By looking at the BGS Population Reports (as of 4/21/11), the Allen & Ginter submissions have historically graded very high throughout their five-year history. With a decent sample size of 1,118 base cards submitted, 80% of the base cards have been returned to their owner with a 9.5 or 10.0 overall grade. The largest sample sizes were in 2006 and 2007, and those years measured at a 79% and 85% rate, respectively. With a relatively weak base set compared to other years, it’s no surprise that the 2009 set has the lowest level of submission (72) and the lowest level of BGS 9.5/10 return rate (63%).
The bulk of the base cards don’t command a high value, so the set provides you with the opportunity to add some unique graded rookie cards to your collection at a manageable cost. The 2007 set included rookie cards of Tim Lincecum and Daisuke Matsuzaka, and both cards carry a low ungraded book cost with very high return rates (93% and 84%, respectively). The most recent release of Allen & Ginter contained rookie cards for two NL studs in Jason Heyward and Buster Posey, who have put up staggering numbers on the field and in the BGS grading rates (87% and 98%, respectively).
As a collector of BGS graded cards, I know that it often helps to look at the numbers to determine what non-graded cards to purchase in the hope of getting them graded at a high level. Based on my analysis, it’d be difficult to find a more consistent and unique product set to add to your BGS graded collection than the Topps Allen & Ginter cards.