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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weekend Vintage



I had a game plan when I walked into the vintage show this weekend. I had very little time and less money, so I had to be prepared. Here were my goals:


  1. 1953 Topps
  2. 1956 Topps
  3. 1951 Topps
  4. 1954 Topps
  5. 1955 Topps



I managed to hit every goal, in the allotted time. Now that's planning and organization, kiddos. I wish I could do that with any other aspect of my life at all, but I got my act together for a fleeting half hour on a Sunday at least.  Goal #4 was met with the Bob Feller Wheaties card. This post shows off a couple of victories in goal #2.

There were a few plastic boxes full of $2 and $3 cards from 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1956 Topps out on one of the tables. I scrounged through them and managed to find three $2 cards I liked and needed. There were a ton of '55 Topps there. I could have knocked about twenty 1955 cards off my list, but I'm not too crazy about that set so I passed. I eventually settled on what I considered to be the best cards out of the 1954 and 1956 Topps $2 boxes. Oddly enough, the best cards were Bums.

1954 Topps Rube Walker

Rube was basically the Charlie Silvera of the National League. A light hitting, savvy catcher who made a damn good living sitting on the bench behind a Hall of Famer. Rube backed up Roy Campanella in Brooklyn from 1951 to 1957 and picked up four World Series bonus checks along the way. When his playing days were done, he became a pitching coach and was on the staff of the 1982 Western Division Champion Atlanta Braves and 1969 Mets who did something or other mildly impressive. 1954 Topps wasn't a favorite of mine as a kid, but it has really grown on me. It's probably my third favorite set of the decade now behind 1953 and 1956. Speaking of '56...

1956 Topps Don Zimmer

Don Zimmer was young once! Oh yes he was! Zim is better known for his days as a manager and coach, but he spent a nice 12-year career in the bigs as a utility infielder type for the Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Reds and Senators. Of course he's best known for a little fracas with Pedro Martinez, but the man has more rings than Dominican Pete will ever see, and don't you forget it. He also has a rather awesome MySpace page. I especially enjoy the quizzical look on Don's face here. He seems to be thinking "The Brooklyn Dodgers won WHAT???"

I also did some damage to another of my '50s wantlists, but that will have to wait for another post...


deal said...

Vintage Bums for $2 are always a good bet.

out of curiosity why the preference for 56 over 55? I think of them as the same but prefer 55 for some reason.

Scott Crawford said...

Ha, I've been working on '56 Bums lately, too (the Big Five are gonna be pricey, but I'll get there; not looking for PSA 10s or nothin'...). Got an Ed Roebuck yesterday. Have the Zimmer, too. I'm not sure if it's the case with all the 56's, but on at least Zimmer and Podres, they reused the '55 headshots.

As for another '55 vs. '56 thing, the '56 cards have the full painted backgrounds (with some cool stadium shots, especially cool on Bums; have a look at Clem Labine's card when you get a chance) rather than just the yellow with the action shot of the player).

There's often a debate about which cards to get of a world champion team, too. Some opt for the cards issued in the year they won (missing key players in some cases), some opt for year after with the highlights and stats from the big year on the back.

There's a lesser debate about record-breaking or highlight years; Maris' 61 vs. '62, Dock Ellis '70 vs. '71, which actually mentions the no-no without getting into how high he was, sadly, and so forth.

For me personally, I think it's a "feel" thing as to which card is the more "important" (we are talking about bubble gum cards here, folks) one to have or have first, anyway. In the examples I listed above, I started with '61 Maris (maybe the most beautiful card of the '60s), went with '56 for the '55 Dodgers as a priority (more of the '55 roster and I do like the fuller background images), got the awesome '71 Ellis first, and in another example, I got the '56 Don Larsen because I found it first.

Your mileage may certainly vary.

dayf said...

Deal: Basically what Scott said. I like the natural backgrounds better than the color ones. The set is pretty robust too at 360 cards. I kind of think of them the same too, I just picked '56 when I was a kid and didn't look back.

mfw13 said...

You guys should realize how lucky you are to have card shows to go to!

Here in Seattle (not exactly a small city) we haven't had a decent show in at least years! There's only one promoter, who does 30-table shows once a month, and usually a third of the tables are filled with Yu-Gi-Oh/Pokemon/etc, and the rest are filled with the same people selling the same crap as the month before.

Tri-Star....are you listening?

night owl said...

I prefer '56 over '55, too. I have lots of '56s, and less than 5 '55 cards.

And the best cards are ALWAYS Bums.

dayf said...


G_Moses said...

Man, I'm with the guy from Seattle. Portland hasn't had a card show - that I've seen - in forever.

I'd love to get my hands on some vintage card lots. I prefer the early 60's designs though. I love 63 Topps. Haven't really dealt in any of the 50's stuff.