Ichiro’s first Yankees cards coming soon


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Ichiro Suzuki‘s New York Yankees career is just two games old and that means it’s time for one thing.

His first Yankees baseball cards.

Topps, the lone licensee of MLB cards, will include him in pinstripes in at least four upcoming releases — the first being 2012 Topps Update, which arrives in October.

Update will include the 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder on a short-printed variation card as well as in some of the insert sets when it arrives on Oct. 3. In addition, there will be a manufactured patch card noting his arrival in New York to be found in the product.

In Bowman Chrome, which arrives on Oct. 17, the Japanese star will be found as a Yankee on his basic Chrome card, while there will be another manufactured patch card found as a bonus hit in some boxes.

In the high-end Topps Five Star brand, which is set to arrive on Oct. 31, the newest member of the 27-time World Series champs will be seen as a Yankee on his base card as well as on another manufactured patch card.

Lastly, Bowman Sterling, which is set to arrive on Dec. 12, will include a manufactured patch card as a bonus hit in some boxes.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. RJ 25 July, 2012 at 11:58

    This is why monopolies are terrible for trading cards … Topps has now taken two desirable base cards (Bryce Harper RC and Ichiro Yankees card) and made them short prints, meaning you have to bust a ton of wax or spend a lot of money on singles to get them to technically complete your “base set.”

    Many people I know collect base Topps and only base Topps, and this just seems greedy on their part.

    If there were any other legit competitors I have a feeling they wouldn’t be doing this, because somebody could just say, “well, I’m just going to get his first Yankees card in Upper Deck Series 2 (or whatever, fill in the product) and not bother with Topps.”

  2. chrisolds 25 July, 2012 at 12:09

    RJ: MLB can choose to license the right to make its cards out to any number of companies. It chose to only use Topps.

  3. zotster 25 July, 2012 at 12:13

    I also am getting tired of Topps’ super SP cards. I hate the fact I’ll probably never fully complete my Topps Archives set because of the super SP #241 Bryce Harper card. For regular Topps, I got a factory set so I’d have at least one version of his #661 card. Now there’s this Ichiro card I won’t be getting.

    I don’t have a problem with SP variations like Topps did with some rookies this year, because at least then you can just collect the regular version. But these super SP add-ons to what should be the most collector-friendly issue of the year are really getting frustrating and annoying.

  4. Swingkat 25 July, 2012 at 12:58

    Speaking of short prints and super short prints, why don’t they number these? Besides, sadly, the best I’ve ever pulled was /50. Which, I guess for someone who doesn’t have a lot of money isn’t too bad, but one of these days I’d like to see my investments paid off…

  5. bearcatlawjd 25 July, 2012 at 13:07

    I don’t mind the SP legends in the 2011 issue of Topps but I have stayed away from Topps 2012 because it has been more of the same but only worse. I actually like Topps 2011 with its SP’s and loads of parallels.

    Ichiro as an Yankee is going to be a money card and a safer bet over the long run than the series one SP that featured a squirrel.

    Most people would love to see MLB grant a license to another company, Upper Deck, Panini, and Leaf would be logical choices to get a license. Panini being the one in the best shape out of that group.

  6. JonathanI 25 July, 2012 at 13:08

    Competition is not often a bad thing for consumers; monopolies are not often good things for consumers. When my water company told me they were increasing the cost of my water by 25%, what could I do? If Topps says, “The only way to get an Ichiro Yankee card is to stand on your head and sing the alphabet,” what could we do?

    I understand MLB has every right to do business this way, but I do not see how this is good for baseball card fans.

    When the sole proprietor limits quantity and creates false hype and demand, that is like some kid kicking over your lemonade stand so he can make more money at his own. If he is the only player on the block this hot and sunny day, people will pay more for the same lemonade.

    Would it not be interesting if each company was allowed only one RC per player? Think about that: One rookie card per player, per year, while Topps is in charge of everything. Who wants that? I would, more than Topps putting multiple RCs out there for the same player under different brand names. No competition = no creativity.

  7. Josiah Cecil 25 July, 2012 at 13:11

    I totally think MLB should give licenses to others like in the past, no offense to Topps but it is getting ridiculous looking at only Topps Baseball cards, I remember how fun it was to be able to open a several different packs and to see all the different card designs and layouts. Oh the good ol days

  8. Michael Chase 25 July, 2012 at 14:48

    I think Topps should SP the entire 2013 flagship brand. No seriously, they should. Then maybe people would shut up about the whole SP thing and realize you can’t have everything. Sorry, I just hate comments that seem to want to suck the fun and life out of collecting cards.

