Here's a fun exercise if you don't mind scanning and cropping until your eyes bleed.
As a team collector, I have been accumulating Dodgers from the Topps flagship set each year for 42 years, with a few breaks here and there (in light of that, the post for this title should read "The best Dodger card for every year since I started collecting" -- but that isn't nearly as punchy).
Every year, whether consciously or without really thinking about it, I select my favorite Dodger card from that particular year. I figure that it's beyond past time to post each of those cards here.
This goes back to 1975, the first year I actually collected cards. And I'm limiting it to Topps flagship, both for sanity reasons and also because for the first six years that's all there was. I'm also trying to preserve history as much as I can by posting what my favorite card was back then when the set came out. No revisionist history here even though I'm sure my views have changed for some of the sets issued back when I was a kid.
OK, so here is the 42-year rundown:
OK, now for some notes and explainers for each year, if I have something.
1976: I was also particularly in love with the Andy Messersmith card from this year, but Marshall won out because the action was so tremendous I could barely stand it.
1979: The start of my rookie obsession.
1980: Cey edged out Rick Sutcliffe as rookie obsession was still very strong.
1981: More rookie obsession.
1986: Pedro Guerrero is the only player to show three times as my favorite card.
1989: Only night card in the set.
1992: Only Lasorda could make a manager card the best card of the year twice.
2000: Not a great card, but so happy Hershiser was back with the Dodgers.
2002: The period from 2000-07 is pretty awful. A lot of sameness with every card, and very difficult to pick some years. Thank goodness there was a night card this year.
2007: The worst year of all. Maddux, in a photoshopped Dodger uniform mind you, is only there because I was so thrilled to see Maddux as a Dodger.
2010: The start of the horizontal era.
2016: Puig is my favorite because it's the card that's the most effective at negating the smoke factor.
In somewhat of a coincidence, my favorite players show up the most often.
Pedro Guerrero - 3
Ron Cey - 2
Orel Hershiser - 2
Clayton Kershaw - 2
Raul Mondesi - 2
Hideo Nomo - 2
And, of course, Tommy Lasorda - 2
So that satisfies yet another curiosity of mine.
Feel free to do this with your own favorite team. Although if you've been collecting as long as I have, you may want to block out an afternoon.