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The top 10 cards of 2020 for the World Series champeens

 
I have not bought any 2020 World Series commemorative cards in the two months since the Dodgers have won the Series.
 
I'm not above doing that. I still might do so. But I'm accustomed to waiting until the following year for recognition of the previous year's World Series and I haven't lost my patience. I can wait if I want. Heck, I'm still waiting for Topps to recognize the Dodgers' title in 1981.
 
So you won't see any of those commemorative cards on this list of the top 10 Dodgers cards of 2020.
 
You also won't see many special cards, no autographs, no relics. I acquired very few of those this year. In fact, as I mentioned in a previous post, I've accumulated fewer 2020 Dodgers cards than I have for any previous year since I've been writing the blog.
 
That doesn't mean there wasn't Dodgers greatness on cardboard this year. There was.
 
Some of it was even interesting. As an example, this card:

The first thing I noticed about this card was -- hey, Topps is showing bat boys on cards again! Remember when they were obliterating bat boys with fake fences?
 
The second thing I noticed was how young Walter Alston looks in this photo.
 
Then I wondered what year this photo was taken. My first thought was it's from 1952, "The Boys Of Summer" year -- or from 1955, the year the team won it all.
 
It's neither. It's from 1954. A year the Dodgers finished five games behind the first-place Giants.
 
The tell-tale players are the third and fourth guys from the left in the top row. Sandy Amoros, wearing No. 15, tells you it's not 1952. He didn't play on that team. And Erv Palica, next to Amoros, whittles it down to 1954. Palica did not play for the Dodgers in 1955. But both Amoros and Palica played for Brooklyn in 1954.
 
So there. You can still have fun with cards in 2020.

So let's see what I have that I liked in the past year:

10. 2020 Heritage Joc Pederson
 
The Dodgers cards in Heritage this year aren't the most exciting but what they do have going for them is that several of them feature ... CARS IN THE BACKGROUND! This was a staple of cards in the '70s and '80s, you could find at least one or two cards with year-specific cars idling in the back.
 
The cars aren't all that identifiable in the Heritage Dodgers cards but Pederson's cars are the most obvious and it helps counter the goofiness of his pose.
 

9. 2020 Topps Update Decades' Best, 1970s Los Angeles Dodgers
 
While the photo here isn't objectively spectacular, it's just a few ballplayers huddled together, it connects specifically with fans who grew up with baseball in the late 1970s. I'm one of those people.
 
The 1977 and 1978 World Series -- the first ones to include my Dodgers since I became a fan -- are the first Series that I tried to stay up for AMP (As Mom Permitted). This card features players long forgotten by the hobby and cards. Bill North? Lee Lacy? Come on, you're never going to see those players in even an Archives set. And, of course, the photo shows my all-time favorite player, Ron Cey.
 
It's a very specific moment in time (player introductions in the '78 Series) that almost nobody under the age of 50 remembers. And because of that, I'm grateful for this card.
 

8. 2020 Opening Day Spring Has Sprung insert, Clayton Kershaw
 
I adore the Spring Has Sprung insert set. I'll be doing my usual year-end review post tomorrow and you'll see more love for this set in that post. I'm a sucker for "players signing for fans in the stands" photos and you add Clayton Kershaw, spring and '70s colors and I'm all over it.
 

7. 2020 Topps Enrique Hernandez
 
No offense to the many "turning two" collectors on the blogs but I'm a bit over those photos on cards. It takes something different to make me notice and without a doubt, this is a different take on the double play pivot. Never seen this before!
 
I'm not sure how I feel about being hit with a full-on crotch view as I pull the card from a pack, but it's good enough for No. 7 on the list.
 

6. 2020 Stadium Club Corey Seager
 
Here come the Stadium Club cards, a staple on end-of-the-year top 10 lists since 2014.
 
I'm a sucker for scoreboard cards, too, and I've also mentioned that on the blog quite often. There is no better current scoreboard to get into the background of a card than the Fenway Park scoreboard, and this is a considerable view. Also, Oakland is killing the White Sox.
 
 
 
5. 2020 Topps Turkey Red insert Dustin May
 
I declared this my Card of the Year before we'd even reached the second month of the year. Those were the days.
 
