Wednesday, September 6, 2017

All the things you love/hate about Allen & Ginter in one tidy post


I've decided that this is officially an obsession. I need to know all of the non-baseball players in every set of Allen & Ginter and I need to know them now.

A couple of posts ago I started listing all of those cards with the thought that it would be a project I would forget about quickly only to come back to it in two years. Instead I'm coming back to it in two days.

So, with apologies to readers who tune into this blog to see pictures of baseball players, I am now listing everyone (or everything) that was/is not a major league baseball player in A&G (this doesn't include inserts). I will link this page for handy reference on my sidebar.

Please enjoy. Or don't enjoy. Whatever.



2006

Non-Baseball Players

Chester A. Arthur
Jerry Bailey
Billy The Kid
Buffalo Bill
Andrew Carnegie
Brandi Chastain
Grover Cleveland
Randy Couture
Thomas Edison
Jennie Finch
Bob Fitzsimmons
Ulysses S. Grant
Wendy Guey
Ben Harrison
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Rutherford B. Hayes
Hulk Hogan
Andy Irons
Stonewall Jackson
Jesse James
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku
Takeru Kobayashi
Robert E. Lee
Pope Leo XIII
Carl Lewis
Abraham Lincoln
Herman Melville
Queen Victoria
Danica Patrick
John Rockefeller
Theodore Roosevelt
Leon Spinks
Jim Thorpe
Mike Tyson
Chancellor Otto Von Bismark
Kaiser Wilhelm
John Wooden
Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright

Total: 39 

Places or Things

Statue of Liberty

Total: 1

Note: I didn't collect A&G the first two years so I don't have a ton of knowledge about it. I'm surprised at the number of presidential figures and historical figures in general. As the years progress, A&G turns into a vastly different beast.



2007

Non-Baseball Players

Freddy Adu
Laila Ali
Mario Andretti
Susan B. Anthony
Mike Aponte
P.T. Barnum
Bob Baffert
Alexander Graham Bell
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Jamie Fischer
Joe Frazier
Mohandas Gandhi
Augie Garrido
Gary Hall Jr.
Mia Hamm
Jack the Ripper
Ken Jennings
Julio Juarez
Bruce Lee
Greg Louganis
Misty May-Treanor
Jason McElwain
Dan O'Brien
Louis Pasteur
Dennis Rodman
Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Cael Sanderson
Mark Selby
Sitting Bull
Harry S. Truman
Mark Twain
Kerri Walsh
Mark Zupan

Total: 35

Places or Things

Brooklyn Bridge
Ferris Wheel
Eiffel Tower
Groundhog Day
Tower Bridge
Washington Monument

Total: 6

Note: I wondered on an Allen and Ginter post recently whether the 2017 set saw the first time that a husband and wife received separate cards in the same A&G set (Peter Rosenberg/Alexa Datt). But, of course, it's not because Eleanor and Franklin D. in the second A&G set! Duh!



2008

Non-Baseball Players

Matt Biondi
Bonnie Blair
James Bowie
Joey Chestnut
Todd Clever
James Fenimore Cooper
Davy Crockett
Marie Curie
Charles Dickens
Frederick Douglass
Albert Einstein
Allen Fisher
Benjamin Franklin
Nicky Hayden
Wild Bill Hickok
Victor Hugo
"Rampage" Jackson
Dan Jansen
Bruce Jenner
Dean Karnazes
Jeff King
Jeanette Lee
Lisa Leslie
Andrew "William Ocean" Litz
Les Miles
Billy Mitchell
Claude Monet
Frank Morris
Bob Motley
Takudzwa Ngwenya
Friedrich Nietzsche
Annie Oakley
Pablo Picasso
Mary Shelley
Mark Spitz
Bram Stoker
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Kerri Strug
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Harriet Tubman
Kevin Van Dam
Pete Weber
Oscar Wilde
Serena Williams
Stevie Williams

Total: 45

Places or Things

Bigfoot (monster truck)
Empire State Building
The Gateway Arch
Golden Gate Bridge
Grand Canyon
Pluto

Total: 6

Note: A&G at its best.



