It’s just as illegible as the signatures of young American athletes, but Shohei Ohtani’s first autographs should be coming out of Topps packs in about two weeks.
The company says it will have Ohtani signed cards in 2018 Topps Heritage, due to arrive at the end of the month. Along with an autographed card, Ohtani will be featured on a short-printed base card – showing him as a pitcher – that is short-printed in 2018 Heritage. We’ll see him depicted as a hitter in 2018 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball, which will be out later this year.
At a recent signing session, Ohtani autographed cards for a variety of different sets including Heritage, Bowman, and Topps Chrome. He’ll also be in 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter this summer.
Panini and Leaf have also snared Ohtani’s scribble for upcoming products.
Several members of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic Hockey team will headline the guest list at the upcoming White Plains, NY show. Steelers rookie Ju Ju Smith-Schuster, former Steelers Mike Wagner and Donnie Shell, Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull and former White Sox standout Harold Baines will be among the other guests.
The 300 table show takes place March 9-11 at the Westchester County Center.
Steiner Sports has more than 100,000 SKUs of collectible inventory worth more than $20 million. Equipped with only $4,000, a Macintosh II computer and one intern, Brandon Steiner founded the company in 1987. It is now a part of the Omnicom Group.
Steiner Sports now works with more than 2,000 athletes. Similar to how the meet and greet promotions that Steiner once created sparked demand for memorabilia, Brandon Steiner says current clients are often seeking an experience with athletes, such as a selfie or having them speak at an event.