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  #1  
Old 12-14-2020, 09:47 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Default Touring (backwards) through the sets of the '50s

While I spend these lazy covid evenings organizing my new post-war vintage collection of the last year, thought I'd share the run from the '50s that I've mostly completed. As you can imagine, it's been an interesting nostalgic ride to put these sets together, and I'm pleased with how it's gone.

Some of these sets are complete, and some still need a few commons/minors or upgrades. But they're all plenty close enough Going to start with '59 and work backwards:

1959

At first I wasn't much of a fan of the lowercase writing, but this set has started to grow on me a little. It's in the nicest condition of anything in the run, so they only get uglier from here

The avg grade (all raw) is almost Ex, and it's nice enough that I'm going to upgrade the few dozen commons/minors that are below mid-grade (which is not something I do too often). Even though the Mantle and especially the Bob Gibson are very solid, the strength is slightly more toward the commons.

Cause while 116 of the cards are 6s, 6.5s, or (maybe a dozen) 7s, the only name players in those grades are Drysdale and the Sparky Anderson rookie.

I'll post more pics of the other sets, but this one is packed away the deepest, so will start with just the two big cards this time:

572/572

Avg condition: 4.84

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

10 Mickey Mantle: 4.5
514 Bob Gibson (R) : 5.5
564 Mickey Mantle All Star : 5
478 Roberto Clemente : 4
50 Willie Mays : 5
380 Hank Aaron : 5
163 Sandy Koufax : 4
150 Stan Musial : 3
461 Mantle hits 42nd Homer : 5
550 Harmon Killebrew : 4



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  #2  
Old 12-15-2020, 12:44 AM
Gorditadogg Gorditadogg is offline
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I overlooked this set at first too, but the design is really creative, and is in tune with the beat generation of the times. I mean, how many sets have pink card backgrounds? The circle portraits with colorful mattes are appealing and the tilted lower case names make the cards jaunty and cool.

A nice picture of Mantle, too. That "fire engine red" background helps make Mick"s cameo stand out.

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  #3  
Old 12-15-2020, 09:30 AM
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As a kid collecting cards from the 50's and 60's in the 80's and 90's, I was not very keen on '59. But it has really grown on me over the years. I love the lowercase slant letters and circular design with the solid backgrounds now; it just screams 1950's chic.
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2020, 09:33 AM
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(Delete / Dupe).
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Last edited by jchcollins; 12-20-2020 at 04:33 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2020, 09:37 AM
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This will be a great thread as it goes along. Thanks for starting it. I wasn't born until '73, but I am passionate about the cards of the 50s. I've played with modern and prewar, but I always come back "home" to the cards of the 50s. I have also quit fighting the set building urge. I'm just going with that, too.
Great looking cards! So far my 50s collecting is back toward the early part of the decade, and when you get there I'd love to share a few of mine. I hope to eventually get to the latter end of the decade. I'll be watching this thread for sure!

Last edited by vintagebaseballcardguy; 12-15-2020 at 09:37 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2020, 01:28 PM
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Many variations and recurring print defects in the 59 set. Here are some oddball stuff









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  #7  
Old 12-15-2020, 01:53 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Al, those kinda extras are coming soon for one of the other sets. Usually I just have base cards, but it's always good for a collection to have a unique exception.

Everyone is welcome to share their own along the way as well
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2020, 04:36 PM
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1957

Doing '57 before '58 because, well, that's what's in front of me at the moment!

I did not expect this set to turn out like it did. When it was in its infancy, I had already picked up a Mantle, Frank Robinson, and some of the other big cards in around grade 3, and was undecided about how to continue.

That was when a collector from this forum sold me his (almost) set from his childhood.

It was very "loved". Missing only eight commons, and almost half of the cards are 1s. You've got your punch holes, paper loss, and so on. Though there are about 50 cards that are 4s or 5s too. Not sure how those survived

There were two things that made me interested at first though: the fact that the Brooks Robinson was a clean 3 or so (my collection was missing that card). Then there was this:

Included were all the contest cards, the lucky penny, all checklists (including number 4/5, much prized even when marked). Plus a 1 cent wax pack wrapper in great shape, which is another very tough set accessory and I think one of the rarest Topps wrappers (Al?)