2009

Non-Baseball Players

Kristin Armstrong
Beethoven
Bryan Berg
Napoleon Bonaparte
Louis Braille
Stephanie Brown Trafton
Alexander Cartwright
General Custer
Charles Darwin
Wyatt Earp
Sigmund Freud
Richard Gatling
Geronimo
Walton Glenn Eller
Charles Goodyear
Heinrich Hertz
John Higby
Doc Holliday
Burke Kenny
Robbie Maddison
Kolan McConiughey
LaShawn Merritt
Samuel Morse
Florence Nightingale
Alfred Nobel
Loren Opstedahl
Cat Osterman
Michael Phelps
Will Simpson/Archie Bunker (horse)
Sitting Bull (second appearance)
Anna Tunnicliffe
Vincent Van Gogh
Steve Wiebe
Dominique Wilkins
Jason Wong
Brigham Young
Mariel Zagunis

Total: 37

Places or Things

Alamo
Electron
Milky Way
Old Faithful
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Suez Canal

Total: 6

Note: There are also seven Negro League era baseball players in this set (there are some Negro League players scattered through the 2007 set as well).



2010

Non-Baseball Players

Ken Blackburn
David Blaine
Tyler Bradt
Drew Brees
Nicolaus Copernicus
Ivory Crockett
Leonardo Da Vinci
Tiago Della Vega
Anne Donovan
Hans Florine
Alan Francis
Galileo Galilei
Anthony Gatto
Johannes Gutenberg
Sig Hansen
Tony Hawk
Tony Hoard and Rory (dog)
Sherlock Holmes (fictional)
Nick Jacoby
Avery Jenkins
Shawn Johnson
Meb Keflezighi
Ryan Kennelly
King Tut
Tom Knapp
Kelly Kulick
Judson Laipply
Niccolo Machiavelli
Captain Nemo (fictional)
Isaac Newton
Randy Oitker
Regis Philbin
Preston Pittman
Max Poser
Sacagawea
Summer Sanders
Stuart Scott
Jordin Sparks
Gary Stewart
Johnny Strange
Jules Verne
Hubertus "Master of Hellfire" Wawra

Total: 42

Places or Things

Area 51
Betelgeuse
Lucy (skeletal remains)
The Parthenon
Revolving Door
X-Rays

Total: 6

Note: There are also five Negro League-era baseball players in this set.



2011

Non-Baseball Players

Geno Auriemma
Sue Bird
Daniel Boulud
Cheryl Burke
George W. Bush
Guy Fieri
Marc Forgione
Jo Frost
Peter Gammons
Matt Guy
Dirk Hayhurst*
Mat Hoffman
Lou Holtz
Tim Howard
Eric Jackson
Ana Julaton
Jake LaMotta
Jack LaLanne
Stan Lee
Nancy Lopez
Evan Lysacek
John McEnroe
Shawn Michaels
Heather Mitts
Aimee Mullins
Jim Nantz
Manny Pacquiao
Kyle Petty
Sanya Richards
Rudy Ruettiger
Timothy Shieff
Maxim Shmyrev
Hope Solo
Annika Sorenstam
Picabo Street
Diana Taurasi
Dick Vitale
Micky Ward
Wee Man
Chrissie Wellington
Chuck Woolery
Kristi Yamaguchi
L.L. Zamenhof

Total: 43

*-Judgment call. Hayhurst's baseball career ended in 2011 and he's dressed as a garfoose.

Places or Things

Royal Wedding

Total: 1

Note: A sad year as A&G tried very hard to eliminate places and things from the set. Even the Royal Wedding card features people.



2012

Non-Baseball Players

Erin Andrews
Jerry Bailey (second appearance)
Guy Bluford
Keegan Bradley
James Brown (announcer)
Michael Buffer
Swin Cash
Don Denkinger
Annie Duke
Fatal1ty (Jonathan Wendel)
Roger Federer
Rulon Gardner
Greg Gumbel
Hank Haney
Kirk Herbstreit
Marty Hogan
Bob Hurley Sr.
Bela Karolyi
Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Bobby Knight
Lefty Kreh
Meadowlark Lemon
Ewa Mataya
Colin Montgomerie
Curly Neal
Arnold Palmer
Ara Parseghian
Richard Petty
Phil Pfister
Michael Phelps (second appearance)
Al Unser Sr.
Kate Upton
Dale Webster

Total: 33

Places or Things

None.

Note: The trend that started in 2011 really kicked into gear in 2012. A&G greatly increased the number of retired baseball players in the set and discarded virtually any non-ballplayer who didn't participate in some other sort of competition or was part of a sporting event. No inventors. No writers. No musicians. The only exceptions are Guy Bluford (first African-American in space) and, of course, Kate Upton.



