First look: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s back, and it looks to be packing more punch than ever.

Well, at least with an autograph card of boxer Manny Pacquiao.

Topps unveiled on Monday evening the first look at 2011 Allen & Ginter, the sixth installment of the popular baseball card series with the retro tobacco card design and the world’s greatest athletes in several sports.

Set to arrive in mid-July, Ginter will include what Topps is touting as the “most-exciting and wide-ranging autograph list in its history.” Each 24-pack hobby box will include three hits — a selection of framed mini autographs, Relics and more that has been found in recent years. The base set will consist of 350 cards (six cards per pack) with 270 veterans, 30 rookies, 15 historic fugures and 35 world’s champions — the staple of the “other sport” inclusions since 2006.

A new line of inserts will be included, featuring such things as “Animals in Peril,” Uninvited Guests” and “Flora of the World” along with diecut cabinet cards that form a map of the United States.

Also back will be the Ginter Code.

But, as with its debut set in 2006, the real power of Ginter comes via its autograph checklist. Among this year’s inclusions?

Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz.

“Raging Bull” boxer Jake LaMotta.

Tennis mouthpiece John McEnroe.

LPGA great Annika Sorenstam.

That’s just for starters.

See more — including images — after the jump.

The non-baseball autograph checklist (preliminary, so subject to change) includes NASCAR star Kyle Petty, Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Peter Gammons, Olympic skier Picabo Street, comic book icon Stan Lee, WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, LPGA star Nancy Lopez, broadcasters Jim Nantz and Dick Vitale, TV host Chuck Woolery, famed Notre Dame walk-on Rudy Ruettiger, UConn basketball coach Geno Auriemma and many more.

Who are some of the “other” inclusions? Boxer Micky Ward of “The Fighter”, Cheryl Burke of Dancing With The Stars and for the culinary-inclined chef Daniel Boulud, Food Network’s Guy Fieri and Iron Chef’s Marc Fargione.

And the baseball autographs? It’s a lineup that includes Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Jason Heyward, Aroldis Chapman, Joe Mauer and more.

Among the other eclectic insert card inclusions in Ginter are “Step Right Up” — what Topps bills as “all the stars, freaks and attractions of a carnival sideshow” — Uninvited Guests (spooky tales and other paranormal things), Floating Fortresses (famed battleships), Minds that Made the Future (smart people such as Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton), The Ascent of Man, Hometown Heroes and a new batch of baseball highlight sketches.

The box loader lineup appears to be similar to recent years — N43s, N43 Relics, N43 autographs — along with cabinet box loaders featuring baseball players as well.  The jumbo Relic cards will include over-sized swatches once again this year, something that was introduced last year. Players with autographed Relic cards this year tentatively include Buster Posey, Felix Hernandez, Jason Heyward, Chase Utley and Evan Longoria.

Also back — one of the possible hits in a box — are Rip Cards (one per 12-box case), which will include original Allen & Ginter tobacco cards from the 1800s, mini paintings from artist Jeff Zachowski, red-ink autographs, mini SPs and 1/1 mini wood cards.

The mini card lineup also appears to not have changed as there are wood, cloth (not a parallel as just 150 cards are featured), Bazooka, -no-number, black border, Allen & Ginter back and standard minis will be found. They will land one per pack.

The Relic lineup will include printing plates, framed Relics, DNA Relics and book cards as also introduced last year. Subjects with DNA Relics include Geronimo, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, King George III, Jefferson Davis, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Among the notable Relic card inclusions on a rather extensive checklist are some of the big names you might expect but also a few who haven’t made a lot of memorabilia appearances of late: Kosuke Fukudome, Ichiro Suzuki, Pujols, Howard, Longoria, Cody Ross, Ike Davis, Prince Fielder, Alex Rodriguez, Kurt Suzuki, Derek Jeter, Tim Wakefield, Brennan Boesch, Joe Maddon, Nick Swisher (!) and all of the non-baseball inclusions above. There are also TBDs listed on that checklist.

We’ll have more on Ginter in the coming months before its arrival. Until then, feast on the preview images below.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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25 comments

  1. Chris H 28 February, 2011 at 17:40

    CAN NOT WAIT! Love A&G every year, one of my favorite things is my baseball relic card collection and it mostly consists of Ginter. The frame design is a favorite of mine. As for this year, I want to get my hands on that Pacquiao auto!

  2. chrisolds 28 February, 2011 at 18:08

    The clear winner on the Ginter autograph checklist? Pacquiao. Not even close. Peter Gammons should be solid for the baseball fans (I’d want) but he does have an AU before.

    Some of the filler on the BB autograph list? Jason Kendall, Max Scherzer, Chone Figgins, Marlon Byrd, Randy Wells, Sergio Mitre.

