The Search For Ducks, Sandwiches, And Hits: A 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter Break From A Veteran Collector
Allen & Ginter has carved out a unique niche in the collecting world. The 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter offering is no different.
But what can you expect from a hobby box? To find out, we opened one, and will share the highlights, lowlights, lots of scans, and see if we found good value in a break of 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter.
I have been collecting sports cards since 1987, when I cracked a pack of 1987 Topps and was quickly hooked on the hobby. Over the years, my collection has taken many forms, from singles to sets to autographs.
Most recently, you’re most likely to find me buying graded vintage cards, with a focus on Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers. Or you may find me purchasing minor league complete sets to sub key cards for grading.
But what you wouldn’t find me doing was breaking modern packs or boxes. I still love opening packs, but focused on low-cost older wax with upside (or at least some fun).
That changed recently, when I busted a box of 2022 Topps Archives. You can check out the results in What Does A Long Time, Primarily Vintage Collector Think During A Topps Archive Hobby Box Break? The break was a lot of fun, so I decided to try again with 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter.
Why Allen & Ginter?
It’s a fairly affordable product with some guaranteed hits. It also pays homage to the classic Allen & Ginter designs. The set also offers some fun inserts and non-baseball appearances that are fairly unique to the product.
Of note, the 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter product has three hits per box, but hits include autographs, relic cards, rip cards, printing plates, and book cards. Obviously, some of those are bigger hits than others. It’ll be interesting to see what we get.
So, a reasonably priced, vintage-inspired product with some guaranteed hits and a bit of fun. How could I say no?!
Purchasing the 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter Hobby Box
I pre-ordered my 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter hobby box from Giants Sports Cards. The cost was $109.95 plus $7.95 s/h, for a total of $117.90.
I got a shipping notice on November 15, the day before the official product drop date. The package arrived safely on its scheduled arrival date of November 18th.
Topps Allen and Ginter 2022 break approach
A 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter hobby box contains 24 packs of 8 cards each. My plan is to open them, and share the results in this article. We’ll talk about any hits, cool-looking cards, and really anything else that strikes me as worth sharing.
Once the box is open, what will I do with the cards?
PSA Submission – any of the better pulls that look to be in gradable condition will go into my “PSA Sub” pile and make their way into an upcoming submission.
eBay Store – I imagine a lot of the cards will be briefly enjoyed, but then posted on eBay to see if I can’t recoup some of the (modest) investment the box represented. Raw keepers – there will probably be a few cards that I don’t want to grade, but don’t want to sell either. I reserve the right to hang onto these raw just to enjoy them. Most importantly, my goal is to enjoy the process and the A&G design and the fun oddballs the brand is known for…a nice hit will be a bonus!
The 2022 Topps Allen and Ginter break
Enough already…let’s get started!
My first impression of these cards is that they’re really cool. I like the design of Allen & Ginter and these are just different enough, but have the same A&G feel.
One of the last “modern” boxes I broke prior to this year was an Allen & Ginter box, probably back around 2009. Opening these brought me back to those times. Again, it feels similar but just different enough to keep it interesting. Love the design. Love the former players. I even love the non-sports cards (even if I’ve never heard of most of them).
The 2022 Topps Allen and Ginter Box Topper
I must admit, I don’t know what to do with oversized box toppers, though, as storing them seems tricky. I’ll probably list this one on eBay and see what it goes for.
Contents: 198 Marcus Semien, 10 Josh Donaldson, 125 Gleyber Torres, 74 Christian Yelich, 199 Ryan Mountcastle (mini), 323 Jim Kaat (SP), 108 Jackie Robinson, GTB-7 Get that Bread: Pork Roll
Notes: The first pack is a nice microcosm of what Allen & Ginter brings to the table. A few current stars, a mini, and a short print. Throw in a card of the iconic Jackie Robinson and an insert featuring a Pork Roll sandwich. We’re just getting started, and I’m already having fun!
