The highly-touted Bryce Harper made his much-anticipated Major League debut Saturday and he did not disappoint. The 19-year old hit a double into deep center and showed off his amazing throwing arm.
Collectors hoping his basic “official” rookie card would be easy to find will not have that dream realized. Harper is being added as a short print because of what the company calls “limited timing” before the early June release. It appears to be a situation similar to the Albert Pujols/Jose Reyes inclusion in Topps I.
Here’s what collectors and fans can look forward to, according to the company:
Bowman Baseball – In addition to having an Autographed Prospect Card in retail and a Bowman Black Autograph in hobby, Harper will be Redemption # 2. The card, which will be limited to 100, will feature Harper in the RC design and will include his Autograph.
Topps Series 2 – Harper will be card # 661, but the card will be short printed. In addition, there will be an autographed variation of this Rookie Card in both hobby and retail. The autograph was on a sticker in the promotional photo issued by Topps.
Topps Archives – Collectors will find redemptions in both hobby and retail for Harper Fan Favorites autograph (on-card) and the young star will be included as a short printed base card (# 241).
Topps Tier One – 25 redemption cards will be inserted into packs for his “On the Rise” Autographed Rookie Card (on-card).
Allen & Ginter – A&G will include both Harper’s standard and mini base Rookie Cards at the regular rate. The product will also include Harper’s autograph. And for his Red Autograph limited to 10…those can be had by tearing open Rip Cards and finding the “Mystery Redemption” mini!
Complete Sets – Another #661 card, but with an all-new image.
Harper will have Autographed Rookie Cards in the remainder of all Topps 2012 MLB products.
Reaction from collectors and dealers included excitement about the impending boost Harper will give mid and late-season products but also cries of overkill.
“Harper is simply good business. His cards command top tier attention and value, and with the rare exception that he goes Pujols-like out of the gate, his cardstock will soon enough be second fiddle to others (more current prospect types). Yet, right now all the buzz is Harper and no one else comes close. Topps is simply giving collectors what they want, and milking the name (and image) of harper for all it’s worth, literally, while they still can.” –Freedom Cardboard Message Board
“So, Topps series 2 will have darvish, cespedes, & harper rookies. Pre-ordering yesterday!!!” -Blowout Cards Message Board
“This isn’t overkill at all. It isn’t overkill when NFL products have autograph rookies of top prospects like Cam Newton in every product or the NBA does it with a guy like Derrick Rose. This will only help the value of each of these products and may bring more people into the hobby. I understand criticizing Topps for some of their decisions, but this is a good idea with no down-side.” -Collector on Freedom Cardboard