There are some cases where selecting the single-most
important card for a player is very debatable to say the least. This is not one
of those cases. In 1951, Topps released a small, colorful set called Major
League All-Stars (some refer to it as Current All-Stars). The set is comprised
of several of the top names of the era, from Yogi Berra to Phil Rizzuto. The
original set contained 11 total cards, but three of them were never released to
the public: Jim Konstanty, Eddie Stanky, and Roberts. This created three of the
greatest rarities in our hobby and Roberts is the only Hall of Famer in the
trio. The die-cut design allowed collectors to pop the player images out from
their backgrounds. The regular cards in the set are virtually impossible in
high grade, but the Roberts card is nearly impossible to find—period—with fewer
than six known at the time of this writing.
Robin Evan Roberts (September 30, 1926 - May 6, 2010) was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies “Whiz Kids” during the 1950s helping them to the 1950 World Series Championship. Playing most of his 19-year career with the Phils (1948-1961) and the Orioles (1962-1965), Robin Roberts was a brilliant ace, excellent fielder and above-average hitter for a pitcher. His durability was evident early on and during the span of 1950-1956, Roberts led the league in games started six times, complete games and innings pitched 5 times and wins four times. His blazing fastball and accuracy were the keys to Roberts’ success compiling a record of 286-245 with 2,357 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 4,689 innings. Robin Roberts was the first number retired by the Phillies organization. Interestingly, Robin Roberts was the only pitcher in history to defeat the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. Robin Evan Roberts was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.