History of the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup
In a recent break we had, I asked about the significance of the cup that was on the card of Yordan Alvarez. Topps features the cup on certain players in their Topps and Heritage products. They refer to as the "Topps All-Star Rookie Cup" and would imply that the player made the All-Star Game as a rookie. That is not always the case...
Back in 1960, Topps rolled out what they called their “Topps All-Star Rookie Team”. This consisted of a full infield and outfield plus two pitchers (a RHP and a LHP). The first set, which commemorated the 1959 rookies had the phrase “Selected by the youth of America” on it. This set was most famous for Willie McCovey. Topps dropped the “Selected by the youth of America” the year after and rolled on until their 1973 release where they added the infamous Cup. Weirdly enough, they didn’t add it for the 1974 season as well as for 1979 to 1985. In those off years the All-Star rookies were still picked and I can’t find out why they didn’t add that Cup on there. Maybe it was a way to increase the value of the cards, or maybe by the time they made the cards it was forgotten. The Cup and awards are still given out today by Topps. If you missed out on your favorite players rookie card, the Topps All Star Cup is a great back up to have, especially if you like Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Having the Rookie Cup is a blessing from Topps that trends toward success. Here are some notable facts on those that have been given the All Star Rookie Team treatment:
1975: Fred Lynn became the first player to win Rookie Of The Year, MVP, and have the Rookie Cup on his card. Ichiro also did this in 2001.
1981: Fernando Valenzuela became the first Rookie Cup to win Cy Young in the same year.
38 players have been named to the All Star Rookie Team and won MVP. Mike Trout , for example, is one of those guys.
26 players including Cal Ripken Jr, and Ken Griffey Jr have gotten the Cup treatment and have ended up being elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
If you’re wondering what last year's All Star Rookie Team was, I have that on deck for you:
Will Smith, C, Los Angeles Dodgers
Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets
Keston Hiura, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
Fernando Tatís Jr., SS, San Diego Padres
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox
Bryan Reynolds, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals
Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves
John Means, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
Nick Anderson, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
Yordan Alvarez, DH, Houston Astros