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Monday, September 15, 2008

Card of the Week 09/15/08

There were two ways I could go this week. An insanely detailed complex post, or something quick and easy. Since I have about a dozen e-mails to respond to, packages to prepare and general life crap to attend to, I'm going to go easy. This week's Card of the Week is of K-Rod, the new single season saves champ.

It's an amazing achievement, but I feel a little bummed for Steve. It sucks to have a record held by a player from your favorite team broken. Then again, William is pretty happy right now so it all evens out I suppose.

So what of this card up above? What is this thing? It's a Topps Trading Card History insert from 2008 Topps. TCH61 to be exact. Like many of the cards in the set there is no exact description of what set the design is supposed to be from, just "1952 Baseball Card". Topps has done this before, think back to last year when Bowman Heritage was released.

This sucker was a box topper in the 2007 Bowman Heritage Hobby Boxes. The set based on 1952 Bowman. The two cards look a little different because the box topper left off the text box for some reason, but both took their design from this set:

1952 Red Man Chewing Tobacco. Red Man did not significantly change the design from 1952-1955 when they inserted them in pouches of chewing tobacco. If you've seen one Red Man card, you've kind of seen them all, but then again, the design is so good it didn't really need changing. You'll notice that the Gordon card has a little tab on the bottom while Earl here does not. You can see why on the back:

If you read the bottom of the ad, you'll see that 50 of the stubs on the bottom could be exchanged for a major league baseball cap. PSA and Gem Mint and 'trimmed' was not in any kid's vocabulary in the 1950s, but "GEE WHIZ! FREE BALLCAP!" sure was. As a result the vast majority of Red Man cards on the market are found sans tab. As far as I'm concerned the cards look so good they don't need a tab. The bright colors, illustration and writeup are good enough for me. Each set contains a 25 player 'team' for both the National and American Leagues. The '52 and '53 sets also include a manager for each team bumping the total checklist to 52 cards each.

If you're not overly concerned about condition this is a extremely affordable oddball set from the '50s. The '52 set has the key card of the series - Ted Williams - and Mays, Snider, Musial and Yogi. None of the other sets have all five, and most importantly, NO MANTLE. Mickey Mantle cards will completely frustrate a vintage collector on a budget any time. So if you wanted to build a set on the cheap, any one of these sets is doable with a little work and patience. If you are interested in a challenge where money is no object, tracking down high quality copies with the tab intact will keep you busy for a while, and you'll have a spectacular collection when you're finished. You can still have fun collecting these if you're broke though as cards in crummy condition like Torgo here still look really good. Best of all they neatly fit in 4 pocket sheets for storage.

Topps did pretty good with Francisco's card here (much better than the Gordon card actually) and it's a good one to honor K-Rod's achievement.


White Sox Cards said...

I'm over it. I went through the stages and came out fine. Great choice for card of the week!

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