Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Loving the '55 Set

A quick post for this evening, featuring three vintage gems that I scored earlier this year on COMC to bolster my ever-growing Red Sox collection...

When I first returned to collecting around 2007, I picked up a small starter lot of 1955 Topps cards at what amounted to just a buck or two per card.  There were maybe around 25 or so.  Having been away from the hobby since I was a kid, it was amazing to me to see that many cards from the mid-'50s in hand.  My 12-year-old self would've been green with envy.  I told myself I'd keep adding to that lot over time, but never prioritized it much over the next decade or more.

Well, this year I've made it a point to start to fill in some holes in my vintage collection, particularly Red Sox and especially when they can be found cheap.  Such was the case for the '55 Ted Lepcio above, which cost me all of 74 cents.  Sure, he's got a dinged upper left corner (which I folded back after the scan), and a small surface crease going across his chin, but this card has great visual appeal for being well past 60 years old at this point.

This is a perfect fit for my collection, and falls right in line with the rest of my '55s.  I'm not looking for pristine cards by any means, just examples that present well overall and aren't totally beat to hell.

I wish Topps would put half of the creative effort that they used to into their card backs these days.  I mean, what's not to like here?  Of course the cartoon is the star of the show, but there's so much to enjoy.  True, these are over-sized cards, but I can't help but think that we could see something at least a little more interesting in the modern flagship set, even with slightly less real estate to work with.

Since I was on a '55 Topps kick, I grabbed Mel Parnell in a package deal from the same seller, also priced at 74 cents!  I was kicking myself at this point for not looking into grabbing more cards from this set much, much sooner.  I'm not sure if people are generally more attracted to the '56 set, or if I just happened upon a great sale, or both.  Whatever the case, I could not be more pleased with these for less than a dollar.

Parnell played for the Red Sox and only the Red Sox during his Major League career, and seems to be somewhat under-appreciated or forgotten by time.  He was an All-Star more than once, won 18 games or more four times (including a league-best 25 wins in 1949), and is enshrined in the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

I like the cartoon on the Lepcio slightly better, but still a wonderfully bright card back here.

The final of today's trio is pitcher Hal Brown.  I really had to pony up for this card, shelling out a whole 90 cents.  Hal wasn't with Boston for very long, and in fact was dealt to Baltimore not long after this card was inserted into packs.  I'm not very familiar with the man's career, but again for less than a dollar I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to cross another Red Sox card off of my '50s want list.

Great cartoon here as well.

I'm still in disbelief that I picked up these three gems for roughly the same price as a morning coffee.  I've now got 7 of the 21 Red Sox from this set for a tidy 1/3 of a team set.  Overall I'm up to 36 cards from the '55 flagship release.  With only 206 cards on the checklist it's tempting to say I should take a crack at completing this, but with cards like Clemente and Koufax rookies I'm not sure that'll ever happen.  I will certainly seek out some more cheap commons though as 2019 progresses.  Would be cool if I could hit the 25% mark for the set before the end of the year.

That's all for today, thanks as always for stopping by!


Section 36 said...

Those are some great additions! I really need to make an effort to get more of those older Red sox cards myself.

Fuji said...

The cartoons on the back are by far my favorite thing about the 55T set.

Mark Hoylr said...

Very nice cards Shane

gregory said...

Great bargains, there. And I definitely agree that Topps can do better with the design of their card backs these days.

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