Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Topps Decades (and Type Site for This Card is Cool)

2011 marked the 60th anniversary of Topps packaging baseball sets with chewing gum and candy, hearkening all the way back to a quintet of 1951 issues. I've profiled the Red Back #5 (Johnny Pesky) and Blue Back #5 (Phil Rizzuto) before, but they also created three odd-sized sets that year, the Connie Mack All-Stars, Major League All-Stars, and Team Cards.

1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars, Connie Mack

Connie Mack All-Stars featured retired greats and a die-cut around player silhouettes, so you can fold the backs over and stand them up.

1951 Topps Major League All-Stars, Yogi Berra

Major League All-Stars used active players on the same die-cut design and prove almost impossible to find today, possibly due to legal wrangling with Bowman over contract exclusivity.

1951 Topps Team Cards, Chicago White Sox

Team Cards are full-squad photos. Topps printed only 9 of 16 active teams, possibly for lack of pictures at design time.

It's quite expensive to build any of these three sets, given their rarity. Find a wealth of detail on their checklists and printing peccadilloes in The Candy Men post at Topps Archives.

The Topps 60th baseball anniversary came to mind when I came across a 1980s set summary at the This Card Is Cool blog, another great source of card scans and writing from any era. Author Ryan G turns out more than 1 post per day, so you'll never run short of reading material. Combine our decade profile posts and you've got all six covered!


Ryan G said...

Thanks for the plug! Funny how that works out.

I remember when I was much younger, I looked at a book or Beckett and saw the two All-Stars sets, and dreamed of having some. I still don't have any, and I probably never will. I'm surprised Topps hasn't reprinted any of these or done a throwback insert set yet. They would all work as box toppers for a product like Lineage, after all.

Matthew Glidden said...

Good point, that'd be an interesting set to see again. They already redid the 1964 Stand-Ups for Topps Lineage this year, might as well do the All-Stars!