As part of the 70th anniversary celebration of Topps baseball cards, we asked fans (as well as our staff) to submit their all-time favorite baseball cards and we sorted them by team. We will be revealing proposals regularly throughout the season, ranging from the famous to the weird, and everything in between.
Albert Pujols, 2019 Topps Greatest Moments (600th HR)
This card commemorates one of the greatest milestones in Pujols’ career: his 600th home run.
The future Hall of Famer joined the Angels’ illustrious 600 homer uniformed club with a grand slam – the only one of nine members to hit a grand slam for No. 600.
The card, which captures “The Machine” in his majestic home run swing, was sent in by Carter Madson, who writes, “This card is my favorite because Albert Pujols has always been my favorite player, and having bought tons of envelopes I finally received one of his cards and one that celebrated an important occasion in his career. “
Classic Angels Newbie Card: Mike Trout, 2011 Topps Update
If you’re wondering why Trout wears a California Angels uniform on this card, it’s because the Angels celebrated their 50th anniversary in ’11 by adding several throwback designs to the team uniform rotation as a nod to the past. of the franchise.
The Halos went with these duds the same day Trout made his Major League debut on July 8, and the uni made it to Trout’s Topps rookie card too. The Trout card was part of Topps’ series of updates, which included rookies, All-Star cards and season highlights, and cards for players who switched teams during season ’11.
This was a popular choice in our poll – Eric Monacelli, Eli Gross, Tyler N. and Jack Schwartz all introduced it.
“This rookie card looks so good with the throwback jersey right at the end of its swing,” wrote Tyler. “It’s a captivating image and card. I remember exchanging a Carlos Correa Topps Chrome Rookie rated 10. It was priced at the same price at the time. Crazy how much values can change ”. – Thomas Harrigan
If you have a major league career where you take out 2,416 batters, that’s … good enough. Yet that’s less than half of the 5,714 strikeouts Ryan had in his Hall of Fame career, in the eight seasons he spent with the Angels from 1972 to 1979. It’s worth a career, but don’t tell the guys Ryan hit while he was in California, they were sure to never forget how difficult it was to get the bat on a baseball thrown by the all-time king strikeout.
The Halos made Ryan a full-time starter after acquiring him from the Mets, and the right-hander continued to lead the Majors into strikeouts over five of the next eight years (and the AL in seven of those eight seasons), solidifying as one of the best appetizers in the game. Four of Ryan’s seven no-hitter records came while wearing an Angels uniform, including two in the same season in 1973. California was where Ryan became a celebrity, albeit his tremendous longevity it would take him to another 14 big league seasons following his departure in 1980.
This 1977 Topps card catches Ryan looking towards the pot in his fixed position. His eyes are focused and he looks like a man about to wreak havoc on his opponent. And the classic Angels uniform with the California shape on the sleeves is a beautiful sight. Thanks to Justin of Huntington Beach, California for submitting this. – Manny Randhawa
Shohei Ohtani, 2018 Topps Gold Label
There’s a double reason why this card is so good: it shows Ohtani as a hitter and pitcher all in one card.
On the left is Ohtani mid-swing; on the right, preparing to throw a pitch. The star of the Angels is a one-of-a-kind player and his 2018 Topps Gold Label card captures his uniqueness beautifully.
It is also Ohtani’s rookie card, created just before he won the American League Rookie of the Year award. Three years later, he is backing the AL MVP Award nomination.
Aurelio Rodriguez, 1969 Topps
At first glance, there appears to be nothing out of the ordinary about Rodriguez’s ’69 Topps paper, which was presented by Michael Reay of Hot Springs, Ark., Dennis Berg of Rochester Hills, Michigan, and Ryan Simpson of Greensburg, Penn. It depicts third base in his uniform of angels, smiling and posing harmless.
The fact is that that’s not Aurelio Rodriguez. It’s Leonard Garcia, who was the Angels batboy at the time.
Did Rodriguez make a joke on Topps? According to an Orange County Register article, this was not the case. Rather, a photo error was the culprit.
Towards the end of the ’67 season, Rodriguez and Garcia were playing ball at Tiger Stadium when famed baseball photographer George Brace walked up to them and took pictures of them both. But Brace mistakenly tagged the two in his notebook.
“I could see he got our names mixed up, but when I told him, all he did was draw a small, semicircle reversal arrow with our names,” Garcia told the OC Register in 2019.
