Ichiro Suzuki to make Topps auto debut in Ginter

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

He’s appeared on more than 10,000 different baseball cards as a star in both Japan and Major League Baseball. He’s working his way toward 3,000 hits in MLB despite not arriving until he was 27 years old.

But there’s one thing that Ichiro Suzuki has never done before — sign a baseball card to be placed into Topps packs.

All that changes this summer when 2015 Allen & Ginter arrives from Topps with the company’s first autographed cards in packs. He’ll appear on a card as a member of the Seattle Mariners, another as a New York Yankee and a third as a Miami Marlin.

Ichiro%20Marlins

“We’ve worked hard to get this deal done over the past decade and have come close many times,” said David Leiner, Topps Vice President of Finance and Operations. “This is a special day for Topps and its collectors, and I want to personally thank Ichiro and his management team for their help in making this happen.”

Suzuki appears on 338 different cards in the Beckett database and his overall card total books for $220,976 (excluding rarities).

Later this season, Suzuki autographs will be found in Supreme, Triple Threads, Five Star, Dynasty and High Tek as well as other brands. Suzuki had not appeared on any Topps cards of any kind since 2012.

Allen & Ginter is scheduled to arrive on July 22.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisolds2009.

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18 comments

  1. phillies_joe 12 May, 2015 at 11:41

    Man…that auto is a piece of junk! Topps sb ashamed of themselves for not requiring something that at least hints that it’s an autograph and not a 1year olds scribble – scrabble. I dislike A&G to begin with….this just throws more wood onto the fire. (good luck to all you Ichiro fans though……..)

  2. The Card Investor 12 May, 2015 at 12:48

    Haters gotta hate. How about you amass over 4000 hits at a professional level and then you can criticize someone else’s autograph. No fault of Topps. This is just how Ichiro’s autograph is. You can take it or leave it.

  3. John Bissell 12 May, 2015 at 13:31

    I have to agree with Phillies_Joe here. I love Ichiro, but that autograph is horrendous. There is nothing that looks even remotely like a letter in that scribble.

    I couldnt even amass 1 hit at the professional level, but I dont think its too much to ask a player who makes money by signing baseball cards to make it at least look like an “I” at the beginning.

  4. Richard 12 May, 2015 at 13:56

    Complain all you like, but I’ll take THAT signature over the guys that do a check mark on an X.
    And the nice part about his autograph, its gonna be tough to counterfeit.
    1st round HOF member and anyone that does not vote him in deserves to lose his vote.

  5. keith 12 May, 2015 at 17:49

    I think you folks forget that not only is English not his first language, but his native language is actually written in characters that are not similar in style as English characters.

    And while I am also disappointed in the way that his signature has evolved over the years, I’ll gladly take if any of you others think it’s too childish looking.

  6. I8Skittelz 13 May, 2015 at 00:10

    That signature is actually pretty complex, there’s more ink in it then most. Ichiro doesn’t sign much, Id love to have his auto for my PC.

  7. dan 13 May, 2015 at 00:34

    Why in the world would Topps be ashamed that Ichiro signs his name that way? It’s clearly not their fault. That’s the logic of a one-year old.

    You’re upset that something called someone’s “SIGNATURE” doesn’t conform to how you think it should look. Let that sink in.

  8. Glenn Wills 13 May, 2015 at 10:45

    Am I the only one who’d be thrilled if he signed some of the cards in Japanese?

  9. phillies_joe 13 May, 2015 at 11:55

    Not a hater at all…….what does me hitting a baseball have to do with my critique of possibly pulling a once in a lifetime card of an iconic player with an autograph that is truly unsatifying to look at?

    Sorry to burst your bubble but I’m not upset at all….just disappointed.

  10. Charlie 13 May, 2015 at 13:08

    I’m not upset – just disappointed? Those are synonyms…

    I agree with the rest – it’s his signature, if you don’t like it that’s fine, but it’s certainly not Topps fault.

  11. Joe 16 May, 2015 at 18:50

    That has to be the ugliest autograph ever. It’s not even Japanes writting. But if I pulled it I sure would keep it.

