Ichiro autographs are coming to Topps. The company has announced that the first autographs of the ten-time All-Star from Japan will be in 2015 Allen & Ginter baseball, set for release in July.
Suzuki had an exclusive deal with Upper Deck early in his career and has also appeared on Panini and Leaf (which devoted a special collection to him in 2013) but after a lengthy wait, a Topps deal was recently struck. Allen & Ginter will include three different Ichiro cards, picturing him with his original team, the Seattle Mariners, along with the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins, his current team. It’s his first Topps appearance of any kind since 2012.
“We’ve worked hard to get this deal done over the past decade and have come close many times. This is a special day for Topps and its collectors, and I want to personally thank Ichiro and his management team for their help in making this happen,” said David Leiner, Topps Vice President of Finance and Operations.
Following the release of Allen & Ginter, Ichiro will appear on autographed cards in the high-end releases of Topps Supreme and Topps Triple Threads. Collectors will also find Ichiro autographs in products such as Topps Five Star, Dynasty, Topps High Tek and other products.
Ichiro’s English cursive autograph is, well, different. There’s no word on how many cards he’s signed or will sign for the company.
He’s 41 years old and stood just 132 hits away from 3,000 as of Tuesday afternoon, despite not making his U.S. baseball debut until age 27 in 2001. Ichiro rookie cards have been strong sellers over the years.