Major League Baseball and Fanatics Collectibles unveiled Thursday “Debut Patches” to be worn by rookies making their MLB debut this season. After a player appears in his first game, the patch will go on his rookie card in a future Topps set. Here’s what you need to know:

The partnership marks the first-ever memorabilia deal made with a professional sports league specifically for inclusion on trading cards, Fanatics said. Fanatics owns Topps after buying the classic trading card company in early 2022.

Following a rookie’s debut major-league game, the patch will be removed, secured and authenticated by the MLB Authentication Program for inclusion in an upcoming Topps product.

The patch says “MLB Debut” and features the MLB logo. It will appear on jerseys starting on Opening Day and be used throughout the 2023 season as players make their MLB debuts.


What they’re saying

“For a player, there is no bigger moment than the first time they step onto a field for their major-league debut,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement. “The Debut Patch is one way to capture the timeless nature of this moment and provide fans the opportunity to be part of it by collecting a player-worn item.”


The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Will this be appealing to collectors?

One-hundred percent. And look, I’m not a relic guy. A piece of someone’s jersey is just “meh” to me as a collector (although there are plenty of people who love them). But now you’re talking about a very specific, unique piece of memorabilia from a very specific moment in a future star’s career — that is massive.