Red-striped stirrups over socks, floppy shoe tongues, and loose-fitting pant legs complete Mr. Cub's vintage uniform. Hard to date the year exactly, since its details don't match this Cubs uniform history's "Ernie Banks Years" section. As a spring training photo--note the looming palm trees--perhaps that's 1953 or 1954, before Banks became famous as Chicago's slugging shortstop.
TCMA cribbed this back design from 1953 Bowman; the originals feature a more detailed stat grid.
1953 Bowman Color #59, Mickey Mantle
Banks and Mantle could both play on a baseball team featuring only back-to-back MVP winners. Here are the pre-1985 qualifiers.
- Pitcher: Hal Newhouser
- Catcher: Yogi Berra
- First: Jimmie Foxx
- Second: Joe Morgan
- Short: Ernie Banks
- Third: Mike Schmidt
- OF: Dale Murphy, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris
Value: Most TCMA singles cost a dollar or two, depending on set and player. This set's relatively easy to find, so don't break the bank, even if it is stocked with HOFers.
Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen reprints of this one, though it's likely TCMA printed additional sets in-house if existing stock ran out. (They'd still be "authentic" in that sense.)