Topps Creates Julio Rodriguez Baseball Cards Made Entirely Of Bubblegum

For nearly 40 years, Topps included a stick of bubblegum in every baseball card pack. The practice ended — rightfully so — in 1991 over complaints that the gum would stain the cards. However, Topps is bringing it back — now in card form!

Topps announced Thursday they have made bubblegum cards of Seattle Mariners All-Star Julio Rodriguez. The bubblegum J-Rod cards are numbered to five and come in a slab.


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A video on the sports card company’s Instagram shows how the artist made the innovative bubblegum card.

“You can’t tell the story of Topps without the BUBBLE GUM. This J.Rod gum-inspired art card pays tribute to our origin story. NUMBERED TO FIVE,” Topps wrote on Instagram.

It’s not yet known how these cards will be given away.

Topps’ History With Gum

In 1951, Topps included taffy candy inside a pack of cards. However, as Sy Berger, the designer of the iconic 1952 Topps set, told The Pueblo Chieftain in 2000, it was an absolute disaster because the baseball card finish made the candy smell like kerosene.

That changed a year later as gum was added to packs of 1952 Topps.

1952 Topps Lot
1952 Topps Lot. (credit: eBay)

“We were absolute neophytes,” Berger, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 91, told The Pueblo Chieftain. “The 1952 series went like hot cakes. We came to the conclusion that we needed a second series. By the time it came out, it was World Series time. We learned that kids don’t buy baseball cards at World Series time because football is starting.”

Berger also retold the infamous story of hiring a garbage boat to dump thousands of 1952 Topps cards into the Atlantic Ocean because no one was buying them.

“We had a lot of cards left over, packed in boxes in our warehouse. We couldn’t find anyone to take them off our hands. So, we decided to destroy them,” Berger recalled to The Pueblo Chieftain.

He added, “I don’t know how many cards there were, but it was enough to make you a millionaire. We didn’t know.”

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. (credit: Heritage Auctions)

And he was right. The highest selling card of all-time is a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle that went for $12.6 million.

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