Topps Rookie Card Snafu: Mixing Up Hagen Danner and Bradin Hagens?

Blue Jays prospect Hagen Danner was not pictured on his own rookie card in the recent Topps Heritage Baseball release.

Hagen Danner of the Toronto Blue Jays poses for a portrait during photo day at TD Ballpark.
DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Hagen Danner #65 of the Toronto Blue Jays poses for a portrait during photo day at TD Ballpark on February 23, 2024 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

On April 10, the Topps trading card company launched the 2024 version of Topps Heritage Baseball, with this year’s release being an ode to the 1975 version. Geared towards the lower end of the collecting market, Heritage Baseball is aimed at those who enjoy opening many packs as they try to build the entire 500-card set. Prospect hunters look more for Bowman releases.

As seen over the years, the Topps company has not been immune to an error or two in its releases. Some have been more egregious than others, such as mixed-up vintage cut autos or multiple copies of the 1-of-1 superfractors in the 2023 Bowman Chrome release.

At least one card from the 2024 Heritage Baseball release will be joining that list after a photo mix-up made its way onto social media.

Hagen Danner, a catcher turned pitching prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, commented on a sales post by Anthonys Weekly Card Sales (@PizzosCards) on the social media platform X, stating “Definitely not even close to being me. What do we got @Topps?? Told you guys it wasn’t me and still released,” with crying happy face emojis to boot.

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In a later post, Danner claims he previously saw the card when he was asked to sign it and understandably refused.

Upon first glance, it is pretty easy to see that Danner is not pictured on the card, although he and the player featured both have long hair and facial hair.

The player on the card, which bears a facsimile signature of Danner on the front, has the Toronto Blue Jays logo on his jersey and hat, but Danner confirmed that it was not him on the baseball card.

Instead, a player by the name of Bradin Hagens commented on Danner’s post, confirming that he is the one featured on the card: “…that is definitely me from my time in double AA Mobile back in either 2013 or 2014.”

A quick Google image search seems to confirm Hagens’s comment; he certainly looks like the player on the baseball card. Hagens’s surname is close to Danner’s first name (Hagen), which is likely the reason behind the mixup on Topps’s end.

Hagens, who has never pitched for the Blue Jays organization, was drafted in the sixth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks and spent parts of six seasons with the D-backs, making his MLB debut in 2014 in the form of two relief appearances.

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He spent the 2015 campaign within the Tampa Bay Rays organization before taking his talents overseas to Japan for three years. After that, he took another crack at the big leagues with the Diamondbacks from 2018-19.

In 2020, the right-hander played independent ball before joining Rakuten in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, where he pitched from 2021 to ’23. For the 2024 season, Hagens signed with the TSG Hawks in the CPBL.

Danner, who has been with the Blue Jays since 2017, was a catcher within the farm system until the 2021 campaign when he was converted into a relief pitcher. In 2023, the right-hander split most of the campaign mostly between Double-A and Triple-A before making his debut on August 11 for the Blue Jays.

Unfortunately, the outing ended with Danner leaving the mound alongside a trainer after just one out and seven pitches, later diagnosed with an oblique strain that sent him to the IL for the rest of the season. The Jays prospect opened the 2024 campaign in Triple-A Buffalo.

Luckily for Danner, this isn’t his first baseball card, as he dons the catching gear in the 2017 Bowman Draft, his Bowman 1st which features his autograph and base card. He also has a card in the 2018 Topps Pro Debut as well.

Outside of Topps, Danner has a few cards and autographs across different brands (Panini and Leaf), but this Topps Heritage card was his rookie debut, featuring the “RC” logo in the bottom right corner.

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So far, Topps has yet to respond to Danner and the card error, which collectors are starting to post on eBay and other online retail sites anywhere from $1 to upwards of $700 (CAD).

The price range is based on various super short prints involving image swaps, nicknames on cards, and even intentional errors, although that range was supposed to be limited to just Cole Ragans (who features Brady Singer on his variation) and Corbin Carroll (who is missing the Rookie Cup logo on his variation).

It’s another Topps blunder in one of the company’s latest releases, although this error doesn’t hit one of their premier brands such as Bowman or Bowman Chrome. Hopefully for Danner, Topps will give him a proper rookie card in an upcoming release – ideally one that features his actual likeness.