    Some (relative) youngsters on AU checklist? Daniel Hudson, Gio Gonzalez, Brett Wallace, Mike Minor, Brian Matusz.

    Some of the oddball inclusions in Ginter? Dr. Watson and Igor, The Hare, Tonto, Toto, Rasputin, D.B. Cooper, Nostradamus, Snake charming, Waverly Hills Sanatarium.

    Even more uncool ginter inclusions? The Amityville Haunting, the RMS Queen Mary, Lizzie Borden House, Villisca Axe Murderer House, Alcatraz.

  3. chrisolds 28 February, 2011 at 18:11

    Also worth noting that there are 38 baseball autographs on the preliminary checklist and only 32 non-baseball autographs.

  4. Kevin Reid 28 February, 2011 at 21:34

    uncool ginter inclusions??

    Please Chris, topps knows what they are doing, they could put used gum in the product
    and it would sell, its called brand loyality. Every year you are quick to slam ginter, yet it
    is always product of the year. Just bow down to it and hope that Swisher makes the GU
    checklist (the uncool common player one)

    Thanks
    Kevin

    From mod: Wait, aren’t you the guy that trashes everything that’s not Heritage?

  5. J.R. 28 February, 2011 at 23:04

    I tend to disagree with a few of the throwaways on the baseball side. I love the see underrated guys like Kendall and Figgins get an auto every now and then. If Mitre is in a NYY uniform, then look to see some action on that too… I do agree with the rest though. Really looking forward to this set; it’s definitely one of those I look to bust a box of every year!

  6. phillies816 1 March, 2011 at 06:34

    Bought a blaster box of the 2010 A&G and really disappointed with the number of non-baseball cards included. Why do I need a mini of MT Everest or one of a dinosaur? The Pacquiao Auto is nice but not nice enough to get me to buy this product

  7. Baseball Cards Rule 1 March, 2011 at 09:00

    Good look again this year. But will a ever buy another box after I got my first in 2008? No. I refuse to buy any boxes that contain anything other then baseball cards. I collect baseball and could careless about anything else. I don’t how they came up with that idea.

  8. 82Redbirds 1 March, 2011 at 09:20

    Was a little worried about the fate of Ginter this year. Didn’t hear anything about this line until now. Thanks for the announcement, Chris.

  9. Jestin Haugh 1 March, 2011 at 09:26

    The Manny Pacquiao auto will go for a ton. I don’t believe he has ever had a certified auto. I am excited for the Rudy auto and one for my PC would have to be Guy Fieri. I would love to hang with him while he travels across the country for the Show Drive Ins Diners and Dives.

  10. chrisolds 1 March, 2011 at 10:03

    Juddy: Kyle Petty, sir. Kyle Petty.

    Will: Harper can’t be in anything other than Bowman-branded products. (Unless he plays in an official MLB game this season. Then he would be RC eligible.)

  11. Richard 1 March, 2011 at 11:17

    I’m still waiting to see the solution for last years code.
    I was able to do the prior year, though I was more than a little behind given the
    shipping time it took to get the set from Ebay, but 2010 eluded me since I was not
    willing to throw the money at collecting the set given the likelihood it was already
    solved.

    So, was it solved or not?

  12. Nathan Crandell 1 March, 2011 at 20:46

    The only thing I hate about 2011 ginter, is I havent completed my 2010 ginter set and 2011 ginter isnt here yet. I LOVE GINTER

  13. MPBoxing | The ONLY Official Website of Manny Pacquiao | Blog | Manny Pacquiao makes trading card debut with 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter 2 March, 2011 at 02:28

    […] Today, Topps unveiled the very first “official” Manny Pacquiao trading cards which will be a pa….  Pacquiao’s inclusion isn’t really that odd for Allen and Ginter because it’s a product well-known for including fringe celebrities and athletes from the non-major sports, as well baseball’s current stars.  Among the others scheduled to join Pacquiao are John McEnroe, Annika Sorensteam, Jake LaMotta, Stan Lee, Cheryl Burke, and Iron Chef’s Marc Fargione.  An eclectic but strong checklist for sure, and that’s not even including the baseball’s Evan Longoria, Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, and the Dodgers’ Andre Etheir and Matt Kemp. […]

  14. Art Vandelay 2 March, 2011 at 13:57

    If I hear another “I only collect baseball cards” comment about Ginter I’m going to go Sheen. Who cares. This is always a great product to break. Looking forward to it.

  15. Mike 25 April, 2011 at 11:55

    I can’t believe it, JULY!!! No topps 206 this year and I gotta wait until JULY!! Ack…

    Looking forward to it coming and hoping for a McEnroe!

    Is it really July??

  16. Steve14cards 3 October, 2011 at 00:14

    I pulled a card from a 2011 allen & ginter pack of a four leaf clover with # 29 on da back . What is it for can anyone tell me?

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