2013

Non-Baseball Players

Bonnie Bernstein
Matthew Berry
Matthias Blonski
Amelia Boone
Bobby Bowden
Byamba
John Calipari
Olivia Culpo
Jason Dufner
Pope Francis I
Monty Hall
Scott Hamilton
Kevin Harvick
Phil Heath
Chanel Iman
Roy Jones Jr.
Mike Joy
Ekolu Kalama
Brian Kelly
Artie Lange
Tommy Lee
Julia Mancuso
Ziggy Marley
McKayla Maroney
Penny Marshall
Mike McCarthy
Barry Melrose
Nana Meriwether
Chris Mortensen
Shawn Nadelen
Ed O'Neill
Pele
Adam Richman
Mike Richter
Freddie Roach
Guillaume Robert-Demolaize
Henry Rollins
Nick Saban
Bud Selig
Chrissy Teigen
Robin vanPersie
Abe Vigoda
Lindsey Vonn
Nik Wallenda
Bill Walton

Total: 45

Places or Things

Death Valley
Grand Central Terminal
Panama Canal

Total: 3

Note: A return to earlier years.



2014

Non-Baseball Players

Dr. James Andrews
Matt Besser
Anthony Bourdain
Erin Brady
Samantha Briggs
Jordan Burroughs
Sam Calagione
Jim Calhoun
Kevin Clancy
Buffalo Bill Cody
Felicia Day
Jenny Dell
Michael Eisner
Allyson Felix
Tanner Foust
Judah Friedlander
Vince Gilligan
Iron Sheik
Maria Gabriela Isler
Danielle Kang
Helen Keller
Larry King
Chuck Klosterman
Bert Kreischer
Carli Lloyd
Diana Nyad
Jordan Oliver
Daniel Okrent
Queen Victoria (second appearance)
Mike Pereira
Dave Portnoy
Bill Rancic
Ryan Riess
Anthony Robles
Mark Roth
Gar Ryness
Adam Schefter
Kevin Smith
Snoop Lion
John L. Sullivan
Laura Phelps Sweatt
Chuck Todd
Glen Waggoner
Austin Wierschke
Chuck Zito

Total: 45

Places or Things

Barbed Wire
Polar Vortex

Total: 2



2015

Non-Baseball Players

Rocky Balboa (fictional)
Michelle Beadle
Joe Buck
Buck 65
Frank Caliendo
Apollo Creed (fictional)
David Cross
Ivan Drago (fictional)
Jimbo Fisher
Julie Foudy
Joe Gatto
Malcolm Gladwell
Incredibeard
Megan Kalmoe
Jonah Keri
Val Kilmer
James "Clubber" Lang (fictional)
Keith Law
Zach Lowe
Gus Malzahn
Jeff Mauro
Mike Mills
Kelia Moniz
James Murray
Aaron Paul
Lakey Peterson
Brian Quinn
Darren Rovell
Brody Stevens
Thunderlips (fictional)
Bernie Williams (ex-ball player as musician)
Brian Windhorst
Robb Wolf
Sam Vulcano
Malala Yousafzai

Total: 35

Places or things

Appomattox Court House
Fall of the Berlin Wall
Magna Carta
Philae Probe

Total: 4

Note: 2015 might be the nadir in terms of non-ball players. It's overrun with comedians I've never heard of and several irritating people. At least the Rocky subset takes the edge off, but it's no wonder I've accumulated less of this set than any other A&G set since I started collecting it.



2016

Non-Baseball Players

Monica Abbott
Anthony Anderson
Denise Austin
Michael Breed
Dwier Brown
Timothy Busfield
Colin Cowherd
Mike Francesa
Missy Franklin
Gennady Golovkin
Mike Greenberg
Ernie Johnson
Orlando Jones
Steve Kerr
Rick Klein
Laurence Leavy
George Lopez
Jill Martin
Paul McBeth
Cord McCoy
Joe McKeehen
Jessica Mendoza
Jay Oakerson
Robert Raiola
Steve Schirripa
Ari Shaffir
Maria Sharapova
Jason Sklar
Randy Sklar
Morgan Spurlock
Steve Spurrier
Michele Steele
Leigh Steinberg
Matt Stonie
Hannah Storm
Vinny G
Heidi Watney
Jen Welter
Cheyenne Woods

Total: 39

Places or Things

Cuban Embassy
Dawn Spacecraft
Falcon 9 Rocket
Gravitational Waves
Papal Visit (Pope Francis I)

Total: 5

Note: A&G titles one of the "things" as "Papal Visit" but it's really just a picture of Pope Francis, which would make it the second time he's appeared in the base set (first time in 2013).




