1985 Topps - Rick Monday (First Draft Pick)
One of the watershed sets of my youth was the 1985 Topps baseball set. The layout was memorable and the subsets were fantastic.
One subset that always caught my eye, but I could never complete as a kid, was the First Draft Picks. To someone who was just finishing up third grade before summer vacation officially hit, the draft pick cards were a valuable history lesson. They taught me the importance of the draft, at an age where I didn't completely understand it.
One of the frustrating aspects of trying to collect the entire subset was that all the first draft picks weren't represented. Only the players who were active in the majors or moving up the farm system were included. I always wondered why some years were skipped and only looked it up recently.
There were quite a few players that didn't have a card in the subset because their careers has petered out before 1985. The first draft pick in the first ever draft hung up his cleats in the middle of the 1984 season. That player was Rick Monday and was chosen first in 1965, by the Kansas City Athletics.
This was one instance where Topps actually followed the headlines and didn't include a recently retired player in the next year's set. Out of all the first draft picks that were left out of the subset, Rick Monday was the closest to getting in. So in honor of the first ever draft pick and almost made the cut, here's a First Draft Pick subset card of Rick Monday.