2004 Topps All-Star Rookie subset

15 11 2015

Topps All-Star Rookies

  • RHP – Brandon Webb
  • LHP – Dontrelle Willis
  • C – Miguel Olivo
  • 1B – Mark Teixeira
  • 2B – Bo Hart
  • 3B – Ty Wigginton
  • SS – Angel Berroa
  • OF – Jody Gerut, Scott Podsednik, Rocco Baldelli

The 2002 Topps All-Star Rookie Team may have been the worst ASR team of all time, but 2003 (shown on 2004 Topps) was something of a bounce back year from that perspective.  There aren’t any surefire Hall of Famers on the team, though Mark Teixeira is definitely of that caliber.  The 10 players made up a good team of rookies – there really weren’t any who just got there by default.  But, aside from Teixeira, this team didn’t have a lot of longevity.

Brandon Webb won the NL Cy Young award in 2006 and was the runner-up the next 2 years.  He was in the argument as the best pitcher in baseball by 2008, but a shoulder injury unfortunately ended his career too early.  Dontrelle Willis beat Webb out for the NL Rookie of the Year in 2003, and also was good enough to earn a runner-up finish in the Cy Young balloting (2005).  That was his last good season, and he never won more than 2 games in a season after 2007.

Jose Reyes also had at Shortstop – he and Berroa were very close.  Berroa was the AL Rookie of the Year, barely winning over Hideki Matsui of the Yankees.   Matsui and Marlon Byrd were probably strongly considered for the AS Rookie Team in a crowded outfield contest.  Both had stellar years.  I wouldn’t list them as snubs, because you could have picked any of 5 rookie outfielders in 2003.  The other guy worth mentioning was Miguel Cabrera.  He was probably considered an outfielder; most of his 87 games were in left field 2003.  He did play 34 games at 3rd base, and was ahead of Wigginton in the final ROY voting.  But Wigginton played 155 games at third, which probably made him a tough guy to pick against for the purpose of this team.

2004 Topps AS Rookie Team

2004 Topps AS Rookie Team_0001

When I was flipping through the cards to find these, I found 11 rookie cups.  I was confused, as there were 2 catchers.  It looks like there was an error on Robby Hammock’s card.  He did have a decent rookie campaign for an Arizona team that was out of contention, but Miguel Olivo was the winner of the catching spot on the team.  Topps corrected it for Topps Chrome – they didn’t include the cup on Hammock’s Chrome card (but they did for the 10 actual ASR team members).

2004 Topps Robby Hammock ERR Rookie Cup

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