This faux baseball card is a real hit.
Topps released a Tom Brady baseball card this week to celebrate the obscure fact that the seven-time Super Bowl champ was drafted as a catcher by the Montreal Expos back in 1995.
Brady, of course, chose instead to attend the University of Michigan as a football recruit, and the rest is history.
Or is it?
Along with the rare Brady baseball cards for Topps’ Bowman Draft line that show the imaginary MLB icon wearing his famed No. 12 for the Expos, Topps created a commercial that imagines Brady’s career if he’d stayed in Montreal and played with teammates such as Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero and Larry Walker.
In the clip, released on Dec. 12 (which Topps declared “Brady Day”), the retired quarterback has a dream that he played pro baseball for 23 seasons, and won seven World Series instead.
The sports multiverse campaign goes so deep that even Brady’s football rival, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, got into the act by posting a clip pretending he played for the San Francisco Giants of baseball. (The football Giants handed Brady two Super Bowl defeats.)
Baseball’s Hall of Fame also created a fictional Brady plaque.
The Topps promo included tons of Brady Easter eggs — including a nod that Brady played in the greatest comeback of all time against the Atlanta Braves, not the Atlanta Falcons, plus an ad for a local Montreal dealership called Brady Auto that has a working number, 1-866-CAR-TB12, fans can actually call.
Almost as soon as Topps dropped the new Bowman Draft set, one of the rare Brady cards already had a $500,000 offer.
Apparel line Mitchell & Ness also has created limited edition Expos jerseys with Brady’s name.
We hear that the concept for the elaborate rollout came when Michael Rubin — the sports business whiz whose Fanatics company owns Topps — learned that the football legend had been a baseball draft pick, and he hatched the idea for a special card commemorating his would-be career.
Brady actually teased the card drop way back in October when he wore a No. 12 Expos jersey to a Topps event at the MLB store in surprise appearance with Rubin, Travis Scott and Kevin Hart.