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March 6, 2012

Yu Darvish is Topps...Exclusively!

If you can't get your hands on a Yu Darvish autograph the old fashion way when the Japanese phenom hits the field for the Texas Rangers this season, you can cross your fingers hope to pull one from a pack of Topps baseball cards.

According to reports, the card company has inked the pitcher to an exclusive two-year deal putting his autograph in select packs.

"He's special," Topps spokesman Mark Sapir said. "He's a rookie that comes with already extraordinary success in Japan. He's already proven himself in Japan. He's someone collectors are excited to watch. We're excited to give baseball fans a chance to get his card an autograph."

But, in the grand scheme of things, how exclusive is his "exclusive" deal?

I reached out to The Hall's baseball card expert (yup, that's a real thing!) and he wasn't really all that impressed.

"Since Topps has the monopoly on MLB-licensed baseball cards anyway, I don't think it's a big deal," baseball card guru Bo Rosny said. "It just means he won't be in Panini, which is not licensed by MLB...but is by the MLBPA."

That said, any autographed card pulled from a pack can, potentially, bring in the big bucks.  Matter of fact, pre-orders on eight box cases featuring the Darvish signed cards are already fetching more than a grand on eBay.

For the rest of us, cards featuring the righty in Rangers gear will be hitting store shelves soon.

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