I'm rarely one for anything beyond a base set, but this seemed like a good time to make an exception to that.

Anyway, I was going to combine this with my other '57 HOFers to make the best set I could overall. But I've decided not to.

Because there is a charm to keeping this as is. It's like a direct pipeline to a kid collecting his cards during a time when baseball was life. Slightly before "The Sandlot", but pretty close. And given my love for the sport (playing, watching, and learning about it) back when I was a kid myself in the '80s, that makes me quite nostalgic.

So maybe I'll do something else with my other '57s sometime. But this set is going to stay together. Call it an homage to those times!

399/407

Avg condition: 1.97

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

95 Mickey Mantle: 1
328 Brooks Robinson (R): 3
35 Frank Robinson (R): 1
1 Ted Williams: 1
407 Yankee Power Hitters (Mantle,Berra): 1
302 Sandy Koufax: 1
10 Willie Mays: 1
20 Hank Aaron: 2.5
18 Don Drysdale (R): 3
76 Roberto Clemente: 1

Other highlights:

Checklist 4/5: 3 (marked)
1 cent wrapper: great shape





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  #9  
Old 12-17-2020, 04:57 PM
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Of the 3 photographic 50's Topps sets, 1957 > 1959 > 1958. Love the 57 design, clean and unobtrusive. I don't like the lower type case and the amount of the card taken away from the photo and given to the design on the 1959's, but it's a nice one still. 1958 I have almost completed as well, but solid backdrops are not as nice as the full photos on Topps other vintage sets. The All-Stars are awesome, as is the lack of a tougher SP series.

1953 and 1956 are the best of the decade overall, in my book.

The 1958 Brooks Robinson is probably the ugliest 1950's card by any manufacturer.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2020, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
1953 and 1956 are the best of the decade overall, in my book.
The colors of the '53 are my favorite (still love the contrast between their brightness and the somewhat darker feel of the '52).

And the backgrounds of the '56s are some of very favorite parts of any cards (of any era)
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2020, 04:27 PM
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1958

This is probably the most forgotten set of the '50s. Nothing stands out too much, though the Mantle/Aaron WS batting foes is one of the most coveted combo cards of the era.

My version has no backstory this time. But the noticeable factor is how it's about the most VG-EX set you'll ever find. Mantle is a 4. The avg grade is 3.99. The top 10 cards are all close to that, and 90% of the total set is between a 3 and 5 (with 5% above and 5% below).

Even the only PSA graded card is a 4

But hey, who doesn't love seeing the famous Brooks face here?

494/494

Avg condition: 3.99

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

150 Mickey Mantle: 4
1 Ted Williams: 3
47 Roger Maris: 3
52 Roberto Clemente: 4
418 World Series Batting Foes (Mantle, Aaron): 5
5 Willie Mays: 4
30 Hank Aaron: 4.5
187 Sandy Koufax: 3.5
487 Mickey Mantle All Star: 3.5
310 Ernie Banks: 5.5




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  #12  
Old 12-21-2020, 06:53 AM
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My biggest challenge in collecting this set was finding the combo mantle/aaron card focused, the williams #1 focused and the team card variations. I ended up liking the set a lot more. In particular against the scd black background. At least most of the star cards are head shots, so that's consistent.
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2020, 08:31 AM
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These cards were my gateway into collecting. I was a kid living on Long Island in 1958 when I discovered the cards through a girl in the neighborhood who was a baseball fan. We look back at these designs and sometimes regard them as dull and unimaginative but back then TV and newspapers were filled with black and white images. These colorful things were amazing to me.

I asked for and got my first packs at Easter of ‘59 and by 1960 I was a ‘full set builder’. I’ve had a love affair with the late 50s through early 60s sets ever since.
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2020, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
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My biggest challenge in collecting this set was finding the combo mantle/aaron card focused.
Agreed, and that is usually a horrible card for ugly print snow as well.
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2020, 04:53 PM
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1957/1958







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  #16  
Old 12-21-2020, 05:31 PM
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John, I'm very much enjoying this. Love all the stuff you're posting!
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2020, 05:48 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
Agreed, and that is usually a horrible card for ugly print snow as well.
I don't remember if it's the whole series, but the snow seems so prevalent in everything numbered around the Mantle/Aaron. To the point where it's like PSA doesn't even really penalize anything but the higher grades for it on those particular cards.
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2020, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
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John, I'm very much enjoying this. Love all the stuff you're posting!
Thanks James. Much appreciated.

