Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A 1953 Topps Ad

My LCS, The Batter's Box, must have bought a big vintage collection recently. First they put out the 1952 Topps a week or so ago. Then this past weekend I noticed that they put out a bunch of 1953 Topps. I picked up one. I got this Clem Labine card for $6.95. 

I liked that Topps snuck a partial Topps Gum ad in the background. To my knowledge they did this with 3 cards in the set. This one from the 1st series, as well Sid Hudson and Willie Miranda; both in the 4th and final series.

I did a little bit of research and found that Topps used 4 or 5 different artists for the set and gave them a black and white 8 x 10 photo of the player and paid them $25 for each painting.

Great looking cards! Probably my favorite Topps design of all-time. Not just because of the fronts, but I also really like the backs of the cards as well.

Check out how much info Topps was able to cram on the back of the card. I did notice that we no longer get the players hair and eye color, but that's okay. I think the facsimile signature on the back works and prefer it on the back as opposed to the front. 

At some point I'd like to add the two other cards with the Topps advertisements.

Since I'm sharing a 1953 Topps cards, I'll share my 1953 Topps Page-A-Year from this set.

Maybe I should replace the Don Hoak card with the Clem Labine card. 


  1. Nice Labine... and nice 8 pocket page. Pretty cool that they're all recognizable names.

  2. $25 in 1953 is almost $250 today - still pretty cheap for that kind of work, I would guess? The Hoak does seem artistically off compared to the rest.

  3. Gerry Dvorak (who I believe also painted the '52 Mantle) painted a bunch of the set, and I know that because he brought either the '53 Mantle or the Eddie Mathews (I think it was the latter; it's been more than 35 years, gimme a break here) into the cartooning class I took from him in the mid-1980s. I remember the paintings being bigger than you'd think, probably 16" x 20" or so. Nowadays, were he still with us, he'd need a Brinks truck to transport them.

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