It’s hard to believe, but this is the 10th anniversary of A&G, which remains true to its original 1887 release with cards of sports stars and rookies, politicians, history-making figures and quirky celebrities.
The inserts remain thought provoking, with a true mix of history, pop culture and innovative achievements.
The card design remains the same, with a player depicted in a colorful illustration. The background has the typical A&G feathered technique, and the poses are mostly vertical in the base set, which I really enjoy. Some cards work in a horizontal format, but I prefer vertical because that’s the look I remember when I was young and eager to collect baseball cards.
Sports represented outside of baseball include soccer (Julie Foudy), rowing (Megan Kalmoe), surfing (Kelia Moniz), hockey (Jeremy Roenick) and college football (Jimbo Fisher).
Non-sports figures include comedians (Brian Quinn), actors (Val Kilmer), activists (Malala Yousafzai), television hosts (Jeff Mauro), sports reporters (Michelle Beadle and Buster Olney), musicians (Mike Mills), fictional movie characters (Apollo Creed), historic documents (Magna Carta), historic sites (Appomattox Court House), nutritionists (Robb Wolf) and weird beards (Incredibeard).
Some collectors will be fortunate to pull hobby exclusive cabinet card box toppers that feature relics, autographs, autographed relics and cut signatures. There is currently a Ted Williams cut signature card on eBay; the seller is seeking $1,500 for the 1/1 card.
The hobby box I opened was a birthday gift from my wife, and the pricing fell within the range of the $95 to $105 that is advertised online. A wonderful gift, to be sure.
I pulled 134 base cards and 24 minis. Nineteen of the mini-cards were base parallels.
My box contained one autograph and two relics. The signatures are on-card and are framed in a mini-card format. The one I got was of former Kentucky basketball star Willie Cauley-Stein, who was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings.
I found three stamped cards in my hobby box. The first was a 2006 J.D. Drew and the second featured Aaron Rowand from 2009. The third was a framed mini of Ricky Romero from the 2012 set.
Rip cards return, one in every 346 packs. It will be a lucky collector who pulls a double rip card, as they fall one in every 1,723 packs. Book cards are autographed and come in single subject (1:1975 packs) and double subject (1:7,950).
Cut signatures are 1/1 cards that are very scarce, falling at a 1:68,738 clip. Good luck..
A Healthy Mind and A Healthy Body are inserts that can be found one in every 288 packs. Both are 10-card subsets. More commonly found are Great Scott!, a celebration of scientific discoveries. There are 10 cards in this insert set, and I pulled four of them.
Menagerie of the Mind highlights mythology, and there are 20 cards. I pulled a centaur and a zombie; other possibilities include a unicorn, mermaid and dragon. Ancient Armory features different types of weapons used throughout history; I pulled three of the 20 cards, including a catapult and a cutlass.
Hoist the Black Flag is all about pirates like Blackbeard and Captain Kidd in a 10-card set. I pulled two of them. First Ladies is another mini insert, with 41 cards honoring the wives of the presidents.
Once again, the Allen and Ginter set is entertaining, educational and fun to put together. It makes the long, hot days of summer feel so much cooler.