2017

Non-Baseball Players

Tom Anderson
Corey Bellemore
Wesley Bryan
Miguel Cotto
Vashti Cunningham
Alexa Datt
Jay Glazer
Laurie Hernandez
Brooke Hogan
Valarie Jenkins
Dan Jennings
Nick Jonas
Michal Kapral
Andy Katz
Kevin Kelley
Krazy George
Allie LaForce
Eric LeGrand
Joe Manganiello
Garrett McNamara
Efren Reyes
Peter Rosenberg
Ken Rosenthal
Ollie Schniederjans
William Shatner
Kirby Smart
Ben Smith
Stephen A. Smith
Jayson Stark
Sage Steele
Gary Stevens
Lyle Thompson
Harriet Tubman (second appearance)

Total: 33

Places or Things

Giant Panda
Paris Locks
Trees in India
U.S. National Parks Service

Total: 4

Note: Valarie Jenkins, who plays disc golf, is the second member of the Jenkins family to be featured in A&G. Her brother, Avery, was in the set in 2010.


I'll try to add to this list each year ... or at least until I stop collecting (you never know).

In compiling these lists I noticed that A&G virtually overnight ran screaming from featuring historical figures. In 2010 there was a healthy amount, just like every year before it, and then 2011 almost nothing, except for historical baseball figures.

I don't know if that was in response to complaints from collectors or a change in marketing. But I think I can trace my growing disinterest in Allen & Ginter to that decision. Ever since that switch in 2011, there's been only a stray non-baseball historical figure here and there and I just don't like the set as much.

The history that was once a fixture in A&G has been replaced by a bunch of current figures, most of whom I don't care a flying fig over. I'm a media guy, so I shouldn't complain about the steady stream of media people featured in A&G the last three or four years, but I do not need a Darren Rovell card.

I don't know why the switch from history to present was made, but it can't be because Topps has run out of old-timey people because:

Henry Ford, George Washington Carver, Eli Whitney, James Watt, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, John Steinbeck, Agatha Christie, Mozart, Bach, Scott Joplin, etc., etc., etc., have never appeared in A&G.

I know, I know, copyrights, but somehow A&G cleared that hurdle its first four years in existence.

Anyway, there you go. I've officially bored everyone on a variety of fronts.

But my curiosity has been satisfied. And that's the most important thing.

11 comments:

  1. I only counted four in all of those that I would like to acquire at some point. It would be five if they had a card for Mr. T instead of "Clubber Lang." And how on earth has Edgar Allan Poe never been in A&G?

    Do they have a site for suggestions? Poe would certainly top my list, but I could probably rattle off 25 or so non-baseball players that I would like to see A&G style.

    JT, The Writer's Journey

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  2. I had no idea Bigfoot had a card in A&G. Time to hit COMC.

    I agree with your thoughts about the set not being as interesting without the historical figures. There's still good stuff to be found, but not as much...

    They should put prominent card bloggers in the set at least one year. How cool would that be? I'm sure I wouldn't be included as a non-baseball (mostly) blogger but I would collect them if they existed.

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  3. Came here looking for baseball cards???

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  4. I have the first two base sets but have lost interest more and more. Historical figures seem more in tune with a set that is inspired by sets from the 19th century. Thanks for all your work.

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  5. My mini frankenset encompasses only the initial 10 years of this product, and I can guarantee you that the Dirk Hayhurst 2011 "Garfoose" card is a permanent member of it....."The Bullpen Gospels" was a great book so I consider this an author card. Many thanks for doing the deep dive on non-BB elements of this set, N.O., I'll refer back to it often.

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  6. I love the non-baseball players on this checklist. Super excited to see Krazy George on this year's checklist.

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  7. 2017 is a real lackluster list, lack of historical figures aside.

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  8. While I agree that the lack of historical figures as of late is a bad thing, I also believe its more than just that. 2011 and 2012 picked out non-baseball people alright I think. Olympians, golfers, boxers, soccer players, tennis players, COMMENTATORS (as opposed to media personalities... heck wouldn't Ginter have been the perfect set for a Vin Scully card...). We don't have much of that at all in the three most recent sets. Instead we're getting comedians, media, actors, ect. Far less to my liking.

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  9. The selection committee must be made up of corporate suits who want just the "trendy" people in there. "The kids" don't dig the historical figures, they want what's fresh and hot right now!! Whose got the biggest hype machine going?

    That's how they pick the players too...Ugh...

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  10. Let us know if you decided to build a master non bb player franken set of sort. You know to collect them all.

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  11. This is great!
    I think you should call over to Topps and try to get a meeting with the A&G product manager. You can show him or her this analysis and the overall trend that you are seeing. Additionally, you could bring a list of 50 people and places that they haven't used for their consideration. That would make things easy for them!

    Note: They have had some subsets for inventors and composers, so some of them in your list have been in Ginter, just not in the main set.

    ReplyDelete