2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Non-Baseball Autographs Guide
One of the things that makes Allen & Ginter a different product for collectors is the wide variety of topics covered in each box. This even extends to people, places and things outside of the normal baseball card world. 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter carries on this tradition with a large checklist of non-baseball autograph subjects.
The full checklist includes 42 framed autographs and one full-size autograph for a total of 43 cards. Although the lineup might not appear as strong as previous editions, the diverse group of signers offers collectors plenty of options. Collectors can also find relic cards for most of the subjects in 2014 Allen & Ginter.
The following guide takes a look at each of the signers and includes a brief bio. In addition to the base version, red ink autographs, hand numbered to ten, are also available. Check back as card images for each subject will be added when available.
2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Non-Baseball Autographs
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A famed celebrity chef, you might be familiar with Bourdain from his best-selling book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, or perhaps from one of his television shows, including Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, The Layover, or Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Hardly family friendly, Bourdain is known for his somewhat-combative personality and fondness for exotic dishes.
Allyson Felix is one of the top short-distance runners in US track and field. Her total Olympic medal count includes four gold medals and two silver medals, including the gold in the 200 meters at the 2012 Olympics. Felix was previously featured in 2012 Topps US Olympic Team product, including relics and autographs.
A wrestling champion, Anthony Robles is particularly noteworthy because he accomplished this feat with only one leg. Robles was the 2010-11 NCAA individual champion in the 125-pound weight class despite being born with one leg.
Although he has shown no athletic ability, millions of sports fans know Adam Schefter due to his insider information. The ESPN analyst is one of the best sources for breaking NFL news and regularly appears on ESPN's football coverage.
Texting is something that most people do on a daily basis, and Austin Wierschke just so happens to be one of the fastest texters in the United States. Wierschke claimed the domestic crown in both 2011 and 2012, winning a $50,000 prize each year. His 2012 win saw him complete the 149-character message, including correct capitalization and punctuation, in only 39 seconds.
While the name might not seem familiar, many people have likely heard his story. In 1997, Bert Kreischer was in his sixth year of college at Florida State and he was featured in a Rolling Stone article about partying. The article purportedly became the basis for the movie Van Wilder. Kreischer later made the move to acting and stand-up comedy, hosting and appearing in a variety of shows.
Fans of the Donald Trump reality show, The Apprentice, will remember Bill Rancic as the first person hired by Trump following the inaugural season of the popular show. He has since co-hosted several television shows, including Giuliana and Bill, which pairs him with his wife, Giuliani DePandi Rancic. Bill Rancic had a previous autograph card released in 2005 Comic Images The Apprentice.
An author and columnist, Chuck Klosterman has covered various topics in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine and on ESPN.com. He has also written several books that focus on popular culture, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, and his most current release, I Wear the Black Hat.
Carli Lloyd is an accomplished soccer player with the US Women's National Team and is a member of the Western New York Flash in the NWSL. Playing for the US team, Lloyd won two Olympic gold medals along with silver and bronze FIFA World Cup medals. Carli Lloyd autographs were included along with other US Women's Soccer members in 2012 Panini Americana Heroes & Legends.
The man with two first names, Chuck Todd is a mainstay in the political television realm. He is the Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News and the host of The Daily Rundown, as well as an on-air political analyst for several NBC shows.
A former boxer, celebrity bodyguard and New York chapter president of the Hell Angels Motorcycle Club, Chuck Zito is an actor and radio personality. He sued FX for allegedly stealing his idea for a show about an outlaw motorcycle gang. The show in question was Sons of Anarchy. Although the suit was thrown out, Zito appeared in a reoccurring role on the show as Frankie Diamonds. Zito also appeared on the 2013 edition of Chopped with Danica Patrick, Tiki Barber and Natalie Coughlin. Chuck Zito autographs were previously featured in 2011 Leaf Pop Century and 2011 Leaf Muhammed Ali.
Danielle Kang is a current professional golfer. After attending Pepperdine University and winning the US Women's Amateur Golf Championship in consecutive years, Kang joined the LPGA Tour in 2012. Collectors can find additional autographs for Kang in 2012 Leaf Ultimate Golf.
An accomplished long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad rose to prominence after she swam around the island of Manhattan and later swam from The Bahamas to Florida. She made recent headlines in 2013 when she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, without the safety of a shark cage. Nyad also competed on the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars.
Although Daniel Okrent was the first public editor of the New York Times, many fantasy sports fanatics likely know him as the creator of Rotisserie League Baseball. Rotisserie was one of the earliest forms of fantasy baseball and Okrent is widely credited for starting the fantasy phenomenon that has swept modern sports.
