Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Topps Rookie Trophy Through the Years

I've seen in a couple different blogs some talk about the Topps Rookie Trophy. I think the gigantic trophy on the Heritage cards has inspired some of the conversations. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to see all of the different trophies that have been used on Topps cards over the years.

This is the first Topps All Rookie trophy, from 1960. Topps issued separate rookie cards that included the trophy on it. But notice that there was no engraving on the trophy. It was blank.

One year later, the first engraved trophy was used. Topps would use this trophy through 1972. This was the trophy I knew as a kid.

Here is a card from 1961....

....and from 1972.

In 1973 Topps switched from a trophy to this cup. The one disappointing thing about the new cup is that is had no year-specific designation on it. I suppose that made it easier for the Topps production team; they wouldn't have to make an updated version each year.

Topps didn't use the cup on the 1974 set, but returned to it in 1975

and used the same cup until 1978.

From 1979 though 1986 the rookie trophy was MIA. I'm not sure why Topps decided against using it. It seems strange that at a time when Topps was facing competition in the baseball card market, they would remove something that would make their cards unique.

In 1987, when Topps used a design reminiscent of the 1962 set, they added to the retro-ness by bringing back the rookie trophy.

It was used until 1993.

A modernized version of the cup with a wooded base was introduced in 1994.

This version of the cup had a very long run, from 1994....

....through 2009. It was the longest run of any of the trophies. There is an entire generation of collectors that know only this as the rookie cup.

Topps decided to end the 16 year run of the wood base cup and introduced a newer version in 2010

But the run of this cup would be short; only one year.

This year, Topps returned to it's long-running original wood base cup. Anyone hear a reason for the switch? I really don't remember hearing much last year about the switch?

You may have noticed that I didn't use any Cubs cards. An no, it's not because the Cubs never had anyone on the All Topps team. I am saving all of the All Topps Cubs for their own post tomorrow.

Finally, here is a recap of the trophies and their years used.

1960, 1 season

1961-1972; 12 years

1973, 1975-1978, 1987-1993; 12 years

1994-2009, 2011; 17 years

2010; one year


  1. Cool post! Interesting run down. I didn't realize they tried a silver cup in 2010 (I didn't buy any Topps last year). Neat to see all the variations.

  2. I noted this too:


    Good to see the return of the gold cup.

  3. The switch back began with 2010 Topps Chrome - I think they heard the criticism is Blogsphere.

  4. The 61-72 trophy was best. (size matters)

    Also, the silver cup looks cheap, after so many years of a gold trophy or cup.

    Hey John Bateman, hear from Ron Brand recently?

  5. Anyone notice that the early trophy was a top hat on the base? I guess that was a play on words of sorts for Topps.

    I always thought it looked like the monopoly game piece.