Allen & Ginter’s ‘Lid-Gate’

Has the dust settled yet?

Unless you’ve been living under a large, Baseball card shaped rock for the last couple of days you can’t have failed to have heard a few rumblings coming from the world of 2013 Allen & Ginter’s!

Around 10.00pm (GMT) last Saturday evening I was tapping away on the laptop, keeping an eye on Twitter and generally minding my own business when these tweets appeared courtesy of case-breaker extraordinaire, Brent Williams –

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What was this? Breaking hobby news? And here I was witnessing it first hand?? Very exciting.

In all honesty, due to my geographical location, I often end up reading about this sort of thing the following day! But actually being there as it started to spread out over the internet was pretty cool (I tell you, it really doesn’t take that much to make me happy)!

Anyway back to Brent, and what exactly had he found? Well, while using his empty boxes as packaging to send out all his pre-sold sets he chanced upon a sealed card tucked away in the A&G box lid, a card that he’d accidentally scored into!

On further inspection Brent found that the sealed card was a glossy parallel of the Mark Scutaro base card and as was numbered 1/1 on the back!! WTF?!?!?!

Brent tweeted his findings and things then got moving pretty quickly as more of these 1/1’s started to turn up. Brent went back to the 350+ boxes he had opened (I forget the exact number but it was bloody huge) and searched through all the lids on those, turning up two more sealed 1/1’s in the form of James Shields and Mo Rivera.

Chris Olds of Beckett Media had just the one box that he’d done a Box Buster video for just days earlier and found a Starlin Castro 1/1 tucked in his lid!

Lucky bugger!!

And back on the internet someone’s found a Carlton Fisk, a Matt Moore! A few hours later someone will have listed the Mike Trout 1/1 on eBay for a penny shy of $2,000!! Topher over at Crackin’ Wax ran a charity case-break on Sunday night and pulled a Babe Ruth glossy in one of his boxes! Nice!!!

As word started to get out about this find, outrage began to spread amongst certain sectors of the Hobby. Collectors and dealers were up in arms, keen to point out how once again they’d been shafted over by the great evil that is Topps! How could they not tell us?? How many of these precious 1/1s have been lost during the first few days after A&G’s release??

To be fair Topps did drop us a hint on Twitter on the day of the release, albeit something of a cryptic one –


As I sit and write this now, after just a few days, it’s already starting to feel like old news and it will only be a matter of time before it all blows over completely!

And what will we end up taking away from all of this?

Well, personally I’ve got to tip my hat to Topps on this one!! Here I am, on the outside looking in, and I still can’t hide the beaming smile across my face! This whole thing has been an absolute stroke of genius by Topps! Someone mentioned on Twitter (apologies but I forget who) that this was the closest you’ll get to having an Easter Egg inside a sports card product, and they’re exactly right! I’ll say it again – a complete stroke of genius!!

Topps played an absolute blinder!

I can completely appreciate how and why certain people feel aggrieved by what’s occurred here, but come on! Realistically all people are pissed off about is the fact that they might have missed out on an added hit, a little something extra that Topps put into this year’s product, that they weren’t able to quickly flip and turn into cash!

It’s not about the preservation of these rare 1/1 glossy gems – it’s all about the missed opportunity to make an extra few bucks! Player collector’s may well weep and lament the (potential) passing of part of their collecting dreams but we’ll never truly know how many of these cards have gone missing or have been destroyed simply because we didn’t know they were there. And that just adds to the legend!!

Imagine if Brent hadn’t stumbled over that Scutaro while cutting up that box lid! It might be the case that these ‘hidden treasures’ remained just that – hidden treasures, never seeing the light of day and the world goes on turning as normal!

I can’t help but feel that there’s a certain poetry in this events, a certain ‘something’ that fits perfectly what Allen & Ginter’s is all about – something fun and different!

Just a few days ago I was commenting on the look of some of next year’s Topps Baseball products, saying that there seems to be a certain malaise around the sets these days, a certain lack of innovation around their products! And then all of a sudden they go and spring this one on us!

Good on yer Topps! Just by having the stones to do something different you’ve earned the respect of this collector all over again! Aside from being a great looking set, nobody is going to forget 2013 Allen & Ginter’s in a hurry!


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