  12. Ed Kelly 17 May, 2015 at 10:33

    Regarding Ichiros autograph just like most modern pro players it has evolved from a legible clean autograph to a piece of scribble. I have examples of Ichiros early autographs and he clearly writes his name easily in English and it is much more legible than this current poor excuse of what one would call an autograph. For example take a look at his SPX autograph jersey rookie card and you will see his signature is much cleaner and better on all of these cards.

    When my daughter looks at my Mickey Mantle autograph she asks who is this Mickey Mantle Dad?
    When she looks a Ichiros auto she looks confused and walks away. Our iconic players of the modern age would do well to respect the old school players penmanship and their obvious respect for the fans and baseball history.

    The fans of tomorrow will read autographs of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Roger Maris, Ted Williams and even the infamous Ty Cobb and their curiosity will be stimulated.

    The fans of tomorrow will pick up a autographed baseball and read squiggle, squiggle ………….and more squiggle and just walk away!

    With that said I am Ichiros number 1 fan and have thousands of his cards!
    The least these players could do is sign a 1/1 with a FREAKEN legible signature. Better yet limited runs of less than 10 cards would show some respect.

    I no longer collect any scribblers autos! Hurray for Pete Rose a true hall of famer and a man who respects the game and his fans! If they put him in the hall of fame after he dies like Ron Santo I will walk away from baseball.

  13. Ed Kelly 17 May, 2015 at 10:41

    Regarding ichiros latest autographs they are a poor excuse for a autograph . His earlier autograph cards are much more legible and he can clearly sign his name better. He is an iconic player and one for the ages so he would do well to take a lesson from the great players of the past.

    Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron etc Who how to sign their freaking names!
    He understood the meaning of baseball history and good penmanship!

  14. Ed Kelly 17 May, 2015 at 10:52

    Please talk to each Ichiros agent and convince him that not having Topps Heritage baseball cards to chronicle the last years of his MLB career is a huge mistake! I love that last card with the players entire career stats laid out on a piece of cardboard magic. I love Donruss and am a huge diamond kings fan but nobody chronicles baseball history like Topps Heritage!

  15. keith 18 May, 2015 at 13:05

    referencing pete rose as a man who respects the game and his fans is pretty ironic…before his decent into banishment it was said (and yes, this is hearsay), that he used to boast that he’d give the requests for autographs to his maid to sign. and if I’m not mistaken, he only signs a ton of things now because he needed the money.

    but that’s detracting away from the original argument. yes, ichrio’s autograph has changed over the years, but it’s still about the same as when he first hit the league, back in 2001. you couldn’t read it then, you can’t read it now. BUT, if you’re going to not collect something that was illegible, then that cuts out about all of today’s youth…they don’t know how to write, much less sign their names because most of them type. it’s a lost art form.

  16. varjak_paul 18 May, 2015 at 17:24

    The impressive thing is that while there is seemingly no logic to his scribble, it is very consistent signature to signature and there clearly is time taken to do so. Great to see Ichiro’s autograph available, and excited for more examples.

  17. Ed Kelly 19 May, 2015 at 22:59

    Well Keith I guess I can only say strongly disagree. I can read my 2001 SPX Ichiro rookie and I can’t read the scribble on the new Allen and Ginter cards. Take another look. I see a I C H I R and O clearly on the 2001 and I see only scribble on the 2015.

    Regarding the youth you rub shoulders with where are you digging them up. In my circle of youngsters I see one going to a surgical residency, another finishing a masters in psychology and a third who is a Rhodes scholar. They can all read and write a little.

    The hall of fame has a murderer, a rapist, wife beaters and racists who are members much like our historical US congress. Ty Cobb once went into the stands during a mlb game and beat a man in a wheel chair. Oh and this is not hearsay. I think Pete Rose is definitely not perfect but he looks like a saint compared to these guys. He bet for his team to win and you can’t argue with 4256 hits if I remember correctly. Let him in. At least Pete looks you in the eyes when he signs an autograph unlike Randy Johnson who I appreciate as probably the best left handed pitcher of all time but needs a lesson on meet and greet especially when he “signs on” to meet fans while charging them 125$ for illegible scribble.

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