BONUS: All-Time Legendary Card Lineup

As a bonus, we have created an All-Time Legendary Card Lineup with players from every team! This team features the players we felt were the best to ever play at their respective positions while taking into account the impact and importance of their cards.

For example, center field gave us an incredibly difficult decision. Do we put Willie Mays there? He is arguably the best all-around player to have ever played, hitting for power and average and playing center field as well as anyone has ever seen. Or do we put Mickey Mantle there? Often cited as the most physically gifted baseball player ever, Mantle is a legend in the game, but injuries left him with numbers that fall below Mays’ incredible contributions. The deciding factor for us was Mantle’s legendary baseball card. The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is one of the two most important cards in the history of the Hobby. Since we were creating the All-Time Legendary Card Lineup, we had to put Mantle and his iconic card out there.

Center field wasn’t the only difficult decision. In fact, basically every position could be argued one way or another (well, except for relief pitcher). That’s why we decided to have a bench and a bullpen. There are too many legendary players that deserve to be on this team, so we wanted to at least include them in some way. And, of course, we left off many deserving players even with the addition of a bench and a bullpen.

Thank you for joining us on this fun journey through the history of each franchise in baseball, it was a pleasure creating each list and interacting with passionate collectors and baseball fans from across the country.

You can purchase many of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Sandy Koufax, Johnny Bench, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Mike Schmidt, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle (Reprints), Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays (Reprint), Roberto Clemente (reprint), Jackie Robinson (reprint)Hank Aaron (1994 reissue)Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux and Mariano Rivera.




#1 | New York Yankees

We have finally reached No. 1 in the Topps 30 Teams | 30 Weeks countdown to the most legendary card lineup of all time!

It should come as no surprise which team is at the top. After all, the Yankees have 27 World Series titles, by far the most in major league history. And their list of legendary players reads as a who’s who of iconic names.

Facts for this lineup are pretty mindblowing. It features eight current Hall of Famers and two shoo-in future Hall of Famers (Rivera and Jeter). It’s got perhaps the most iconic baseball card of all time with the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. There’s a player on the team from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

In summary, this lineup could take on any of the lineups before them and beat them soundly. Not only do they have unmatched power in the batter’s box, they’ve got one of the best clutch pitchers ever as a starter and the best reliever in baseball history to close it out. And to top it off, the cards featured in this lineup are pretty incredible, too.

You can purchase many of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Whitey Ford, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Dave Winfield, Mickey Mantle (1983 Reprint), Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mariano Rivera.




#2 | Boston Red Sox

For 86 years, the Red Sox were defined by a curse. “The Curse of the Bambino” was an ever-present ghost haunting the franchise, seemingly preventing them from ever winning another World Series title. Despite possessing legends like possibly greatest hitter of all-time in Ted Williams, or his left field successor Carl Yastrzemski, or the best catcher the league had ever seen in Carlton Fisk, the Sox could never close the deal.

But that all changed in 2004, when David Ortiz and others helped the Red Sox overturn a three-game deficit to the Yankees in the ALCS and then complete a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals to finally, mercifully, end the curse.

Since that fateful year, the Red Sox have become one of the most feared and dominant teams in the major leagues. They won the World Series again in 2007 and 2013 and they are taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 World Series.

Founded in 1901, the franchise has featured legends in just about every era, from Tris Speaker in the early 20th Century to the modern-day superstar Mookie Betts.

Cards of most of these players can be purchased on the Beckett Marketplace: Roger Clemens, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski, Wade Boggs, Nomar Garciaparra, Ted Williams, Tris Speaker, Mookie Betts, David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon.


#3 | Chicago Cubs

The nickname “Lovable Losers” no longer fits the Cubs, not after the talent revolution brought on by Theo Epstein and the 2016 World Series win that finally, mercifully, brought an end to the 108-year World Series drought.

Though they were known for much of their history as a losing team, the Cubs often had superstars on their roster. They have also remained one of the most popular teams in the country. This popularity led to many of their players becoming highly sought-after in the card collecting community.

