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Topps announces schedule for Harper rookie autograph cards

Posted Apr 30, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Apr 30, 2012 at 05:55 PM

If you think Washington Nationals fans are the happiest folks since Bryce Harper made his major-league debut on Saturday, think again.

The folks at Topps are much happier. In fact, probably ecstatic.

The reason is simple. Now that Harper has appeared in a major-league game (hitting a double), he now qualifies as a rookie. And that means Topps can release Harper’s “rookie” cards in its 2012 sets. And since Topps has an autograph deal with Harper, that means the Washington rookie’s signature will be sprinkled throughout packs of Topps product this summer. Already, a prototype of Harper’s Series 2 card (which will a short-print card, numbered 661) has been released by Topps (see photo in this post).

Here are Topps’ plans:

Bowman Baseball will hit the stores on May 9, and Harper will be the No. 2 Bowman Lucky Redemption. This redemption card will be limited to 100 and will be good for an autographed card with the rookie design.

As mentioned above, Topps Series 2 will have a short-printed card of Harper in its set (No. 661). In addition, there will be an autographed variation of this card in both hobby and retail packs.

Harper will appear on a short-printed base card (No. 241) in the Topps Archives set. Collectors will be able to find redemptions in both hobby and retail packs fopr Harper’s autograph, which will be an on-card (not sticker) signature.

Another on-the-card signature will appear in the Topps Tier One set. This one will be scarcer; there will only be 25 redemption cards issued. And like Topps Archives, the signature will be on the card.

Harper also will make an appearance in the Allen & Ginter set, as a regular base card and also as a mini. He also will have an autograph card in the set, plus he will sign 10 red autograph cards, the redemptions for those cards will be inserted into A&G rip cards.

When Topps releases its complete set boxes later this year, Harper will appear as card No. 661 — but with a different image than collectors will see for Series 2.

Topps also announced that Harper will have autographed rookie cards in the remainder of Topps’ 2012 MLB products. I will interpret that to mean high-end products, too, like Triple Threads and Five Star.

If Harper has an impressive year, these autographs will become even more of a hot item. And that’s what Topps is counting on.

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