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  #1  
Old 07-23-2017, 03:26 PM
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Scott Silvers
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Default Top five cards from the 20th century from an aesthetic standpoint

These are my favorite top 5 cards (1900-1999) in terms of design, image, and to an extent the player as well. Obviously star power goes a long way, but here they are in order:


1. 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle
Mantle's '52 Bowman (not his rookie and wasn't the other card) is often looked, and IMO undervalued. For me personally, the illustration could have been a masterpiece all by itself. Mantle is looking out at the field, but it's as if he's looking at the future with calm and poise. The background design is simple and yet compliments mantle in terms of both visual balance and color. I also love how Bowman cards typically added thick black outlines around players - giving it a block print feel. Lastly, Bowman dropped the block lettering that they used in '51. The use of a facsimilie signature on the front really looks clean, giving the design a more spacious feel - despite the small nature of the card.

2. 1933 Tatto Orbit Dizzy Dean (RC)
Another underated set that doesn't get the love it deserves - This card also doesn't get the attention it deserves IMO. Nonetheless, it's absolutely beautiful. Instead of just putting Dizzy right in the middle and enlarging him, the illustrator forces him to share the space with the surrounding ballpark. It was created during a period of time when Art Deco and Cubism were still popular. I really love the limited color scheme (reds and yellows) that created for some interesting off colors (the sky), as they really work with the mostly greyscale tinted photo/illustration of him. I always thought this would have been a cool card to enlarge and display.

3. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
Here's Mick's 'other card'. Whether it be the design or simply because it was an iconic card, the '52 Topps Mantle has always been, IMO, one of the top designs ever. From the bright colors of his yellow bat and the blue aqua sky to the stars that border his facsimilie signature (reminds me of a broadway or vegas sign), I can see how kids would have loved these cards compared to their competition. Also, the upward shot of a young mantle looking out to the horizon lends the idea that he is somehow looking to the future. There is a reason this card sells for what it does.

4. 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. (RC)
Great shot of a smiling Junior + Amazing design + it became the face of modern cards (literally) = masterpiece. I kind of equate this to an Andy Warhol, in the sense that it was mass produced (like his soup can), and is so iconic. Everything came together for this card - nothing more to say.

5. 1987 Donruss Bo Jackson (RC)
This was the first card that I remember seeing a friend have and I can remember wanting to have. There is something really classic about the photo of him since it kind of reminds my of paintings from the Romantic period, where people were painted in a idealized manner. Added to that was the border. I am a sucker for dark bordered cards. This was one of my favorite Donruss designs.

Runners up...
T206 Honus Wagner
1985 Topps Mark McGwire
1997 Finest The Man Refractor Greg Maddux


Just for fun, I would love to see what others think or come up with.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2017, 06:52 PM
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T227 Cobb
1953 Bowman Musial
1953 Topps Mays
1972 Topps Clemente
1989 Topps Henderson
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2017, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra79 View Post
These are my favorite top 5 cards (1900-1999) in terms of design, image, and to an extent the player as well. Obviously star power goes a long way, but here they are in order:


1. 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle
Mantle's '52 Bowman (not his rookie and wasn't the other card) is often looked, and IMO undervalued. For me personally, the illustration could have been a masterpiece all by itself. Mantle is looking out at the field, but it's as if he's looking at the future with calm and poise. The background design is simple and yet compliments mantle in terms of both visual balance and color. I also love how Bowman cards typically added thick black outlines around players - giving it a block print feel. Lastly, Bowman dropped the block lettering that they used in '51. The use of a facsimilie signature on the front really looks clean, giving the design a more spacious feel - despite the small nature of the card.

2. 1933 Tatto Orbit Dizzy Dean (RC)
Another underated set that doesn't get the love it deserves - This card also doesn't get the attention it deserves IMO. Nonetheless, it's absolutely beautiful. Instead of just putting Dizzy right in the middle and enlarging him, the illustrator forces him to share the space with the surrounding ballpark. It was created during a period of time when Art Deco and Cubism were still popular. I really love the limited color scheme (reds and yellows) that created for some interesting off colors (the sky), as they really work with the mostly greyscale tinted photo/illustration of him. I always thought this would have been a cool card to enlarge and display.

3. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
Here's Mick's 'other card'. Whether it be the design or simply because it was an iconic card, the '52 Topps Mantle has always been, IMO, one of the top designs ever. From the bright colors of his yellow bat and the blue aqua sky to the stars that border his facsimilie signature (reminds me of a broadway or vegas sign), I can see how kids would have loved these cards compared to their competition. Also, the upward shot of a young mantle looking out to the horizon lends the idea that he is somehow looking to the future. There is a reason this card sells for what it does.

4. 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. (RC)
Great shot of a smiling Junior + Amazing design + it became the face of modern cards (literally) = masterpiece. I kind of equate this to an Andy Warhol, in the sense that it was mass produced (like his soup can), and is so iconic. Everything came together for this card - nothing more to say.

5. 1987 Donruss Bo Jackson (RC)
This was the first card that I remember seeing a friend have and I can remember wanting to have. There is something really classic about the photo of him since it kind of reminds my of paintings from the Romantic period, where people were painted in a idealized manner. Added to that was the border. I am a sucker for dark bordered cards. This was one of my favorite Donruss designs.

Runners up...
T206 Honus Wagner
1985 Topps Mark McGwire
1997 Finest The Man Refractor Greg Maddux


Just for fun, I would love to see what others think or come up with.
Well written, Scott.
I had to look up that Tattoo Dizzy Dean card you were talking about as I don't believe I had ever seen it before.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/1933-Tattoo-O...wAAOSwopRYjidP

I see what you mean. It's a great looking card.
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2017, 09:41 PM
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Somewhat arbitrary but I think these are all very attractive.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2017, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Somewhat arbitrary but I think these are all very attractive.
Absolutely it's arbitrary, but that's what makes it fun. I love the look of the '52 jackie robinson with the red background.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2017, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewing View Post
T227 Cobb
1953 Bowman Musial
1953 Topps Mays
1972 Topps Clemente
1989 Topps Henderson
The 53 Topps Mays is IMO one of the best from that set (and that says a lot) and his best looking card. As for the Rickey, I had to go back and look at it, and I must admit I like it better than his RC card. That would look killer with a red or blue sharpie auto on it.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2017, 10:58 PM
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I hate the Henderson RC. This one from his second year is nice IMO, and very hard to find.
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2017, 01:07 AM
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My top 3 are 33 ruth #144, 53 bowman reese, and 52 Mantle. I'd have to think about the last 2.
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2017, 10:24 AM
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Which brand put out that Henderson? It's very nice, but I've never seen it before.


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  #10  
Old 07-24-2017, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankeesjetsfan View Post
Which brand put out that Henderson? It's very nice, but I've never seen it before.


Mike
1981 Granny Goose lol.
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