Bob Gibson, Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, Warren Spahn
Mini Black Border: Jay Bruce, Chuck Klosterman
Into The Unknown Mini: Vasco de Game
Where Nature Ends Mini: Donatello
World Deadliest Predators Mini: Black Eagle, Honey Badger
Pastimes' Pastimes: Tom Glavine, Paul Goldschmidt, Rickey Henderson, Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Roger Maris. Mark McGwire, Albert Pujols, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Mike Trout, Ted Williams
Festival and Fairs: Diwali Festival of Lights
Fields of Yore: Ebbets Field, Metropolitan Stadium, Tiger Stadium
World's Capitals: Mexico City, Washington DC
Relics: Aroldis Chapman, Felix Hernandez
Framed Mini Relic: Craig Kimbrel
Oversized Box Topper; One World Trade Center
While our hits were nothing major, Allen & Ginter isn't about hits anyway. The sheer variety of subjects is enough to keep both baseball and pop culture fans interested.
See Ginter cards on eBay here.