Friday, May 6, 2011

The Forgotten Topps All Star Rookie Cubs

Two days ago I had the dozen Cubs who made Topps All Star Rookie Team over the years. But that wasn't quite accurate. There have actually been sixteen Cubs who made the team. Unfortunately, three of the Cubs made the team during the years that Topps wasn't putting the trophy on the card. And one other was excluded for unknown reasons.

Well, I just couldn't let these players be deprived of their trophy. So I fired up photoshop and got to work.

Scot Thompson made the 1979 team, so his 1980 card get the trophy. He hit .288 for the Cubs and finished third in ROY balloting. But he could never come close to matching those numbers again and was eventually traded to the Giants.

Mel Hall made the team, but he wouldn't last too long with the Cubs. This 1984 card would be his last with the Cubs. He was traded mid-season to the Indians in the Rick Sutcliffe trade.

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg made the 1982 team as a third baseman, his rookie season position. He was the third Cub to make the squad at third base. Ryno spent most of September, 1982 at second base, and would remain there the rest of his career.

There was one more Cub who didn't get a trophy, Rich Nye, who made the 1967 team. Topps was using the giant trophy at the time, but three players on the team, Rick Monday, Dick Hughes, and Nye, didn't have a trophy on their 1968 card. Nye and Hughes were two of three pitchers named to the team. The third, Tom Seaver, did get the trophy. I can't think of a good reason the trophy was left off, so.... is what Topps didn't do.

Now we have an accurate accounting of all sixteen of the Cubs Topps All Rookies, trophies and all.


  1. Now if Topps had a reprint set for the missing rookie cup card years - that would be one to collect

  2. I'm surprised to hear that 3 pitchers were named to the team. Usually, it's one per the 8 positions, plus 2 pitchers (1 righty, 1 lefty).

  3. WW,

    I'm also surprised that Rich Nye made the team over Chuck Hartenstein. While researching my 1967 Cubs team review, I learned that Hartenstein was THE CUBS' BULLPEN in 1967, while Nye was (only) a 4th or 5th starter in 1967,

    Topps put Nye and Joe Niekro on Cubs' Rookie Stars cards in 1967, but Hartenstein was left out of the set completely (as was the Reds' Gary Nolan).

  4. Nye had a lot of hype. Remember, at that time every young lefty was going to be the next Sandy Koufax. With Ken Holtzman spending most of the season with the Army, Nye ended up the #2 starter, with 30 starts. The funny thing is that both he and Hartenstein would never duplicate the success they had in 1967.