Now with more than 80% of its 400-card run issued since it began in March, Topps “Project 2020,” the ambitious effort by 20 commissioned popular artists across the world to re-imagine 20 iconic baseball cards from the past 70 years, moves to a new phase with today’s introduction of Fine Art prints of the series. The Topps Company is giving baseball enthusiasts and fine art collectors the opportunity to own limited edition prints of their favorite cards, as it will issue one work from each artist each week as a framed, 16”x20” piece, hand-signed by the artist, on sale for the week or while supplies last.
A general version, numbered to 99 (retailing at $399.99), and AP version, to 20 ($999.99), will be available for each card. One random general edition purchaser will receive a 1/1 gold framed print.
“While ‘Project 2020’ has been a huge success, we have had feedback from collectors that they see these cards as works of fine art,” said Jeff Heckman, Global Director of Ecommerce. “This program will allow them to showcase their favorites in the series, many of which ‘pop’ even bolder as full-sized, 16×20 prints in an attractive frame.
“It’s a natural extension for ‘Project 2020,’ one that could have even wider appeal than the card series,” he added. “With more than 320 cards already created, the diversity of style and techniques that have been on full display in trading card size is even more pronounced in the larger versions.”
That wide range of interpretations of each card has come into focus as artists have put their respective stamps on their work across the set. More than 2.25 million cards, lauded for their unique styles, have been purchased by fans since March, with many poised to translate perfectly to framed prints.
Some of the notable artists in the series whose cards have sold the most copies include Ben Baller (@benballer), Fucci (@FucciArt), Andrew Thiele (@ArtekNYC), King Saladeen (@Kingsaladeenart) and Jacob Rochester (@jacob_rochester).
“It will be interesting to see which works are most popular as prints, compared with their success as cards,” added Heckman.
In the spirit of its popular “TOPPS NOW” program, two Topps “Project 2020” cards are issued daily on weekdays via the Topps.com website. The cards are only available for a 48-hour period from the time each is introduced.
The cards in the Project 2020 offering include: 1952 Willie Mays; 1952 Jackie Robinson; 1955 Sandy Koufax; 1959 Bob Gibson; 1980 Rickey Henderson; 1989 Ken Griffey Jr; 1969 Nolan Ryan; 1984 Don Mattingly; 2001 Ichiro; 1992 Derek Jeter; 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera; 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken; 1983 Tony Gwynn; 1975 George Brett; 2011 Updates Mike Trout; 1987 Mark McGwire; 1990 Frank Thomas; 1985 Dwight Gooden; 1955 Roberto Clemente and 1954 Ted Williams.
Cover image: Don Mattingly by Jacob Rochester