  9. RJ 25 July, 2012 at 14:49

    Chris, I get that … but it still doesn’t mean it’s not a monopoly, and it still doesn’t mean that Topps is taking advantage of the situation by short printing some pretty obviously desirable cards … see the post from zotster directly after yours, it’s exactly what I’m talking about.

    In my opinion, Topps may end up actually losing revenue by continuing to do this.

    For example, in Topps Series 2 this year, I was interested in a Pujols Angels card, a Cespedes rookie and a Darvish rookie. I happened to pull them all in one of those $9.99 blister packs.

    Knowing the Harper was a nearly impossible pull, I decided not to bother with any more packs/boxes. Yet if Harper was just a base RC, I would have kept buying the blisters/blasters until I pulled one.

    Same with Ichiro in the update series. I’ve always been a fan of his, but I can’t see busting much of it at all.

    Buying the singles on the secondary market will be much cheaper in the long run, and obviously Topps doesn’t get a cut of that (although they had some revenue by whoever bought the product originally to pull the singles, but you get my point.)

  10. RJ 25 July, 2012 at 14:49

    I meant “it still doesn’t mean that Topps is NOT taking advantage of the situation by short printing some pretty obviously desirable cards” in the post above, sorry.

  11. zotster 25 July, 2012 at 21:52

    “Sorry, I just hate comments that seem to want to suck the fun and life out of collecting cards.”

    … Interestingly, my point is that these super SPs in the base brand are sucking the fun and life out of collecting cards for me. I’ve been collecting Topps base baseball sets every year since 1975. When it gets to the point that I can’t even do that any more, I’m out of this hobby, and I’m taking the couple of thousand dollars I spend on various products each year with me. Over the years, I’ve heard from many people who have already done just that.

    After all, the goal of any collector, however broad or narrow your focus or whatever you collect, is to get one of everything. Once that goal becomes impossible, or the chase too costly, it stops being fun and there’s no point in continuing to do it.

    Every single fracking other product ever made these days has SP rookies, etc., in it. Is it really too much to ask to have just one fun brand to collect where obtaining a fully complete set isn’t unreasonably costly?

  12. joe 26 July, 2012 at 15:31

    Personally for me, due to the Super Short Prints I decided to just buy the factory set, I will most likely do the same for this years football. This kind of sucks for me because I like opening boxes. I have a hand colated set from 1983-2010 (83-94 I got from my brother).2011 I purchased a factor set and I did the same this year and I will continue to do this as long as there are SSP. I will still buy a few boxes because I like the Golden Giveaway promo and autographs. So, Topps has lost my $1600 (give or take a few $100) on my usual two case of Topps Jumbo.

  13. RJ 26 July, 2012 at 17:55

    “I think Topps should SP the entire 2013 flagship brand. No seriously, they should. Then maybe people would shut up about the whole SP thing and realize you can’t have everything. Sorry, I just hate comments that seem to want to suck the fun and life out of collecting cards.”

    Yeah, because it’s SO enjoyable to know you can’t actually pull Bryce Harper’s Topps RC without spending potentially hundreds of dollars on boxes or at least $150-$250 on a single.

    Think about it — he’s potentially the best baseball prospect ever (if you believe the hype), and Topps is historically the best-known and time-tested baseball card manufacturer ever — shouldn’t you be able to buy two Topps packs at the store and pull a Bryce Harper RC?

    How FUN would that be?

    Good luck with that.

    You are exactly right, you can’t have everything … especially a Bryce Harper RC or an Ichiro Yankees card because Topps is taking advantage of its monopoly — and sorry, that’s a fact.

    As for Topps trying to make up for it by saying “well, gee, you can plop down $50 for a factory set and get one guaranteed” — further abuse of its monopoly.

  14. Rob Braxton 29 July, 2012 at 07:27

    The Update set is stupid. ‘Update’?, when the info on the back of the cards are for LAST SEASON? … one word – stupid.

  15. Joel Hoffman 11 September, 2012 at 02:12

    I am a Mariner fan and am excited for Ichiro’s chance now with the Yank’s. We have many cards of his all ready and I was looking forward to some of his new ones. But from the sound of this it will never happen. Common Chris, what about us random, simple, fans?

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