Wednesday, December 19, 2012

C.A.: 1952 Topps Chris Van Cuyk

(The Christmas season rush has really knocked my card packaging for a loop. Extra responsibilities and long lines means I'm behind in every area. So, if you're Community Gum or Waxaholic, hold on a little longer. The  cards are at least packaged. As for Sports Cards From the Dollar Store, ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession, Ryan's Memorabilia, All Tribe Baseball and The Angels In Order, well, you're next on the list. But "next" could mean January. And on that friendly note, it's time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 168th in a series):

Photographer: Chris, we're going to take you're photo now.
Chris: All right.
Photographer: OK, big smile. You're in the big leagues! You're loving life!
Chris: Like this?
Photographer: Yeah ... wow, that's quite a smile. .... But keep your eyes open. You're closing them.
Chris: Oh. All right.
Photographer: OK, big smile! Big leagues!


Photographer: Your eyes are closed, Chris.
Chris: Dammit!
Photographer: Try not to close your eyes.
Chris: Sorry. My mom says I do that, too.
Photographer: All right, let's try it again. Big smile. Loving life!
Chris: Got it.
Photographer: Eyes open!
Chris: Right.

- CLICK! -

Photographer: Dammit!
Chris: I had them open!
Photographer: No you didn't! They're closed!
Chris: Gosh, sorry.
Photographer: I've got 10 other guys to shoot!
Chris: Sorry.
Photographer: It's just a flash, OK? Don't blink.
Chris: I'll keep 'em open next time.
Photographer: OK, last time, OK?
Chris: Right.
Photographer: Big smile. Big leagues, blah, blah, blah.
Chris: Smiling.
Photographer: Eyes open?
Chris: Open!

- CLICK! -

Photographer: Oh, jesus
Chris: Dammit, dammit, dammit!
Photographer: Come on, Chris
Chris: I'll do better.
Photographer: I've got stuff to do, you know.
Chris: I'll do better.
Photographer: I'm doing this only one more time.
Chris: Right.
Photographer: You know, Pee Wee and Jackie are both waiting their turn.
Chris: I know, I know.
Photographer: Eyes open????
Chris: Open wide.
Photographer: Smile?
Chris: Got it.
Photographer: OK ... here we go ...

- CLICK! -

Photographer: I don't believe this. That's it, you're on your own.
Chris: Sorry.
Photographer: I'm sending the best one of the bunch. You're going to have to live with it.
Chris: OK.
Photographer: Pee Wee! You're up next!


This happens to be one of my favorite cards from the 1950s. I received it the other day from Corey, who kindly sent it as he managed to find a second one in his 1952 Topps set collection quest.

I love this card because of the tremendous smile, the reflexive closing of the eyes (something with which I am familiar), the fact that he looks insanely happy, and the fact that THIS IS THE ONLY CARD OF CHRIS VAN CUYK.

How would you like this card to be your only card?

(I actually have a different card of Van Cuyk -- it's from the TCMA Boys of Summer set from 1974. Van Cuyk does have his eyes open in that one).

Most surprisingly, this card does NOT make an appearance in the Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading And Bubble Gum Book. I don't know how that's possible. The book made a killing on pointing out the totally weird from '50s and '60s cards. This one doesn't qualify?

Just one more thing.

Here's the back:

Zoom in a little closer ...

How did they know?


  1. The 1961 Topps #157 Cal McLish is also quite squinty, but with no smile. Very Fred Flintstone.

    "Eyes: Blue." LOL. Wow.

  2. no worries pal... if it's january, it's january. No rush. This isn't a race.

    I, for one, am not going anywhere near a post office until the new year....

  3. I have that eyes closed in pictures thing too. Not all the way closed though mine are always half closed. Looking at pictures of me as a kid my grandma will say there is that Adam, drunk again.

  4. There are lots of 1952s with pictures that are not great. If you are going to have one card, that's a good set to be in on.

    Thanks for getting me to check out his stats and find out that his older brother was also a Dodger.

  5. Hmm. I thought I was on your list...maybe third tier?