Topps All-Star Rookies
Topps again had 10 members on the All-Star Rookie team with the trophy designation on the players’ individual cards.
Future Hall-of-Famer Roberto Alomar was a notable omission – he had 145 hits, stole 24 bases and scored 84 runs. But Ron Gant hit 19 homers at his position (Gant also played a little 3rd base, but NL RoY Sabo was the clear choice there). Bryan Harvey (17 SV) and Don August (rookie best 13 wins) were in the argument at RHP, but Belcher was the most deserving. Paul Gibson was the only card I didn’t pull in opening my boxes and the jumbo packs.
LHP – Paul Gibson
RHP – Tim Belcher
C – Damon Berryhill
1B – Mark Grace
2B – Ron Gant
3B – Chris Sabo
SS – Walt Weiss
OF – Cecil Espy, Dave Gallagher, Jay Buhner
The Future Stars subset was back for the 2nd year, again with 5 cards. I pulled all 5 of these cards. This is a pretty good crop. Searcy and Harkey were busts, but Sheffield, Jefferies and Alomar Jr. all had great careers. Alomar Jr., Roberto’s brother, would win the ’90 RoY and was a 6-time All-Star. Jefferies had over 1500 career hits and was a 2-time All-Star. Finally, Sheffield would be a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer if it weren’t for the steroids thing; he ended his career with over 500 home runs, 1600 RBI, 2600 hits and 9 All-Star appearances.
#1 Draft Picks
Topps also had cards from the first 10 draft picks from the first round of the MLB amateur draft. So a lot of these guys had much earlier rookie cards than they would based on their Major League debut would normally have them do. Additionally, a few of of these guys had cards in the ’88 Traded sets as part of the USA team subset. Robin Ventura, Jim Abbott, Andy Benes and Ty Griffin all have cards in both sets. These cards are left to right in order of draft position – so Benes is 1st, Ventura is 10th (except #7, Will Ansley, which I don’t have yet). Ventura had won the Dick Howser trophy and the Golden Spikes Award in 1988, while Benes had Baseball America’s Pitcher of the Year Award. The Ansley and the Abbot are my two favorites out of this subset, and the Avery is solid, too.