Winter Olympics arrival means it’s time to watch Topps cards heat up

Imagine a world where New York Yankees star Aaron Judge had just a single product where you could find his one Rookie Card and one rookie autograph — okay, okay, throw in some parallels of them and maybe a variation or two to make it a more realistic scenario.

What might those sell for? How tough would that wax become over time? It’s something to ponder.

That hypothetical is much, much closer to reality for Olympic athletes and the heavy focus on the few cards they do have gets amplified a million times over during the Olympic Games, no matter whether they are of the summer or winter variety. While we’re still on the cusp of this year’s Winter Olympics, some of the notable first-time autographs already are selling very well — but there’s clearly room for more as they become true household names. One of those likely names belongs to 17-year-old snowboarder Chloe Kim, who’ll appear on the cover of ESPN The Magazine‘s Olympics Issue dropping on Friday when the Winter Games open in South Korea.

The Kim 2018 Topps U.S. Winter Olympic Team & Hopefuls Gold autograph (/25) you see here already sold for $199, which seems low compared to the hype that already comes before she takes to the halfpipe and her dominating success in the Winter X Games. It’s also impressive considering it comes from a box guaranteeing ink that’s presently less than $75.

But it’s not alone.

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Katie Uhlaender should bring some baseball to Winter Olympics

You might not find Katie Uhlaender in the newest Topps Winter Olympics card set that officially arrives in stores beginning today, but there’s still plenty to collect for those who remember her story from last time around and are looking forward to a new chapter soon.

In the 2014 Winter Games, she came up four-hundredths of a second short of winning a bronze medal in skeleton, but that story isn’t yet final even all these years later. Why? Russia’s Elena Nikitina was stripped of her bronze after doping violations late last year — and it’s quite possible that an adjustment of results will be done soon. Plus, just last week Uhlaender was named to this year’s squad, making her the first four-time Olympian in her sport.

But when it comes to Uhlaender cardboard, it’s actually not all about her, and there’s a pretty good chance we’ll soon see a 1969 Topps baseball card of her father, Ted Uhlaender, on her sled and his 1972 Cincinnati Reds National League Championship ring as part of a necklace she wears while competing around her neck during the action in South Korea.

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