Card companies partnering with top athletes is not exactly a new development. On the other hand, an expanded player partnership between The Topps Company (Fanatics) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a new development. At first the announcement was vague — an extension of our dynamic product portfolio, showcasing players’ talents and personalities in compelling and innovative ways. The long and short of the matter is that there are soon going to be many more types of cards that include pieces of game-used Guerrero gear.
Fortunately, it is more clear than the press release begins. The Topps/Vladdy partnership will feature exclusive trading cards. It will also include a variety of game-used items — helmets, elbow/shin guards, batting gloves, bats, jerseys, hats, and socks. Those game-used items will be cut up and will be included in future trading card products.
The Topps release also showed that Guerrero will be featured digitally. In that regard, he will appear in video content produced for Topps Studios and various social media activations.
Topps already sells signed baseballs, jerseys (image below from Topps), photos, and posters of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Now it sounds like there are about to be many more items that will be sold.
While Topps highlighted Guerrero’s 2021 accomplishments (led the league in Runs, Home Runs, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, OPS, and Total Bases), collectors are more likely to focus on the 2022 season. Topps noted that he is continuing to dominate this season, and they pointed out that Guerrero recently became the second-youngest player in MLB history to homer three times on two occasions.
If Guerrero’s 2022 MLB season were to continue at the current rate, and using very “guestimated” carry-forward current numbers, he would be close to 175 (or so) hits, 83 runs, 95 RBI, and 34-ish home runs. All are impressive, but that would be less than his stellar 2021 performance. His 2022 batting average is currently .281, down from .311 in 2021. Before taking that as a pan against Vladdy, it is not and it is still very early in the season with his 35 games played. The Blue Jays 19 wins and 17 losses is currently just in third place and is 7.5 games behind the first-place New York Yankees.
Again, any player and team stats can radically change in even a few days as the 2022 MLB season is not quite even one-fourth of the way through.
Topps’ David Leiner said:
“This new partnership with Vlad is an extension of our dynamic product portfolio, showcasing players’ talents and personalities in compelling and innovative ways. We’re excited to continue evolving with fans and collectors alike as we kick off a new chapter for our brands through upcoming collaborations with the biggest superstars in sports and entertainment.”
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. said:
“I look forward to continuing my partnership with Topps in providing baseball fans everywhere with the high-quality product they have become accustomed to.”