The Washington Times - December 22, 2009, 11:34AM

Topps announced Tuesday that it signed an exclusive deal with Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

The deal gives the company the right to sell autographed cards and game-used memorabilia, and allows Topps to use Strasburg’s image on packaging and advertising.

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This is the first big endorsement deal announced by Topps since it became the exclusive trading card of both the majors and minors. It’s also the first endorsement for Strasburg, who landed a record-breaking contract when he signed with the Nationals in June. The 21-year-old pitcher went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA for San Diego State last season.

“I can’t wait to see myself in uniform on my first Topps card,” Strasburg said in a press release from Topps. “That’s when I know I will have truly made it as a baseball player.”