Notable Flagship Card No. 1s, Pt. 2

First Impressions Matter in Series 1

Date: Feb 8, 2024
Author: Greg Bates, Senior Writer
Topics: 2024 Topps Series 1, Card No. 1, Flagship, How To Collect
Length: 682 Words
Reading Time: ~4 Minutes

Card No. 1 of every Topps Flagship set is always remembered. The player that graces that golden number is the Chosen One, literally and figuratively. Since 1952, the lead-off card has been reserved for the best of the best—Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Nolan Ryan, Mike Trout, and Ronald Acuna, to name a few. The No. 1 card has featured individual players, a league president, a commissioner, batting leaders, ERA leaders, World Series champions, home run leaders, the all-time home run king, record breakers, All-Star Rookie Cup recipients, and Future Stars. Hank Aaron (1963, ’73, ’74, ’75, ’76) and Alex Rodriguez (2003, ’05, ’06, ’08, ’09) have each appeared a record five times on card No. 1. Nolan Ryan (1970, ’90, ’91, ’92) has earned four No. 1 cards. Ted Williams (1954, ’57, ’58) and, most recently, Mike Trout (2014, ’16, ’20) have three appearances each. Let’s take a look at 10 notable No. 1 Topps Flagship cards of all time.


Topps Series Baseball Card No. 1, cards 5-1


5: 2010 Topps Series 1 Baseball #1 Prince Fielder

Out of all the No. 1 cards in the history of Topps flagship, none capture the coolness factor quite like the 2010 Prince Fielder. The Milwaukee Brewers first baseman is standing like a king on home plate after he connected on a 12th-inning, walk-off home run. Untucking his jersey while he rounds the bases, his teammates were surrounding home plate. When Fielder jumps on the base, all the Brewers fall backward, like a bowling ball knocking down every pin. Longtime Associated Press photographer Morry Gash nails the moment perfectly.

4: 1954 Topps Baseball #1 Ted Williams

The first of three Ted Williams No. 1 cards over a five-year span, the 1954 version epitomizes the sweet swing of one of baseball’s greatest hitters in the sport’s history. Williams was coming off the 1953 season, in which he had played only 39 games. He spent the first part of the year fighting in the Korean War. Williams missed nearly five full seasons during his career while serving as a pilot in World War II and the Korean War. A great choice to be the first card in 1954, Williams was an All-Star that year, hitting .345 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs.

3: 1952 Topps Baseball #1 Andy Pafko

The most renowned and important Topps release is the first, the 1952 set. It marks Mickey Mantle’s first Flagship card and features many future Hall of Famers. Mantle, just 20 years old then, was given card No. 311. However, the very first card in the very first Topps Baseball set was awarded to Brooklyn Dodgers center fielder Andy Pafko. Since it is the lead-off card, it is tough to find in good condition; kids back in 1952 would place rubber bands around their cards, and Pafko was generally on the top of the stack. Remarkably, PSA has never graded a Pafko in a 10 or 9 for his regular card. There is just one Pafko black back in a PSA 9.

2: 1953 Topps Baseball #1 Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson’s second Topps card is a beautiful work of art. Robinson — who broke the MLB color barrier six years earlier — is depicted smiling as he sports his Dodgers cap. The Brooklyn Bridge is prominent in the background. At this point in his career, Robinson is an established star worthy of the No. 1 card in the 1953 set. That year, Robinson amassed solid numbers with a .329 batting average, knocking in 95 runs and scoring 129 times himself.

1: 2024 Topps Series 1 Baseball #1 Ronald Acuña Jr.

Ronald Acuña Jr. earned his spot as the No. 1 card for the second time in six years. The Atlanta Braves star is coming off a historic season in which he became the only member of the 40-70 club. Acuña hit 41 home runs and stole 73 bases. Acuña was unanimously named the 2023 National League Most Valuable Player. At 25, the Venezuelan is the second-youngest Braves player to win an MVP. In his first six seasons in the majors, Acuña has 161 home runs, 402 runs batted in, and a slugging percentage of .537. Acuña is playing phenomenally, but his best might be yet to come. Stay tuned.

Topps Series 1 card No. 1s, Pt. 1

Flagship First Impressions

Date: Feb 8, 2024
Topics: 2024 Topps Series 1, Baseball, Card No. 1, Series 1
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