By Barry Janoff
January 26, 2017: As if he needed it, Kris Bryant has another reason to proclaim that he is No. 1.
Bryant, who in 2016 helped to lead the Chicago Cubs to the team’s first World Series title in 108 years, and was named both National League and World Series MVP, has been selected to appear on the prestigious card No. 1 in the 2017 Topps Baseball Series 1, which is due to hit retail on Feb. 1.
Bryant was afforded the honor by a vote among fans conducted by Topps.
Bryant not only had a good year on the field but also via endorsements. His deals include Under Armour, Gatorade, Express Men and New Era.
This past November, Bryant signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Topps that was called the largest in the trading card and memorabilia company’s history, which traces its roots back to 1938.
The Topps deal includes multi-media marketing, autographed cards and collectibles and other activation.
The one-week online vote took place this past October, during which people were able to select from among a list of 16 nominees on the Topps Web site.
Topps initiated its fan Vote for Card No. 1 in 2016, during which Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels won the honor.
Other players who have appeared on card No. 1 include Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Mike Piazza and Derek Jeter.
"It’s a huge honor to be chosen as Card No. 1 since it has depicted so many legends before me," Bryant said in a statement. "It’s very humbling and nice to know it came from the fans."
Among the players on the list of nominees for 2017 were Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Yadier Molina, Gary Sanchez and David 'Big Papi' Ortiz.
The previous year, the top five in voting were Trout, Posey, Bryant, Josh Donaldson and Harper.
Topps did not share totals for the 2017 vote.
According to David Leiner, Gm and vp-Topps North American Sports & Entertainment, "Kris Bryant is an outstanding player with an infectious personality. He’s done so much in his career and has created fans throughout base."
According to Topps, Baseball Series 1 also contains ten cards depicting MLB Network on-air personalities, including John Smoltz, Sean Casey, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, Greg Amsinger and Lauren Shehadi.
Topps Baseball Series 2 is scheduled to be released in June, followed by the October release of the 2017 Topps Baseball Update.
'Big Papi,' Trout, Harper, Bryant, Posey Vie For Topps ’17 Card No. 1