It's also leading to seeing all of Al's unopened packs from the decade, which is one of the most impressive collecting accomplishments I've ever seen
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2020, 08:41 PM
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Default Touring (backwards) through the sets of the '50s

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardsagain74 View Post
I don't remember if it's the whole series, but the snow seems so prevalent in everything numbered around the Mantle/Aaron. To the point where it's like PSA doesn't even really penalize anything but the higher grades for it on those particular cards.

I was lucky enough about 5 years ago to find a technically lower grade copy of the Mantle / Aaron without much print damage. I’ll take that over an otherwise NM copy that looks like a snowstorm any day.

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Last edited by jchcollins; 12-21-2020 at 08:42 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-22-2020, 07:13 PM
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1956

This set has driven me crazy (yet I've still developed a soft spot for it at the same time). When I first started collecting again, I did not feel the same love for it as many do, and it was the least likely for me to end up with.

All I could see was a very similar design to the '55 with many identical pictures, and saw no need to fool with it. Got an ok low grade Mantle early on, and had no interest past that. So going after a '55 + that Mick was going to fit the bill fine for my preferences.

Then I started to really focus on the backgrounds of the '56s. And things changed. Decided "well I need some of these commons anyway cause I love the backgrounds". Then wanted to collect the team cards. Before I knew it, I had those and about half the commons to go with the Mantle, a Jackie R blazer from further back, and a great Yogi.

You know what's going to happen at that point. Been filling the set in ever since, especially since I felt like I had the freedom to use as many low grade cards as I wanted. Now it's 10 commons away from being complete.

Everything about my particular set is all over the place. Figuratively (the condition) and literally (they're the only cards from this run that I don't have all logged by grade or even completely organized yet). A lot of lower grade HOFers, but also some nice ones here and there. The commons vary from low to upper-end midgrade too.

Definitely the redheaded stepchild of my '50s run. But still taken care of the same

330/340 with checklists (unmarked)

Avg grade: approx 3.0

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

135 Mickey Mantle: 2
33 Roberto Clemente: 2
5 Ted Williams: 1
30 Jackie Robinson: 7
79 Sandy Koufax: 1
31 Hank Aaron: 1.5
130 Willie Mays: 1
251 Yankees Team: 3
110 Yogi Berra: 6.5
166 Dodgers Team: 3






Last edited by cardsagain74; 12-22-2020 at 07:13 PM.
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  #21  
Old 12-23-2020, 11:56 AM
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Toughest Topps wax packs to get are 56 and 58. Only have penny pack for both. Anthony ( Griffins) has both I think. A Salesman sample for this year is also tough

Checklists are tough. Getting all the white and gray backs for 1-180 is expensive since so many star cards are involved

The different versions of the team cards are challenging but fun

George Vrecheck has done an SCD article on the wo cropping versions that exist for many of the cards.

If you are OCD there are also many colored line variants ( print offsets) for many of the cards, including Williams, between the name and team/position boxes.

Also the 56 ( along with the 55 ) Hocus Focus baseball subset is in my experience the hardest Topps issued at wide retail set to complete










https://hosting.photobucket.com/albu...pscd6a674c.jpg




Last edited by ALR-bishop; 12-23-2020 at 12:00 PM.
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  #22  
Old 12-23-2020, 03:30 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Wasn't planning on doing these on back to back days (or skipping ahead again), but there's a reason that happened today.

1953

This set is just as beat up as my '57. And since all the huge cards are 1s this time, it would rank last overall in condition. It's also the one that I got the worst deal on, because I got too impatient. Some of the sets from this run were bought complete, since when you're working on so many things at once, it seemed too time-consuming and expensive to build so much from almost scratch.

