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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Ranking Topps Baseball Card Designs (1952-1959)

by Paul Semendinger

***

As we wait for the season to begin, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the old Topps baseball card sets and rank the designs. I'll give my opinions and then I hope the readers share theirs as well. This should be fun. Remember, please, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


We'll begin with the 1950s. Here are the deigns year-by-year:


1951


1952


1953



1954


1955



1956



1957



1958



1959



Now comes the difficult part, ranking the designs.


I think it's easiest to list the four I like the least first:


1951 - a good start, but I don't love these


1954 - I don't like the face and cutout action shot


1955 - This was better than 1954, but still not great


1958 - I'm not a fan of the colored background, but I do like the design


The designs I like:


1952 - Classic, simple and nice


1953 - What an effort - paintings of every player!


1955 - Much better than 1955, the actions shots look better with a real background


1957 - I like the simplicity of this design with the real background


1959 - (Ethan's favorite set) I like this, it's a good design, the circle is fun.


****

MY RANKINGS:


  1. 1952

  2. 1953

  3. 1959

  4. 1957

  5. 1956

  6. 1958

  7. 1955

  8. 1954

  9. 1951


How do you rank these designs?

6 Comments


Mike Whiteman
Feb 05

I've always enjoyed the 1957 set, and occasionally pick up one here and there if I can find an affordable card. I don't try to collect the set as the stars cost a bit much. The 1953 set is pretty neat. The Topps Archive 1953 is fun.

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autmorsautlibertas
Feb 04

I'm with Ethan, '59.

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Melfman1
Melfman1
Feb 04

‘52 & ‘53 are tough to beat.

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fuster
Feb 04

when I was growing up, all the boys in my second-grade class marveled at my Charlie Hemphill baseball card


and they all started smoking Piedmont Cigarettes

Like

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Feb 04

Poor Yogi, getting stuck on the Foul Ball card.


Topps finally got the basic idea right in '54. I don't like the circle photo in '59, but at least it's a photo of the player with a stadium backdrop. OTOH, I find '57 jarring; it feels like a publicity photo, not a baseball card. I'm not as bothered by the plain color background in '54 and '58. I definitely don't like the ones with paintings/air-brushings in them.

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