Willie Mays Autographs Will Appear in 2012 Topps products

Topps has signed a multi-year autograph deal with  Willie Mays.

Willie Mays auto Topps Tribute Collectors will find signed Mays cards inside packs of 2012 Topps Baseball Series 1, which hits shelves early February.

Mays autographed cards will also be in 2012 products such as Topps Tribute, Gypsy Queen and others.  In addition, Topps will be issuing a variety of relic cards featuring the 80-year-old Hall of Famer, who belted 660 career home runs and has a lifetime average of .302.  He’s considered by many long-time observers to be the greatest all-around player ever.

Pulling a signed card from a pack might be the safest way to score a Mays autograph.  He’s been known to be prickly during some public autograph sessions in the past.

There’s no word on what Topps will pay the Sey Hey Kid for his services.

The Topps and Mays relationship dates back to its first major issue, when Mays appeared in the company’s famed 1952 Topps Baseball set.  He appeared on Topps cards for the next 21 seasons.