Cool Luis Guillorme Bat Catch Gets First Mets Topps Now Card of 2017

The amazing one-handed bat catch by Mets prospect Luis Guillorme has become the team’s first Topps Now card of the year, available through Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

As seen in the above video, Guillorme nonchalantly grabbed the bat thrown when Marlins SS Adeiny Hechavarria lost control of it on a swing. Though his Mets teammates scatter in the dugout, Guillorme made the easy grab.

Fans can learn more and purchase the card here.

Sanchez Takes Mantle’s Vaunted No. 7 Topps® Card

Sanchez2Yankees star catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit 20 home runs in 53 games in his rookie season in 2016, may or may not be the next Mickey Mantle in the Yankees lineup. But the powerful 24-year-old is following in The Mick’s footsteps in another way for Yankees fans and card collectors—the storied No. 7 card in the recently released Topps® 2017 Series 1 Baseball set.

Card No. 7 had been reserved for Mantle since his death in 1995. Beginning with the 1996 flagship set, Card No. 7 had been either Mantle or, for a few years, no one. That meant a gap in the checklist for the years in which Topps did not have an agreement with the Mantle estate to include his card in that particular year.

Enter Sanchez, whose exploits earned him runner-up status in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, despite playing less than half the season in pinstripes.

“Baseball fans are witnessing a great time in baseball right now with an impressive young group of players,” said Kevin Eger, Topps Brand Manager. “We felt it was time to offer Card No. 7 to a young, emerging star, but we still wanted it to be a New York Yankee. Gary Sanchez is part of the re-emergence for the Yankees, helping to bring that certain mystique back to the team. He felt like a natural fit for Card No. 7.”

The Sanchez card was issued earlier this month along with N.L. MVP Kris Bryant’s No. 1 card, the “Ultimate Card Giveaway” of two million cards from throughout Topps’ 66-year history and a series of First Pitch™ insert cards in its Series 1.

Dent, Nettles To Be Honored At Munson Dinner Feb. 7

dent-from-his-websiteA pair of clutch-hitting,  two-time New York Yankees World Series champions have been added to complete a powerhouse starting lineup of honorees for the 37th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on Tuesday night, February 7, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Yankees 1977 championship, Thurman’s teammates on the left side of the infield – third baseman Graig Nettles and shortstop Bucky Dent will be feted by the AHRC New York City Foundation.

Both starting players on the ’77 and ’78 World Champs, Nettles will be presented with the Munson Legend Award, while Dent joins Yankees phenom Gary Sanchez, Mets fan favorite Wilmer Flores, and Giants Super Bowl champion Victor Cruz as recipients of “Thurmans” at the benefit which has raised nearly $15 million for programs to assist the disabled. The gala remembers the beloved, legendary Yankees captain and catcher.

For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188 or email jennifer@emgbenefits.com. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.ahrcNYCfoundation.org/events.

The Thurman Munson Awards are presented for success and inspiration on the fields of play, and community spirit off the field.

During a 22-year major league career including a decade with the Yankees, Nettles was regarded as one of the finest defensive third-sackers of all time, and an outstanding clutch hitter. A six-time All-Star, his best campaign was in ‘77 when he won received the Gold Glove Award and enjoyed career highs in both home runs, 37, and RBI, 107, while leading the Bronx Bombers to the world title against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nettles clobbered 390 home runs and 1,314 RBI in 2,700 games during his two-decade career, and his flashy glove compiled a .964 fielding percentage.

A three-time All-Star, Dent was the World Series MVP in ’78 after vaulting the Yankees into the post season with his epic three-run homerun over Fenway’s “Green Monster” to down the Red Sox in the pennant tie-breaker that is indelibly etched in Yankees lore. He hit .417 in the World Series.

A long time community servant, Dent launched the Legends on the Links Golf Tournament 32 years ago to assist local sports programs in Florida. In tribute to his late wife Marianne’s Embraced with Love charity, Dent assists cancer patients in a wide variety of initiatives.

Nettles serves as a board member on his teammate Roy White’s foundation which provides financial assistance to children and young adults to further their education; has assisted inner city youth in his former residence in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is active on the charity golf circuit, including Dent’s annual tournament.

The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City. AHRC New York City is one of the largest organizations of its kind, serving 15,000 children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.

Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, will attend her 37th consecutive benefit, having been involved since its inception.

Sanford J. Schlesinger, Founding Partner, Schlesinger Gannon & Lazetera LLP, will be the recipient of the “Corporate Hero” Award.

Michael Kay, the “Voice of the Yankees” on YES Network and ESPN NY Radio 98.7 FM host, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Sanchez, Flores Win Munson Awards

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Gary Sanchez #72 of the New York Yankees poses during Photo Day on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Robbie Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Gary Sanchez

TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 27: Gary Sanchez #72 of the New York Yankees poses during Photo Day on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Robbie Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Gary Sanchez

The 37th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, which remembers the late, great Yankees captain and catcher, will be presented at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Tuesday night, February 7, 2017, and the honorees announced today are: New York Yankees sensational rookie catcher Gary Sanchez, popular New York Mets infielder Wilmer Flores, and New York Football Giants Super Bowl champion wide receiver Victor Cruz. The AHRC New York City Foundation, which assists children and adults with disabilities, benefits from the gala.

Sanford J. Schlesinger, Founding Partner, Schlesinger Gannon & Lazetera LLP, will be the recipient of the “Corporate Hero” Award.

Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, will attend her 37th consecutive benefit, having been involved since its inception. The Thurman Munson Awards Dinner has raised nearly $15 million for programs that serve New York City children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Michael Kay, the “Voice of the Yankees” on YES Network and ESPN NY Radio 98.7 FM host, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188 or email jennifer@emgbenefits.com. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.ahrcNYCfoundation.org/events.

The Thurman Munson Awards are presented for success and inspiration on the fields of play, and community spirit off the field.

The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City. AHRC New York City is one of the largest organizations of its kind, serving 15,000 children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.

Nineteen Newcomers Join Bagwell, Hoffman, Raines Among 34 On Hall Of Fame Ballot

tim-rainesA total of 19 players, most prominently Vladimir Guerrero, Jorge Posada, Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez, join 15 holdovers on the 2017 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot, as announced today. The strongest potential selectees, Jeff Bagwell, Trevor Hoffman and Tim Raines, are now on the clock, each having received more than 67$ of the vote but less than the 75% required for enshrinement last year.

The results of the BBWAA election will be announced on Jan. 18. Winners will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 30, 2017.

Some quick facts on induction, per the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

– Last year marked just the fifth time in voting history that as many as five (Bagwell, Hoffman, Raines plus inductees Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza) had received 67% or more votes

– Every player who has ever cleared the 65-percent threshold in any one BBWAA election has eventually been inducted into the Hall of Fame, save for Jack Morris – who exhausted his BBWAA eligibility in 2015 and will not be eligible for the Modern Baseball Era Committee consideration until the fall of 2017.

– Twelve other players will return to the BBWAA ballot this year, including (in order of their 2016 vote percentage): Curt Schilling (52.3 percent), Roger Clemens (45.2), Barry Bonds (44.3), Edgar Martínez (43.4), Mike Mussina (43.0), Lee Smith (34.1), Fred McGriff (20.9), Jeff Kent (16.6), Larry Walker (15.5), Gary Sheffield (11.6), Billy Wagner (10.5) and Sammy Sosa (7.0). Smith is making his final appearance on the BBWAA ballot.

– Also debuting on the BBWAA ballot this year are Casey Blake, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillén, Derrek Lee, Melvin Mora, Magglio Ordóñez, Edgar Rentería, Arthur Rhodes, Freddy Sánchez, Matt Stairs, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield.

For bios on each player on the ballot and more info, visit http://baseballhall.org/hof/2017-bbwaa-ballot.

Annual Major League Baseball Topps® All-Star Rookie Team is Revealed

seagerrookiecupsmallThe Topps® MLB All-Star Rookie Team continues its decades-long tradition by honoring Major League Baseball’s top rookies.

Eleven MLB players were named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team led by three Los Angeles Dodgers: Corey Seager (shortstop), who was named National League Rookie of the Year, Kenta Maeda (right-handed pitcher), and Julio Urias (left-handed pitcher). They are joined by New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who excited baseball fans with his power by hitting 20 home runs in just 53 games.

For the first time in Topps history, collectors can get a card of members of the Topps All-Star Rookie Team immediately though the on-demand TOPPS NOW™ program. The Topps® MLB All-Star Rookie Team set will be available exclusively for one week on Topps.com.

