Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Card back countdown: #5 - 1952 Topps

I don't have much to say about the 1952 Topps card back, so I thought I'd document a few other things going on here at the night owl nest.

First, I don't have the cash to hit Target every day of the week, so I haven't been able to track down many of the Dodgers from the sets that are out there right now. I couldn't even tell you if Bowman is sitting on the shelves right now. (Fighting the urge ... and it's gone).

Meanwhile, my ability to pull Dodgers from Gypsy Queen has been hideous. Aside from the Sandy Koufax mini, which I greatly appreciated, I've pulled the Campanella and Furcal base cards. Nothing more. So I'm happy to report that Brian of Play at the Plate sent along a few Dodger GQ extras.

Oops, I guess I have the Furcal already. Well, here's two more:

There's something about the Jackie Robinson that makes it look as if it's not really him.

I still have a few more Dodgers to go, along with all the inserts and parallels. The only thing I really like about GQ are the parallels, as I've said. I can't get into the base design and color. I find the inserts -- the Home Run Heroes, Future Stars, etc. -- ugly in the way that I find certain old-timey stuff ugly. (My thoughts on the base don't bode well for 2011 A&G as it has some similarities to GQ in terms of color).

But don't let that stop you from sending the Dodgers. All my cards can't be pretty.

Oh, and Brian sent another Dodger card:

The less said about him the better.

I also recently obtained a long-gone Dodger for my autograph collection:

I think this auto No. 2 of Andy LaRoche. Once upon a time, LaRoche was supposed to be something special. Bowman cards galore, and all that other nonsense.

LaRoche, it turns out, is pretty below average in major league terms and now toiling for the A's. But, meanwhile, Joe Collector is lost in a 2007 time loop and still pulling Dodger LaRoches. Since JC probably has 22 versions of this card, I volunteered to take one off his hands.

I find the signature interesting. Take a look at the Frank Smith autograph on the top of the post. It almost looks like LaRoche was trying to duplicate Smith's signature in the messiest way possible. That signature could read "Andy LaRoche," it could read "Frank Smith," it could read "My Second Grade Writing Teacher Just Quit Her Job." Your guess is as good as mine.

Meanwhile I'm still stuck on the identification of this Koufax postcard. I did receive a response back from Bob Lemke. He doesn't know the origins of the card either. Like me, he knows he's seen it before, and knows it's a reuse of an earlier image. I'm guessing it's a team-issue of some sort. Sure would like to know the year though.

OK, onto the card back.

The 1952 Topps card back is ranked this highly because it was a milestone as far as the information placed on the backs of cards. As collectors, we have seen a set-up like this one for decades. Card number in the top left corner, vital stats across the top, season statistics and bio write-up. It all began with 1952 Topps.

The statistics part of the card was so revolutionary that Bowman had to go out and copy it virtually number by number in following issues.

Plus, you get the added bonus on the '52 Topps card of knowing the eye and hair color of every player.

The '52 card back may not be that exciting. But every card back had to start somewhere. The '52 card back is like the Beatles. All subsequent incarnations can trace at least part of what it does back to the original.

Best of the set:

I've got one card. And it means a heck of a lot to me. But I'm going to skip this category.

(previous card back countdown selections):

50. 1978 SSPC Yankee Yearbook
49. 1993 Score
48. 1999 Skybox Thunder
47. 2000 Upper Deck
46. 1999 Skybox Premium
45. 1953 Johnston Cookies Braves
44. 1995 Topps
43. 1997 Fleer
42. 1992 Pinnacle
41. 1989 Bowman
40. 1977 Kellogg's
39. 2004 Topps
38. 2004 Topps Total
37. 1992 Topps
36. 1992 Donruss
35. 2008 Upper Deck Documentary
34. 1963 Fleer
33. 1955 Bowman
32. 2006 Topps
31. 1961 Topps
30. 1955 Topps
29. 1967 Topps
28. 1970 Topps
27. 1969 Topps
26. 1966 Topps
25. 1963 Topps
24. 1911 T205
23. 1962 Topps
22. 1981 Topps

21. 1981 Donruss
20. 1958 Topps
19. 1977 Topps
18. 1974 Topps
17. 1957 Topps
16. 1988 Score
15. 1993 Upper Deck
14. 2004 Upper Deck Timeless Teams
13. 1971 Topps
12. 1965 Topps
11. 1991 Studio
10. 1954 Topps
9. 1953 Topps
8. 1978 Topps
7. 1980 Topps
6. 1993 Leaf


  1. a very important step in the evolution of card backs

  2. I still haven't seen any Gypsy Queen around here, much less Bowman. Those were courtesy of a box break in which I ended up with the Rangers and Dodgers.

    That Broxton illustrates the problem with being a team collector. You end up collecting cards of players that make you sick just to complete the collection.