Friday, November 19, 2010

Fifties Friday: 1957 Topps

I'm taking a break from Fergie-fest today and instead I've my my regularly scheduled Friday feature.

Year two of Topps' baseball card monopoly saw several changes. The biggest change is that the cards got smaller. They were reduced to the now standard size of 2½" by 3½". I've never heard a reason for the switch. My best guess is that it would allow them to print more cards on a sheet, and since they didn't have any competition to match card size with, they could cut back without any worries.

The other significant change was the use of actual photographs on the card instead of paintings. The Bowman '53s were the first to use full color photos, so Topps wasn't introducing an innovation. But this was a major departure from the design of the past three years.

One plus of the Topps monopoly is that there was no more competition for players, so the set size was increased, from 340 to 407. The number of Cubs increased too, with 25 cards including a team picture card.

Most of the Cubs cards were taken at the Polo Grounds in New York or Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. None of the cards show the home uniforms. 1957 was also the year the Cubs switched from a wishbone C on their hats to the now familiar rounded red C. A couple of the high number cards show the new hats. You'll also notice some white piping on the hats. That feature lasted only one season. In 1958 the hats took on the same look they have today.

There was also some airbrushing going on with these cards. I wrote about it back it January

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