Why so impatient this time then? One reason was how I love the colors and design. But it's mainly because this was the year that my dad was 9 years old and at the height of his love of the game and the Yankees. I even mentioned in another thread about how my grandmother found his creased '53 Topps Whitey Ford and a (likely) '53 Topps Mantle about 30 years ago at their old house.

I say "likely" Mick because she inexplicably gave me the Ford (which is tucked away elsewhere in my childhood belongings) and my far-away cousin the Mantle, which was never seen again. Heresy.

Anyway....dad and I never collected anything together, so this isn't the typical vision of father and son looking over a table learning about baseball cards. But he did share the same passion for sports that I did, and we always bonded over that.

Almost two years ago, my dad passed away from cancer. And today would've been my parents' 54th wedding anniversary.

So instead of card-related "other highlights", I've included a photo of when he coached my minor league baseball team in 1984. He's the man on the left of the pic, standing just behind me toward the middle.

Oh, and I was also 9 when this pic was taken. Go figure

274/274

Avg grade: 1.96

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

82 Mickey Mantle: 1
244 Willie Mays: 1
1 Jackie Robinson: 1
220 Satchel Paige: 1
263 Johnny Podres: 1.5
104 Yogi Berra: 1
258 Jim Gilliam: 1
280 Milt Bolling: 2
27 Roy Campanella: 1.5
147 Warren Spahn: 3

Other highlights:

Unquestionably '80s baseball photo




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  #23  
Old 12-23-2020, 03:55 PM
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Great picture. Would have been good candidates for 71 Topps Winners set.

Backs of 53 are a quagmire. Six cards were not issued 253/261/267/268/271/275. Cards 86-165 can be found with black or white bio info, except for 94/107/131/145/156 ( white only), while cards 10/44/61/72/81 have both, an anomaly in printing the sheets which caused the missing cards mentioned before


Last edited by ALR-bishop; 12-23-2020 at 04:10 PM.
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  #24  
Old 12-23-2020, 06:11 PM
Volod Volod is offline
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Default '53 Topps

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardsagain74 View Post
Al, those kinda extras are coming soon for one of the other sets. Usually I just have base cards, but it's always good for a collection to have a unique exception.

Everyone is welcome to share their own along the way as well
John: Enjoyed reading the anecdote about the '53 Topps set. I too was just nine years old when I pulled some of those cards from waxpacks. I have to say that I did not care much for them at that time, however, because I really loved the Bowman issue from that year and thought the Topps cards were kind of cheesy in comparison. In fact, when I restarted my collection in my second childhood in the early '80's, I disdained Topps and went after the Bowman sets. Odd memory I have of that came at a card show in '83. As I was leaving late at night, I stopped to flip through an open binder of '50's cards on the last table and was strangely mesmerized by two '53 Topps commons: Jim Waugh and Charlie Bishop. Apparently, a couple of long buried brain cells that were imprinted with those two names and images suddenly fired and I had a deja vu recall of pulling those specific cards from a pack thirty years earlier. Feeling like a nine-year-old suddenly flush with resources, I gave the dealer a ten spot for about fifty commons as a starter lot and eventually put together a reasonably priced EX condition set.
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Old 12-23-2020, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
Great picture. Would have been good candidates for 71 Topps Winners set.
Thanks. My first description wasn't that clear; I am second from the left standing.

Always had my game face on, even for the pics In the individual pics where you're posing with a bat, I'd be staring down the photographer like he was about to brush me back
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  #26  
Old 12-23-2020, 08:44 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volod View Post
Odd memory I have of that came at a card show in '83. As I was leaving late at night, I stopped to flip through an open binder of '50's cards on the last table and was strangely mesmerized by two '53 Topps commons: Jim Waugh and Charlie Bishop. Apparently, a couple of long buried brain cells that were imprinted with those two names and images suddenly fired and I had a deja vu recall of pulling those specific cards from a pack thirty years earlier.
I opened plenty of packs from the early-mid '80s as a kid (both baseball and football), but I don't remember pulling any specific cards. But I do remember seeing specific cards when I was sorting them, or what I still needed.

