2015 Topps Baseball First Pitch Gallery
One of the more interesting inserts in 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball is the First Pitch cards. They hone in on 15 people who made memorable -- some for good reasons, some for comedic relief -- ceremonial tosses at the starts of games. The checklist is a diverse one, mixing rock legends with pop stars and award-winning actors with award-winning chefs.
The 2015 Topps First Pitch cards also solidify 50 Cent's place in history for one of the most infamous tosses of all-time. Most would argue that 105-year-old Agnes McKee, also in the set, had more moxie on with her pitch. Others in the set include Eddie Vedder, Jack White, Jeff Bridges, Tom Morello, Macklemore and Austin Mahone.
The set continues in 2015 Topps Series 2 Baseball. This time, the checklist is smaller with just ten cards. Highlights in the second batch include Chris Pratt, Melissa McCarthy and Jon Hamm.
This isn't the first time that first pitches have been featured on cards. In fact, Japanese card maker, BBM has been making them for years. Needless to say, not all of them have been traditional.
Below is background on every 2015 Topps First Pitch card including when it took place and videos (for all but one) so you can see the thing that a trading card might not be able to capture -- like Jeff Bridges' Big Lebowski moves.
2015 Topps First Pitch Guide and Checklist
Click on the links or card images to shop for specific cards on eBay.
When: August 1, 2014
In true Big Lebowski fashion, Jeff Bridges channeled The Dude and bowled the ball to home plate. Given that it was intentional, and it's Jeff Bridges, it was perfectly acceptable to the crowd at Chavez Ravine. The Oscar winner was likely on hand to help promote The Giver, which hit theaters a couple of weeks later and was promptly forgotten.
When: July 29, 2014
Jack White is best known as one half of The White Stripes. Originally from Detroit, he took to the field at Comerica Park in late July. Something his card doesn't capture is that he didn't throw to one of the Tigers' catchers. Rather it was none other than Santa Claus.
When: August 2, 2014
The Olympic gymnast played to her strengths and put on a show, cartwheeling and flipping her way to home plate before making the toss to home before the White Sox took on the Minnesota Twins.
When: July 24, 2014
Pearl Jam frontman looked alive taking to the Wrigley Field mound. His toss not only made it to home, but in pretty good fashion too. Vedder pulled double-duty for his beloved Cubs, leading the team's faithful in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch.
When: July 23, 2014
It looks like the ball wants to just be friends with the one-time hip hop star. This isn't Markie's first sports card either. He also appeared in Panini's 2012 Black Friday set after DJing the company's VIP party at the National.
When: July 20, 2014
Agnes McKee might not be the most famous person in the 2015 Topps First Pitch set, but her card is one of the coolest. She got one heck of a 105th birthday party, tossing out the first pitch for the Padres. She also got a nice custom jersey with her age for her number.
When: June 3, 2014
If you're unsure who Austin Mahone is, you're probably over the age of 16. The pop singer took to the field in Atlanta to toss out a pitch in June and later returned for a concert after the game. It's safe to say it wasn't as legendary as The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965. And, yes, that is a toque that he's wearing. In Atlanta. In June.
When: July 11, 2014
Jermaine Jones, a member of the US national soccer team, did just fine with his ceremonial pitch for the Dodgers. But it's what happens after the pitch that sets his time on the mound apart from others.
When: July 31, 2014
Tom Willis is a motivational speaker who was born without any arms. While his approach to throwing out the first ball for the Royals might be different, it's nothing short of remarkable. This isn't Willis' first time delivering the ceremonial first pitch. He's done it with several baseball clubs and hopes to reach all MLB parks.
When: June 25, 2014
Graham Elliot is probably best known for being one of the judges of TV's MasterChef. His Chicago restaurant is held in high regard in the city.
When: June 20, 2014
Tom Morello is best known as the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine. The Harvard grad also spent time with Audioslave and several other musical acts. After he threw out the first pitch at Wrigley, he sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame with a beloved Cubs great during the seventh inning stretch.
