A new set of baseball trading cards which feature the all-time legendary trading card lineups for all 30 Major League Baseball teams are being unveiled all season long.
The Nationals’ all-time legendary trading card lineup according to Topps and Beckett Media was recently revealed, and includes starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, relief pitcher Chad Cordero, catcher Wilson Ramos, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, second baseman Jose Vidro, third baseman Anthony Rendon, shortstop Trea Turner, left fielder Jayson Werth, center fielder Michael A. Taylor, right fielder Bryce Harper and utility selection Max Scherzer,
It’s interesting to note that seven of the 11 selections are on the current roster. Additionally, nine of those 11 made playoff appearances with the Nats since 2012. Vidro and Cordero were the connections to the Montreal Expos. Vidro played his final two seasons with the Nats and Cordero played 81 games over two seasons at the beginning of his career with the Expos.
Beckett publisher Jon Finkel said the company had four guidelines for picking each player in the legendary lineup: “What does the player mean to the hometown, the player’s skill and ability, their star power and the player themselves and their best card representative mean to the hobbyist, the collector.”
Finkel explained how the value of the card could help a particular player get on this list, for instance Stephen Strasburg’s first card for Topps: “The Strasburg 2010 Topps Chrome rookie card was a very important card, he had such hype coming in. His first rookie card was a big deal.”
My question for Finkel and for trading card novices (like myself) is how do they deal with players that come up for the first time, say in early or mid-season, such as 19-year-old Juan Soto. How and when is that card available to collectors? Finkel said Topps has a program for instant moments where they can release cards after big events in games.
“There is Topps Now, which is a real great program that Topps runs where they take images and moments from games and make them available to be bought only online for 24 hours the next day,” Finkel said. “So if a rookie comes up and happens to have a really great game, two home runs in a first game, and that’s one of the moments Topps chooses to celebrate, he could actually end up on a card a week after he gets up to baseball.”
(Ironically, after I conducted this interview with Finkel, Soto did hit two homers in a game at Yankee Stadium in the Nats’ 5-4 win Wednesday night.)
Finkel said there is also an in-between season set that Soto could be a part of if he continues to remain with the Nats, which looks more and more likely as he continues to play well.
For more information you can ask Jon for information on the program via Twitter: @jon_finkel or @beckettmedia.
For more on the initiative and to track the Nationals in the legendary lineups rankings visit www.30Teams30Weeks.com.