Topps will be honoring 12 past and present athletes in its Update set, which is already on the shelves in hobby shops and retail outlets.
The Pride & Perseverance insert set honors 12 current and former major-leaguers who succeeded despite of disabilities. The Update set coincided with the 70th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness month, which was celebrated Wednesday. It also honors 25 years of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities legislation.
The 12-card set includes former players like Jim Abbott, who excelled as a pitcher despite being born without a right hand; Pete Gray, the St. Louis Browns outfielder who made it to the majors despite losing his arm in a childhood accident; and William “Dummy” Hoy, an exceptionally talented outfielder who played from 1888 to 1902 and excelled despite being deaf.
Current players include Cubs pitcher Jon Lester and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who are both cancer survivors; Giants pitcher Jake Peavy, who is legally blind without his corrective lenses; and Athletics outfielder Sam Fuld, who is dealing with Type 1 diabetes.
According to David Leiner, Topps’ vice president and general manager of North American Sports and Entertainment, the importance of the Pride & Perseverance set “cannot be overstated.”
"These men had to overcome great odds to not only make it to the majors, but at times with what could have been a disadvantage,” Leiner said in a news release. Instead, they are an inspiration and we are honored to showcase them in our product."