Monday, July 26, 2010
Card back countdown: #45 - 1953 Johnston Cookies Braves
I admit that this countdown selection is a bit out there. But I am trying to be inclusive here, and just because this is a card set that was marketed regionally in the 1950s doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to be on the countdown.
I don't have any Johnston Cookies Braves cards. The company, whose factory was right near Milwaukee County Stadium, issued cards of the Braves in 1953, '54 and '55. They were inserted in boxes of cookies, but you could also order the set through a mail-in offer. Obviously, all of this happened long before I was born.
But here is the card back that caught my attention:
I know it looks rather dull compared with the card backs that I have been showing recently of 1990s sets, but it's here because of its originality for the 1950s.
The image that I found makes it virtually impossible to read the type, but what each card featured were vital statistics of the player, a biographical write-up, and statistics from the last two years, including fielding stats.
The yearly statistics are the most impressive thing. This was just one year after Topps issued its landmark 1952 set with the almost unheard-of personal player statistics on the back of each card. And now you had it one year later only issued by on a regional card set from a cookie company.
That's pretty good.
The Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards says that the write-ups on the back were lifted from the Braves' 1953 yearbook. Perhaps the stats were, too. I don't know. I don't have a '53 Braves yearbook lying around. But still, considering what most card sets were offering at the time, the Johnston Cookie set had an abundance of information not usually available on your '50s style square of cardboard.
But that's still not the major reason why this set is on the countdown.
It's on the countdown because of THE MASSIVE TOMAHAWK on each card.
That thing is awesome! Has there ever been a team logo that took up that much of the back of each card? Even if there was, it couldn't have possibly been as tremendous as the tomahawk.
I suppose now it would be considered politically incorrect to do something like that on a card. But I'm not kicking the set off the countdown. I deem it the most bad-ass card back of the 1950s.
Best of the set:
Having barely seen any of the cards from the set, I couldn't tell you.
(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