When: June 12, 2014
June 12 was a big night for hip hop star Macklemore. Not only did he throw out the first pitch (after a couple of goofy selfie), but everyone at the game also got a bobblehead of the Grammy winner.
When: May 29, 2014
For those who are into K-pop, they might recognize Suzy (one name, like Madonna). She's part of the group Miss A. She also has a connection to Dodgers pitcher, Hyun-jin Ryu, appearing together on the Korean reality show, Running Man.
When: May 27, 2014
50 Cent's first pitch at Citi Field became the thing of instant legend. And not in the good sense for the rapper. It speaks for itself.
When: May 23, 2014
Meb Keflezighi took to the mound at Fenway just a couple of days after winning the 2014 Boston Marathon. In doing so, he became the first American to do so since 1983. It was particularly symbolic given that it was the first since the bombing a year earlier. Keflezighi even got a custom jersey for the event, number 26.2, the number of miles the marathon stretches.
When: August 3, 2014
Best known as Frasier Crane on Cheers and its spinoff, Frasier, Grammer took to the Dodger Stadium mound to promote his show, Partners. What the card doesn't show is that Martin Lawrence was also with him.
When: September 3, 2014
Before he was Starlord on Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt was Scott Hatteberg in the adaptation of Moneyball. Of course, there's also Jurassic World, which came out days before the set, and the rumors that he could one day pick up the whip and don a fedora as Indiana Jones. Pratt showed good form at Wrigley Field, however his toss came up a little short and in the dirt.
When: August 18, 2014
The journey of Don Draper may be over and with it, the dream of a set of Mad Men trading cards (oh, the possibilities). Jon Hamm returned to his hometown of St. Louis where he not only tossed out the first pitch to Ozzie Smith, but was honored with his own bobblehead.
When: June 28, 2014
With Hollywood nearby, the Dodgers get their share of celebrity guests. That's probably a big reason why they have so many First Pitch cards. In the past couple of years, Melissa McCarthy has established herself as one of the funniest people in movies and TV. While there aren't any jokes about her pitch, this is the first trading card of the lady Ghostbuster.
When: June 23, 2014
Famous for pushing the boundaries, there's nothing controversial about Chelsea Handler's card. This wasn't her first time on the Wrigley mound either. She threw out the first pitch at a game there back in 2010.
When: June 7, 2014
When it comes to the world of comics, Stan Lee is a legend among legends. You could probably credit him (or blame him) for all the superhero blockbusters coming to screens thanks to his hand in creating and molding many of the iconic Marvel characters. He also spent many years in California trying to get them to the screen decades earlier. It's probably a good thing he wasn't overly successful there. And while Lee may be getting up there in years, he's still got plenty of spirit.
That showed at Superhero Night in San Francisco when he threw out the ball for the Giants and proceeded to celebrate on the mound with Sergio Romo.
When: May 16, 2014
The Metallica drummer knows how to rock, but his pitching is a little suspect. But that hasn't stopped Lars Ulrich from making the ceremonial first pitch in two consecutive years in San Francisco. In 2014, it was part of Metallica night.
When: June 13, 2014
A couple of months ago, Kevin Hart didn't have any trading cards. Now he's been in two sets. The comedian put on a throwback jersey to, as he put it, throw out the heat. It might not have been a fireball, but Hart did manage to make it across the plate.
When: August 12, 2014
If the San Francisco Giants had an official band, it's likely that it'd be The Grateful Dead. The team paid tribute to lead singer Jerry Garcia last August. As part of that, band members Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart teamed up one more time for a dual first pitch.
When: July 1, 2014
Within a span of a month, Gabriel Iglesias got to throw out the first pitch twice. The first came in Chicago while wearing a White Sox uniform. However, his 2015 Topps First Pitch card comes from his night at Marlins Park in Miami.