A couple of weeks back, Topps came out with the Barrack Obama card that you see here, nicely styled after the classic 1952 Topps Baseball set. It’s part of an American Heritage nonsport issue that the company is producing for release early next year.
What struck me about it was realizing how many really neat ersatz cards have been done over the past 20 years employing – largely but not exclusively – the wonderful vintage Topps designs from the 1950s and 1960s. Using 1952 as an example, think how many different cards Topps has created using that design over the past two decades.
I say two decades, but really most of this retro-style tinkering has taken place in the last 15 years, and accelerated wildly in the last 10.
But here’s my wacky idea: How cool would it be to build a set of just Topps-produced cards done in the 1952 style (or any particular favorite year) over that span? Included would be two of my favorites: the Obama card and a nifty Sy Berger card, both shown here, but there a bunch more that are just as nice, if not quite as significant.
I suppose we would want to limit this fanciful set to just baseball, since limits would have to be included just to make it feasible, but since it’s kind of a customized “set,” who’s to tell you what is the correct makeup? Collector’s choice.
And obviously there would have to be a lot of other qualifiers included, since many of the Topps inserts are quite rare, and the autograph and relic cards add another daunting obstacle.
But none of that torpedoes the mission, it just merely requires the collector to devise parameters that he/she can live with.
Ultimately, I think an album filled with cards, ersatz or even reprints of the genuine item, would make for a nice set. It would just require a lot of precise description if you ever got around to trying to sell it on eBay.