The Beckett Blog

So, have you landed an Allen & Ginter Strasburg card yet? by Chris Olds

Update: At least one copy of the card has been found — a collector pulled one from a box at Odyssey Cards & Comics in Katy, Texas. By 2:45 p.m., there were just three on eBay.

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball | COMMENTARY

There’s no question which cards would be hottest out of the gates as the fifth installment of Topps‘ popular Allen & Ginter baseball card set officially arrives today.

It’s the last-second addition of a Stephen Strasburg mini card — and a redemption card for an autograph.

Both were expected to be short-printed cards, at least the autograph, with the mini card being at least as tough to find as any of the other 350-plus one-per-pack inserts are. (Ever try building that set out of packs? It takes work.)

But, as it turns out, the mini is proving to be a much tougher find.

How tough?

We asked Brent Williams, an Arkansas-based dealer who specializes in breaking cases in bulk and selling sets, lots and other cards that he finds.

“Strasburg is NOT in Ginter,” he insisted early Wednesday morning. “I have done 25 cases — another guy 13, and another 15. Zero Strasburgs.

“This is just stupid. No autograph redemptions, either.”

That’s more than 7,000 packs opened by Williams alone — not one Strasburg.

Some Topps officials have stated to customers that the mini was not a Rip Card inclusion, nor was it a super short-print. However, by later Wednesday morning Williams said he had talked to even more dealers and collectors with a total surpassing 100 cases opened — that’s pushing 30,000 packs — and still no Strasburgs.

So, is it a collation problem? Or are the cards much, much more limited than previously believed? Could they be in retail packs still to come?

We’ll find out as once as a collector finds one. A message to Topps concerning the relative scarcity of the Strasburg was not returned earlier this week — before the hubbub on this card ignited as the empty mylar wrappers mounted Tuesday evening.

The unfortunate part of this whole equation is that for many collectors — particularly those not part of the prospecting crowd — this card would have been an easy buying/selling point for the product without being immensely rare or any tougher than any other mini card. Like 2010 Bowman showed, the interest and demand for Strasburg cards right now isn’t limited to the rarest of the rare or just the autographed cards. The reasonable possibility of landing a standard Strasburg card has had plenty of collectors buying more packs and boxes than they typically would — and it has created a healthy secondary market for unopened retail boxes.

Allen & Ginter has its own pre-made collecting base — one with different buying and selling habits (typically a long-term hold instead of a sale) — one that hasn’t perhaps tapped into Strasburg-mania just yet. The madness wouldn’t die down if the card in this product were easily attainable — not yet.

While it’s compelling to consider the possibilities if Strasburg is a retail-only inclusion in Ginter, I’d think it to be less likely among the potential scenarios.

But, again, Topps isn’t talking — perhaps you guys, the collectors, will have something to say?

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

16 Comments so far
Leave a comment

We have a Strasburg Mini posted on our Blowoutcards Auction Tracker. The 2nd posting but the card was pulled last night after bidding reached $1000

Comment by Blowoutcards

There were two auctions. Both pulled. They apparently used the image I posted yesterday.

Comment by chrisolds

Not sure why, but this makes me chuckle. I hope Strasburg is NOT in this product … feel bad for those who have been busting like crazy, though.

Comment by Newspaperman

Was thinking about this again … it’s possible that the Strasburg cards didn’t make it into the early runs, therefore none have been pulled yet. There’s no way that Topps simply made that big of an error here, they HAVE to be in there, right?

Comment by Newspaperman

If 100 cases were lacking because of a collation issue, there will be 100 cases with twice as many as there should be down the line somewhere… can I get one of those (if it exists)?

Comment by chrisolds

Well, that’s a legitimate conspiracy theory … if the first run didn’t have it and people busted them, then even more people will be busting figuring they are all in the second or later.

Comment by Newspaperman

Common sense says their silence right now is that they’re trying to figure out what went wrong — if something did go wrong. They print their cards in Texas, so it’s not exactly a quick trip from HQ in New York to the printing plant.

Comment by chrisolds

I hit one. Im absolutly thrilled. It took 10 boxes before the hit.

Comment by don davis

I hit one ? One what ? a mini what did you hit ?

Comment by Jeff

I stopped by a local shop in Katy,TX on 7/14/10 I bought three packs of the Allen & Ginter. The second pack I opened had 3 RC and low and behold the Strasburg mini RC. I was so excited this is by far the best pull I have ever had in my collecting days. So now I am stuck trying to figure out what to do with it. I could use some right now money for this card while it is hott! But would it be more valuable down the road? Or will it fizzle and be worth less? I don’t know I am stuck with excitement!!

Comment by Chris Bryson

I pulled a Allen Ginter Strasburg mini from a Hot box at a Target. Sorry guys, i just got lucky.

Comment by Dave

believe it or not…I bought a box in one town and pulled a strasburg mini then bougt a single pack in another town and pulled it again. I had 2 of them at the same time. haven’t seen another though.

Comment by derrick

I have a 2010 Francisco Liriano Printing Plate for sale or trade if anyone is interested

Comment by billy

My son found one in a pack he got in his christmas stocking! We’re sending it in to be graded by Beckett post-haste.

Comment by Roxanne

[…] to the set.  However, early on it seemed that Strasburg simply wasn’t found.  Beckett reported on the situation with one seller in Arkansas reporting that he had opened 25 cases and another dealer 13, finding a […]

Pingback by How Has Exclusivity Affected Topps and 2011 Topps Marketing « Field Level View

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: