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

Flagship First Impressions

Date: Feb 8, 2024
Author: Greg Bates, Senior Writer
Topics: 2024 Topps Series 1, Baseball, Card No. 1, Series 1
Length: 641 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. Big names have earned the No. 1 spot: Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Nolan Ryan, Mike Trout, and Ronald Acuña, 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 of the most notable No. 1 Topps Flagship cards of all time.

Topps Series Baseball Card No. 1s, cards 10-6

10: 2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball #1 Mike Trout

Coming off a career year in 2019 in which he smacked 45 home runs, drove in 104 runs, and logged a slugging percentage of .645, Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout was given the No. 1 card for 2020. Entering his 10th season, Trout had already established himself as the face of Major League Baseball. Trout’s 2020 card photo depicts him launching one of his 368 career home runs. The other two times Trout earned the first card in the flagship product, he was robbing a home run and sliding safely into home plate.

9: 1987 Topps Baseball #1 Roger Clemens Record Breaker

During the heart of many kids’ collecting heyday, the 1987 Topps set hit differently. The wood-grain border with the prominent nameplate of the player and his team is a classic look. Roger Clemens’ card of him throwing what we assume is his patented fastball captured the iconic set to a T. The Rocket’s Record Breaker card honors his masterful performance on April 29, 1986. The Boston Red Sox ace struck out 20, which set an MLB record for a nine-inning game.

8: 2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball #1 Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani won his first American League Most Valuable Player award in 2021 after a monster season as a hitter and pitcher. At the plate, Ohtani blasted 46 home runs and knocked in 100 runs — both career highs. He went 9-2 on the mound with a 3.18 ERA, with 156 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings. During his six seasons with the Angels, Ohtani amassed 171 home runs, 437 RBIs, and won 38 games as a starting pitcher. With Ohtani signing with the intrastate rival Dodgers this past offseason, maybe he becomes the first card in a future flagship release as a National League superstar.

7: 1974 Topps Baseball #1 Hank Aaron All-Time Home Run King

Hank Aaron has been featured on card No. 1 five times. His 1974 example is special. Aaron ended the 1973 season with 713 career home runs, one behind legend Babe Ruth for most of all time—Aaron’s 1974 card proclaiming him as the All-Time Home Run King was released before the ’74 season. On opening day, the Atlanta Braves star registered No. 714. Four days later, Aaron hit record-breaking home run number 715 in front of a packed house at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Ruth’s home run record had stood for 39 years.

6: 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball #1 Derek Jeter

New York Yankees great Derek Jeter leads off a great-looking 2015 flagship set. The legendary shortstop — who spent all 20 of his big league seasons in pinstripes — is shown leaping in the air in celebration. The iconic photo was taken in Jeter’s final career game. With the contest tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jeter approached the plate to the recorded voice of Yankees legendary public address announcer Bob Sheppard. “Now batting for the Yankees, No. 2, Derek Jeter. No. 2.” Jeter promptly hit a walk-off single to end his storybook career in fairytale fashion.

Notable Flagship Card No. 1s, Pt. 2

First Impressions Matter in Series 1

Date: Feb 8, 2024
Topics: 2024 Topps Series 1, Card No. 1, Flagship, How To Collect
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