Once upon a time, a young man with a “W” on his cap slugged his way into collectors’ hands from the confines of an artistic Topps baseball card that perfectly matched the styles of his era.

Eventually, Harmon Killebrew also slugged his way into collectors’ (and other fans’) hearts, making his 1955 Topps rookie card, where he dons a Washington Senators uniform, one of the most popular baseball cars of the mid-1950s.

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These days, there is another young slugger who has done all of that, too … just backwards.

Somehow, even in this day and age of super-early rookie and prospect cards, Juan Soto and his first cards arrived at just about the same time … and arrived in a big way.

In the summer of 2018, the 19-year-old Washington Nationals leftfielder slugged 22 home runs, drove in 70 runs, and hit .292, good enough for second-place in National League Rookie of the Year voting that fall despite playing in just 116 games for the Nats.

Then, the next year, Soto crushed 34 homers, drove in 110, hit .282, and even stole 12 bases to help the Nationals win their first World Series ring.

By that time, of course, collectors were already all over Soto’s cards, driving his 2018 Topps, Bowman, and Panini issues skyward in price.

Then came the pandemic, and a mostly demolished 2020 season … and even more production from Soto, who won the National League batting crown at .351 and led the majors in both on-base percentage (.490) and slugging percentage (.695).

Oh … and a young man with a “W” on his cap slugging his way into collections from the confines of a 1955 Topps baseball card …

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Of course, that’s not a real 1955 Topps pasteboard — it’s Soto’s card from the 2020 Archives set, but it doesn’t take much squinting for veteran collectors to get a tinge of Killer whenever we catch sight of this third-year Soto.

And, though he has a long way to go before he can claim a hunk of Cooperstown plaque space (metaphorically) alongside Killebrew, Soto has done things in his young career that only future Hall of Famers tend to do.

So …

Will Soto end up posting better overall numbers than Killebrew? Will he lead Washington to more glory? Will he take home an MVP award, like Harmon did in 1969?

Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure … that 2020 Topps Archives Soto packs a punch for collectors young and old.

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