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Baseball Cards Meet Video Games

Baseball cards are finally going high-tech.

Topps has been making Major League Baseball cards since the 1950s but they’ve never been as cool as this. Now, baseball card collectors can actually watch players come to life with a little help from their home computer and a web cam.

Not only do MLB baseball players like Albert Pujols, Johan Santana and Alex Rodriguez appear in 3D in the 2009 Topps card collection, now kids can take virtual batting practice or hurl a couple of fastballs in the bullpen. All they have to do is hold the special 3D Live Cards up to a web cam and punch a couple of keys.


“It’s very similar to a computer video game,” Scott Grimes, the chief technology officer for Topps, told ESPN’s Colin Cowherd.


“We have in fact taken the standard baseball card and using a technology called ‘augmented reality’ have those cards come to life in 3D on your computer screen,” adds Grimes. “Take your card, go on to www.toppstown.com, hold your card up to the web cam and the player will Harry Potter-like appear on the screen.”


Sounds pretty cool to us. Especially because there are still all the excellent player stats and the bubble gum that have always been part of the fun of collecting sports cards.


The card sets are starting with just baseball but if everybody likes them, Topps will start to do the same thing for basketball, football and hockey in the near future.


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