Cuban baseball star Yulieski Gourriel and his younger brother have defected from Cuba with an eye on playing in MLB.
Yulieski Gourriel has appeared on cards since the 2006 World Baseball Classic when Upper Deck made cards for him and other players in the event. He also appeared on cards from Topps in 2009 and 2013.
Gourriel has nearly 100 different card appearances because of the WBC with the earliest coming in 2006 Exquisite Collection, Flair Showcase, SPx, Sweet Spot, Upper Deck and SP Authentic. In Topps’ releases he had cards in Bowman brands in 2008 and 2009 along with Triple Threads and was in the company’s 2013 Topps Tribute WBC Edition as well.
He doesn’t have a certified autograph but more than half of his cards are memorabilia cards from the WBC from all companies. Since he’s still a long way away from signing a deal, sales have not been high (except for rare memorabilia cards) but asking prices seem to have been bolstered by the news among eBay auctions.
Gourriel also has a handful of baseball cards from Japanese baseball card-maker BBM after playing in Nippon Professional Baseball as part of a contract procured by his country. His younger brother, Lordes, also defected but does not appear on any cards.
Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com.