You may have come across David Portnoy's brainchild without even realizing it. The University of Michigan alum created Barstool Sports, a sports and men's lifestyle blog. Known by many as "El Presidente," Portnoy's band of followers are called the "Stoolies" and have made Portnoy's site one of the most popular sport's blogs in the country.
One of the most well-known athletes on the checklist, Doug McDermott is a successful basketball player who graduated from Creighton and capped off his senior season by leading the NCAA in scoring and was named the consensus 2014 National Player of the Year. McDermott was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but he was quickly traded to the Chicago Bulls. McDermott has the one full-size autograph in the 2014 Allen & Ginter product.
Erin Brady is a beauty pageant contestant who was named Miss Connecticut and Miss USA in 2013. She also represented the United States at the Miss Universe 2013 pageant, finishing among the top ten.
A regular in the supernatural/sci-fi genre, Felicia Day is best know for playing "Vi" on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In addition to main roles in Eureka and Supernatural, Day is also an avid gamer and has own web series, The Guild, which is very popular. Collectors can find previous autographs for Felicia Day in 2012 Cryptozoic The Guild and 2003 Inkworks Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7.
Another beauty queen, Maria Gabriela Isler was crowned Miss Universe 2013 after winning Miss Venezuela 2012. Her win marked the third time in six years that someone from Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe.
A YouTube celebrity, Gar Ryness gained fame for his accurate portrayal of many ballplayers' batting stances. Ryness is more commonly known as "Batting Stance Guy" and has plenty of videos available on his website.
While Daniel Okrent is known as the creator of Rotisserie and fantasy baseball, Glen Waggoner is credited as the driving force behind its growth. Waggoner and Okrent were even invited to a 2005 event at the Baseball Hall of Fame in honor of the 25th anniversary of their creation. The red ink parallel is shown below for Waggoner.
Orthopedic surgeon to the stars, James Andrews has achieved a celebrity-level of recognition based on the many procedures and medical successes he has had with some of the biggest stars in professional sports. His patient list reads like an all-time sports hall of fame, including Tom Brady, Albert Pujols, Michael Jordan, Emmitt Smith, Roger Clemens, Bo Jackson, Brett Favre and many others.
Freestyle wrestling does not get the same publicity as other sports, but if you know anything about it, you have likely heard of Jordan Burroughs. Burroughs is the reigning gold medal holder with a top finish in the 2012 Olympics at 163 lbs. He also holds many international titles from 2011-2014, as well as two NCAA titles from his college days at the University of Nebraska.
The former head basketball coach for the University of Connecticut, Jim Calhoun is a legend in the college ranks and mentored future NBA players like Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Caron Butler, Emeka Okafor, Kemba Walker and Andre Drummond. Calhoun guided the team to three NCAA titles (1999,2004,2011), seven Big East Tournament titles, and ten Big East regular season titles during his career. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. Additionally, Calhoun's signed cards have been included in many Leaf and Upper Deck products over the years.
A popular sideline reporter, Jenny Dell first emerged as an in-game reporter with NESN for the Boston Red Sox. She announced in mid-2014 that she was joining CBS Sports as an NFL sideline reporter.
Best known as "Frank Rossitano" on 30 Rock, Judah Friedlander is an actor and stand-up comedian. His earliest recognition came from the Dave Matthews Band video, "Everyday," where he can be seen hugging people throughout the video. He has also appeared on popular television shows, including Spin City, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Flight of the Conchords, as well as movies like The Wrestler and American Splendor. Friedlander is a huge fan of soccer and narrated Inside: U.S Soccer's March to Brazil on ESPN.
Jordan Oliver is one of the top wrestlers at 145 lbs for Team USA. Prior to his time with USA Wrestling, Oliver enjoyed a successful run at Oklahoma State, winning the NCAA title in 2011 and 2013, and finishing second in 2012.
A blogger for David Portnoy and Barstool Sports, Kevin Clancy (aka KFC) also hosts his own radio show, KFC Radio. The former accountant described the site to his former college newspaper, The Fordham Ram, as "a localized version for each city of ESPN, Maxim, and TMZ all mixed together.” The card for Clancy is shown below without the frame.
No stranger to the Hollywood scene, Kevin Smith is best known as a director, writer and actor. His breakout directorial performance, Clerks, put him on the map, and he followed that up with other cult favorites, like Clerks II, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. Smith even played the role of "Silent Bob," and has also appeared in other small roles in many of his movies.
Few people have enjoyed the career success that Larry King has experienced in his life. King got his start in journalism and radio in the 1950s and has been going strong since then. Most are likely familiar with his long-running talk show, Larry King Live, which was on the air for 25 years. Now in his eighties, King does not appear to be slowing down. In 2012, he started a production company, Ora TV, and also anchors a show for RT America. Other autographed cards for Larry King can be found in 2004 Playoff Honors and 2007 Donruss Americana.
