Card of the Day: 2023 Topps Now Drew Maggi

Today’s Card of the Day covers the most exciting part of the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates season, though the specific timing of that exciting part is up for debate. The Pirates called up infielder Drew Maggi last month. At 33 years old, he had zero Major League experience, though he did spend two days on the Minnesota Twins roster in 2021 without playing. Today is his 34th birthday, so we take a look at one of the two cards put out by Topps to commemorate his time in the majors.

The “up for debate” part is whether you consider the most exciting part of Maggi’s time with the Pirates to be his Major League debut or his first big league hit. Topps put out cards for both accomplishments under their Topps Now series. If you don’t know, those are cards that they put up for sale for 24 hours on the day after events happen. However many cards are order during that time, that’s exactly how many they print.

The Maggi debut card is the one we will look at today. They printed 1,397 copies of that card. The card marking his first big league hit had 1,209 copies ordered. For comparison sake, Topps offered a card of Jack Suwinski on the same day as Maggi’s second card and 332 copies were ordered. Suwinski drove in five runs during the doubleheader. While they aren’t huge numbers, it’s clear that the Maggi card was a popular one for Topps, which is probably why they went back to the well quickly for a second card.

Here’s a look at card #190 from the 2023 Topps Now series, featuring Drew Maggi.

Here’s the front of the card:

Even if you refuse to watch the Manfredized version of baseball (I don’t blame you), you probably saw video of Drew Maggi finally getting his chance to play in the majors. It was all over the news, with many reporters actually saying his last name right. I originally remembered it way back in 2010 by saying it sounded like the “Maggi” in the last name DiMaggio. Being the Pirates fan you are, that’s Vince DiMaggio, and not one of his two brothers who played in that other league.

This photo is Maggi acknowledging the crowd at PNC Park, who gave him (in his own words) an unexpected standing ovation. He struck out in that at-bat, but the result really didn’t matter. He waited 13 years to finally get a chance to forever say that he played Major League Baseball.

The “RC” symbol here lets you know that this is his rookie card. That symbol also appears on his first hit card, which was printed five days later.

Here’s the back of the card:

The back of the card tells you a little more about the event, which is also briefly mentioned on the front. Topps also included a quote from Maggi about finally getting into the game. They labeled his as a designated hitter on this card because he pinch-hit for Andrew McCutchen, who was the DH in the game. Maggi ended up playing third base twice before being sent back to the minors.

These cards originally sold for $9.99 each from Topps. When you paid that price, two things happened. You had a chance for a rare variation of this card. You also got a special holder for the card. You can’t buy it from Topps anymore obviously, they don’t print extra copies. You can get it from dealers on Ebay, who buy these cards in bulk for a discounted price, then sell them cheaper than Topps, but for more than they paid. Once the cards are no longer being sold by Topps, then the sellers usually raise their prices. I’ve bought these cards on occasion from sellers, who don’t send the cards in the special holders that Topps sends. You also won’t get a variation card unless they are specifically listing the variation.

You can get this particular card for $18.95 (plus tax). About ten other sellers have it as well, and they are charging more. There is one being sold as a straight auction at $11 delivered, with no bids. That one will be completed before you see this article. Prices on cards like these usually drop as more time passes after the event. My guess is that you’ll be able to get this card cheaper if you wait a little bit.