Bartolo Colon's home run delivers 'perfect' moment for Topps Now

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Friday, May 13, 2016

A baseball card of Bartolo Colon's home run shattered sales records of Topps Now, the card manufacturer's new on-demand printing business.

The company sold 8,826 cards of the 42-year-old pitcher hitting a home run on Saturday. The card went on sale at 11:30 a.m. ET on Sunday and stopped production exactly 24 hours later.

"This moment was the perfect storm," said Jeff Heckman, director of product development and e-commerce for Topps. "It was the right player in the right market and it happened on a weekend."

The program, developed this year by Topps, takes a popular moment and sells and produces as many cards as are ordered in 24 hours. Each of the cards sells for $9.99; bulk orders are cheaper.

Prior to sales of Colon's card, the cards that sold the most were Jake Arrieta's no-hitter (1,808 cards), Kris Bryant's grand slam and home run during Arrieta's no-hitter (1,644 cards), the debut of Rangers rookie Nomar Mazara (1,427 cards) and the hot start to the season for Astros rookie Tyler White (1,350 cards).

"When we first developed this, we thought that the best-selling card this season would be a no-hitter, a player hitting for the cycle or maybe Ichiro's 3000th hit," Heckman said. "Colon just has a cult following. We could have never dreamed up something like this."

Colon's home run off San Diego Padres pitcher James Shields set the record for the oldest player in Major League Baseball history to hit his first home run.

As Colon slowly rounded the bases, Mets TV announcer Gary Cohen said, "This is one of the great moments in the history of baseball. Bartolo Colon has gone deep." Video of the 365-foot blast circulated quickly in social media, as Colon trended on both Twitter and Facebook.

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