Bryce Harper has lived up to the hype as unanimous NL MVP — and that’s good for baseball cards

BryceHarper2012ToppsRCNot long ago, Bryce Harper was a hyped high-schooler on the cover of Sports Illustrated, then a dropout who got his GED early to hit junior college for a year before being taken No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft.

Now, four years into his MLB career, he’s the unanimous National League MVP.

HarperFutureStarHe’ll be just 23 next season and he’s already got a home run title, an MVP moniker and more haters than the New York Yankees (hey, it’s a young team), but it’s been pretty obvious all year long that Harper has arrived.

What’s next for his cardboard? Well, one would think he’s closing the gap between him and Mike Trout as the biggest diamond king of them all on the field. He might not be there just yet, but he should be re-establishing himself on cardboard as we speak if he wasn’t there already in the minds of many collectors over the course of this season.

Unlike Trout, who had his ups and downs on cardboard, Harper was tagged as a phenom from the start with his first USA Baseball cards from Upper Deck in 2008 among the hottest ever made for the organization. His arrival in Bowman brands in 2011 only amplified those feelings with MLB logos and Chrome rainbow possibilities before his Rookie Cards brought one more step in his cardboard journey — and it’s been a big, impressive one — in 2012.

Where do we go from here, both on cards and in the field? It will be exciting to see and hopefully a good thing for the baseball card world.

The once-hyped phenom is as advertised — he’s the rookie who was rated highly, the Future Star who is just that now, a Nationals treasure. He has truly delivered on the field and for the hobby.

It happens so rarely. It should be appreciated.

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