Whether that’s the great Ernie Banks, who despite never making the World Series was a two-time MVP and one of the most beloved and popular players in baseball history, or Andre Dawson, known as “The Hawk,” who was the first MVP to play on a last place team, the Cubs’ history is dotted with greatness despite the team often underperforming.

The current Cubs team features many players who will go down in history as all-time greats due to their role on the team who broke the “Curse of the Billy Goat.” Players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester may well be in this lineup if we redo it in 20 years, but for now their careers don’t have the longevity to compete with greats like Ron Santo, Mark Grace or Fergie Jenkins.

You can find all of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Fergie Jenkins, Willson Contreras, Mark GraceRyne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Hack Wilson, Sammy SosaAndre Dawson and Bruce Sutter.



#4 | Los Angeles Dodgers

Boys of Summer is one of the most iconic and beloved books in baseball history. Written by Roger Kahn, it captures the Brooklyn Dodgers and their run up to their World Series title in 1955. Amongst the players discussed in the book are Dodgers players who are synonymous with the franchise itself. Many are identifiable by their great nicknames, “Pee Wee”, “The Reading Rifle”, “The Duke of Flatbush”, and “Campy” to name a few.

These icons of the Dodgers franchise populate this lineup. As with all of the teams that at the end of this list, there are so many legends that didn’t even make the team, so you know this lineup is as legendary as it gets.

For this team we had to make two exceptions to our rule about players playing in the current city of the team. Up to now, we’ve only included players who played for the team in it’s current form, like playing for the Atlanta Braves instead of the Milwaukee Braves. But we couldn’t have a Dodgers team without Jackie Robinson, who retired before the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Robinson’s number is retired by every team in the MLB, so he’s worthy of this exception.

The other exception is Roy Campanella, who was paralyzed in a car accident during the offseason that the Dodgers were moving to LA. Campanella worked for the Dodgers organization for years afterwards and is indelibly tied to the history of the franchise.

You can find many of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson (1983 reprint), Pee Wee Reese, Dusty Baker, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen.


#5 | St. Louis Cardinals

Besides the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals are the most successful franchise in major league History, winning a National League-record 11 World Series titles.

And those championships have been spread out through different eras of baseball, with titles in seven different decades from as far back as 1926 and as recently as 2011. Several Cardinals players are icons like Rogers Hornsby, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith and Albert Pujols.

The closer we get to the No. 1 team in our countdown, the more each team is stuffed with Hall of Famers at each position. The Cardinals could almost field a full team of current and future Hall of Famers. Players currently in the HOF on this team are Hornsby, Enos Slaughter, Lou Brock, Smith and Stan Musial, while Pujols is certain to join them on his first possible ballot. Yadier Molina also has a strong possible HOF case, making this an incredibly formidable lineup.

You can purchase the cards of any of these players on the Beckett Marketplace: Bob Gibson, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Rogers Hornsby, Ken Boyer, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter and Jason Isringhausen.




#6 | New York Mets

Oftentimes the Mets are associated with bizarre strings of injuries to stars, terrible records and controversy following the franchise. However, they’ve shown an admirable resiliency and ability to rise above all the negativity and put together some legendary playoff runs.

These runs have resulted in two World Series titles, five NL pennants and six division titles. Those World Series runs were the stuff of legend: the 1969 “Miracle Mets” were the first Mets teams to have a winning record, while the 1986 champions were twice down to the final strike in Game 6 and came back to win the series in seven games. That series was noted for the famous Bill Buckner play.

The Mets benefit the most of any team from the “Hobby boost” in our list. This team stacked head-to-head against some of the other teams might not be equal in legendary status, but many of their biggest stars came of age in the 1980s and 1990s, the main era of baseball card collecting. Players like Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and Mike Piazza were superstars in the 1980s or 1990s and had very popular baseball cards, giving this team that extra boost to make it all the way to No. 6 in our list.