Contents: 57 Matt Olson, 262 Mark Duplass, 292 Charlie Sheen, 265 John Osborne, 312 Bert Blyleven (SP), 332 Goeff Jenkins (mini), 169 Jonathan Taylor, IYSD-3 It’s Your Special Day: National Nurses Day
Notes: This pack is heavy on the non-baseball, for sure. The “It’s Your Special Day” insert is an interesting concept, for sure. The Blyleven SP is our second Hall of Fame Twins starting pitcher short print in two packs. Guessing that streak won’t continue.
The rest of the pack gives us an actor, a football running back, and an actor/producer. I think my lack of contemporary pop culture knowledge is going to hurt me during this break!
Contents: 69 Cedric Mullins, 303 Frankie Montas (SP), 110 Jarren Duran, 247 Martin Sheen, 59 Al Kaline, 245 Steven Kwan, BL-12 Hot Corner (Mini), IYSD-4 It’s Your Special Day: International Coffee Day
Notes: Another short print, this time of an active player. Kwan and Duran give us a couple of rookie cards. And look at that, three packs in, we have both the Sheen boys. Another It’s Your Special Day insert (mmm…coffee), and I like the Baseball Lexicon mini inserts. “Hot Corner” with a wood stove. Just my kind of dad joke/pun.
Contents: 244 Lance McCullers Jr., 76 Randy Arozarena, 130 Willy Adames, 185 Matt Manning, 66 Ichiro, 223 Ronny Chieng, RDV-15 Gavin Sheets (A&G mini), PAG-18 Pitching a Gem: Bob Gibson
Notes: A baseball-heavy pack! Hall of Famers Ichiro and Pitching a Gem Bob Gibson are highlighted here. The Gavin Sheets mini is an Allen & Ginter parallel, which is a bit harder to pull. Chieng is a comedian with a number of comedy albums and a Netflix special to his credit.
Contents: 293 Jason Ellis, 7 Shane Baz, 238 Juan Yepez, 18 Freddie Freeman, 84 Wilson Contreras, 298 Luke Wessman, 9 Frank Thomas (mini), BS-26 Banner Season: Greg Maddux
Notes: Thomas and Maddux were two of the biggest stars of the 1990s and 2000s. Nice to get them in mini and insert form, respectively. Ellis is a former extreme sport athlete and radio host. Wessman is a tattoo artist, tv celebrity, and influencer. I feel old.
Contents: 146 Matt Chapman, 246 Tyler O’Neill, 170 Joe Ryan, 24 Kris Bryant, 21 Jeremiah Paprocki, 26 Lou Gehrig, BF-12 Bearing Fruit: Lychee (mini), BS-4 Banner Season: Joe Morgan
Notes: Another baseball-heavy pack. Our first Bearing Fruit insert features an Asian fruit I’m not familiar with. Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig and Joe Morgan also make appearances.
Contents: 113 Ozzie Albies, 14 Roland Acuna Jr., 51 Justin Verlander, 203 Bobby Witt Jr., 215 Roger Maris, 21 Pedro Martinez, MD-4 Eider Ducks Insert, BS-1 Banner Season: Bob Gibson
Notes: Two inserts is neat, including what turned out to be our only Ducks insert. The quality of the base in this pack is impressive. The Witt Jr. will potentially be a PSA submission.
Contents: 157 Emmanuel Rivera, 231 Michelle Wie West, 136 Dave Winfield, 205 Adam Wainwright, 102 Mark McGwire, 314 Jason Varitek SP, 192 Bill Mazeroski (mini), IYSD-7 National Potato Chip Day It’s Your Special Day
Notes: Another nice mix, with a pro golfer, two Hall of Famers, including the Mini of Mazeroski. Throw in a Varitek SP, and this pack is all that and a bag of chips. See what I did there?
Notes: Someday, an awful lot of these guys are going to be in the Hall of Fame. Scherzer and Verlander are sure thing Hall of Fame starting pitchers. Cabrera is the same with the bat. Helton is tracking well on the last few Hall of Fame ballots.
