Monday, June 15, 2015

Topps #1 Club: 1984 Steve Carlton Highlight

I am a numbers guy and have had a slight obsession with Hero Numbers, lately I have also been thinking about the first card in each set. This ramped up a bit more this spring when Derek Jeter's appearance in the Pole Position prompted a large degree of discussion.

1984 Topps #1 Steve Carlton Highlight

In a number of Topps Sets the first card is devoted to either a Highlight Card or a Record Breaker Card. If my history is correct we owe this to Hank Aaron who took the #1 Slot in 1975 with the a Record Breaker Card. The Previous year he also took the #1 with a special card but it wasn't technically part of a Record Breaker or Highlight set.

The 1984 Topps #1 Card honors two Steve Carlton milestones 1) Reaching 300 Wins 2) Setting the Strikeout Record. The Second accomplishment he essentially shared with Nolan Ryan for most of the 1983 before Nolan Ryan pulled away the following year. 

1984 Topps #1 Steve Carlton Highlight (b-side)

The backside is set in a psuedo-newspaper format with a Dateline in Philadelphia. The October 2nd date is the last day of the Phillies Regular Season, but it is also a Day that Carlton Didn't even play.

Carlton ended the season with 3709 Strikeouts the last of which was recorded on October 27, 1983. That game was preceded by Lefty's 300th Win in his previous start on September 23rd.

Phungo Topps #1 Index
1953 Jackie Robinson
1953 Jackie Robinson (b-side cartoon, special guest John Thorn)
1955 Dusty Rhodes
1961 Dick Groat 
1973 All Time HR Leaders Ruth Aaron Mays
1974 Hank Aaron
1975 Hank Aaron HL
1976 Hank Aaron RB
1982 Steve Carlton HL 
1984 Steve Carlton HL
1992 Nolan Ryan
1994 Mike Piazza 
2004 Jim Thome
2004H Jim Thome (rhyme w/ 1955T Dusty Rhodes)
2005 Alex Rodriguez
2010 Prince Fielder (Bowling Walk-Off) 
2015 Derek Jeter

Other #1 Cards
2009 Topps WBC #1 Yu Darvish (Japan)

Vintage Twins/Junk Wax Twins research
Topps #1 Cards by WAR
#1 Cards by Other Major Brands (Fleer, UD, Donruss Etc)

Sources and Links
Steve Carlton HoF Index
Junk Wax Twins

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions