When there was nothing to do except admire 1957 Topps…

Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect it. With everything going on in the world, I had put almost no time into my collection and for the first time in well over a year had no new articles in progress. Then, from my home-office-bunker in the basement I looked up at my framed 1957 Topps Brooklyn team set and didn’t love one of the cards.

It wasn’t just that my “Oisk” was off-kilter. (Try saying that to a normal person and see what kind of reaction you get!) It’s more that it just didn’t pop the way some of the other cards in my display did.

I headed to the Bay on my lunch break and quickly remedied the situation. (And if you can’t tell the difference between this card and the one above it, congratulations! It just means you are a normal person. It also means collecting vintage will be a lot cheaper for you than for some of us.)

Of course you all know how collecting works. Now that I had this beaut in the shopping cart, was there anything else I needed? The Erskine seller seemed to have an extensive inventory, and there was of course the added benefit that I’d save on shipping if I found other cards to order. In fact, I didn’t end up buying anything else. (And maybe like some of you I’ve found it hard to spend real money that can be used for food and toilet paper on little squares of cardboard…even if, yes, if we get really, really, really desperate…okay, let’s not go there.)

What I did come across, however, was a reminder: 1957 Topps is a gorgeous set. Here then, in no particular order, are some of my favorite shots in the set. Other than Ted Williams, I challenged myself to avoid Hall of Famers. This kept my focus on the card rather than the player.

And as a special bonus for the Dodger fans out there, here’s my new Brooklyn team set, complete with Erskine upgrade, nearly ready to frame back up.

So that’s it. That’s the post! Stay safe, stay home, and stay sane. If you have a favorite card from the 1957 set, let me know about it in the comments.

Quick postscript

Particularly with some of the cards in the set, there seem to be two versions. Side by side, one appears a bit more dull (which sometimes works!) and the other seems more green.

Initially I dismissed the differences to fading over time or the scans themselves, but having owned “pairs” of a couple players now, I think the differences are real. If you prefer one look over the other, don’t buy the first card you see. There doesn’t seem to be any pricing premium for one over the other, so go with what looks best to you.

Author: jasoncards

I mainly enjoy writing about baseball and baseball cards, but I've also dabbled in the sparsely populated Isaac Newton trading card humor genre. As of January 2019 I'm excited to be part of the SABR Baseball Cards blogging team, and as of May 2019 Co-Chair of the SABR Baseball Cards Research Committee.

12 thoughts on “When there was nothing to do except admire 1957 Topps…”

  1. I have been quiet on this blog for some time. I think I have a total of three posts. I also have been spending time lately with my collection. The 1957 was the first one that I actually collected as a 6-year-old buying cards in candy stores. It has long been my favorite for that reason plus the great stadium views and the number of players that I connected with. Thanks for the post. As a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan, the card of Kluszewski is one of my all-time favorites.

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    1. Wow! I can’t even imagine the thrill of opening a pack of these. Yes, the stadium backgrounds are one of the highlights for sure. So many beautiful cards.

      I bet for kids who started collecting a few years before you it must have been crazy to see full stats on the back too.

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    2. This was the first baseball set I ever collected as a kid as well. My favorite player of all time, Lee Walls, is featured on card #52. So many great photos and memories throughout the set. And don’t forget the colorful red & yellow wrapper that came with each pack! Still the best one Topps ever made, so evocative of the era.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know nothing specific about the printing of this set, but this is just a semi-educated guess… Could it be that certain series had been farmed out to another print shop?

    For a long time I was unimpressed by 57T. That was partly due to lesser interest in cards which preceded my Mets, but also from the particular cards I’d run across… the photos were nothing special, and the text was hard to read against the photo. I’ve since seen the error of my ways, and this post had resulted in a couple of more wants being flagged in my checklist.

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    1. Jason asked me about this and since I haven’t seen any of the tint variations I couldn’t comment. Differing print shops (as with 1962) makes the most sense to me as well. I will admit to also being in the “initially not impressed by 1957” camp. I’ve come around to seeing it as proto–Stadium Club though.

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  3. Some years ago I concluded that the ’57 set was the most beautiful set. The crispness and ambiance of the photos as well as the minimally adorned layouts turned the trick. It seemed to me that Topps went ‘all in’ by turning its back on drawings as well as uncluttering the photos. I gave the ’57s an edge over the ’53 Bowmans due to the inclusion of the names, teams, and positions on the Topps cards. It seemed appropriate to have such info on the front of the card and the info did not detract from the photography. On many of the cards you have to re-focus your eyes to read them. This was probably unintentional but it serves to emphasize the pictures.

    I never bothered to try to collect this set due to the cost. I do have a random Bobby Avila card which I picked up at a show years ago. It’s a beauty.

    Of the cards in your post, Hodges and Klu look like gods descended from on high.

    BTW, Topps did a reprint of the Mantle card in which they removed the guy in the background, both vastly improving the card and rendering it one of the best cards produced for an MVP.

    Very entertaining post, as usual.

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    1. I’m not a graded guy so I mainly try my best to buy from trusted sellers. Aside from top-shelf HOFers this isn’t a set where there’s super high risk. Mantle, Clemente, Frank/Brooks Robinson rookies? Be more careful there.

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    1. Nothing official. Just something I’ve noticed in my own collecting. I haven’t analyzed beyond the two players I bought most recently, Erskine and Kaline. For each of them there is a version with more blue/green. Seems to be about half/half out there. One other player who seems to have similar is Podres. Neither image is very good as he practically disappears into the background. Still, it seems like half have a lot more color than the other half.

      Liked by 1 person

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