2019 Topps Allen & Ginter: Hobby Box #1 (Packs 1 - 8 including one of the best framed relics in the set!)

I'm guessing most of my loyal readers know by now that I love the Allen & Ginter brand from Topps.  I can totally understand why baseball purists may scoff at the product but it's exactly because of all the oddballs, strange people, and weird minis that I love the set.  Not all that long ago, I was buying a full case of the stuff for myself, that's how much I love the set but the realities of my current finances these days means that I don't have the same kind of cash to spend frivolously.  That said, I did manage to scrounge up enough money for four hobby boxes - not nearly a full case but hopefully enough cards to get me going on completing the set (along with all the insert sets).

My boxes finally arrived and I can't wait any longer to break one open.

Box #1:

Box loader:

One of my favorite parts of opening up boxes of Allen & Ginter is the box loader.  Having that extra card (with a chance of it being something super cool like an autograph or, new this year, a box topper rip card) makes buying boxes feel a bit more value for the dollar.  Of course, most of the box toppers aren't going to be overly special but it's still fun to gamble.

I ended up with a N43 card of Manny Machado - not the best card out there but I certainly could have done much, much worse.  I don't think I'll be collecting the N43 set this year - but I reserve the right to change my mind depending on what my other three boxes yield as their box toppers.

Pack 1:

I don't plan to type up and show off every single card from every pack - instead I'll simply hit the highlights...and boy, pack #1 didn't disappoint!

First up, that Collectible Canines mini card makes me quite happy.  I aim to build all the mini sets and for whatever reason, Topps has made non-baseball minis quite difficult to find in bulk for the past few editions of Ginter.  Therefore, any time I land a new-to-me mini insert I'm going to be happy.

Truthfully, that's good enough for me from pack #1 but there was more - my first of the three promised hits right away...and man, it might be one of the best relics I've ever pulled from any set, ever!

That's a Ken Griffey, Jr. framed relic and it's spectacular!

I don't even have words to describe how great that card is - I love framed relics and Griffey, Jr. is probably my second favorite player (behind only Barry Larkin).  A great beginning to the box for sure!

Pack 2 - 4:

 A regular mini Juan Gonzalez, a regular mini short print John Smoltz, and an A&G back mini Ryne Sandberg meant I hit the trifecta on retired mini stars!  That said, the highlight for me from the trio of packs was this nice Mares & Stallions insert card of the Irish Cob.  That's a good lookin' horse!

Pack 5 - 6:

A Jose Ramirez mini and a duplicate History of Flight card (don't worry, I'll get a full list of all my trade bait up as soon as I get done busting all my boxes) were the other options to scan out of the packs.  I obviously went a different direction though by scanning the rather nice black bordered Todd Helton card.

I've begun to set aside some minis for possible inclusion in a mini Frankenset - this Helton might fit in there (unless I get some unbeatable trade offers for it, of course).

Packs 7 - 8:

An A&G back of a Tampa Bay Ray is pretty much useless so the only highlight here is luckily a big one despite being a mini card:

That's my second mini insert of the box and it's another new one for my set.  The Chugging Along set is kind of neat, at least from what I've seen from the set so far.

That concludes the first third of box #1.  I'll have more from this box soon but I have a hunch we've already seen the best this one will have to offer (I'm assuming my other two hits will be the standard full-sized relics).  That said, Ginter is always full of surprises so we shall see soon enough!

EDIT: I've updated my want list already with I still need from this year's edition of Allen & Ginter.  The posts that will go live this week were all written "in real time" but well ahead of time.  That is to say, I wrote each post as I ripped through each box so at the time of this post I had no idea what the remaining boxes would hold.  Now everything has been busted so go here to check my want list. 


  1. Cool stuff! Looking forward to following along!

  2. Sweet Griffey! Congrats!

  3. Sweet Griffey! Can't wait to see what other goodies you pull from these four boxes. You're off to an excellent start.


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