Since I pulled this Dustin May card out of a pack it became apparent that every single 2020 Dustin May card is a masterpiece. I had to hold back on including the May Stadium Club card on this list because I didn't want the list to be overrun with SC cards. This was my first-love when it comes to Dustin May 2020 cards and that's good enough for it to appear.
 
 
 
4. 2020 Stadium Club Sandy Koufax
 
This card and the next card would be ranked higher if Topps and MLB could just relax for a minute and stop fiddling with their products.
 
There is no reason to colorize this magnificent photo of Koufax launching a home run. It was dynamic enough in black-and-white. Capturing a rare moment in a career -- Koufax hit just two home runs in the majors and this three-run shot in 1963 is one -- is the pinnacle for a baseball card, which is why I can't hold the knee-jerk colorizing too much against Topps.
 
 

3. 2020 Stadium Club Clayton Kershaw
 
Easily the No. 1 Dodgers card of the year if Kershaw wasn't wearing one of those awful Players Weekend uniforms from 2019. Part of me wants to leave this card off the list entirely because of the sneaky way MLB/Topps forced me to enjoy a photo so much with that damn uniform (this is where black-and-white doesn't work).
 
But it's simply too beautiful of a card to forget so here it is.
 

2. 2020 Topps Project 2020 Efdot Jackie Robinson
 
It's mind-boggling to see on Twitter how many of these Project 2020 cards that some collectors have accumulated.
 
I've been known to accumulate, but I couldn't do it with something like this. First, it's too expensive. Second, I think less-is-more with Project 2020. Find a specific card that speaks to you and let it speak for the entire project.
 
That's what Efdot's Jackie Robinson card did for me. Considering what went on this year, it was a perfect card to represent the past and the present. And as far as the look of the card, this artist's images were consistently better than any of the other Project 2020 cards.
 
I don't always choose wisely, but I did here.
 

 
1. 2020 Big League Mookie Betts
 
You had to grow up when I did to know where I'm going with this card.
 
Before Traded sets came along, collectors waited a full year for a set that reflected the previous year's transactions. Yes, it was arduous, but it was incredibly exciting when you opened a pack and finally -- finally! -- found that star player in his new uniform.
 
This Big League card of Mookie Betts is that card that we wanted so much back in the '70s/early '80s. There are other Mookie-Betts-as-a-Dodger cards in 2020 sets but most of them are photoshopped jobs. The Big League card is Betts actually in a Dodgers uniform during a spring training game and it's the first card of Betts in an actual Dodgers uniform.
 
Considering how much Betts meant to the Dodgers during the postseason, it's the best 2020 Dodgers card that I own.
 
I expect plenty of 2021 cards that show Dodgers postseason exploits, Mookie catches and Seager blasts and Dodgers celebrating. It's just another reason why I'm looking forward to 2021.
 
Stay tuned for one last 2020 goodbye.

Comments

Nick said…
We both posted our Top 10 lists on the same day! Your #4 was my #1, and the SC Kershaw just missed making my list -- the Players' Weekend jersey was basically the deciding factor, unfortunately. "Spring Has Sprung" was also the best insert set of the year, by far.
Old Cards said…
Wow! Sandy Koufax batting! Saw him batting a few times during games, but never on a card.
I knew that Koufax card looked unreal. I loathe colorizing old photographs. Enjoy the black and white for what it records. Anyway. Solid list. But too many Dodgers...
The two Kershaws, were my faves here with the Big League the best.
Fuji said…
Just saw that beautiful Stadium Club Koufax on Nick's blog, but man oh man... I'm kicking myself for forgetting about that Kershaw. If I owned a copy of that... it would definitely be right up there with the card I chose as my favorite 2020 card (that I'll reveal tomorrow). And that Stadium Club Seager isn't too shabby either. The Dodgers truly had some great looking cards in 2020.
I'll bet the photo of Bellinger robbing the Padres in center will make it onto a card. It will be my least favorite card of 2021
bbcardz said…
Outstanding list/post! Love seeing those Topps Decades' Best cards here. Like you, I am so looking forward to the 2021 Dodgers postseason cards.
GTT said…
I love the Seager and Koufax! I don't really like colorized photos though.They seem kinda wrong to me.
I love the card of Koufax batting. That is a great picture. I am also glad that you included the EfDot Jackie Robinson card. I am not a Dodgers collector, but that was one of my favorite cards this year.

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