Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Cal Ripken
Cal Ripken started thirteen straight All-Star games at shortstop…and then three more at third base. In 2000, Travis Fryman was the starter at third base, and Derek Jeter at shortstop. In his final MLB season, Ripken was again the starting shortstop for the American League. Nineteen All-Star appearances; 17 as a starter. What an amazing career this guy had.
But Topps didn’t put him in the All-Star subset in 1988. Alan Trammell got the nod. Trammell was a fine shortstop, and in my opinion should be in the Hall of Fame. His 1987 season was phenomenal, and the Tiger should have been selected as the AL MVP over George Bell. That is likely the reason Topps included him here, breaking Ripken’s short streak of Topps All-Star cards. In fact, Trammell was again given the All-Star card in the 1989 set. It was back to Cal in 1990, then Tram in 1991, then Cal in 1992, Travis Fryman (?!?) in 1993, Cal in ’94…and I had stopped collecting baseball cards by this point, so I’m done.
I don’t know when Ripken received the “future Hall of Famer” tag, but it seems pretty clear that Topps dropped the ball on numerous occasions when it came to deciding who would be the American League shortstop in the All-Star subset.