And I bet there were plenty of '86 Fleer basketball packs at the mall back then. Even though people were using those cards for wallpaper at the time, I can't remember if I ever bought any, and I didn't have a single one of them in my stored away stuff from those days
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  #27  
Old 12-27-2020, 09:38 AM
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Hi John and others,

A belated Merry Christmas. I've been away from this and other sites in the last few months as work got super hectic (a good thing) and have been helping out more at home which I didn't do in the early part of the fall as the fishing was fantastic in NY.

Anyhow, I loved your journeys/recaps on the 50's sets. I've had similar feelings about the sets universally loved and unloved. Have grown to love 58's and 56's which I thought were over rated aside from the Mantle, Clemente and Jackie Robinson cards which I thought and still think are works of art.

But I wasn't as "emotionally" invested in the 56's--I won a set in an auction surprisingly as I was into 57's which I built up lot by lot /card by card. It wasn't too painful as I had some of the major cards for decades.

The set I'm least into is 53 Topps. I have a nice Mantle and a presentable Jackie with tape all over it and a Paige which I got in a trade when one didn't look up values on the internet or in a Becketts. hahahaha! Eventually I will get into it since the other years are basically done, pending USPS delivery which has been painfully slow....

Well, time to go for a hike!
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  #28  
Old 12-29-2020, 04:56 PM
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1955 Topps

This set was my main introduction into the modern card marketplace (after being away since the junk wax era). Around a year ago, it went up for auction on ebay as "low-mid grade". There was little interest because it was a jewelry dealer who mentioned that horrid "estate sale", and while most of the huge cards were graded, the Clemente was not.

Run for the hills, especially for someone who's fairly green to the new card world. Right? But I wasn't able to dismiss it so quickly.

Not only did the PSA HOFers have amazing eye appeal for their grade, but I could not see any major damage on the Clemente, which looked like a grade 4-5. The modest L/R centering shift (and everything else I'd learned at that point about diagnosing fakes) appeared legit to my relatively untrained eye. So I looked into the jewelry shop selling it. Wrote them and asked why the Clemente was one of the few HOFers not graded.

Finally, I decided it was worth the risk. The '55 T was a set I'd always wanted anyway, because I value its elite level top 10 cards more than the missing Mantle and second-tier HOFers like Campanella, Feller, and Reese bother me. Could just cheaply(well, at the time) add a low grade '56 T Mantle to it. And if something went wrong, I could always return it.

When the package got here, I could hear the phrases "no creases and measure correctly" repeat in my mind about the Clemente, as if willing them to be true. Thankfully, that was the case. There are a few very minor pock marks near the bottom left corner, but I doubt they'd push the grade below a 4. Even if they do, it's still a nice card and the set was a great deal.

Included a closeup of the pocks (if anyone wants to speculate). They look worse in the pic than in hand.

Guess I should get off my lazy ass about submitting and find out

206/206

Avg grade: 4.12

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

164 Roberto Clemente (R): 4
123 Sandy Koufax (R): 3
194 Willie Mays: 2
2 Ted Williams: 3
210 Duke Snider: 3
47 Hank Aaron: 4
50 Jackie Robinson: 2
124 Harmon Killebrew: 5
198 Yogi Berra: 5
28 Ernie Banks: 4






Last edited by cardsagain74; 12-29-2020 at 05:26 PM.
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  #29  
Old 12-29-2020, 05:20 PM
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Those are some beautiful '55s, John. And sorry to hear about your dad upthread. Cheers to him and the good times you shared.
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Old 12-29-2020, 09:04 PM
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Thanks for the kind words, Cesar and Andrew.

And I wish you and everyone the best too. Even though Cesar sucks for having completed the '52 so early
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  #31  
Old 12-30-2020, 02:15 PM
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  #32  
Old 12-31-2020, 08:23 AM
cesarcap cesarcap is offline
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John,

The 52 set isn't technically complete: Hal Rice is in an envelope somewhere between MD and NY.

Had a very similar experience w/ the 55 set as you.

Happy 2021!
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  #33  
Old 01-04-2021, 03:44 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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1955 Bowman

Confession: I really like this set.

It's probably the least popular of all the Bowman and '50s Topps sets, and its cards worth the least (relative to the year). But I don't care

The TV design feeds into the nostalgia that I somehow have for '50s culture. And I find the photos underappreciated too. Especially the Mantle.

