Thursday, January 12, 2012


I've recently had posts with #3 (for the blog's 3rd birthday) and #2 (second place finishes) in the title. Being the orderly person that I am, I have to have a #1 post. So here it is...

For most card sets, the player given card #1 is usually a superstar. You don't give the top spot to a scrub. So do you want to guess how many times in the 60 years of Topps a Cubs player has graced the coveted card #1?

Three Times*

Why the asterisk? Because they weren't player cards...they were these...

....League Leader cards. Dick Ellsworth had the second-lowest ERA in the NL in 1963. By virture of his 1976 batting title (in fact, his second in two seasons) Bill Madlock shared card #1 with George Brett. Bill Buckner also got to share #1 with George Brett, on this 1981 card.

When Topps put League Leaders, Record Breakers, and World Champions on the first card, that left the Cubs out except for these three. But no individual Cubs player has ever been a Topps #1. The closest a Cub has ever been to the top spot was in 1966 when a Cubs player was card #2. I bet you'll never guess who it was.

No, not Ernie Banks. Not Santo or Williams either. It was....



....Ted Abernathy...hatless in an Indians uniform Ted Abernathy! Told you you wouldn't guess it.

Though not in the top Topps spot (try to say that three times quickly!), other companies have deemed a Cub worthy of #1.

Bruce Sutter was #1 in Kelloggs, 1979

Ryne Sandberg was Donruss 1985's #1

and Upper Deck put Mark Prior in the top slot in 2004.

Otherwise, that's it.

Any idea how many players from your favorite team made Topps card #1? Check back tomorrow and find out!

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