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Pele added to 2013 A&G set, joining Calipari and Kelly

Posted Jan 11, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 09:41 PM

Soccer great Pele will be included in the 2013 edition of Topps’ Allen & Ginter set, the company tweeted today on Twitter.

Also, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney has been added to the set.

Both will have autographs cards in the set. And so will Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, Notre Dame coach (for now) Brian Kelly and boxer Roy Jones Jr.

Other non-baseball subjects who will have autographs in the set (and this is not all-inclusive, it’s just from observation) are Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and boxer Roy Jones Jr.

Last week on Cardboard Connection Radio, Mark Sapir of Topps dropped some coy hints about what other non-baseball subjects would be signing. Here’s what he told the guys on Jan. 3:

One auto would be from one of the coaches from the 2013 BCS national championship game. That’s Kelly, which Topps has confirmed. Another would be one of the coaches from the 2012 NCAA basketball championship game. That’s Calipari.

The next hint: Soccer players, both current and past. Well, Pele already has been announced from the past. And then, a player from the New York Rangers when they won their last Stanley Cup in 1994. Mark Messier would be a nice autograph from that team. Or Mike Richter, or Sergei Zubov or even Adam Graves.

The next hint pointed toward some owners from both the NBA and Major League Baseball. The most visible owner in the NBA (and who probably would get the biggest kick from signing) is Mark Cuban. Sapir certainly did not deny (or confirm it) when asked by the radio guys. Now, MLB? Well, Magic Johnson is part of an ownership group now. But my guess would be Nolan Ryan. Certainly not Rays owner Stu Sternberg or Yankees boss Hal Steinbrenner.

“A commissioner” was another hint. Probably not Gary Bettman (NHL) or Roger Goodell (NFL); not sure if either one of those guys want to be signing much of anything these days. David Stern of the NBA is a good choice, and Bud Selig of MLB is an outside shot in my opinion. And of course, “commissioner” could mean someone outside the four major sports.

Hint number seven hinted at musicians. Well, the field is wide open there. My vote would be for Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney, but that’s about as likely as me getting their autographs in person. Or winning the Florida Lottery. But the choice was Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.

Final hint was “beautiful women.” That leaves the field wide open.

Anyway, it’s good for speculation purposes. Topps will continue to tease its readers with each new signing, which of course is an excellent strategy. Keeps the masses hungering for more.

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