- Topps All-Star Rookie Teams
The Topps All-Star Rookie Team, also known as the Topps ASR, is a set of
baseball cardsissued by Toppsevery year to commemorate notable rookie players.
Since the 1960's, one characteristic unique to Topps regular issue baseball card sets is the inclusion of a sub-set of players named to the annual Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The team usually consists of eight position players (four infielders, three outfielders, one catcher) and two pitchers (one left-hander and one right-hander). The first Topps ASR team appeared in the 1960 baseball card series and featured a special card design that included a trophy symbol of a batter on a top hat and the phrase, "Selected by the youth of America." The set was well-received from the start, partly due to the inclusion of Hall-of-Famer
Willie McCovey's rookie card in that inaugural team.
In 1961, Topps moved to including a trophy symbol that included the phrase "Topps 1961 All-Star Rookie" on cards that followed the same design as the rest of the regular issue. This practice continued until 1973, when the symbol was changed to a gold cup bearing the words "Topps All-Star Rookie." Topps left the symbol off the 1974 cards, marking the first year since 1960 that the players were not recognized on the card faces. The gold cups reappeared in 1975 and stayed through 1978. In 1979, Topps once again left the symbol off the cards and it stayed off through the 1986 release. During the years when the symbol did not appear, a list of All-Star Rookies was still selected, though there was no regular indication of it on the cards.
1987 Toppsbaseball set featured a throwback design paying homage to the 1962 set. The '62 cards had a wood-grain design on the borders and had included the All-Star Rookie trophy on team members' cards. Topps brought back the gold cup symbol on the '87 cards and has apparently made a commitment to its inclusion. The by|2005 set, the most recent release at the time of this article, included the 19th straight Topps All-Star Rookie Team and the 37th overall issue of the team commemorated by a gold symbol on the face of team members' cards.
In by|2000, a special 10-card insert set of Topps All-Star Rookies was included in packs of the regular issue. Topps combined a list of All-Star names and holographic foil design to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Topps All-Star Rookie team. On the front these cards featured a current player that had been named to a team in his respective rookie season. The backs of each card contained a list of players from 1959 through by|1999 that had been named to the team at the position played by the player on the front of the card. The team was composed of the following::
Mark McGwire, 1B: Chuck Knoblauch, 2B: Chipper Jones, 3B: Cal Ripken, Jr., SS: Manny Ramírez, OF: Ken Griffey, Jr., OF: José Canseco, OF: Mike Piazza, C: Dwight Gooden, RHP: Billy Wagner, LHP
In addition to
Willie McCovey's appearance on the 1959 squad, many players have been named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team and then gone on to greatness. 14 Hall of Famemembers, including McCovey, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tom Seaverhave appeared in an All-Star Rookie Team. You can see a full listing of them here.
Players too numerous to mention, have appeared in a Topps All-Star Rookie team and a
Major League BaseballAll-Star team. The most prolific All-Star was Cal Ripken, Jr.who appeared on 19 All-Star rosters.
Cal Ripken, Jr.was named the All-Star Rookie shortstop his first two seasons. Unfortunately, his cards appeared in the by|1982 and by|1983 sets - neither one included the gold trophy symbols.
Ichiro Suzuki, named to the 2001 Topps All-Star Rookie Roster, was also named the by|2001 American League MVP. Suzuki, a Nippon League superstar, was also named the AL Rookie of the Year after winning the batting averageand the stolen basecrowns in his first Major League campaign. Ichiro's 242 base hits set the record for the most hits in a season by a rookie.
Fernando Valenzuelaaccomplished a feat matched by no other in by|1981 when he won the NL Cy Young awardin the same year that he was named to the Topps ASR team.
*In by|1995, 2001, and 2005, both Managers of the Year were former All-Star Rookie Team members. In '95 it was
Don Baylorand Lou Piniella, in '01 it was Larry Bowaand Piniella, and in '05 it was Bobby Coxand Ozzie Guillén.
*Over 20 different players have been named to an All-Star Rookie Team and then won a league MVP award. Only Ichiro and
Fred Lynndid it the same season. Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Cal Ripken, Jr.each earned two MVP awards.
Topps All-Star Rookie Rosters- year-by-year listing of each Topps All-Star Rookie Team
*Since by|1971, "
Baseball Digest" has annually selected an All-Star Rookie team as well. The latest roster is usually printed along with all past rosters in one of their off-season issues. For more on "Baseball Digest", look [http://www.centurysports.net/baseball/ here] .
*Various [http://www.topps.com/ Topps] Baseball Cards
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/ Baseball-Reference.com]
* [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ Baseball-Almanac.com]
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