Classic Royals card: '17 Salvy

April 14th, 2021

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.

Salvador Perez, 2017 Topps KCP&L

This is a great photo of Perez, clad in his blue catcher's gear, with the Royals' 2015 World Series championship patch on the right sleeve of his jersey, looking right at the camera through the bars of his mask.

The card was submitted by a young Royals fan, Taylor Kearney, who says: "It’s my favorite card because I was nine when the Royals won their second World Series."

Perez was the rock behind the plate for that '15 championship team. He was the World Series MVP after batting .364 in Kansas City's victory over the Mets, capping a year in which he was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner at catcher.

This card has a good cause behind it, too, as the Royals and KCP&L had just partnered to create special Royals baseball cards to give to Kansas City police officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

George Brett, 1976 Topps

Brett’s expression on his ‘76 Topps card is one that exudes confidence. Although he was still just 22 years old, this was someone who knew he belonged in the Majors.

After a so-so rookie season in ‘74, Brett broke out in ‘75, leading the American League in hits (195) and posting a .308/.353/.456 slash line (125 OPS+) with 11 homers and 90 RBIs in 159 games.

Brett's intense, icy stare was juxtaposed with his carefree, unkempt hairdo. The shaggy-haired look the Hall of Famer had early in his career is one that Kansas City’s Douglas Stark, who submitted this card, tried hard to emulate.

“When I first started collecting cards, I was a kid who played sandlot ball with all the kids in the neighborhood and I put in a lot of effort to not only play like Brett, but look like him [just like this card], with the hair flipping up from under the sides of the cap,” Stark wrote. “It was critical that I had this look, and it took me an entire summer!”

Brett went on to hit .333 in '76, winning his first batting title and finishing second to Yankees catcher Thurman Munson in the AL MVP Award race. Brett would get his MVP Award in '80 after leading the Majors in average (.390), on-base percentage (.454) and slugging (.664). -- Thomas Harrigan

Iconic Royals card: Bo Jackson, 1990 Score

There were four Bo Jackson cards in this 1990 Score set, but the one submitted by Ryan Fox from Quincy, Mass., Ken Cooper from Ventura, Calif., and Chris Hermansen from Suwanee, Ga., is easily the most famous.

The card depicts a shirtless Jackson wearing football shoulder pads and holding a baseball bat behind his head. It’s particularly notable for its simplicity, as it’s a black-and-white card that has no team logos and doesn’t even say Jackson’s name on the front.

A two-sport star, Jackson was at the height of his popularity at this point, playing in MLB and the NFL and starring in Nike’s “Bo Knows” advertising campaign, making him one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet.

“I bought this card as a kid and always liked how it looked,” Hermansen wrote. “I loved watching Bo play as a kid and had a pair of his Nike cross-training shoes.”

Jackson made the All-Star team with the Royals in 1989 and the Pro Bowl with the Raiders the following season, but his football career came to an end when he injured his hip in an NFL playoff game in January '91. Jackson was released by the Royals a few months later.

He subsequently signed with the White Sox but appeared in just 23 games during the 1991 season, then missed all of ’92 before playing for the Sox in ’93 and the Angels in ‘94, his final season.