For autograph dealers and corporate America, Aaron Judge is the guy that everyone wants ... but can't have.
While the 6-foot-7 New York Yankees slugger has become more in demand than any young star in the game's history -- yes, including Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant -- Judge has told his agents that he's not ready to sort through all the options.
"He's a routine guy," said Page Odle of PSI Sports Management, which represents Judge. "He'll address the business side at some point, but right now he's just trying to be the best Yankee he can be."
The stats speak for themselves. The most sexy one, of course, being the fact that he now holds the Yankees' rookie record for the most home runs in a season (30). And he did it by the All-Star break.
And if the world hasn't already seen some of his monster blasts, he'll take two of the biggest stages in the Home Run Derby on Monday and in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
The collectible world can't get enough of Judge, who is getting hounded by autograph companies to sign an exclusive deal with them. In the meantime, the only fresh product being penned by Judge's hand, outside catching him at the ballpark, are on cards for Panini and Topps.
The autographed Topps Bowman 2013 Chrome card signed by Judge is the star thus far. At least 15 of those cards have sold on eBay for more than $5,000 each; the highest winning bid on a card was $14,655.
"I don't even know what to say," Judge said, when told about the price paid for the card by New York Daily News beat reporter Mike Mazzeo.
After Judge hit home run No. 30 on Friday, beating DiMaggio's single-season Yankees record for a rookie, Topps for its Now product issued Judge cards commemorating the achievement. The autographed versions of the card, alone worth a gross of $70,000 to Topps, sold out in 18 minutes.
The way the Topps Now product works is that it allows collectors to buy any amount of the regular, non-autographed cards for 24 hours, then the card goes out of print. The sheer volume of Judge cards that have been ordered tells the story.
"With all of his records and accomplishments, Topps Now has issued 14 cards for Aaron Judge with more than 40,000 cards printed in the first half of the season," said Jeff Heckman, Topps director of ecommerce.
For a typical, 24-hour, print-run card, Judge averages about 2,800 cards sold, more than doubling the likes of baseball's other more marketable stars, Heckman said.
The jersey Judge wore on May 28, when he hit his first grand slam, was sold by Yankees auction partner Steiner Sports on June 4 for $45,578. It's among the top five highest prices paid for a baseball jersey over the past year. For perspective, the high bid to a 1972 game-worn Hank Aaron jersey sold in November was $35,850.
Odle estimates that his client has received more than 100 endorsement offers. But despite pulling in a modest $544,500 salary this year, Odle says Judge isn't concerned about the money.
"He's very confident in himself," Odle said.
Judge's only two deals thus far are with Under Armour for cleats and Rawlings for his glove.
If Judge keeps up his torrid pace, expect a busy offseason for the 25-year-old, who will certainly be offered money too good to pass up.