Steve Garvey has his Hall of Fame advocates, but I don’t expect him to be inducted anytime soon. But an SP is always nice!
Contents: 58 Shohei Ohtani, 257 Diego Castillo, 100 Hyun-Jin Ryu, 176 JJ Matijevic, 81 Nick Castellanos, 221 Luis Urias, 195 Gavin Sheets, PAG-5 Pitching a Gem: Fergie Jenkins
Notes: Even though it’s “only” a base card, I’m always happy to see Shohei Ohtani. Fergie Jenkins is an underrated Hall of Famer, if that’s possible.
Contents: 56 Anthony Rizzo, 271 Bobo, 87 Jose Ramirez, 131 Kyle Schwarber, 262 Davey Cuts, 43 Xander Bogaerts, BL-3 Baseball Lexicon: Worm Burner, BS-14 Banner Season: Roberto Clemente
Notes: Ramirez and Bogaerts are two of the best infielders out there. Bobo is a second-generation musician, while Davey Cuts is a NY barber to the rich and famous. Any time you see Roberto Clemente on a card, it’s a good day. These Baseball Lexicon inserts are a hoot.
Contents: 111 Teoscar Hernandez, Julio Urias, 191 Luis Gil, 213 Nick Allen, 141 Hideki Matsui, 267 Alyssa Naeher, 219 Jeremiah Paprocki (Mini), WC-3 What’s Cookin’: Worcestershire Sauce
Notes: A soccer player (Naeher), a PA announcer (Paprocki), an international star (Matsui), and a cooking ingredient. Not a bad mix.
Contents: 25 Paul Goldschmidt, 273 Monte Irvin, 261 Dave Hause, 275 Tim Hause, 104 Roger Clemens, 156 Marcus Stroman, 209 Hunter Greene (Mini), WC-4 What’s Cookin’: Hot Sauce
Notes: Goldschmidt is on the Hall of Fame path and just won the NL MVP. Clemens is appearing on the Contemporary Era ballot this year. Monte Irvin is a Hall of Famer and former Negro League star. The Greene is a potential PSA sub. Hot sauce makes everything better.
Contents: 337 Manny Ramirez, 40 Greg Maddux, 204 Kyle Tucker, 105 Andrew McCuthen, 222 Bradley Beal, 301 Jorge Soler (SP), 269 Julio Rodriguez (Mini), PAG-21: Pitching a Gem: Corbin Burnes
Notes: The Rodriguez is probably going to be a PSA sub. He just won the Rookie of the Year and looks to be a very promising young player.
Contents: 107 Lou Brock, 70 Ryne Sandberg, 160 Aaron Nola, 67 Byron Buxton, 145 Rod Carew, 322 Dave Concepcion (SP), 180 Will Smith (Mini), BS-23 Banner Season: Pedro Martinez
Notes: So many old-school Hall of Fame names in this pack. Brock, Sandberg, Carew, Pedro. Concepcion was a 9-time All-Star in his own right, and it’s cool to uncover another SP.
Contents: 276 DJ Muggs, 140 Joe Morgan, 97 Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 95 Ted Williams, 320 Kevin Gausman (SP), 17 George Brett, 28 Whit Merrifield (Mini), BS-40 Banner Season: Miguel Cabrera
Notes: Always great to see Ted Williams. I might sub that one just because I’m a Red Sox fan. Morgan and Brett add two more Hall of Famers to this pack. Cabrera will be enshrined himself once his playing days are through.
Contents: 179 Josiah Gray, 194 Rad Lopez, 49 Mookie Betts, 121 Max Muncy, 45 Hank Aaron, 163 Joe Mauer, 52 Brandon Crawford (Mini), WC-2 What’s Cookin’: Ketchup
Notes: Hank Aaron is one the greatest to ever play the game. Mauer and Betts are likely to join him in the Hall of Fame someday. Rad Lopez is apparently a fitness trainer. Ketchup is good on French Fries.
