Topps was on hand at the Under Armour High School All-American Baseball Classic this past weekend in San Diego to give some of the top amateur ballplayers in the country some Major League treatment.
Some of the players were card collectors themselves just a few years ago.
After signing for Topps, they also had the opportunity to trade cards with each other so that each could have a complete set. Others were handed out to fans at the game.
Cards signed for Topps will be inserted into packs once the player is a professional and has signed a Topps contract. These cards will be sequentially numbered in foil stamping.
Over the first three years of the game, 88 of the 103 draft eligible players who competed in the Under Armour All-America Game were selected in the MLB Amateur Draft, including 18 first round picks.
Baseball Factory scouts thousands of high school players worldwide before selecting the athletes that make the All-America Game. Players are evaluated at events throughout the country, including the Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryouts, National Tournaments, National Showcases and National Teams. In addition, players are reviewed at outside events that include high school games, tournaments and summer leagues. From more than 400,000 high school baseball players, only 36 earn distinction as Under Armour All-Americans in 2011. The final players are selected by a committee of Baseball Factory scouts, led by Steve Bernhardt, executive vice president of baseball operations.
Infielder Yairo Munoz hit a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth to give the National squad a 6-4 lead. That would turn out to be the winning hit as the game was called due to another major rain storm that hit Chicago.
An MVP was chosen from each roster, with the player being presented with the “Under Armour Silver Spike Award.” Jesmuel Valentin from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy earned the honor for the game’s winning team, going 2-2 with a single, double, hit by pitch and walk. Baseball runs in Valentin’s family as he is the son of former 16-year MLB infielder Jose Valentin.
Former big league player and manager Larry Bowa managed the National squad while ex-big leaguer Billy Ripken piloted the American side and coached his nephew Ryan in the game.