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The best Dodger cards ever made countdown: 30-21

I received a card in the mail a couple of days ago that is so good that it automatically appears in this countdown. In fact, it's so good that it automatically belongs in the Top 30 cards yet to be counted down.

Will we see that card here in this post?

That will be revealed by the end of the post.

Time for cards 30 through 21. By the way, the ranking is getting quite difficult at this point.

So let's go before I change my mind again:

30. Don Drysdale, 1961 Topps

For my money, the single greatest Drysdale card ever made. Oh, sure, the card could be better -- if Topps had the forethought and the ability and the guts at the time to take a photo of Drysdale glowering on the mound as a batter lay sprawled at home plate half scared out of his wits after being knocked flat. THAT would be better.

But we don't have that. What we do have is Drysdale giving someone a "oh, yeah? Well, you're next" look. And that sums up Big D on the ballfield pretty well.

29. Sandy Koufax, 1966 Topps

Talk about contrasting '60s aces. Drysdale is fierce and glaring and now Koufax is sedate and, well ... sad. I've always thought this was a fitting finale for Koufax. It's the last real card of his career. (There is the league leader thing in '67). All of us Dodger fans were just as sad as Sandy looked in 1966 when we learned that this was his final season. And by "we" I mean my 1-year-old self.

28. Hitters Foes, 1959 Topps

These combo cards from this period are tremendous fun. If you never get nostalgic for baseball gone by, try looking at this card. You might experience nostalgia for the first time. It's too bad that Koufax wasn't in this trio, but few knew what to make of Koufax at this time. So he wasn't getting on any combo card.

27. Steve Garvey, 1975 Topps mini

I don't think I can find the words to express how much this card meant to me in 1975.

Well ...

Not the card you see here.

THIS card ...

That's the '75 mini that I pulled from a cello pack in '75. If I remember correctly, the Garvey card was on TOP. Now, who wouldn't pick up that pack?

Garvey in 1975 had just completed his breakthrough season. A write-in at first base in the All-Star Game, he won MVP honors, took MVP honors for the season, had a hell of a postseason, and, look out, he was IT.

And this was the mini version!

Great card.

26. Steve Garvey, 1971 Topps

Garvey's rookie card didn't mean much to people who collected in 1971. But it was pretty cool landing the card a few years later, as I did. I have two versions of this card, one in my '71 binder and one in my Dodger binder. The scuffed-up version is in the Dodger binder. I don't know what that says.

25. Ron Cey, 1974 Topps

I've written about this card several times. Here's a post totally dedicated to it. The card solidified my standing as a Ron Cey fan for life. I've received conflicting information about whether this card or the '74 Garvey card is the one that got ripped up in the movie "Mask." I've never seen "Mask," and I don't plan to as I have a thing about paying money to watch Cher. But if anybody knows, please yell it out.

24. Duke Snider, 1956 Topps

If I pay more for a baseball card than I ever had in my life it damn well better be on the countdown.

And it is. What a relief!

23. Johnny Podres, 1957 Topps

I absolutely love cards with photos of Ebbets Field. This might be the 100 percent best. Look at that fantastic Schaefer scoreboard.

Oh, yeah, and there's Johnny Podres!

22. Sandy Koufax, 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces

The best Masterpieces card that was ever made. Some may have an issue with this card being ranked so highly above all that vintage -- especially above a Koufax vintage card. But this captures Koufax at his finest. It's absolute art.

21. Tom Lasorda, 1992 Topps

You were waiting for it -- and here it is. This card is great for many reasons: Lasorda at the peak of his Slimfast Days, the collection of Carter, Gross, Candelaria, Hershiser and Ojeda, the fact they're all jogging, or at least pretending to. But most of all, it's here because it's fun. Lasorda may have his faults, but he's definitely fun. Topps couldn't have done better.

That's good stuff.

And, guess what?

The card I mentioned at the start of the post?

Haven't shown it yet.

Shuckens, I guess you'll have to stay tuned!


Nick said…
I knew that Lasorda would somehow make your countdown. It's my all-time favorite manager card.

The '71 Garvey would probably rank high in my "Top 100" vintage list. Definitely one of the highlights of my Dodger binder.

On top of that, I really need to get a copy of that '74 Cey in my collection. That's one awesome card.
Nice. The list keeps getting better.

I really like the 1957 card with Ebbetts field.
deal said…
I have never seen Mask Coast to Coast, but I have dropped in on at least one Baseball Card scene. I think the son picks up a Jackie Robinson or ROy Campanella card in a lopsided trade.

movie may be worth a look just for the BB card references.
steelehere said…
If the card you received in the mail is a certain action shot from the 1953 Bowman set, that would be amazing.
Spiegel83 said…
Some great vintage Dodgers here. The combo card with Drysdale, Podres and Labine always reminds me of Japan. The rising sun in the back gives me this impression.
night owl said…

Well, now you've just gotten everyone's hopes up and I have to be the be the one to deliver the bad news.

No, the card isn't the '53 Bowman Pee Wee Reese.

(But you're on the right track).
AdamE said…
Look, Night Owl did another Top 100 post; it’s time to get out my keyboard.

30. You can learn allot by reading card blogs. I didn’t know Drysdale had a reputation for pitching inside, now I do.

29. Your right he looks sad. He also kind of looks like a puppy.

28. Even though they are different colors the 59 combo cards make me think of Japan’s flag.

27. Kind of surprised that a 75 Mini isn’t further up your list.

26. If that is your scuffed up version of the card all my 71s are scuffed up.

25. If the movie has Jim Carry in it I don’t watch it.

24. Must be some amazing stuff coming up for the 56 Duke to be at #24.

23. The more 1957 cards I look at the more I realize it is an underappreciated set. The weird tint (I don’t know anything about photography so I am going to call it tint) makes really sets the set apart from others.

22. Just FYI… if you have doubles of that Kofax Masterpiece, I auctioned two of them on Listia for over 1000 credits each. A third one went for about 120 but if I had a fourth one you could bet I would be listing it.

21. I know lots of people say this is the Lasorda card that they remember best. Not me however, I will always remember him in that golf cart on his 1988 Topps card. I can see why a Dodger fan would like this one better though.
AdamE said…
The "not a robot" word for that last comment: armpit 75
Commishbob said…
Wow, there are some really great cards in this group. So many that I had to scroll up and down several times to just narrow down my choice as the best of this bunch (cuz I just know you really want my opinion).

Anyway I'm going with the '56 Snyder. It was a tough decision over the '57 Podres. The absolute "Duke-ness" of it, especially the background pic of him crossing the plate, gives it the edge. Awesome cards, Greg
Anonymous said…
I love that Schaefer sign in the background!

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