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What’s Buzzing Today: Big breaks, big pulls and big debates in today’s edition.
No matter what he does, Gift Ngoepe‘s first play for the Pittsburgh Pirates will be a historic one.
The team called him up on Wednesday — after nine seasons in the minors — making him the first MLB player born in Africa. You know, the entire continent.
And thanks to the World Baseball Classic and Topps he’s already got a modest amount of MLB-approved cardboard for collectors to chase.
USA Baseball clinched its first World Baseball Classic championship late Wednesday night and now the new baseball cards are here.
How? Via Topps Now — Topps‘ online platform for real-time baseball cards that capture moments as soon as possible on cardboard.
A dozen cards were revealed on Thursday with USA’s star pitcher Marcus Stroman the subject of two types of Relic cards — with and without ink.
The next piece in Topps’ World Baseball Classic cardboard puzzle is here.
With two teams already advancing to the semi-final round of this year’s international showcase, the 2017 Topps Now World Baseball Classic team sets are now here.
That means even more stars from the WBC squads get cardboard — and collectors get bonuses if the teams win it all.
Game-used Relics from the World Baseball Classic will have a new home later this year.
Topps revealed on Wednesday that it will include Relics from the WBC in 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter when it arrives in July.
Topps Now is the answer to the question of how the World Baseball Classic will be covered when it comes to baseball cards.
The real-time baseball card platform launched its 2017 Topps Now WBC set on Monday with cards from the Team Israel victory over Korea.
“We’re excited for the progression of the Topps Now program and bringing these cards to a wider audience of baseball fans,” said David Leiner, Topps’ GM and VP of North American Sports and Entertainment. “This program has been a lot of fun since its inception to see what great moments and milestones we can capture on cards. The World Baseball Classic is a natural fit because it offers great plays from international stars, and there are also players whose cards you might not be able to get anywhere else.”
One of The Greatest’s greatest belts is on the auction block this week.
It’s Muhammad Ali‘s WBC heavyweight championship belt from his win over George Foreman during the “Rumble in the Jungle” fight and it’s being sold by Heritage Auctions.
“The historical significance of the piece, arguably the most significant boxing award ever made available at public auction, is quite simply immeasurable,” reads the Dallas-based auction house’s listing. “Far more than just a trophy of elite athletic achievement, this belt serves as a mute witness to Muhammad Ali’s undaunted pursuit of justice itself, and as a symbol of the myriad complexities of race, religion and patriotism that challenge all of us to this day. It is a truly priceless artifact of the American experience.”