She may not be a household name, but Laura Phelps Sweatt might just be the strongest woman in the world. The bodybuilder and powerlifter has been setting and breaking world records for years and keeps getting stronger. Some of her notable lifts include 540 pounds on bench press and a 775-pound squat.
The Upright Citizens Brigade is an improv and sketch comedy group that has earned critical acclaim for the Chicago comedy scene. Matt Besser is one of the founding members of the group, which counts Amy Poehler, Adam McKay and Horatio Sanz among its alumni. Besser and Poehler, along with other members of the group, later formed an Upright Citizens Brigade show on Comedy Central that ran for several seasons. Also a writer and actor, Besser has appeared in a variety of movies and portrays "Crazy Ira" in a reoccurring role on the TV show Parks and Recreation, which stars Amy Poehler.
The former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Michael Eisner held the position for over 20 years before retiring in 2005. During the first decade of his watch, Disney experienced a strong period of growth. Things did not end as well, but Eisner remains a successful executive with a net worth of over $1 billion. He has a close link to Topps cards as his investment firm, The Tornate Company, partnered with Madison Dearborn Partners to purchase Topps Company for $385 million in 2007. Eisner was previously included on a dual autograph with Arthur Shorin in 2008 Co-Signers.
If you watch the NFL on Fox, it is likely that Mike Pereira has appeared on your screen multiple times. Previously the VP of Officiating for the NFL, Pereira now acts as an on-air "rules analyst," providing live interpretation and explanation of NFL rules as they pertain to what's happening in the game.
One of the top professional bowlers of the 1970s and 1980s, Mark Roth was the four-time PBA Player of the Year and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2008, Roth was ranked fifth among the "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years." He also appeared in a small cameo role in the bowling cult classic, Kingpin. Mark Roth signatures can also be found in 2008 Rittenhouse Heroes & Legends Bowling.
Ryan Riess burst onto the professional poker scene in 2012, and by 2013, he had won the World Series of Poker Main Event. Reiss took home $8,361,570 thanks to his top finish, and is currently in the process of defending his title.
Normally referred to as "Sam," Samantha Briggs is a British fitness champion. She won the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games, but finished out of the top three in regional qualifying for 2014. This means that she did not earn an automatic spot in the 2014 finals.
If you have had a beer from Dogfish Head, then you owe a thanks to Sam Calagione. Calagione is the founder and president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Years earlier, the accomplished brewer appeared in a Levi's ad shot by photographer Richard Avedon.
Snoop Doggy Dogg. Snoop Dogg. Snoop Lion. No matter what name he goes by, Calvin Broadus remains a giant in the hip-hop and rap world. Dr. Dre gave Snoop his start in 1992 and he has been a prominent figure in the music world since then. Starting with Doggystyle in 1993, Snoop has produced 12 studio albums and four collaborative albums, selling over 30 million albums throughout his career. Snoop has also regularly appeared in movies, including roles in Training Day, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, and Scary Movie 5.
When LeBron James declares someone the best player in the NBA Draft, people take notice. The 6'1" point guard made his name at the University of Connecticut, winning two NCAA titles. In addition to being named the ACC Player of the Year and the Bob Cousy Award winner, Napier was voted the Final Four Most Outstanding Player and was a consensus First-Team All-American in 2014. Shabazz Napier was taken by the Charlotte Hornets with the 24th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but was later traded to the Miami Heat.
A standout in the rally and drift racing world, Tanner Foust is the most decorated rider in the history of the X Games, with nine total medals. He has also hosted multiple television shows, including Top Gear, and has acted as stunt car driver in many movies, such as Iron Man 2, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and The Dukes of Hazzard.
The Iron Sheik is the stage name for Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, a former wrestler in the WWF. After he started his career in Greco-Roman wrestling, Ali Vaziri moved to professional wrestling and used several ring names before settling on the The Iron Sheik. He is best known for defeating Bob Backlund, ending Backlund's six-year run as champion, and also was the wrestler that Hulk Hogan defeated for his first WWF Championship. Now in his seventies, The Iron Sheik has traded his wrestling moves for verbal assaults and continues his image as a heel on Twitter.
Last, but not least, Vince Gilligan worked on a little show that some of you may have come across in the last few years. Breaking Bad was arguably the biggest show on television when it ended in 2013, and Gilligan was the creator, head writer and executive producer on the show. Before Breaking Bad, Gilligan honed his craft as a writer for The X-Files. More recently, Gilligan made his acting debut on an episode of Community.