Saturday, July 15, 2017

Mr. Cub's Cartoon Career

Instead of looking at an entire's year's worth of cartoons, today I've got the entire career of a player.  Ernie Banks is a logical choice because he is Mr. Cub, but his career also spanned most of the Topps cartoon era.

This is from his 1954 rookie card, which was also on the blog yesterday.

Ernie's next cartoon was two years later, 1956, because the 1955 set had cartoon questions and answers instead of a player-centered drawing.  This was the first of several that mentioned his five grand slams in 1955.

The 1957 cartoon went back to trivia so we have to jump ahead to 1958 for his next cartoon.  This starts a run of six straight years of player cartoons.  This is the first year of drawings in the more cartoonish style rather than a realistic drawing.  We get the grand slams again.

Showing very little creativity, the 1959 cartoon is very similar to the '58 version.

He won the MVP for two consecutive seasons, so Topps has something else to write about in 1960.

The 1961 cards went back to multiple drawings...and we get the MVP and grand slams again.  I never knew that Ernie was a fine swimmer.

In 1962 Topps returned to the single drawing and also went back to a realistic look.

The 1963 cartoons were back to the funny style.

There were no cartoons on the 1964 cards as Topps went with the coin ruboff Q and A.  The 1965 cards featured a large cartoon on the very top of the back.  It was the only time that the drawing was in such a prominent spot.  And who were the three active NL home run hitters ahead of Ernie?   Willie Mays, Eddie Matthews and Duke Snider (though Snider retired after the 1964 season)  Ernie was 10 ahead of Hank Aaron, but Aaron passed Ernie during the 1966 season.

It sounds impressive that Ernie is #1 on the Cubs HR list, but this 1966 card is a little late.  Ernie became the all time leader when he hit #232 on April 29, 1960.

The last of the Banks cartoons were on his 1967 card.  The '68 cards had Q&A's, his career stats were too long to fit anything on the '69 and '70 cards, and the 1971 design had no cartoon.  Topps finished his career with facts that were already used, the MVP for the third time and the 47 homer a second time.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting that the '56 card says he came to the Cubs with "no pro experience". He had played for the Kansas City Monarchs, who of course weren't part of the major/minor league system but were definitely a professional team.