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Checking Out Some Mighty Fine Rears


There was a post recently on the legendary Night Owl Cards blog discussing Topps' history of card #1. The company obviously puts thought into who gets such a special designation, and it made me wonder if the same held true for the last card of each set. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a good caboose?

Here's who has occupied the last spot in the binder for each Topps base set:

1952 - Eddie Matthews RC
1953 - Milt Bolling RC
1954 - Ted Williams
1955 - Duke Snider
1956 - Mickey McDermott
1957 - Yankees' Power Hitters (Mantle/Berra)
1958 - Herb Score, All-Star
1959 - Billy Pierce, All-Star
1960 - Johnny Antonelli, All-Star
1961 - Warren Spahn, All-Star
1962 - Rookie Parade Outfielders (Luplow/Jimenez/Olivares/Hickman/Goss)
1963 - Johnny Temple
1964 - Bennie Daniels
1965 - Al Downing
1966 - Gaylord Perry
1967 - Tommy John
1968 - Jerry May
1969 - Ron Hunt
1970 - Rick Reichardt
1971 - Dick Drago
1972 - Ron Reed
1973 - Fred Scherman
1974 - Larry Dierker
1975 - Hank Aaron
1976 - Dave Lopes
1977 - Willie Horton
1978 - Wilbur Wood
1979 - Giants Prospects (Greg Johnson/Joe Strain/John Tamargo)
1980 - Steve Yeager
1981 - Rick Monday
1982 - Frank Tanana
1983 - Chris Chambliss
1984 - Bill Russell
1985 - Darrell Evans
1986 - Charles Hudson
1987 - Checklist
1988 - John Tudor
1989 - Rafael Santana
1990 - Gerald Perry
1991 - Mike Greenwell
1992 - Dave Winfield
1993 - Checklist
1994 - Checklist
1995 - Checklist
1996 - Checklist
1997 - Checklist
1998 - Alex Rodriguez
1999 - Checklist
2000 - Alex Rodriguez, Magic Moments
2001 - Carlton Fisk, Golden Moment
2002 - Albert Pujols, ROY
2003 - 2002 World Series Game 7
2004 - Josh Beckett, World Series MVP
2005 - 2004 World Series Game 4
2006 - Angel Arms (Ervin Santana/Francisco Rodriguez)
2007 - Barry Bonds
2008 - Yadier Molina
2009 - Jacoby Ellsbury (Carl Yastrzemski SP)
2010 - Brandon McCarthy
2011 - Ryan Zimmerman (Brooks Robinson SP)
2012 - Bryce Harper
2013 - Hyun-Jin Ryu
2014 - Masahiro Tanaka
2015 - Milwaukee Brewers
2016 - Tyler Flowers
2017 - Ryan Goins

1952 Topps #407 Eddie Mathews (RC)
Wow, Topps' first caboose card turned out to be the rookie card of a Hall of Famer! That's an impressive way to start things off!

Topps doesn't seem to have much rhyme or reason to selecting the last card, outside a few stretches (1958-61 All-Stars, 90's checklists, and a 2003-05 World Series run).
 
1975 Topps #660 Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron's caboose card showed up in the same year he was the first card in the set! If this had been his last base card, it would have made a fitting tribute.

Other players to have the distinction of being both the first and last card in a base set: Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Carlton Fisk, Barry Bonds, and Bryce Harper. Technically, I could include Yaz here, but he shared both of his appearances as #1 with other players, and his caboose card was a short print alternate.

Alex Rodriguez, who has been the first card more than anyone, has also been the last card more than anyone. Throw in the fact his 2000 card has multiple variations, and I doubt anyone else will come close.

2003 Topps #721 2002 World Series Game 7
Personally, I like the idea of the last card being related to the World Series. A shot of the winning team hoisting the trophy would be the best way to cap off a set, in my humble opinion. What do you think?




  

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