Topps Fanatics & MLB Partner On 1/1 MLB Debut Patch Cards

April 3, 2023

A player’s very first major league game is a beginning, for sure. But it’s also a destination, one that marks the culmination of a journey against nearly insurmountable odds.

Topps Fanatics and MLB have announced a new undertaking with MLB that will help make celebrating Major League debuts a one-of-a-kind collecting experience.

What was announced?

Topps Fanatics, the exclusive manufacturer of licensed major league baseball cards, and MLB are partnering on new MLB Debut patches. Players will wear these patches during the game in which they make their major league debut. Calling out a player’s debut is a great idea in its own right, but it’s just the start.

After the player’s first game, the patch will be removed, authenticated, and sent to Topps Fanatics. The patch will make its way to an exclusive 1/1 MLB Debut Patch card in an upcoming Topps product.

Who has already worn the Topps MLB Debut Patch?

On Opening Day 2023, a few key players wore the MLB Debut patch, including top prospects like the New York Yankees Anthony Volpe and St. Louis Cardinals Jordan Walker. Japanese imports like Kodai Senga of the New York Mets and Masataka Yoshida of the Boston Red Sox.

Also likely to wear the patch very soon are Colorado shortstop Ezequiel Tovar (#25 prospect), White Sox outfielder Oscar Colás (#85 prospect), and Atlanta starting pitcher Jared Shuster (Braves’ #1 prospect).

When will we see 1/1 MLB Debut Patch Cards?

The first 1/1 MLB Debut Patch cards should appear either in products released late in 2023, or in 2024. Exactly when players appear on Debut Patch cards will depend on when players make their debut, the population of the player, and Topps production and release calendar.

While in some ways 1/1s are starting to feel a little less than special due to so many being released each year, they do remain popular with most collectors. Patch cards, especially if they are certified game used, are also a popular collectible.

So, it stands to reason that a 1/1 card that features a game-used patch should be quite popular with collectors. Add in the connection to a player’s debut game, and we likely have a winner.

Other thoughts on 1/1 MLB Debut Patch Cards

Perhaps more important than how popular these cards will be with existing collectors is the potential for this agreement to expose non-collectors to the hobby. Think about it. Every player making their debut will wear the patch. It’ll be shown on TV, and the commentators are sure to mention the patch, the connection with Topps, and the rarity of 1/1 cards.

Since the announcement, we’ve already seen coverage from not just hobby sources, but major media outlets like ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the Boston Globe, and more.

This has the potential to expose more fans to the hobby, and hopefully, a few of them are drawn to the hobby and start collecting. That is the biggest potential win behind this new agreement, in my opinion.

MLB Debut Patch

Final thoughts on 1/1 MLB Debut Patch Cards

Whether it’s the start of a long career or a late-season cup of coffee, a player’s major league debut is something to celebrate.

The latest news from Topps Fanatics and MLB offers collectors a unique new collectible to chase, and more importantly, will draw attention to card collecting among MLB fans.