Contents: 258 Malika Andrews, 36 Jarred Kelenic, 175 Jack Suwinski, 65 Rhys Hoskins, 103 Yuli Gurriel, 253 Trey Mancini, 123 Roy Campanella (Mini – Black Border), FR-10 Famous Rivals: Taylor Ham vs. Pork Roll
Notes: Campanella won three MVP awards in the National League after starring in the Negro Leagues. He joined Jackie Robinson on the Dodgers in 1948, and helped lead the Dodgers to a championship in 1955. This is a possible future PSA sub. The Famous Rivals cards are interesting. This sandwich-themed one is certainly interesting.
Contents: 201 Blake Jamieson, 73 Shane Bieber, 161 Yu Darvish, 294 Charlotte North, 190 Lorenzo Cain, 337 Juan Gonzalez (SP), 93 Nolan Ryan (Mini), PAG-14 Pitching a Gem: Cy Young
Notes: Nolan Ryan and Cy Young combined for 835 career wins, and never won a Cy Young award. Bieber has won 54 games in his career and has won one. Darvish may get one himself someday. The Ryan is a potential PSA sub.
Contents: 134 Brandon Lowe, 206 Benny Horowitz, 128 Dick Allen, 200 Paul Konerko, AGRB-BH Relic Card: Benny Horowitz, 312 Bert Blyleven (Mini – SP), BS-39 Banner Season: Randy Arozarena
Notes: Our first hit is a relic card of a musician I’m not familiar with. That’s mildly disappointing, honestly, so this one will probably hit eBay. The Mini SP of Blyleven is a potential PSA sub. Dick Allen missed the Hall of Fame last year, but may eventually get in.
Contents: 4 Nolan Arenado, 227 Neal Moore, 2 Luis Robert, 218 Matt Hamilton, 85 Clayton Kershaw, 316 Kenley Janson, 89 Robin Yount (Mini-Black Border), BS-2 Banner Season: Willie Mays
Notes: Two Hall of Famers (Mays and Yount), two future Hall of Famers (Kershaw and Arenado), and a third who may just get there too (Janson). Plus a Curler and an Explorer. The Yount is a potential PSA sub.
Contents: 186 Alex Verdugo, 279 Larry Doby, 151 Jared Walsh, 62 Ke’Bryan Hayes, 122 O’Neil Cruz, 310 Yoshi Tsutsugo (SP), ITP-24 Inside the Park: Kings Canyon National Park, BS-31 Banner Season: Clayton Kershaw
Notes: The O’Neil Cruz is a potential PSA Sub. Kershaw is one of the best active pitchers. The Inside the Park insert is cool, and highlights our National Parks. Throw in a SP, and Larry Doby, and you’ve got a solid pack.
Contents: 80 Hank Greenberg, RC-BH Rip Card: Bryce Harper 03/99, 272 Chris Sale, 260 Austin Meadows, 289 Alek Thomas (Mini), PAG-19 Pitching a Gem: Bob Feller.
Notes: Another hit! A Bryce Harper Rip card. Was starting to wonder about the hits. Greenberg and Feller are two more Hall of Famers.
Contents: 119 Corey Seager, 41 Mike Schmidt, 162 Seth Beer, 280 John Landsteiner, AGRA-WS Relic Card: Will Smith, 250 Bobby Witt Jr. (Mini), BS-17 Banner Season: Hank Aaron
Notes: The third hit comes in the very last pack. In this case, it’s the Relic card of Dodgers catcher Will Smith. The Bobby Witt Jr. Mini is probably a PSA sub. Love seeing Schmidt and Aaron here.
Ripping the Rip Card
The biggest hit this box presented, in my opinion, was the 03/99 Bryce Harper Rip Card.
