There are some pretty easy ways to get Jeopardy! merchandise if you poke around the Internet, but getting merchandise commemorating the run of champion James Holzhauer is a bit harder to come by. It’s not like the game show makes championship rings or belts, and in most cases shirts with your favorite Jeopardy! champion on them would be a bit weird.
Holzhauer, however, seems like a special case. The winner of more than $2.4 million over 32 episodes became an internet and media darling during his run, winning over legions of fans and turning nightly airings of the game show into must-see television. It’s no surprise, then, that other people took notice of Holzhauer and have commemorated his run.
One of those is Topps, the trading card company that’s made most of its scratch on baseball cards. Holzhauer, a known Cubs fan and now-former Jeopardy! contestant very interested in a job in the sport, was recently honored by getting his image on a trading card. And this isn’t a one-off made specially for Holzhauer’s collection or anything; the card is part of the company’s 2019 edition of its Allen and Ginter series.
— Topps @ NSCC Booth No. 676 (@Topps) August 2, 2019
For those not familiar with trading cards, Allen and Ginter is a popular series of baseball cards modeled after the first trading cards ever produced, which were sold inside packets of cigarettes. The throwback design is charming, as is the throwback nature of the cards themselves. Each pack has a mini card in it, just like the ones sold with cigarettes back in the day. And the series also does something those cards did as well: include popular people made famous by means other than baseball.
Over the years, the series has included Olympic athletes, Stephen A. Smith, and a wide variety of wonders of the world — lakes, national parks, and mythical creatures. It’s also done very weird things with its specialty inserts, such as including a hair follicle of Abraham Linclon or “jersey cards” of sportscasters that are actually just a swatch of their suit fabric.
It’s a super charming series full of odd entries that now includes Holzhauer, who showed off his own autographed card at a convention on Friday. He was also asked to sign some Weird Al memorabilia, which is funny because he has Yankovic from “I Lost On Jeopardy” as his Twitter avatar.
Some autograph requests are more creative than others pic.twitter.com/CvOoOG8a9i
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) August 2, 2019
It truly is a high honor, and Holzhauer seems like the perfect person to truly appreciate what it means. If you’re a big enough Jeopardy! fan that you’re willing to buy it on the secondary market, it’ll cost you at least $100 at places like eBay for the autographed version. For the rest of us? Happy hunting.