By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor
Japanese superstar and future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki has been traded to the New York Yankees.
Seattle will receive pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquar, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network, and the Yankees are set to play the Mariners tonight in Seattle at 10:10 p.m. Eastern, so his debut in pinstripes could come very, very soon. [Evening Update: He hit eighth for the Yankees, wearing No. 31, smacking a single to center field in his first at-bat before immediately stealing a base, too.]
Ichiro’s certified autographs are particularly rare. He has signed just 149 certified autographs since 2001 with his rights currently held by Leaf. Meanwhile, he appears on 1,478 memorabilia cards.
Topps‘ plans for Ichiro’s first fully licensed Yankees cards could come very soon, according to VP Mark Sapir.
“Soon,” he said. “Hope [for] tomorrow.”
On cardboard, Ichiro appears on 9,233 cards valued at more than $209,641 — most of them coming since his 2001 debut with the Mariners. (Need an Ichiro checklist or OPG? Click here.) His Japanese debut came in the 1993 BBM set, a card valued at $120, while he has 49 MLB Rookie Cards — the best being his 2001 Ultimate Collection card, which sells for $2,200 or less and is limited to just 250 autographed copies.
As the dust settles on this surprising one, we simply want to know what you think this means for his baseball cards.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.