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Tom Brady's Actual First 'Official' Baseball Card

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In the world of sports memorabilia, the 2023 Bowman Draft Baseball set stands out for featuring a unique card: a 1995 draft pick, none other than NFL icon Tom Brady. Topps is promoting this card as Brady's first official baseball card, a claim that holds true if considering only fully completed cards distributed in packs. However, this isn't the first instance of Brady appearing on a baseball card issued by Topps.

The first occurrence dates back to 2014 Topps Five Star Baseball, where Brady was listed among the autograph cards. These cards were included as redemptions in packs, but nine years on, these redemptions have yet to be fulfilled, leaving collectors in anticipation. Notably, quarterbacks John Elway and Dan Marino, also drafted by MLB teams, were part of the original checklist.

The 2014 release was significant as it marked the last season Topps held the NFL and NFLPA licenses before Panini acquired exclusive rights. This shift might explain the delay in releasing the actual autographed cards. For collectors who have been waiting, the reasons behind the delay are likely of little consolation.

Fast forward to 2023, and Tom Brady, now retired from football and with an exclusive autograph deal with Fanatics (the current owner of Topps), features in the Bowman Draft. The set includes 81 total signed Brady cards, with different versions like the Gold Refractor (50 copies), Orange Refractors (25 copies), Red Refractors (5 copies), and a one-of-one Superfractor. Some cards even come with unique inscriptions.

Additionally, there's a rare unsigned version showcasing a young Brady in a Montreal Expos uniform, based on the 1995 Bowman Baseball design. This homage recalls when Montreal selected Brady as a catcher straight out of high school in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. Brady, of course, chose college football, leading to a legendary NFL career.

There’s ongoing curiosity about the fate of the 2014 Topps Five Star Tom Brady redemption. Inquiries have been made to Topps representatives regarding its production status, and any future updates will be shared with the collecting community.

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