NEW YORK -- One of Carlos Correa's most prized possessions is a Roberto Clemente baseball card, which he keeps in his room. Clemente, the Hall of Famer, is one of the best players to come out of Correa's native Puerto Rico and considered one of the game's great humanitarians.
Correa didn't collect many baseball cards growing up in Puerto Rico, but fans can now own Correa's card with the Topps MLB BUNT app, a digital trading card app. Correa recently signed an exclusive memorabilia deal with Topps, which includes being the official spokesman for the card company, and spoke about the app Monday at the Westin Grand Central.
"It's really cool to be part of TOPPS Bunt," Correa said. "You grow up playing the game you love and eventually hoping to be a big league player and hopefully do great things for the game. You grow up collecting baseball cards as well. To be part and be the face of TOPPS Bunt really means a lot. It's really special, not only for me but for my family, because we made a lot of sacrifices to get to where we are nowadays, and it's something that we really appreciate and it's really special to us."
With Topps BUNT, fans can collect their favorite teams, players and moments. New content and cards are released daily during the season, and the cards can be traded within the Topps BUNT community instantly and worldwide. Collectors can take their cards into contests and earn points in real-time based on the card style and the players' real performance.
Correa, who's spotlighted on the app icon and splash screen, said he couldn't afford many cards growing up, but Clemente was a hero. The card served as a constant reminder of the player he was on the field and man he was off the field.
"I have a lot of respect for that guy, obviously, and he was a role model to me, and I feel like for everybody back home," he said. "I have to keep that card forever."
Correa, of course, is now a Puerto Rican hero himself, and he hopes the BUNT app can help kids everywhere keep tabs on him and his career.
"It's a lot easier for the fans with the new generation of baseball cards," he said. "It will be more fun."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.