Since 2006, Topps Allen & Ginter's World Champions sets featured not only baseball players, but in tribute to the original 1886 product, it included historical subjects, world champions from various sports and events, actors/actresses, broadcasters, even inventions (like the revolving door) and places (Area 51).
After the first couple of years, when Topps included champions like the guy with the air guitar champion (really), to the world record card stacker, to the guys who conquered Donkey Kong and Pac Man, as well as Hobby Bloggers who cracked the Ginter Code (no one's cracked the last one...maybe everyone stopped caring about that poor guy floating through time). But I felt that in recent years, that they were really stretching for champions to include in the set.
This year's edition is coming out this week. As usual, it is a 350-card set, 50 cards are going to be short-printed. But after going through the checklist, there are 47-non baseball subjects amongst the current and retired players scattered within the set? They range from businessmen to actors, from comedians to broadcasters. Yes there are some sports champions too. But check out the list of people who are in this set, and ask yourself...
HOW DO I GET IN ON THIS ACTION??!
I swear, for some of these people, I had to look them up to see what they've done. Shows that I don't pay much as much attention to pop culture as I used to:
- 287 Chuck Zito, Actor (Carlito's Way, Sons of Anarchy)
- 119 Felicia Day, Actress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Red: Werewolf Hunter)
- 70 Dr. James Andrews, Surgeon (helped to continue the careers of many injured athletes)
- 259 Jim Calhoun, Basketball Coach (former coach of the UConn men's basketball team)
- 283 Gar Ryness, Batting Stance Guy (Internet sensation who's major talent is copying the stances of baseball players)
- 241 Dave Portnoy, Blogger (Barstool Sports)
- 267 Kevin Clancy, Blogger (Barstool Sports)
- 211 Mark Roth, Bowler (PBA Hall of Famer)
- 118 Adam Schefter, Broadcaster (ESPN-NFL)
- 164 Jenny Dell, Broadcaster (CBS Sports-NFL)
- 262 Mike Pereira, Broadcaster (former VP of Officiating-NFL)
- 81 Larry King, Broadcaster (legendary interviewer at CNN, now with RT America News)
- 89 Chuck Todd, Broadcaster (NBC Chief White House Correspondent)
- 28 Bill Rancic, Businessman (winner of the first "The Apprentice," works with the Trump Organization)
- 22 Michael Eisner, Businessman (former CEO of Disney, now runs the Tornante Group. Along with Madison Dearborn Partners, purchased The Topps Company in 2007).
- 265 Sam Calagione, Businessman (founder of Dogfish Head Brewery)
- 210 Anthony Bourdain, Chef, Author, and World Traveler (No Reservations, Off Limits, Layover)
- 216 Matt Besser, Comedian/Actor (Upright Citizens Brigade)
- 238 Bert Kreischer, Comedian/Actor (Travel Channel's Bert The Conqueror, and host of Flip Trip)
- 30 Judah Friedlander, Comedian/Actor (30 Rock)
- 276 Samantha Briggs, Fitness Champion (CrossFit Champ, "Fittest Woman on Earth")
- 273 Danielle Kang, Golfer (2-time US Women's Amateur Champion, LGPA Tour)
- 254 Maria Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe (Venezuela, won 2013 Miss Universe)
- 112 Erin Brady, Miss USA (Connecticut, won 2013 Miss USA, represented country in 2013 Miss Universe)
- 23 Snoop Lion, Musician (aka Snoop Dogg)
- 180 Ryan Riess, Poker Champion (won the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event)
- 224 Tanner Foust, Racecar Driver (X-Games racing champion, hosts American version of BBC hit Top Gear)
- 125 Glen Waggoner, Rotisserie Baseball Co-Creator (for you fantasy baseball guys, thank him and others for creating this segment of the baseball fandom)
- 160 Daniel Okrent, Rotisserie Baseball Co-Creator (ditto for this guy...and about six other guys as well)
- 153 The Iron Sheik, Pro Wrestler (WWE)
- 214 Carli Lloyd, Soccer Player (two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, plays for the Western New York Flash in the NWSL...not to be confused with the volleyball player of the same name)
- 213 Allyson Felix, Sprinter (won the 2012 gold medal in 200 Meters at the London Olympics, medaled in 100 meters and 400 meters, as well as various women's relay teams)
- 6 Laura Phelps Sweatt, Powerlifter (record breaking powerlifter, can bench press over 700 lbs)
- 62 Diana Nyad, Long-distance swimmer (recently swam from Cuba to Florida at the age of 64)
- 95 Austin Wierschke, Texting Champion (17-year-old "Fastest Texter in the World")
- 176 Anthony Robles, Wrestler (2010-11 NCAA Wrestling champ 125-lbs)
- 188 Jordan Oliver, Wrestler (Schalles Award winer 2012, Oklahoma State University)
- 191 Jordan Burroughs, Wrestler (Olympic and World champion in freestyle wrestling)
- 271 Chuck Klosterman, Writer (columnist for Esquire Magazine and ESPN.com)
- 152 Vince Gilligan, Writer/Director (credits include Breaking Bad and The X-Files)
- 52 Kevin Smith, Writer/Director (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob, Dogma)
- 88 Buffalo Bill Cody (Wild West Legend)
- 46 John L. Sullivan (bare-knuckle boxing champion)
- 100 Queen Victoria (Queen of England from 1837-1901)243 Hellen Keller (blind and deaf since birth, became a renowned writer, and inspiration for The Miracle Worker)
- 302 Polar Vortex (if you survived this past winter, you know exactly what this is)
- 341 Barbed Wire (invented and patented in 1864)
- Mr. Eisner finally has his Topps card (unlike that other company's sour grapes attempt in 2007)
- Bert the Conqueror and Anthony Bourdain join Adam Richman as reps for the Travel Channel. Hopefully next year, they'll have the Ghost Adventures Crew.
- Nothing against the "Bloggers," but until today, I've never heard of Barstool Sports. Hey Topps, how about putting some of the Hobby Bloggers on future sets, and I don't just mean the Ginter Code Champs?
- I get the athletic/competitive champions, but I think they're really stretching on the broadcasters and actors. None of the broadcasters cover MLB (maybe Dell when she was with NESN). And Chuck Todd??!