In the world of sports memorabilia, collectors are always on the lookout for unique and significant pieces. One such standout in the 2023 Bowman Draft Baseball set is the inclusion of a card featuring none other than Tom Brady, the iconic NFL quarterback. Topps, the renowned trading card company, is promoting this card as Brady’s first official baseball card. While this claim holds true when considering fully completed cards distributed in packs, it’s not the first time Brady has appeared on a baseball card issued by Topps.
The initial instance of Brady’s presence on a baseball card goes back to 2014 when Topps released the Five Star Baseball set. Among the cards in this set were autographs of Brady, although they were included as redemptions in packs. Unfortunately, nine years later, these redemptions remain unfulfilled, leaving collectors eagerly awaiting their redemption. It’s worth noting that other prominent quarterbacks like John Elway and Dan Marino, who were also drafted by MLB teams, were part of the original checklist.
The 2014 release was significant as it marked the final season that Topps held the licenses for both the NFL and NFLPA before Panini acquired exclusive rights. This changing of hands may explain the delay in releasing the autographed cards in question. However, for collectors who have been eagerly waiting, the reasons behind the delay may offer little consolation.
Fast forward to 2023, with Tom Brady retired from football and now under an exclusive autograph deal with Fanatics, the current owner of Topps. Brady takes center stage in the Bowman Draft set, which includes a total of 81 signed cards featuring him. These cards come in different versions, such as the Gold Refractor (limited to 50 copies), Orange Refractors (limited to 25 copies), Red Refractors (limited to 5 copies), and even a one-of-one Superfractor. Some cards even feature unique inscriptions, making them even more prized possessions for collectors.
In addition to the signed versions, there’s also a rare unsigned card that showcases a young Brady donning a Montreal Expos uniform. This card pays homage to the time when Brady was drafted as a catcher by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. However, Brady ultimately chose college football instead, leading to a legendary career in the NFL.
While collectors eagerly anticipate the release of the 2023 Bowman Draft Tom Brady cards, there remains a lingering curiosity about the fate of the 2014 Topps Five Star redemption. Those who have been patiently waiting for updates have reached out to Topps representatives inquiring about the production status of these autographed cards. All eyes are on any future updates that will be shared with the passionate collecting community.
As the elusive autographed redemption cards from 2014 continue to create a sense of anticipation among collectors, the arrival of the 2023 Bowman Draft Baseball cards featuring Tom Brady marks an exciting moment for both football and baseball enthusiasts. These cards not only depict a significant chapter in Brady’s career but also serve as precious pieces of sports memorabilia that will undoubtedly find their way into the treasured collections of avid fans.