My Mick is a really strong PSA 3. The set's strength is still slightly in the commons, but the key cards all have good eye appeal. No need to change any channel

Who needs to see the typical Willie, Hank, Ernie, and Yogi though. In the spirit of this enigma of a set, have some of what makes it unique: umpires!

320/320

Avg grade: 3.76

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

202 Mickey Mantle: 3
242 Ernie Banks: 4
179 Hank Aaron: 3
184 Willie Mays: 3
168 Yogi Berra: 3
22 Roy Campanella: 5
59 Whitey Ford: 3
23 Al Kaline: 4
37 Pee Wee Reese: 5
134 Bob Feller: 3


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  #34  
Old 01-04-2021, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cardsagain74 View Post
1955 Bowman

Confession: I really like this set.

It's probably the least popular of all the Bowman and '50s Topps sets, and its cards worth the least (relative to the year). But I don't care

The TV design feeds into the nostalgia that I somehow have for '50s culture. And I find the photos underappreciated too. Especially the Mantle.

My Mick is a really strong PSA 3. The set's strength is still slightly in the commons, but the key cards all have good eye appeal. No need to change any channel

Who needs to see the typical Willie, Hank, Ernie, and Yogi though. In the spirit of this enigma of a set, have some of what makes it unique: umpires!

320/320

Avg grade: 3.76

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

202 Mickey Mantle: 3
242 Ernie Banks: 4
179 Hank Aaron: 3
184 Willie Mays: 3
168 Yogi Berra: 3
22 Roy Campanella: 5
59 Whitey Ford: 3
23 Al Kaline: 4
37 Pee Wee Reese: 5
134 Bob Feller: 3


People either love this set or hate it for some reason. I love it. The Ernie Banks may be the favorite card of this Cubs fan. His only Bowman card...
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  #35  
Old 01-04-2021, 11:06 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
People either love this set or hate it for some reason. I love it. The Ernie Banks may be the favorite card of this Cubs fan. His only Bowman card...
Plus I love combining it with the '55 T to cover all the HOFers. Except Musial of course. Wonder what the story is behind him ditching all the card companies so much
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  #36  
Old 01-05-2021, 05:16 AM
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Plus I love combining it with the '55 T to cover all the HOFers. Except Musial of course. Wonder what the story is behind him ditching all the card companies so much
He had an exclusive contract with Rawlings. The "card" with them was the tag hanging off the glove. At least that's the story I've always heard.
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  #37  
Old 01-05-2021, 07:41 AM
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The Topps sets from 52-56 Were beauties. I love the art style of each of them. Still Kills me Mantle was under contract with Bowman for 1955, so we were deprived of a beautiful Topps card of his that year. Though I've warmed up to his Bowman issue.

I really wish Topps continued with that style they used in the early 50's. Not that I don't appreciate the Photo's of the 57 issue, but something about the art of the 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56 sets just screams Americana to me.
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  #38  
Old 01-05-2021, 08:56 AM
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In 1955 a color TV like used on the Bowman cards would have been a novelty rather than nostalgic. Relatively few households had a color TV in 1955 ( Bob knows the #) and there were not many color TV shows. Unfortunately for Bowman the set was a bust at the time. I personally like it and kind of enjoy the umpires, but bet they were a bummer at the time with kids
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  #39  
Old 01-06-2021, 07:07 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Originally Posted by Seven View Post
The Topps sets from 52-56 Were beauties. I love the art style of each of them. Still Kills me Mantle was under contract with Bowman for 1955, so we were deprived of a beautiful Topps card of his that year. Though I've warmed up to his Bowman issue.

I really wish Topps continued with that style they used in the early 50's. Not that I don't appreciate the Photo's of the 57 issue, but something about the art of the 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56 sets just screams Americana to me.
Another positive from the new '57 photo era was that Topps couldn't be lazy anymore about the next year's issue. It started to get pretty bad in '56, when kids must have wondered if they'd get the same Hank Aaron photo year after year until he was 40
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  #40  
Old 01-07-2021, 01:24 PM
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Great cards and story.
The 53' Campy is my fave all time card. I have several of them. All from NR-MT to barely recognizable

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Originally Posted by cardsagain74 View Post
Wasn't planning on doing these on back to back days (or skipping ahead again), but there's a reason that happened today.

