And beginning Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. EDT, Topps will let the fans help choose card No. 1 for its 2016 set. The company announced it will conduct online balloting to determine the card that will kick off its 65th anniversary set. Voting will take place at Topps.com/blog.
The pedigree of card No. 1 carries some big names. Sure, Andy Pafko was card No. 1 in the 1952 set, but some heavy hitters and big stars have occupied that space since: Jackie Robinson (1953), Ted Williams (1954, ’57, ’58), Roger Maris (1962), Willie Mays (1966), Hank Aaron (1974, ’75, ’76), Pete Rose (1986), Nolan Ryan (1990, ’91, ’92), Barry Bonds (1997), Cal Ripken Jr. (2001) and Alex Rodriguez (2003, ’05, ’06). Derek Jeter was the leadoff card for the 2015 set.
That’s just scratching the surface. Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, Tony Gwynn, Pedro Martinez and Bryce Harper also have been depicted on card No. 1.
During the first-round online balloting, which runs from Wednesday through October 4, collectors and fans will be able to choose from a list of more than 30 players; each team will have at least one representative.
The list of 30 will be narrowed to five on October 4. Voting for the top five will run from October 5-11 with the winner to be announced October 12 on the Topps blog.
“Being featured on Card No. 1 in the Topps Baseball flagship has been an honor Topps has been able to bestow on baseball players for over 60 years,” Clay Luraschi, Topps’ vice president of product development, said in a news release. “It’s a coveted spot and we wanted our collectors to be involved in that decision.”
So who do you like at No.1? Giancarlo Stanton? Andrew McCutchen? Mike Trout? Clayton Kershaw?
Starting Wednesday, you’ll have your chance to make it happen.