Posted tagged ‘Topps’

St. Louis Cardinals World Series ring features “Rally Squirrel”

April 16, 2012

The Cardinals received their World Series rings before Saturday’s game, and each ring includes the player’s name, number and the years of the Cardinals’ 10 previous championships.

They also include a tiny squirrel running across home plate.

In Game 4 of last year’s NL Division Series, a squirrel darted across home plate during Skip Schumaker‘s at-bat — and the Busch Stadium crowd went wild.

Cardinals fans adopted the critter’s image throughout the playoffs, when it was seen on T-shirts, memorabilia and images on stadium screens.

Earlier this year, a short-printed variant of Schumaker’s Topps baseball card focused on the squirrel.

The rings, designed and produced by Jostens, feature faceted rubies, a 14 karat yellow gold frame and 103 round diamonds.

The underside lists the three playoff series scores and the words “Happy Flight,” the Cardinals’ clubhouse rallying cry last season.

“We are excited to present the 2011 team with their rings,” owner Bill DeWitt III said in a statement. “We worked hard to design a ring that would tell the epic story of 2011, and also pay tribute to the great history of the franchise.”

These rings are really cool because of the personalization. Having the writing “Happy Flight” on the inside and the rally squirrel on the outside gives the team an identity and makes the ring special. Besides being World Champions, they are known for these stories. I think more teams need to use this type of thinking when making rings because it could make them more personal and fun so people like Brandon Jacobs don’t sell their ring for extra cash. I think the Cardinals run in 2011 was so memorable that it garnished this type of ring. If it weren’t for the squirrel, where would they be…

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Fan who caught Jeter 3,000 hit will get his own Topps baseball card

July 14, 2011

Via AP:

The fan who returned Derek Jeter’s ball from his 3,000th hit will get a bit of memorabilia to keep — his own baseball card.

Topps says it will produce a trading card featuring Christian Lopez that will be included in sets later this year.

“We thought what he did captures the essence of what baseball and the Topps company is about,” said Mark Sapir, Topps vice president for sports.

The recent college graduate with outstanding student loans will get some financial help, too.

Memorabilia dealer Brandon Steiner and sporting goods CEO Mitch Modell said they will make sure Lopez gets at least $50,000 toward his outstanding student loans of $150,000.

Steiner said he got a call on Wednesday from his buddy Modell, and they got the ball rolling. Steiner set up an auction of memorabilia that eventually will include baseballs signed by both Lopez and Jeter and said Modell is pledging 5 percent from the sale of Yankees-related merchandise at the Modell’s chain during what will be called “Christian Lopez Week.”

“That itself is a totally awesome situation right now for all parties involved,” Lopez said.

What impressed the sports executives — as well as countless fans across the country — was the way a 23-year-old mobile phone salesman passed on the chance to sell the ball.

Instead, Lopez gave the ball to Jeter, saying he deserved to have the keepsake.

“Can you believe how good a mensch this kid was?” Steiner said.

Lopez has been overrun with requests since Saturday.

“It’s been overwhelming to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s been a little crazy. But I’m handling it as best I can. I’m trying to get back to everybody I can.”

That includes Topps.

“Yeah, I spoke with them a couple days ago,” Lopez said. “All I know, is they kind of want to make a baseball card out of me.”

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Lopez was an avid collector as a kid. He said he has “probably a couple thousand baseball cards.”

His favorite? A Yankees card, of course. It depicts Babe Ruth and one of the Yankees’ owners at the time he came over from the Red Sox in 1920.

“It’s a very dear card to me. I’ve had it for 15 years now or so,” Lopez said.

Now he’ll have another Yankees card to keep next to it.

This is awesome because the guy is a class act. He did one tremendous deed and he is getting repaid with tickets, memorabilia, and now his own baseball card! That’s a big deal. I know as a huge baseball card collector that being on the card itself is a huge deal to any player let alone a fan. The best part about this is that he makes one catch on a lucky day and now he is not only a celebrity but a star in New York. That’s why it’s the Empire State folks…