Also joining them on the Topps All-Star Rookie Team are two young stars from Texas in Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, the second overall draft pick in 2015, and Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, who hit a home run in his first MLB game.

Rounding out the Topps All-Star Rookie Team include Philadelphia’s Tommy Joseph (first baseman), San Diego’s Ryan Schimpf (second base), Washington’s Trea Turner (outfield), Cleveland’s Tyler Naquin (outfield), and St. Louis’ Seung-hwan Oh (relief pitcher).

The Topps All-Star Rookie Team began in 1959. The winners also receive a gold “cup” on their official Topps baseball card in the 2017 set, which has been a tradition for many years.

Past honorees of the Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team have included former MVPs such as Buster Posey, Ichiro, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Cal Ripken Jr. In addition, 20 former Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team members have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame including Ken Griffey Jr., and Mike Piazza. Last year’s Topps MLB All-Rookie team included three current Chicago Cubs in Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber.

The Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team – nicknamed the Topps Rookie Cup – is awarded to one player for each position, a right-hander starter, a left-handed starter, and a relief pitcher.

Here is the full list of the 2016 Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team:

C – Gary Sanchez NYY
1B – Tommy Joseph PHI
2B – Ryan Schimpf SDP
3B – Alex Bregman HOU
SS – Corey Seager LAD
OF – Trea Turner WAS
OF – Nomar Mazara TEX
OF – Tyler Naquin CLE
LHP – Julio Urias LAD
RHP – Kenta Maeda LAD
RP – Seung Hwan Oh STL

The Topps Company Signs Derek Jeter to an Autographed Trading Card Deal for the First Time in Over a Decade

jeterdynastyThe Topps Company, the exclusive trading card partner of Major League Baseball, is excited to announce the signing of former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter to a multi-year autograph trading card deal today.

Jeter’s autographs return to Topps products for the first time in over a decade. The addition of the former Yankees captain, one of the greatest players of his generation, will elevate future Topps releases even further.

Jeter’s first autographed cards will appear in 2016 Topps® Dynasty™ Baseball and 2016 Topps® Baseball Transcendent Collection™. He will also be featured in 2017 Topps products, starting with 2017 Topps Baseball Series 1, available February 1, 2017, and 2016 Topps Tribute® Baseball.

To celebrate Jeter’s return to Topps, all fans accessing the Topps BUNT® digital trading card app this week, will receive an exclusive digital version of Jeter’s iconic 1993 Topps rookie card. Exclusive new digital designs featuring Jeter will debut in Topps BUNT starting Friday, November 25.

Jeter, who retired in 2014, finished his career as the all-time Yankees hits leader with 3,465. He has five World Series titles, earned the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1996, and won MLB All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in 2000.

“Adding Derek Jeter autographs to our trading card products will be thrilling for collectors,” said David Leiner, Vice President and General Manager of North American Sports & Entertainment at Topps. “He is one of the most prolific and well-known players of our time, and his addition is one collectors will be clamoring for.”

Look for 2016 Topps® Dynasty™ Baseball on shelves on December 7 and the extravagant 2016 Topps® Baseball Transcendent Collection™ on December 9.

Joe Buck Discussion/Booksigning at Yogi Berra Museum on Nov. 17

joe-buck-lucky-bastard-book-smallJoe Buck, lead play-by-play broadcaster for the NFL’s biggest games and the World Series, will be appearing at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J., on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. for a discussion and signing of his new memoir Lucky Bastard:  My Life, My Dad and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV.

A seven-time Emmy Award winner, Buck is in his 20th year with Fox Sports and recently called the historic Chicago Cubs-Cleveland Indians World Series.  In all,  Buck has called 16 World Series, and four Super Bowls, the most recent being Super Bowl XLVIII between Seattle and Denver in February 2014, the most-watched program in U.S. television history.

Joe is the son of late broadcasting legend Jack Buck, the beloved voice of the St. Louis Cardinals for almost 50 years and whose career spanned parts of six decades. Jack helped Joe get his broadcasting start at 18, but the young Buck had to prove himself, first as a minor league radio announcer and then on local TV, national TV with ESPN, and then finally on FOX.

