Topps has signed an exclusive multi-year autograph trading card deal with the former Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and current Texas Rangers Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish. The deal also gives Topps rights to produce Memorabilia cards, Insert cards and Base cards.
The first Darvish autograph cards will appear in the upcoming Topps Tribute Baseball release. The card will be limited to 25 and will be available via redemption. Later in the year, Darvish autographs will appear in Topps Museum Collection Baseball (30 cards), Gypsy Queen Baseball (25 cards) and 2012 Bowman Baseball where collectors will find Darvish’s Autographed Bowman Chrome Rookie Card, pictured above.
Autographed cards from Darvish will also appear in other Topps products, including Topps Archives, Topps Baseball Series 2, Tier One, Allen & Ginter, Bowman Platinum and Topps Chrome.
At the age of only 25 years old, Darvish already was named league MVPs two times, three strikeout titles and a win-loss record of 93-38 with an ERA of 1.99 during his time with the Fighters in the Japanese Pacific League. On January 18, the Texas Rangers signed Darvish to a six year - $60 Million dollar contract. Texas Rangers CEO and pitching great Nolan Ryan has stated that Darvish has shown more control than Ryan did at Darvish's age.