You can purchase many of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez, Edgardo Alfonzo, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Cleon Jones, Carlos Beltran, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter and John Franco.



#7 | Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians are owners of the longest current World Series drought in baseball, having gone 69 seasons without winning the Fall Classic. But that doesn’t mean the Indians haven’t had a bunch of great players over the last 100-plus years.

Some of their great players played in the “Dead Ball” era, like Nap Lajoie, who was so popular the team name was changed to the Cleveland Naps, or Tris Speaker, considered one of the best hitters of all time. And many of their greatest players helped them to the last World Series title, in 1948. Led by player-manager Lou Boudreau and pitcher Bob Feller, owner of one of the fastest and most-dominating fastballs in history, the Indians beat the Boston Braves in six games.

Since 1948, the Indians have had several successful seasons that fell just short of the ultimate goal, including the 2016 seasons in which they lost the World Series in extra-innings in the seventh game against the Cubs. One of the biggest keys to that magical AL Pennant-winning season was the Indians’ bullpen, anchored by closer Cody Allen.

You can purchase the cards of each of these players on the Beckett Marketplace: Bob Feller, Sandy Alomar Jr., Jim Thome, Nap Lajoie, Al Rosen, Lou Boudreau, Dale Mitchell, Tris Speaker, Manny Ramirez, Larry Doby and Cody Allen.


#8 | Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates were founded in 1881 and are one of the oldest franchises in all of baseball. The team has won five World Series and nine NL Pennants in their 137 seasons.

Many of those World Series runs were iconic in baseball history, including the 1960 World Series in which the Pirates beat the New York Yankees in seven games. The seventh game was won on a walkoff home run by Bill Mazeroski, the only walkoff home run in Game 7 of a World Series. “Maz” was a great player for a long time for the Pirates, but that one contribution is his most memorable moment. The 1979 World Series-winning team is remembered as the “We Are Family” team after captain Willie Stargell had the team adopt the hit song by Sister Sledge as their theme song.

But when one thinks of the Pittsburgh Pirates, one name often rises above the rest: Roberto Clemente. One of the most respected men to have ever played the game, Clemente dazzled fans in Pittsburgh with his otherworldly throwing arm in the outfield and his magical ability with the bat at the plate. But he was so much more than a great player, Clemente was a renowned humanitarian and the first true superstar from Latin America or the Caribbean, opening the door for so many superstars that followed him. Every season the “Roberto Clemente Award” is given out to the MLB player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.

And when it comes to cards, there’s perhaps no card that’s more iconic or significant that Honus Wagner’s T206 card. See who else made the list below!

Cards of each player can be found on the Beckett Marketplace: Bob Friend, Jason KendallWillie Stargell, , Bill Mazeroski, Pie Traynor, Honus WagnerRalph Kiner (1997 reprint),  Andrew McCutchen, Roberto Clemente (1998 reprint), Paul Waner and Roy Face.


#9 | San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants have won more baseball games as a franchise than any other in the history of Major League baseball. Founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams, the team played until 1957 in New York City before packing up and moving out West.

Before the move, they had tallied up 17 NL Pennants and and five World Series titles, but something happened when they got out to San Francisco. Despite being blessed with Hall of Famers like the incomparable Willie Mays, the talented Orlando Cepeda, the “Dominican Dandy” Juan Marichal and possibly the greatest slugger ever Barry Bonds, the Giants couldn’t find a way to win another World Series in San Francisco.

That is, until a new crop of stars “busted” through the door. Buster Posey and co were able to break a half-century long World Series drought in San Francisco in 2010, and they decided they liked it so much that they would just keep winning the Fall Classic every other year for a little while. They won it in 2012 and 2014 as well. Brandon Crawford joined in on the fun in the last two years and his key contributions earned him a spot in our legendary lineup.

You can purchase many of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Buster Posey, Willie McCovey, Jeff Kent, Matt Williams, Brandon Crawford, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Robb Nen.