Joe Buck now has a successful, award-winning career, but only after a lot of dues-paying and entertaining mistakes. Hilarious and occasionally heartbreaking,  Joe Buck’s Lucky Bastard takes readers into the broadcast booth, into his childhood home, while recounting his funniest stories and interactions with the biggest sports stars of this era.

Books are available for purchase at the Museum. To RSVP call (973) 655-2378.

TOPPS Caps Record Setting First Year With TOPPS NOW™ Platform

Bartolo-HR-CardThe Topps Company today announced that their fast-growing on-demand platform TOPPS NOW™ surpassed 500,000 cards sold in the first year, exceeding the expectations of the program and helping to re-engage thousands of fans, especially millennials, with the TOPPS brand and the joys of collecting now in an on-demand environment for the first time. Fans were able to order an unlimited amount of cards in 24 hours, which TOPPS produced on demand. The cards were then delivered in a few days, where in past years fans had to wait until the next year’s set to collect the images. The company finished the run last week with a set celebrating the Chicago Cubs.

This is something we’ve wanted for a long time, a way to turn product around very quickly and give fans something to remember events as they were happening,” said Jeff Heckman, Topps director of new product development and e-commerce marketplace. “We’ve finally refined the model, and it’s exceeded our wildest expectations.”

Topps produced 665 different MLB cards during the initial season of TOPPSNOW, with many points of the season receiving multiple cards to chronicle that day’s events, as well as team sets for each of the 10 playoff clubs. Over 500 moments have been highlighted with cards, ranging from Ichiro Suzuki’s 3,000th hit, to rookie appearances, no-hitters, amazing catches and dramatic battles on the diamond, all of which are available same day for fans and are delivered via mail in 3-5 business days. All 30 teams received more than one card, with the Chicago Cubs (38 cards plus postseason), Boston Red Sox (36 plus postseason), and the New York Yankees (28) having the most. The top players in the regular season were David Ortiz with eight cards, and Ichiro and Chicago’s Kris Bryant with six each. TOPPS has also sold over 9,000 sets of Chicago Cubs World Series sets as well.

Forty one of the cards also featured autographs or game used memorabilia on a limited basis.

Ichiro’s 3,000th hit had the one day sales record of over 11,550 cards sold, with the New York Mets’ Bartolo Colon second with over 8,000 cards delivered following the All-Star pitcher’s unbelievably glorious home run against the San Diego Padres in May. The Cubs World Series winning card was third with over 6,000 sold, followed by Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin from the New York Yankees had the 4th most cards sold at over 5,000 when they hit back-to-back home runs in their first MLB plate appearances in August. The first TOPPS NOW commemorative relic card offer which featured All-Star Game MVP Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals sold out in just 20 minutes.

The platform has also been launched with TOPPS partners like the UFC, the Premier League, Major League Soccer, and WWE and those will also be expanded in the coming months.

Yanks’ Sanchez Among 2017 Topps #1 Card Nominees

sanchez-topps-nowYankees fans now have the opportunity to help make one of their new favorite players the face of baseball — or at least the face of Topps baseball cards, for 2017. (Strangely, no Mets made the cut…)

Gary Sanchez, who burst on the scene and made an immediate huge impact on the sport this summer, is one of 16 players nominated by the card company to be its iconic #1 card in Series One in 2017. Voting on the Topps Blog (click here to vote) began this week and continues through Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 11:59 p.m. Fans will be able to either “retweet” or “like” a tweet assigned to each of the sixteen nominees which will count as a vote. Thousands of online votes poured in last year, with Mike Trout the eventual Card No. 1 winner.

Previous players to achieve this prestigious honor in consecutive years include Ted Williams (1957-58), Hank Aaron (1973-76), Nolan Ryan (1990-92), Alex Rodriguez (2005-06 & 2008-09), and most recently Ryan Braun (2011-12).

Sanchez erased several rookie records during his 2016 campaign, slashing .299/.376/.657 and hitting 20 home runs in 201 at bats.

The list of 2017 Topps Baseball Card No. 1 nominees:

Adrian Beltre
Mookie Betts
Kris Bryant
Miguel Cabrera
Carlos Correa
Josh Donaldson
Bryce Harper
Clayton Kershaw
Francisco Lindor
Manny Machado
Yadier Molina
David Ortiz
Buster Posey
Gary Sanchez
Corey Seager
Mike Trout