1953

This set is just as beat up as my '57. And since all the huge cards are 1s this time, it would rank last overall in condition. It's also the one that I got the worst deal on, because I got too impatient. Some of the sets from this run were bought complete, since when you're working on so many things at once, it seemed too time-consuming and expensive to build so much from almost scratch.

Why so impatient this time then? One reason was how I love the colors and design. But it's mainly because this was the year that my dad was 9 years old and at the height of his love of the game and the Yankees. I even mentioned in another thread about how my grandmother found his creased '53 Topps Whitey Ford and a (likely) '53 Topps Mantle about 30 years ago at their old house.

I say "likely" Mick because she inexplicably gave me the Ford (which is tucked away elsewhere in my childhood belongings) and my far-away cousin the Mantle, which was never seen again. Heresy.

Anyway....dad and I never collected anything together, so this isn't the typical vision of father and son looking over a table learning about baseball cards. But he did share the same passion for sports that I did, and we always bonded over that.

Almost two years ago, my dad passed away from cancer. And today would've been my parents' 54th wedding anniversary.

So instead of card-related "other highlights", I've included a photo of when he coached my minor league baseball team in 1984. He's the man on the left of the pic, standing just behind me toward the middle.

Oh, and I was also 9 when this pic was taken. Go figure

274/274

Avg grade: 1.96

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

82 Mickey Mantle: 1
244 Willie Mays: 1
1 Jackie Robinson: 1
220 Satchel Paige: 1
263 Johnny Podres: 1.5
104 Yogi Berra: 1
258 Jim Gilliam: 1
280 Milt Bolling: 2
27 Roy Campanella: 1.5
147 Warren Spahn: 3

Other highlights:

Unquestionably '80s baseball photo




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  #41  
Old 01-08-2021, 12:08 AM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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1954 Topps

Present day, this set is obviously loaded at the top. But long before anyone knew that three of the generation's most recognized names would be making their debut in it, you have to wonder how this one made Topps better positioned to overtake Bowman before long (especially with the ongoing lawsuit at the time). The sense of desperation looms. Double Ted and all those coaches?

Despite all that, I actually don't mind it at all. The design is unique and the different background colors were a nice new touch.

My version is a shade rough, but it shows pretty well (and the Banks and Kaline border on mid grade). My focus here is just on the Hank though, and getting some opinions on its damage:

It looks like a small piece of tape was taken off the upper left hand corner. As you can see, it left a light rectangular border there (and thinned some of the paper a little too).

Do you think this would get a PSA number grade? Mk qualifier? Altered? I'd like to get a 1.5 or 2, but may not bother if it'll get an A.

250/250

Avg grade: 2.35

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

128 Hank Aaron (R): 1.5??
94 Ernie Banks (R): 2.5
201 Al Kaline (R): 3.5
250 Ted Williams: 1.5
1 Ted Williams: 2
90 Willie Mays: 2
10 Jackie Robinson: 1
50 Yogi Berra: 2.5
132 Tom Lasorda (R): 1
37 Whitey Ford: 3

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  #42  
Old 01-08-2021, 12:01 PM
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Default 1954 Topps





Mays variant

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  #43  
Old 01-12-2021, 08:12 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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1951 Bowman

This is the last one (as the journey with my '52 Topps is covered in a neighbor thread).

I went back and forth on whether or not to fool with this one. At times I'd wish for it, but then my focus would return to the the '52 T. And as that went on last year, I kept watch on a very low grade set offered by maybe the most trusted dealer in the business.

It's actually in worse shape than the lowest grade Topps ones mentioned above (should have specified at the time that I was only referring to the Topps run before). So while the price wasn't too horrible, it was still higher than the set's intrinsic value. At least early in the the year, that is.

Then the Mantle and Mays just kept going up. While the price didn't.

