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Bob D’Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.

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Marte is Topps Finest redemption No. 1

Posted Aug 10, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Aug 10, 2012 at 04:43 PM

Topps Finest baseball hit the shelves this week, and the company announced its first autograph rookie redemption card Friday.

Redemption No. 1 is Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte, and it will be an autograph card.

You might say Marte got everyone’s attention when he made his debut. On July 26, the 23-year-old hit the first pitch he saw as a big-leaguer out of the park, becoming the 28th player in major-league history to homer on his first pitch.

It’s been more than 50 years since a Pirates player homered in his first at-bat. Don Lepper connected against the Cardinals on June 18, 1961.

Marte has played only 14 games heading into Friday night’s action, but he already has four homers, two triples and nine RBIs and is batting .281. He’s also prone to strikeouts and already has 15 in 57 at-bats.

Topps will announce the remaining four redemptions over the next four weeks.  Collectors holding the corresponding redemption card for that player can redeem for their card online.

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