24 March 2017

2017 Topps Series 1 First Pitch Set

I don't have much real life stuff to post about today. I did find out that my son decided to run his Pinewood Derby car backward on some of his runs last night, so that probably explains why his car had random slow runs during the races. I was too far away from the track to tell, so I just figured the wheels were rubbing or something. He probably could have placed higher by racing the car in the right direction each time, but he had a really good time and I'm not going to ruin it by bringing that up.

One of my favorite recurring inserts from the Topps flagship set is First Pitch. As the name implies, the cards highlight various people who have thrown out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. Shortly after the 2017 product released, I grabbed a full First Pitch set for a few dollars from eBay. Something went wonky with the checklist, as it runs from 1-17, then skips a few numbers and closes out with 21-23.

The Cubs get a whopping seven cards in the twenty-card checklist, including Jon Lovitz. I loved his role as the rival wedding singer in Adam Sandler's movie, The Wedding Singer. I love that movie, and I really pretty much love any of the rom-coms (The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Never Been Kissed) from that era with Drew Barrymore in them.

There are teams other than the Cubs featured in the set, though, and here are some of them. Deshauna Barber is Miss USA 2016, and she is also an officer in the United States Army Reserve. I thought that was pretty cool. Interestingly relevant to this post, her Wikipedia page shows a picture of her throwing out a first pitch in a Yankees jersey. I think she hails from the D.C. area, though, so that's probably why Topps chose to highlight this first pitch.

Keegan-Michael Key is an actor. I know him mostly from his comedy sketches as part of the duo Key & Peele, but his IMDB page shows a great many more credits under his name. I'm not much of a TV or movie watcher, so I miss out on a lot of peoples' non-YouTube stuff.

Lou Ferrigno is The Incredible Hulk. When I was a kid, us older kids would sometimes babysit the younger kids. When we wanted our younger siblings to do something, we'd threaten to turn on the TV and let the green monster out. That all grew out of watching the old TV show with Ferrigno as the Hulk. Ferrigno also had a pretty successful career as a bodybuilder.

I honestly had no idea who Bethanie Mattek-Sands was before writing this post, but I learned that she is a very successful tennis player, especially in tennis doubles, where she currently has a #1 ranking. It looks like the event that led to her throwing out the first pitch at a Diamondbacks game was winning a Gold medal in Mixed Doubles at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She currently resides in Arizona, so that makes sense.

The First Pitch insert is always one of the more exciting ones for me when a new Topps set is released. While not every card on the checklist excites me, there are usually a couple people I am happy to see, and sometimes I learn something new about someone I hadn't heard of before.


  1. I like the first pitch set quite a bit, but I wish Topps would spread around the love a little bit. One card per team would be great... seven for the Cubs is just over the top.

    1. It would be nice to get some more variety in the teams represented in this set. I realize the big-market teams are going to have access to more celebrities, but every region has at least a few famous folks who are from there or who live there.

  2. I think I'm more interested in the First Pitch checklist then the cards themselves - though I do have a couple in my collection. I like to see who has thrown a first pitch for what team, and if they're someone I haven't heard of it's a good way to to learn a little bit about them.

    1. It is pretty fun to look up people who I've never heard of before. I like to have the cards in-hand. You can usually pick up the full set for just a couple of dollars after the initial rush of the product release.