This entire set was raw. Mick would probably grade a PSA 1, though I hope for a 1.5. You'll see much worse for that card. Willie is really rough, but I could live with that. And while most everything else is pretty bad, the (very) distant next key cards (Whitey Ford's rookie and Ted Williams) were a nice looking 2.5ish. Hey, it all helps!

Anyway....during the first six months of covid, the Mantle doubled in value. And it was still there. At that point, I was justified in pulling the trigger (and did).

And I know what you're thinking: buying that set without the keys being graded? It's something I never would've done, had it not been such an impeccably trusted industry figure selling it. Naturally the big boys were full size and passed all reprint/fake tests, both in the scans and in hand.

But there was another added (raw) bonus that I hadn't thought of: a chance to actually hold the true rookie cards of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. Especially since the '51 Bowmans are so small. I'd had a few of them raw before, but the small size just doesn't register as much until you see those two specific cards. Maybe it's the contrast between that and how big those cards' stature is in the hobby.

So, I'm glad I got the chance to do so before getting them graded. The Mays is obviously a 1, and as mentioned, Mantle will probably get a 1 too. But that's alright.

I'm just happy to have them

324/324

Avg condition: 1.79

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

253 Mickey Mantle (R): 1.25
305 Willie Mays (R): 1
1 Whitey Ford (R): 2.5
165 Ted Williams: 2.5
2 Yogi Berra: 1
31 Roy Campanella: 1
232 Nellie Fox (R): 1
32 Duke Snider: 1
30 Bob Feller: 1
134 Warren Spahn: 1



Last edited by cardsagain74; 01-12-2021 at 08:14 PM.
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  #44  
Old 01-15-2021, 04:49 PM
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kailes2872 kailes2872 is offline
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I do love the colors and the backs of this set. That being said, it is hard to believe that Topps won the card wars. Mantle and many of the big stars were with Bowman. All of the coaches and little known rookies with Topps. Plus Bowman even snuck in Williams for an early run in 54. The Bowman set had a nice cadence to it. Every team was represented in order. In 8 page sheets, you get the entire American League on one page in sequential order and the the same thing for the National League. The Bowman set is just so... boring. The names in cursive, the matte finish. Coming off the beautiful product in 53 and into a cutting edge/color TV set in ‘55, you would think they would have won against - especially since the Topps set in ‘55 only had 206 cards. But, by goodness Topps pulled it out and gave us the perfect, glorious, ‘56 set before becoming lazy, complacent, and (I and assuming) focused on cost savings with no competition and we ended up with sets like ‘79 - which should be made illegal if only for the terrible, hard to read, backs and that awful Topps logo on the front... but I digress.

If you haven’t read Dean’s book about the card wars, it is worth a read.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cardsagain74 View Post
1954 Topps

Present day, this set is obviously loaded at the top. But long before anyone knew that three of the generation's most recognized names would be making their debut in it, you have to wonder how this one made Topps better positioned to overtake Bowman before long (especially with the ongoing lawsuit at the time). The sense of desperation looms. Double Ted and all those coaches?

Despite all that, I actually don't mind it at all. The design is unique and the different background colors were a nice new touch.

My version is a shade rough, but it shows pretty well (and the Banks and Kaline border on mid grade). My focus here is just on the Hank though, and getting some opinions on its damage:

It looks like a small piece of tape was taken off the upper left hand corner. As you can see, it left a light rectangular border there (and thinned some of the paper a little too).

Do you think this would get a PSA number grade? Mk qualifier? Altered? I'd like to get a 1.5 or 2, but may not bother if it'll get an A.

250/250

Avg grade: 2.35

Top 10 cards w/ grade:

128 Hank Aaron (R): 1.5??
94 Ernie Banks (R): 2.5
201 Al Kaline (R): 3.5
250 Ted Williams: 1.5
1 Ted Williams: 2
90 Willie Mays: 2
10 Jackie Robinson: 1
50 Yogi Berra: 2.5
132 Tom Lasorda (R): 1
37 Whitey Ford: 3

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  #45  
Old 01-16-2021, 05:59 PM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kailes2872 View Post
If you haven’t read Dean’s book about the card wars, it is worth a read.
I'll have to do that. Even though I'm guessing it's priced at double what it's worth
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