For baseball card collectors opening packs of the 2015 edition of Topps Baseball (Series 1), they shall be presented with the opportunity to randomly find McKayla Maroney gracing one of their cardboard treasures. Part of the US women’s gymnastics team that captured the gold medal at the 2012 London Summer Games, she is among a rare group of women that can boast of being featured in a baseball card set.
Maroney is featured in a randomly inserted series of cards titled “First Pitch”. As the title indicates, Topps has chosen to feature cards with a combination of celebrities and sporting heroes that have participated in first pitch ceremonies during the 2014 Major League Baseball Season.
Among three women featured in the First Pitch insert set (the others being centenarian Agnes McKee and Asian reality TV star Suzy), Maroney was part of the first pitch ceremony at Chicago’s US Cellular Field on August 1, 2014. With her card numbered FP-03, she is pictured on the front of the card in a Chicago White Sox jersey.
For the fans in attendance that day at US Cellular Field, they were on-hand for an impressive display of athletic ability. Maroney began with a leg kick, followed by a cartwheel and a front handspring. Afterwards, she released the pitch to a roar of approval from the thrilled spectators.
Of note, this was not the first time that Maroney was part of a first pitch ceremony, let alone having her image depicted on a baseball card. In 2013, Maroney (who became the first American female gymnast to successfully defend a World Championship vault title) was among a group of gymnasts who visited world famous Dodger Stadium to participate in a first pitch ceremony. During that same year, Maroney was featured in Topps’ annual Allen and Ginter baseball card set, which traditionally features athletes from other sports, along with celebrities.