Thursday, February 23, 2012

Retro Redux: 1954-55-56 Topps Ted Williams

Does this picture of Ted Williams look familiar?

1954 Topps #250, Ted Williams

How about now?

1955 Topps #2, Ted Williams

Or now?

1956 Topps #5, Ted Williams

Topps publishes lame photos from time-to-time in modern sets, but you see more variety because they have a larger stock to pull from. Back in the 1950s and 60s, card editors fell back to re-cropping, re-using, and re-composing a high percentage of player shots year-to-year, especially when they had a "good one," like Ted's genial portrait.

Night Owl recently called out 21st century Topps for endlessly revisiting the same Jackie Robinson image that first appeared on a card in 1950. Bowman held exclusive rights to Ted Williams prior to 1954, so who knows? Maybe Topps would have used that quality closeup even earlier if they could've done so.

1951 Topps Blue Back-style Ted Williams

Ahhh, something a little different. At least Ted's early Topps tribute cards went with alternate poses. The 1954, 1955, and 1956 sets include so much photo re-use, they could almost be a blog of their own.

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