Donning Expos jersey, Tom Brady shares love for baseball cards

Seven-time Super Bowl champ helps Topps celebrate inaugural Hobby Rip Night

October 2nd, 2023

Opening baseball card packs with famous ballplayers, both past and present, has become a favorite pastime within America’s favorite pastime.

But on Saturday in both New York City and Linwood, N.J., an event of this kind took place that was different from any before it. In this event, the individual ripping open the packs had an unusual connection to the sport, not to mention some notoriety in another.

“This is a pretty cool day,” said seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, who surprised card collectors at the MLB Store in New York to celebrate Topps' inaugural Hobby Rip Night. “[I was 10 years old] when I started collecting all my baseball cards. I still have binders full of my favorite players.”

The event was part of a nationwide Topps Rip Night in participating stores across the country. Brady’s appearance underscored his love of baseball, which he cultivated early in life. But he wasn’t merely a collector of cards -- he was a pretty good catcher.

Good enough, in fact, to be selected by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft out of Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif. That’s the same high school that produced Barry Bonds.

Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft.

But Brady chose instead to play football at the University of Michigan, which in hindsight, seems to have been a pretty good choice.

“I was a decent catcher,” the 6-foot-4 Brady said. “But being a catcher and being tall doesn’t work. So I had to pick football instead.”

Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2000, and he became one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. In addition to winning a record seven Super Bowls, Brady was a three-time Most Valuable Player, a 15-time Pro Bowl selection and a five-time Super Bowl MVP, just to name a few of his myriad of accolades.

Brady started collecting baseball cards at 10 years old and still has binders full of his favorite players.

Still, like others who went on to reach great heights in other sports, Brady is a great baseball fan at heart. While wearing an Expos shirt featuring the number 12, which was his number during his illustrious football career, he ripped open the first pack, and the first card he drew was a decent pull: Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr.

Brady then pulled what he called a “throwback Derek Jeter card,” a Pete Alonso, Shohei Ohtani and many more before signing autographs and even making some trades with kids in the crowd.