As part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Topps baseball cards, we've asked fans (as well as our staff) to submit their all-time favorite baseball cards, and we've broken them down by team. We'll be revealing submissions regularly throughout the season, ranging from the famous to the weird, and everything in between.
To begin the series, we'll be looking at one iconic card from each team.
Iconic Marlins card: Miguel Cabrera, 2000 Topps Chrome Traded
Though he wouldn't make his MLB debut until three years later, this Topps Chrome Traded "rookie" card (hey, he was a rookie if we're talking professional baseball, because he debuted in the Minors in 2000) is a beauty, as are so many of Topps' Chrome offerings. It's got the baby-faced Miggy at the age of 17 in his batting stance with the classic Marlins solid teal uniform from the early years of the franchise.
They knew this kid was going to be good, but did they know he'd be knocking on the door to 3,000 hits and 500 home runs heading into the 2021 season?
In Cabrera's first pro season in 2000, he hit .259/.338/.347. Suffice it to say, he improved from there. He opened his Major League career with a bang, launching a walk-off homer to straightaway center field to lift the Marlins over the Rays on June 20, 2003. Cabrera spent his first five MLB seasons with the Marlins, helping them win the 2003 World Series over the Yankees. That postseason, the slugger belted four homers, including a first-inning blast off Roger Clemens in World Series Game 4.
The Marlins traded Cabrera to the Tigers, along with left-hander Dontrelle Willis, prior to the 2008 season, and Detroit is where the young star became a legend -- he won the first Triple Crown in 45 years in 2012, and despite injury trouble, he posted a .931 OPS with 349 homers in his first 13 seasons with the Tigers.
It's always fun when we see a card of a superstar when he was young, let alone a teenager, and in Miggy's case, there's something even more fun about it. Maybe it's that he has that youthful nature about him even now. The 2000 Topps Chrome Traded Cabrera takes us way back with a glimpse of the future Hall of Famer before he even made his big league debut.