Friday, October 23, 2015

Topps to Release Cards Focused on Players Who Overcame Disabilities & Health Problems

I know baseball cards are so 1990’s and earlier but Topps, the leading maker in baseball cards, is doing something that I felt was worth mentioning. Topps is releasing a new set of baseball cards that will feature and showcase ballplayers who have overcome disabilities and health changes on their path to stardom in Major League Baseball. This is quite the gesture, and marketing ploy but stick with me, by Topps and it deserves recognition in my opinion.

The set is to be called “Pride & Perseverance” and was released this week to celebrate the 70th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and also honors the 25th anniversary of American with Disabilities legislation.

Wendy Lewis, Major League Baseball’s Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Strategic Alliances, released a statement praising Topps for the new set and for bringing these players into the limelight once again. Players like Jim Abbot who was born without a right hand but went on to pitch in Major League Baseball and even throw a no-hitter with the New York Yankees after winning a U.S Olympic medal with the countries baseball team in 1988. Players like Curtis Pride who was legally deaf but still went on to play outfield and hit at a Major League level for 13 years with the New York Yankees, Detroit Tiger and others.

Jim Eisenreich will also be honored in the series after battling Tourette’s syndrome alongside Pete Gray, the St. Louis Browns outfielder who lost his arm in a childhood accident, and William Hoy who was born deaf but was still able to play centerfield from 1888 to 1902. There will be current players in the mix as well as the Chicago Cubs ace starting pitcher and first baseman Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo, both cancer survivors, will be in the pack along with former New York Yankees reliever Buddy Carlyle, who was diagnosed with diabetes. Houston Astros outfielder George Springer, who deals with stuttering on a daily basis, will be in the pack along with Jake Peavy, the San Francisco Giants right-hander, who is legally blind without corrective lenses or contacts.

Well played Topps, you may have just convinced me to get back into buying baseball card sets again. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)