Let me explain for those who missed the news.
According to the Topps Blog (bless you Sooz), Topps is giving collectors the opportunity to select the player who will grace the first card in the new set. Starting on Wednesday, September 23, fans can select players from an initial list of 34 players (representing all 30 teams) in a "first round" of voting. When this round of voting ends on October 4, 2015, the top five vote-getters will then be announced and then be put on a final ballot. The "winner" of this vote will then get the honor of card number one in the 2016 Topps set.
So who made the ballot for this first round of voting?
- Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
- Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
- David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
- Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
- Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
- Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
- Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
- Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
- Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
- Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
- Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
- Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
- Ichiro Suzuki, Miami Marlins
- Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
- Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
- Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets
- Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
- Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
- Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
- Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics
- Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
- Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
- Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres
- Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
- Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
- Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
- Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
- Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
A few things come to mind looking at this initial ballot:
- Ichiro? You mean he's going to be in the eponymous set again? After a four-year absence? Fantastic!!!
- Mike Trout (2014), Alex Rodriguez (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009), Bryce Harper (2013), and Ryan Braun (2011, 2012) have already been the subject of card number one.
- Four teams get two representatives in this ballot: the Angels (Pujols/Trout), Marlins (Stanton/Suzuki), Mets (Cespedes/deGrom), Yankees (Rodriguez/Tanaka).
- If you the reader (and I still have readers, right??!) still feel that none of these guys are worthy of card #1, there is an "Other" option where you can "write-in" your selection.
The first round of voting, again, ends on Sunday, October 4. Topps encourages social media (using the hashtag #ToppsVoteNo1 to stump for your player. I've made my vote (take a guess who I'm pulling for).
Let the fun begin.