Due to a dispute with the fledgling Major League Baseball Players Association, Topps had to purchase photos from outside suppliers for their ’69 set, and the one the company bought for Rodriguez was actually Garcia’s photo taken in ‘ 67. And so a classic error card was born. – Thomas Harrigan
Best Angels Facial Hair Tab: Reggie Jackson, 1985 Armstrong’s Pro Ceramic
When you hear the name Reggie Jackson, most people don’t immediately see Mr. October in an Angels uniform. But he played for California during his age of 36 through 40-year seasons from 1982-86. Already a legend and destined for the Hall of Fame, Jackson’s best campaign with the Angels was his first, when he released an OPS .907 with 39 homers leading the MLB. In all, Jackson hit 123 homers in his Angels career, but even though he wasn’t in the pinstripe family members of the Yankees, one part of his appearance has definitely not changed: his beard.
The mustache Jackson had sported for so many years was a goatee, as we can see on this 1985 Armstrong Pro Ceramic card. It wasn’t the same Jackson in his prime, but for any baseball fan who ventured to watch a game of the Angels in 1985, the glasses, beard and physique were homages that the man at the plate was one of the most celebrated in the history of baseball. – Manny Randhawa
Jim Edmonds, 2000 Topps Opening Day
The highlight of this card are the classic Angels uniforms, from pinstripes to blues and reds that defined the team when it was known as Anaheim Angels. (“I love these angel uniforms,” says Cleveland’s Brett Shaver, who presented the card.)
See also that logo at the bottom left of the card, with the angel wings wrapped around the “A” in Angels. Halos used that logo from 1997 to 2001.
Edmonds is caught right after connecting to his swing, his eyes still fixed on where the ball was at the moment he met his bat. The year 2000 was also the year Edmonds moved from the Angels to the Cardinals, but he had some fantastic years in Anaheim.
Edmonds was an All-Star for the Angels in 1995, won the American League Gold Glove Awards in center court in ’97 and ’98 and had four consecutive seasons of 25 homers from ’95 to ’98.
While Cowan only played 173 games and scored 13 homers in four years with the Angels, the 1972 winger’s Topps card left a lasting impression on Doug Wulf of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“One of my favorite cards – a long time ago when I got it out of a kid’s pack – was Billy Cowan from 1972,” Wulf said. “I’ve always appreciated the photographer’s skill in setting that shot, where the halo from the ‘Big A’ – then over the center of the pitch at the Angels stadium – seemed to be a halo over Cowan’s head.”
As Wulf notes, the famous “Big A” sign was initially located beyond the outfield fence of the then Anaheim Stadium, enabling this fun and memorable Cowan shot.
The sign was moved to the parking lot in 1979, as the stadium was adapted to make it suitable for football matches before the Los Angeles Rams started playing there. It is still there to this day. – Thomas Harrigan
Angels: Mike Trout, 2020 Topps
Would you like to have two autographs on one card? How about the autographs of two of the greatest players in baseball history, from different generations? Here’s what this amazing card offers.
There have been and will continue to be comparisons between Trout and many of the greatest players of all time, and Hank Aaron is, of course, in that elite category. On this card, we get them both, spurring a video game-like thinking exercise where we imagine what it would be like to see them both play in the same era.
In addition to the beauty of the card with the signatures in the center, there is a great symmetry in its design: Aaron is captured in a pose that shows he just broke an outward drive, and on the other side of the card, Trout is looking up and chasing a deep thrust. Will Aaron’s guide land over the wall? Will Trout kidnap him with a spectacular catch?
Just a beautiful card with star power that few other cards in history could match. And having it signed by both legends is almost too big to comprehend. – Manny Randhawa
Iconic Angels card: Mike Trout, Sep 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects
The 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects set is well known among collectors. The one-of-a-kind Trout Superfractor card in this set sold for $ 3.9 million in 2020, beating the previous record of $ 3.12 million set by the famous T206 Honus Wagner card in ’16. (The record has since been broken again by Mickey Mantle’s debut card from the Topps set of ’52, which sold for $ 5.2 million in January.)
The X-Fractor version of this card, which was presented by Erik Hamby of Henderson, Nev., Is less rare (there are 225 of them). But with Trout looking like a foolproof Hall of Famer, the X-Fractor version is highly coveted in its own right, so much so that selling a few helped Hamby earn enough money to buy a new car.
It’s one of the reasons Hamby considers the card, which features Trout at the plate with the Arizona League Angels at Rookie level in 2009 (the outfielder’s first season as a pro), as his favorite. Another reason? It looks nice.
“I love this card because I personally think it’s the most beautiful card I’ve ever seen,” Hamby wrote. “For some reason the X-Fractor design really worked that year. Another reason it’s my favorite is because … [I] was able to buy a new Subaru Crosstrek by selling 4 in 2018 and I’ve never paid more than $ 125 for any of them. ” – Thomas Harrigan