Since the 1960s, Topps' regular-issue baseball-card sets have included a sub-set of players named to the annual Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The team usually consists of eight position players (four infielders, three outfielders, one catcher) and two pitchers (one left-hander and one right-hander). The first Topps ASR team appeared in the 1960 baseball-card series and featured a special card design that included a trophy symbol of a batter on a top hat and the phrase, "Selected by the youth of America." The set included Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey's rookie card.
In 1961, Topps moved to including a trophy symbol that included the phrase "Topps 1961 All-Star Rookie" on cards that followed the same design as the rest of the regular issue. This practice continued until 1973, when the symbol was changed to a gold cup bearing the words "Topps All-Star Rookie." Topps left the symbol off the 1974 cards, marking the first year since 1960 that the players were not recognized on the card faces. The gold cups reappeared in 1975 and stayed through 1978. In 1979, Topps once again left the symbol off the cards and it stayed off through the 1986 release. During the years when the symbol did not appear, a list of All-Star Rookies was still selected, though there was no regular indication of it on the cards.
The 1987 Topps baseball set featured a throwback design paying homage to the 1962 set. The 1962 cards had a wood-grain design on the borders and had included the All-Star Rookie trophy on team members' cards. Topps brought back the gold cup symbol on the 1987 cards. The 2005 set, the most recent release at the time of this article, included the 19th straight Topps All-Star Rookie Team and the 37th overall issue of the team commemorated by a gold symbol on the face of team members' cards.
In 2000, a special 10-card insert set of Topps All-Star Rookies was included in packs of the regular issue. Topps combined a list of All-Star names and holographic foil design to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Topps All-Star Rookie team. On the front, these cards featured a current player who had been named to a team in his respective rookie season. The backs of each card contained a list of players from 1959 through 1999 who had been named to the team at the position played by the player on the front of the card. The team was composed of the following:
All-Star Rookie rosters
Rookie of the Year
Ichiro Suzuki, named to the 2001 Topps All-Star Rookie Roster, was also named the 2001 American League MVP. Suzuki, a Nippon League superstar, was also named the AL Rookie of the Year after winning the batting average and the stolen base crowns in his first Major League campaign. Ichiro's 242 base hits set the record for the most hits in a season by a rookie.
Most Valuable Player
Over 22 different players have been named to an All-Star Rookie Team and then won a league MVP award. Only Ichiro and Fred Lynn did it during their rookie year. Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Cal Ripken, Jr. each earned two MVP awards. In 2011, Justin Verlander and Ryan Braun, were each named MVP for the AL and NL respectively.
Manager of the Year
In 1995, 2001, and 2005, both Managers of the Year were former All-Star Rookie Team members. In '95 it was Don Baylor and Lou Piniella, in '01 it was Larry Bowa and Piniella, and in '05 it was Bobby Cox and Ozzie Guillén.
Hall of Fame
Eighteen players named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
Cal Ripken, Jr. was named the All-Star Rookie shortstop his first two seasons. His cards appeared in the 1982 and 1983 sets - neither one included the gold trophy symbols.
- Since 1971, Baseball Digest has annually selected an All-Star Rookie team as well. The latest roster is usually printed along with all past rosters in one of their off-season issues. For more on Baseball Digest, look here.[dead link]
- Baseball America All-Rookie Team
- Baseball awards#Other individual awards
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