One of my favorite products each and every year has been Topps Allen & Ginter. As much popular culture as it is baseball, this is a fun outside the box, no pun intended, rip.
Known for its quirkiness, you can expect a lot of eyebrows raised, smiles (hopefully) and cards to be found within a Pandora’s box of A&G.
I dug into the 24 packs that each held eight wide ranging cards and awaited the surprises to be found within.
My box topper was unpacked and it featured Anaheim… and an ode to Angel Stadium.
In the first pack, I hit a rookie card of Baltimore Orioles Rookie of the Year candidate Gunnar Henderson and rounded out the pack out with a body boarding card. I think that pretty much encapsulates Ginter right there.
Baseball, body boarding and…Meek Mill in pack number two. Lord knows there aren’t many licensed cards of Meek on the market.
A few packs later I found a silver Filigree of highly rated Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. Since Fanatics has gotten into the game, Ginter has been known to put football players in recent sets, which is cool with me. I also pulled another football rookie card, that of quarterback and Tennessee Titans backup Will Levis. The football cards carry no logos or insignias, but its still fun to see the crossover of sports.
As I was opening the box, I was pulling my fair share of TikTok stars and birds of prey, as well as more than my fair share of musical instruments.
I was pulling one mini per pack with a fair share of them being black borders, which at least mixed it up a little bit.
After pulling a piece of apple pie from the ‘Desserts’ insert set, I pulled another football star in former Michigan playmaker Denard Robinson.
My first hit came from the same pack which was a game-used memorabilia relic card of Los Angeles Dodgers in solid role player Chris Taylor.
I was excited to pull my autograph in the very next pack, until I saw who it featured. It was a mini framed on card auto of Miami Marlins President of Business Operations Caroline O’Connor. I think most collectors are OK with hits of musicians, politicians and pop culture personalities. Heck, that’s why we buy this product. We draw the line when we start getting hits of people working for Topps, front office executives, cubicle commandos and the like.
The very next pack held our third and final hit, a memorabilia relic of Bella Rasmussen, who made a few headlines last fall when she became the first girl in California high school football history to score two touchdowns in a game. Even with the current NIL deals and the wide open opportunities for amateur, well, college and high school athletes, it still was a little surprising to see a high school football player relic card in my Allen & Ginter baseball box, especially after getting a front office sig as my other big hit. To “topp” it off, the card front reads that the relic is “subject worn memorabilia.”
After those “hits”, that pretty much took the wind out of my sails for the rest of the box.
My favorite card of the whole box might have been the first car of Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy on Yellowstone. My wife and I are finally getting caught up on one of the best television series in recent memory.
By the time the boxes all settled out, I hit pretty much every base rookie in the set and a Shohei Ohtani base, so I guess that’s some consolation prize.
Towards the end of the box I pulled a Rarest of the Diamond 40/40 mini. There’s no picture on the card–just text. Um…OK.
We rounded out the box with a kite boarding card, some more YouTube sensations and some base baseball stars.
You can expect the unexpected in Ginter and we knew that going in, but these hits were really, really weak and not that much fun. Sadly, I’ve been hearing that a lot of similar stories from others who are breaking open these boxes, which are selling for around $120.