Tuesday, December 9, 2008

1954 Topps #5, Ed Lopat

Junkballer Ed Lopat made the most of a career in the Yankees organization, winning 163 games in 12 pinstriped seasons. He hurled at least 20 games each season, completed almost as many as he won, and led the league in ERA and W/L% in 1953, the year prior to today's card. The Yanks beat the Bums in 6 games for another World Series win and “Steady Eddie” tossed all 9 innings in game 2, winning 4-2 on the strength of late inning homers by Billy Martin and Mickey Mantle.

Card front

Note the eccentric top border, an edge-bleed color that overlaps one side of the print row to those above. The printer laid out the 100-card sheet with flip-flopping rows to achieve this effect, something visible in the Topps Archives blog profile. The overall look resembles a mis-cut, though spacing on the other three edges can confirm the centering as good, bad, or ugly.

Card back

The 1954 design clearly bridges the early big-card efforts to the mid-50s. Black-and-white body photos accent a tinted portrait against a solid background. This multi-image presentation moved to a landscape in 1955 and included full-field action shots in 1956, but saved full-color for 1957.

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