Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Before There Was Topps

Topps has another history lesson for us in Series 2. It was the History of Topps in Series 1. This time around, Topps takes a look at baseball cards BT. It took 10 cards to tell the history of Topps, but only seven to tell the entire story of baseball cards before Topps. OK, if you say so, Topps.

The first cards looks at the iconic T206 cards.

The second card features the T205 set. The card mentions how there were a dozen minor leaguer in the set and how this foreshadowed the emphasis on prospects years later.

Card #3 describes the T201 set from 1911, cards which features stats on the back, an unheard of thing back them. Also mentioned is how the set included doubleheader cards, something Topps mimicked with their '55 Doubleheader set.

Have you noticed something about the sets that Topps has featured with these cards so far? With every one, Topps has managed to connect the set to themselves. That's an interesting way to give a history lesson.

We jump to 1921 and the Exhibit Supply Company set with the fourth card. The Topps connection....the company issued cards for nearly 50 years, a mark that Topps has surpassed.

The fifth card features the Goudey set from 1933. Funny, but Topps didn't mention that Upper Deck issued Goudey sets from 2007 - 2009.

On card six we learn about the Play Ball set, put out by Gum, Inc.

The final card in the set covers the Bowman cards. The card mentions that the '53 Bowman was the first "high-end" card. Too bad they showed an ugly black and white card from 1948. The card fails to mention how Topps battled with Bowman before buying the company in 1956.

So there you have the history of baseball cards in seven short, one-sided lessons.


  1. What, no love for 19th Century cards?

  2. Nope, they completely neglect the 19th century, forget about Zeenuts (even if the majority were Pacific Coast Leagers), Diamond Stars (which they copied with National chicle) and Cracker Jacks. Seems Topps needs a history lesson themselves.