Friday, August 4, 2017

Does 2017 Topps Allen and Ginter have enough to keep collectors on the ball?

Topps’ Allen and Ginter product has always been a source of mixed emotions for collectors. On one hand, it has perennially been a highly anticipated release due to its design and cultural variety; however, in the midst of a baseball season filled with an extraordinary amount of young superstars, those looking for a pure baseball play are growing frustrated with paying a premium to wind up with inserts of obscure celebrities and fishing lures.

For collectors who have embraced the widening scope of the set, 2017 Topps Allen and Ginter continues to deliver in the tradition of one of Topps’ most popular issues. Baseball die-hards will get their fix whether it is in the form of rookies from Aaron Judge, Andrew Benintendi, and Yulieski Gurriel, adored veterans Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Clayton Kershaw, or retired legends such as newly minted Hall of Famers Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell.

2017 Topps Allen and Ginter Aaron Judge / Topps
The part of the set that annually attracts both excitement and controversy are the non-baseball inclusions in the series. Remember when MySpace dominated the social media landscape? Well Tom Anderson, everybody’s friend, now has his own baseball card to boot. Media personalities Stephen A. Smith, Peter Rosenberg and his wife Alexa Datt, Jay Glazer, Sage Steele, and Jayson Stark made their Topps debuts as well.

Inserts for the set went well off the landscape of the diamond, paying homage to the World’s Fair, Constellations, Magicians, Famous Revolutionary Battles, and yes, Sport Fish and Fishing Lures. While Allen and Ginter has always been about showcasing a diversity of interests, when half of the inserts culled from the box provided for this review fell into the non-sport category, it deflated some of the excitement that preceded this release.

2017 Topps Allen and Ginter / Topps

Looking at the baseball inserts for 2017 Topps Allen and Ginter, it is clear that Topps played to its strengths. The What A Day inserts beautifully chronicle remarkable single-game performances, such as Kyle Schwarber’s dramatic 2016 World Series return, Bo Jackson’s three home run performance against the Yankees, and Ozzie Smith’s improbable 1985 NLCS walk-off home run. The sequentially numbered rip cards continue to be sought after, as they yield low numbered parallels and the choice of keeping or opening these inserts have them actively trading hands. Also, the framed autographs and cloth inserts provide a regal touch for collectors looking for an affordable card they can easily put on display.

Each box guarantees three hits in the form of an autograph, relic, printing plate, rip card, or book card. The box provided for this review yielded a framed autograph of actor Joe Manganiello and two relic cards of Ryan Braun and Javier Baez.


At a price of $120 per box, 2017 Topps Allen and Ginter is a proposition that could give collectors a pause before adding it to their shopping carts. If you hit it right, a box could yield some attractive inserts, on the other hand, one could be left with oddball autographs and relics of disc golfers and B-list celebrities. If collectors intend to open their wallets, they must be more than willing to accept and embrace the assortment of genres in 2017 Topps Allen and Ginter, otherwise they might be more content picking apart singles on the secondary market.

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