Fans of the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star and baseball card collectors alike have been awaiting the announcement of when the first Shohei Ohtani autographed cards that can be found in packs of a Topps product would be available. That wait is over.
Since the Los Angeles Angels signed Shohei Ohtani to his first MLB contract and Topps soon after signed him to an exclusive autograph deal, card collectors have been wondering when they would be able to pull singles autographed by Ohtani out of packs of Topps products. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Topps revealed when they would be available.
Bowman 2018 will be the first product to include Ohtani autographed cards. These won’t be the first Ohtani cards that Topps has produced, however. Shortly after he signed with the Angels, Topps produced a limited run of cards commemorating his signing via its direct-to-consumer Topps Now line.
Bowman will feature the Ohtani Angels cards found in packs, including the iconic “First Bowman” that collectors are familiar with, parallels of different colors and as previously mentioned, the on-card autographs. The product is set for release on Wednesday, April 25. Topps has not yet released a checklist for the product, but the blue parallels pictured are numbered to 150. There will be other parallels of varying production runs as well.
While Bowman will be the first, it certainly won’t be the last Topps product in 2018 to feature Ohtani cards. Topps Now is likely to chronicle his rookie season as it unfolds, and fans might see relic cards later in the season as game-used memorabilia from Ohtani becomes available. There hasn’t been this much hype around an international transfer for years, and Topps is looking to capitalize on that.
Bowman already has a reputation among card collectors as being one of the most sought-after sets of the year because of its contingent of prospect cards. Ohtani’s presence in this year’s version might make hobby boxes of Bowman one of the most expensive products on the secondary market the industry has ever seen.