Thursday, September 5, 2013

Topps trivia: Capless cards 1951-1958

One of my regular readers and fan of my custom/fantasy cards sent in an interesting bit of baseball card trivia that I had never realized.

Arn Mentz wrote, "(R)egarding Topps baseball cards from 1951 through 1958 -- every ball player has a baseball cap on forwards or backwards except #134 Joe Tipton from the 1952 Topps set. 

Arn added, "That is why when my brother and our friends were buying and collecting the 1959 cards (the year that Topps started using pics with no hats), I started collecting the 1958 set."

I'd guess that the situation with the Dodgers and Giants moving from New York to California after the 1957 season may have had a lot to do with this

Topps had to scramble to airbrush new cap logos on several dozen Giants and Dodgers cards in its 1958 set (and some of those are pretty rough). 

With expansion and possible franchise shifts looming, not to mention the possibility of an entirely new major league (Continental), Topps seems to have decided that adding a "capless" portrait to each photo shoot might prevent having to do hurried and expensive retouching later on.

Like Arn, I was never a fan of the capless photos.

Of course, there were capless subjects in the 1956-58 Topps baseball sets. League presidents Will Harridge (American) and Warren Giles (National) were pictured individually in 1956 and jointly in 1957-58 without hats.

I thought this was worth sharing with you.

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