#PlayersChoice Cuts: Topps put baseball cards in gum, and it stuck

Topps all started with a stick of bubblegum. The world's foremost sports trading card company began as a family gum business in Brooklyn in 1938.

The company staked its claim in American hobbyist culture in 1949 when it created 252 "magic photo" cards, which came as freebies inside packs of gum. Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby and Cy Young were three of the 19 baseball greats that magically appeared on the blank cards once the cards were moistened and exposed to light.

Abracadabra! Pulling a baseball card out of a pack of gum enchanted Americans everywhere.

In 1951, Topps released its first series of baseball cards. The 52 cards were housed in separated decks and designed to let kids play a game of card-baseball with their favorite players.

Fast forward 65 years and Topps now produces a full range of products across entertainment categories for fans to support their favorite players or entertainers. Physical trading cards, mobile trading cards, memorabilia, wall art and stickers enable fans to collect, trade and display their favorite players.

Here at the Major League Baseball Players Association, we focus on Topps' licensed baseball products.

One of the newer ones is Topps Bunt, which is a mobile app available in the App Store and Google Play. The app allows users to trade digital cards on mobile devices.

With features including the ability to attain new levels within the app, trading up to 18 cards and upgrading player cards, the original idea of baseball card games has evolved into an interactive fan vs. fan game that marries fantasy sports and card collecting. 

Topps also launched a new feature at the start of the 2016 season, Topps Now. Topps Now takes the most memorable moments from the previous day in baseball and highlights them in cards that are available for purchase online for just 24 hours.

Fans can own their own piece of baseball history with Topps Now. Bartolo Colon's first career home run, Max Scherzer's 20-strikeout game and Jake Arrieta's second career no-hitter are among the top five most popular Topps Now cards.  

Who ever thought finding a player hidden in a pack of gum would be an idea that would stick around and keep its flavor for generations of fans to enjoy?