Fanatics owner, Michael Rubin hasn’t been shy showing off his business venture he made when he bought Topps. Recently, we’ve seen him rip boxes of Topps Sterling Baseball with soccer superstar Antoine Griezmann where he pulls a 1/1 Jackie Robinson autographed card. Although collectors on social media speculated the possibility of this being a loaded box, it’s easy to say that what Rubin is doing for the hobby only makes people more interested and excited to rip open boxes.
Rubin isn’t done there. On the Showtime podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, two former NBA champions, Rubin teases a Tom Brady card. But, it isn’t football. It’s a baseball card. Yes, Tom Brady was almost a professional baseball player. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos back in 2000. In fact, Brady was actually the last pick that the Expos would ever make. Although his professional baseball career didn’t pan out, Brady has gone down in football history as the greatest of all time. With being the best, the hobby has taken notice of Brady’s value. Tom Brady has the second most expensive football card of all time, which sold at auction for 3.8 million dollars.
Collectors knew for months that there was going to be Tom Brady 1st Bowman cards in this year’s products after it was announced at the Topps Industry Conference. We also knew that there was going to be autos of Brady. But, this is where Rubin is a marketing mastermind. Topps has the licensing rights to MLB, while Panini has the rights to the NBA and the NFL. The agreement expires in 2026 and the assumption is that Fanatics will scoop both of those deals up. But Rubin isn’t going to wait until 2026 to make a Brady card. On the podcast, he unveiled a one of one Tom Brady card with the inscription, “If baseball doesn’t work out there’s always football,” Brilliant.
This makes that card arguably the biggest chase in the product. Brady cards, especially ones from his rookie year, have sold multiple times for millions of dollars. Even autos of Brady have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. What makes this card even more rare is that there has never been an officially licensed baseball card of Tom Brady (there have been customs made.) Thinking about how rare and unique this one of one card is, it’s easy to speculate that this card, when it’s pulled, could easily sell for millions of dollars.
During the interview, Rubin discusses the future of Fanatics, the hobby and at the end of the episode pulls out his phone to show Barnes and Jackson the Brady baseball card. This news has hobby Twitter blowing up with images of the card. It seems that collectors are excited about the possibility of pulling this one of one. By making this move, Rubin continues to put the thrill in collecting Topps products. Putting Brady in Bowman seems like an attempt to connect football collectors to baseball collectors.
We’ll see as time goes on which specific Bowman product you are able to pull that Brady one of one out of, if it’s even released in the next year. But until then, Michael Rubin’s tactful marketing only builds hype around Bowman. The hobby will be watching closely to see what tricks he pulls from his hat next.