Topps has joined forces with a California minor league baseball team to put a collector on a trading card–and treat them like a player for a day. The annual Make Your Pro Debut contest will be part of the promotional push for 2017 Topps Heritage Minors, set for release in September.
Collectors who enter a winning code found inside packs will be asked to answer five questions. Topps employees then judge those answers and one will be selected to join the Fresno Grizzlies for a day. The Grizzlies are the AAA affiliate for the Houston Astros.
The contest winner receives an honorary one-day contract with the team, a locker in the clubhouse, a Fresno uniform, a glove from Wilson, bats from Louisville Slugger, cleats from Under Armour and batting gloves from Franklin. The winner will also get to take part in batting practice, infield/outfield drills and pre-game stretching and warm-ups. They will also get to stay in the dugout during the game.
The team will use the promotion during its “Fresno Tacos” promotion, held once each home stand when the team dons special taco-themed uniforms and holds promotions around the name.
This is the sixth year of the Make Your Pro Debut contest. Previous winners have suited up for the Durham Bulls, Corpus Christi Hooks, El Paso Chihuahuas and Aberdeen Ironbirds.
“It’s a huge promotional opportunity for our organization,” said Derek Franks, Fresno Grizzlies General Manager. “We’re always looking for something truly unique, and someone making their “pro debut” on a Taco Tuesday certainly qualifies.”
“It’s one of the greatest memories of my life,” said Nick Yohanek, the 2016 Make Your Pro Debut contest winner. “It’s one those cool things that I’ll certainly never forget. You get to do something that money can’t buy.”