This is a 1953 Topps card of Joe Dobson. It's creased, dog eared, it has dirt and smudges on it and there is some paper loss from tape at the top. In other words, it's perfect. I've probably showed it off at some time in the past as I'm obsessed with the '53 set. In 1953, Topps did something that to my knowledge had not previously been done on a major baseball card release. Here's the back of the card:
Can you see it? If you can't you're blind. Or reading a text-only version of this blog. A full quarter of the card back is dominated by a Dugout Quiz prominently featuring a cartoon. I haven't been conferred with full 'expert' honors in baseballcardery yet, but I don't know of any previous sets with a cartoon on the back. There were several baseball sets with what looked like cartoons on the front (strip cards from the teens and the '43 M&P set, I'm looking at you) but none on the back. Another reason why 1953 Topps is the Best. Set. Ever.
To celebrate the toonage, I've picked out 6 cartoons from my set as my favorite '53 cartoons to show off all week. I plan to do the same for all Topps sets with cartoons on the back, but you know how blog planning goes. I've got the '53s scanned and the '54 binder pulled out, but that's about it so far. Luckily, there are no new episodes of that other cartoon out for at least a couple of weeks so I might get bored enough to get some posts set up. Here's the Honorable Mention cartoon from my top 5 of '53:
What is referred to by the term 'cigar box'?
˙pןǝıɟ ןןɐqǝsɐq ןןɐɯs ɐ :˙suɐ
Two reasons why this cartoon made the cut out of the over 200 '53 Topps cards in my collection. First, cigar boxes and baseball cards just go together in my book. Probably not to anyone else in the world under the age of 40, but to me they are inseparable. When I first started collecting cards my grandfather was a big cigar smoker and I'd get to use the empty boxes for card storage. A cigar box was just so much more swank than a shoe box. I can even remember the faint tobaccoey smell the cards would get. Then my grandfather gave up smoking and I started buying official cardboard baseball card storage materials and the cigar boxes went by the wayside, retrofit into a storage facility for old pencils and crayons. One of my sincere regrets in life was not holding onto at least one of those boxes for old times sake.
Also, EL SMOKO brand cigars never fails to put a smile on my face. Say it out loud, eeeeeeeel SMOOOOKO. Excuse me while I have a giggle fit.