The Rip Card could have potentially had inside:
- A Mini Red Ink Autograph card
- An Exclusive Mini Parallel
- An Exclusive Mini Wood Parallel
- An Exclusive Mini Metal Parallel
- A One-of-a-kind Sketch Card
So, what’d I get? An Exclusive Mini Parallel #369 of Ernie Banks. Oddly enough, these cards aren’t serial numbered. So, I just ripped a serial-numbered card to get a non-serial-numbered card. Ouch.
A few notes:
- The fact that the hits all came in the last five packs had me concerned. Don’t do that to me, Topps!
- Buying a modern hobby box and getting no ink feels like kind of a letdown.
- Getting Relic cards as the “hits” in a box feels kind of 10 years ago, doesn’t it? Especially when one is of a musician you’ve never heard of (maybe you have, I’m not very cool).
- The Rip Card is an interesting idea. I honestly toyed with not opening it, but the suspense would have driven me crazy.
- The inserts in these packs are so plentiful, it reminds me of the mid-1990s. I expect they won’t be worth much because they are easy to pull, but they’re fun to see while breaking packs.
- As I was looking at a few of the base cards as potential PSA submissions, I noticed that like the Topps Archive box I broke, a lot of cards don’t come out of packs in PSA 9 or 10 condition. They’re not quite damaged, and still solidly Near Mint (NM), but I’m certainly seeing some things on a few corners that take cards out of grading consideration.
Final count of 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter hits
The final breakdown:
- 1 Rip Card
- 2 Relic Cards
- 2 Black Border Mini
- 8 Short Print (SP)
- 11 Banner Season Inserts
- 5 Pitching Gems Inserts
- 3 It’s Your Special Day Inserts
- 1 Mini Short Print
- 1 Famous Rivals Insert
- 1 Get that Bread Insert
- 1 Bearing Fruit Insert
- 1 Ducks Insert
What I will do with the cards?
I happen to have a PSA sub going out, a November 2022 Monthly special – $15/card Modern 1996-date.
The following cards will go out in the sub:
- The Ernie Banks Exclusive Mini from the Rip Card
- Bobby Witt Jr. Mini Card
- Julio Rodriguez Mini Card
- Ted Williams Base Card
One of the hits, two top rookies, and Ted Williams. The Teddy Ballgame is kind of “just for fun” for this Red Sox fan, admittedly.
I have a few other cards set aside for possible future submission. Those include the Campenella and Yount Black Border Minis as well as Minis of Hunter Greene, Nolan Ryan, and Bert Blyleven (SP). I also have base cards of O’Neil Cruz, Bobby Witt Jr., Shohei Otani, and Lou Gehrig in the pile. We’ll see if those make a future sub.
Many of the other cards, including the minis and inserts, will hit eBay cheap to help recoup some of the cost of the box. A few select cards will go to friends and family (my son will get a kick out of the Jackie Robinson and the Red Sox).
I may hang onto a few raw singles as well, simply because they’re kind of neat, but not valuable enough to sell or grade.
Final thoughts on breaking a 2022 Topps Allen & Ginter Hobby Box
This was a fun break. Does it sound odd to say that this is the most fun I’ve ever had being mildly disappointed?
The base cards, minis, and inserts are a blast. Lots of fun to look through them and see what stars of yesteryear are included and what non-sports folks are included. The inserts are a hoot, and the SPs kept you looking at every card.
The hits, however, were a bit of a dud. The Rip Card is a cool idea but ripping a serial-numbered card to get a non-serial numbered card just feels wrong in retrospect.
That being said, maybe your luck is better than mine…there are some gems available in Allen & Ginter this year (quite literally and figuratively). If you’re looking for a lower-cost break that’s high on entertainment value, this is a great option.
Other Cardlines Topps Allen & Ginter and Break Coverage
- What’s In 2022 Topps Allen And Ginter Baseball Besides Ducks And Some Baseball Cards?
- What Does A Long Time, Primarily Vintage Collector Think During A Topps Archive Hobby Box Break?
- Breaks of the Past: 1996 Best Franchise Player Signature Edition