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The best Dodger card for every (Topps) year before I collected


Taking a suggestion from a reader in the comments today because I don't have a lot of time and it's easy. But also, I was curious:

What are my favorite Dodger cards for each year before I started collecting?

This is something I've never pondered even though finding my favorite Dodger has been a yearly ritual ever since 1975. So I went about figuring it out.

A few things to set up the rundown:

First, it's understood I'm talking about Topps cards here. That's all I showed for every year I collected because it was nothing but Topps at the beginning for me and why mess it up by throwing in other companies and confusing the situation (and taking more time I don't have).

Second, I'm not terribly confident that these are my favorites. I'm coming up with a lot of these on the spot while with the favorites during my collecting period I ruminated about them during the whole collecting year.

Third, the "best" generally means my favorite. I'm not picking a Koufax rookie just because it's a big-selling card. I have to like the way it looks. Also, all cards selected are in my collection, because when they're my favorite I make sure they get in my collection.

Let's go:

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957



1958

1959

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

The 1973 card obscures the subject but the overwhelming "passing the torch" theme hits you in the face with its appropriateness and that's why it's my favorite.

It was difficult to select standouts with some of the '60s sets just because every photo looked the same. But none of this is carved in stone. I'll switch or update if my opinion changes.

Some highlights for me:

Well, obviously the '56 Robinson and the Dodger Greats card from 1957. I've always enjoyed the Joe Black "angel Black sitting on Black's shoulder" card. And same goes for the spectacular and spooky '74 Garvey. The '65 leaders card is simply devastating and the '59 Campy heartbreaking.

As you probably know, the Dodgers clinched another NL West title yesterday. Even though people like to rip on the Dodgers for failing to win the last two World Series and any since 1988, the team still possesses one of the greatest histories of any sports franchise -- I would argue that it's the most interesting and diverse anywhere.

This little exercise shows that.

Comments

John Bateman said…
The 71 Allen maybe my favorite from that set. It is also such an unusual shot the background, bat angle, his glasses. It was just such an unusual shot from Topps up to this point.
Dennis said…
Lots of excellent choices from some great sets!
Jason said…
Great choices!! For 1960 my own nod goes to the Hodges WS card over Champs Celebrate.
Old Cards said…
Another great lineup of cards! You surprised me with several of your picks, particularly 58 and 59, only because I didn't think about those cards. Understand your comments about the 60's cards, but since that was my prime collecting time and I have most of them in my collection, I personally like them best. Thanks for posting.
Old Cards said…
59 & 60, not 58 & 59.
Nick Vossbrink said…
This is a good idea though it'll have to wait until I get my first 51T. I'm jealous of all those WS cards. :p
I love the 71 Allen. Even when he was just posing for the photographer, Richie/Rich/Dick Allen couldn't help but be badass.

Maybe he's annoyed that the photographer's knee is in the picture.

Fuji said…
The 1956 Jackie Robinson is my favorite card of all-time. Also a big fan of the 1957 Dodgers' Sluggers, 1959 Campanella, and 1965 NL ERA leaders card.

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