Wednesday, May 18, 2016

1957 Topps Redbirds

I have been going through and filing the last 2 years of Cardinals’ cards that we have acquired and have been knocking off singles from our needs list. During this process I have become interested in the 1957 Topps. This isn’t because I find the first real photo Topps issue all that interesting, in fact it is fairly poor in photo quality and all have one of a few lame poses or portraits. No, it is but because I find the uniforms the Birds are, for the most part, wearing fascinating. What you mean? I mean the uniform is one that isn’t seen these days-no Birds on the Bat-that iconic uniform mainstay was absent for two years.

For two years, 1956 and 1957, the Redbirds wore a jersey that simply had Cardinals in script on the front sans birds except on the left sleeve were there was one that was in a batting stance.



The swoosh on the Wilmer Mizell is a good example as is the Bird on the left sleeve on the Willard Schmidt card.

However, not all of the 1957 Topps Cardinals are wearing this uniform, which means the pictures were either taken in 1955 or perhaps they were given unis to wear for that photo shoot. These players appear in the 4th Series  (256-352) not sure why, seams like they would be in the first series since it was released early in the card season. Those players wearing the Birds on the Bat and not the “swoosh” are #304 Joe Cunningham, #350 Eddie Miksis, #359, Tom Cheney, #363 Eddie Kasko, and #380 Walker Cooper. There are a couple of players that I am unable to determine if they are wearing them or not.  As for the 1956 issue, unsurprisingly, it looks like the painted images do not indicate the 1956 unis being worn even in the last series.
The “swoosh” is also seen in the 1958 issue-cards #97 Larry Jackson, #143 Billy Muffett, #273 Hal Smith, and #366 Gene Green. But if you think you have seen the last of the “swoosh” on the Redbirds, think again. In 1959 #211 Bob Blaylock is seen sporting the “swoosh”. Alas, that is all I could find. So this means that the above 1958 and 1959 cards featured players whose pictures one could assume were taken in 1956 or 1957.

What made this research easy was the “world famous” Surf Baseball Card Collectables Topps Team photo book. OK, not world famous but the image of every Redbird Topps card from 1952-1987 was of great use.

4 comments:

  1. Those Surf books from the 80's sure come in handy ;) I don't think I've ever noticed those jerseys before. Too used to seeing at least one bird sitting on that bat I guess.

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    1. I was going to take one to TriStar for my checklist but thought I would look too odd. :)

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    2. That's actually a pretty good idea. If I can dig mine out... we can be twins @ Serramonte.

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