Baseball cards we'd like to see.

With all the heritage and retro-themed cards that have been released in the past couple of years, we wish Topps would consider printing a series of cards reproducing the sports paperback artwork of the forties and fifties.

One other collecting interest of ours has long been vintage paperbacks because the cover art is often over the top. Above is My Greatest Day in Baseball by J.P. Carmichael (#500, 1948), art by Hy Rubin.

And here's one for Night Owl, Bantam #556 from 1949, The Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers. That's a midair-moment Peewee Reese painted by Mr. Rubin. The back cover text refers to the team as "daffy." We'd enjoy the text from the back of the book excerpted on back of the card.

There were many of these paperbacks published--enough to make a decent set for baseball cards. There wouldn't have to be any incorporation of old baseball card designs, either. Just the covers and text from the backs.

Lion Books published the Baseball Stars series--this 1954 rendition with a smiling Campy and swingin' Al is rather less sinister:

than the 1950 version, which brings to mind more Science Fiction than sports:

The player is often seen as larger than life. (Remember when paperbacks often said "Complete and Unabridged" on the front?) How odd would this image be now with, say, Ichiro or Albert Pujols trying to beat the throw?

Come to think of it, other paperback covers, not only the pulps, would make good baseball cards. For instance, this autobiography of Felipe Alou (sorry we had to filch the cover from eBay) also portrayed the player as a giant looming over the world. And this was in 1967. What would be the theme in 2009? Most likely not baseball players as gi-normous heroic figures.


Rod said...

The Felipe Alou book is one of the first sports books that I ever remember reading when it first came out. I was 10 years old, many years later I got a Felipe Alou autographed card, one of my favorite cards.

MDA said...

Great ideas. Yet another reason I return to this blog day after day.

night owl said...

I've always thought that something like this would be a good idea for cards -- putting a series of baseball books or magazines on cards.

I've often thought old Sports Illustrated covers would be good for a card subset.

A few years ago Topps featured a subset of old World Series programs. I liked that a lot. I should've collected more of those.

--David said...

Oh, this is weird! I had a dream last night that Topps had created a set of card using baseball movie posters... Not the same, I know, but very close.

I'm thinking you've got something here. I wonder how difficult it would be to get the required permissions to create such a set.

I am assuming the permissions would have to come from the publishing houses, rather than MLB. On the back of each card could be author's bio or maybe book inf (pub date, isbn, etc) and a brief tidbit about the book or how the book came to be, etc.

capewood said...

If you don't know about it you should read this blog: http://judgeabook.blogspot.com/