Fanatics executives, including some of the company’s newest hires for its Collectibles division have been spending time at some of the larger card shows.
CEO Michael Rubin has attended at least two larger events this month. A week after attending the Philly Show, he traveled to Chicago and brought several other members of the management team with him to the Chicago Sports Spectacular.
Among those on hand were Fanatics Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Tucker Kain, Collectibles CEO Mike Mahan, CMO Ken Turner and Head of Athlete Relations Omar Wilkes.
Spent the day with the @Fanatics Collectibles leadership team at the Chicago Sports Spectacular – learning and growing so we can take the hobby to the next level for our fans and collectors – couldn’t be more excited about the future!!! pic.twitter.com/sVk9Szuo0e
— Michael Rubin (@michaelrubin) March 20, 2023
Grey Flannel Auctions’ Opening Day Bat Auction is underway, with 75 lots featuring game bats from players past and present.
Derek Jeter’s autographed black Louisville Slugger from Jackie Robinson Day 2007 leads off the sale. The photomatched bat is graded GU10 by PSA and includes a COA from Steiner Sports, which had the Yankees memorabilia rights at the time.
Others on the block include a circa 1950 Duke Snider model, a 1948 Ted Williams, 1965-68 Willie Mays, 2013 Mike Trout, multiple Cal Ripken bats, a 1990s Kirby Puckett model and another from Tony Gwynn dating to the 2000 season.
Bidding will run thru March 26.
He’s already in the Hall of Fame, but pitcher Randy Johnson is going back to Cooperstown to kick off the new baseball season. He’s also got a new deal with Topps.
Johnson will be part of the Hall’s Opening Day Celebration Watch Party on Thursday, March 30. Johnson will be on hand for pregame conversation prior to the 7 PM White Sox vs. Astros matchup, which will be televised by ESPN and shown on the Hall of Fame’s big screen He’ll also discuss his new photo exhibit, Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs, that will open April 1 at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown.
Johnson will also participate in a question-and-answer session during the program, which is a no autograph/no photograph event.
Topps is working with him for a new line of cards that is believed to be centered around photos taken by the five-time Cy Young Award winner. According to Johnson, the set will include “some of the brightest young superstars in baseball today.”
There’s no word yet on a release date. Johnson met with Topps early in spring training, so you can probably expect it to arrive during the first half of the season.