Autographed Shohei Ohtani baseball cards will be inside 2018 Bowman baseball.
Topps is showing off some signed cards of the new Angels pitcher/designated hitter, including some penned in Japanese. The company agreed to an autograph/endorsement contract with the 23-year-old not long after he left Japan for California in December. He appeared on a Topps NOW card and was later shown signing Allen & Ginter cards due out later this season, but until this week, collectors didn’t know when his first autographs would be in packs.
In a photo posted by Topps, Ohtani signatures can be seen on the blue parallel Bowman cards numbered to 150, so it’s a safe bet he also signed some lower numbered parallels as well. The inclusion of his autographs will likely mean heavy demand for Bowman when it arrives the week of April 25.
It’s expected Topps will try to capitalize on Ohtani’s first season by including him in as many products as it can but it’s not yet known how many will carry autographed cards. Series 1 was released last week with Heritage, Opening Day, Inception, Tribute and Gypsy Queen on the release schedule prior to Bowman’s late April arrival.