30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Topps Totem Pole

After months of deliberation... I'm finally going wrap up my favorite Topps baseball base card design rankings.  It started out with me trying to rank everything from 1952 to 2015... but the task was way too overwhelming.  Either that or I'm just too lazy.  So I attempted to narrow things down to just the best of the best and ended up with sixteen designs.

That led me to a huge game of musical chairs where my rankings varied day to day depending on my mood.  I solved that problem by throwing my favorite designs into tiers and today... I reveal the crème de la crème:  The Sensation Six.

#6:  1960 Topps

This card has a little bit of everything in terms of what I enjoy seeing on trading cards:  dual images, team logos, and bright colors.

In a sense... this card is in a league of its own.  On one hand... it doesn't really belong in the same tier as my five favorite designs.  In fact, there's a pretty wide gap between this set and the #5 set.  On the other hand... I felt like I wasn't giving it enough credit by inserting it into the Tier Two group.

#5:  1975 Topps

I have loved this card design since I was a little kid.  Obviously the bright colors are the main attraction, but I also love the tiny baseball that houses the player's position.  This set really deserves to be higher on the list, because I love it so much... but unfortunately... I just couldn't bump anything out of the Top 4.

#4:  1972 Topps

This set will always be special to me, because it's my birth year set.  Unfortunately... this list isn't about sentimentality.  It's about the design... which happens to be awesome anyways.

While some look at this set and think of "tombstones", I immediately think of movie theaters from my childhood.  The font and design resembles the displays I'd see hanging outside of movie theaters and really pop off of the card.  Plus it features those same amazing colors found on the 1975 and 1976 designs.

#3:  1965 Topps

Are you ready for me to sound like a broken record?  I love the bright colors and the team logos... but let's be honest.  It's the pennant that makes this card design stand out.  They're a symbol of baseball and ever since I was a little kid, I've had at least one baseball pennant hanging on a wall somewhere in my place.

#2:  1983 Topps

Up until a few years ago, this card was my favorite card design of all-time.  It's literally perfect.  There's nothing I would change to this design.  Okay... so it's lacking team logos... but honestly I have no idea where they'd put it without jeopardizing the beauty of this design.  And the only reason it's no longer #1... is that perfection trumps perfection.

#1:  1956 Topps

When I think of the perfect baseball card design... this is what I envision.  Portrait?  Check.  Action shot?  Check.  Artwork?  Check.  This design deserves to be featured in its own museum, because every single card is a work of art.  My words don't do this design justice.  Just stare at the card and see for yourself.

Okay... it's your turn and the moment I've been waiting for.

What are your favorite Topps baseball card base card designs?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Can't argue with any of these, '72 movie posters is a perfect description

  2. You know what I think. All of those designs except 1960 were in my top 10 and you and I picked the same No. 1.

  3. When I decide to do my list I'll just save the time and refer everyone to yours.

    Ok, ok I wouldn't have the '83 at #2 but I can't make a case against it either.


  4. I was hoping against all odds that my personal favorite, 1986, would be in your top 6... but I knew it wouldn't. Didn't even make the top 16, sigh... I'll continue to be this set's lone champion!

  5. can't really argue with your ranking-but I would have to place 1967 in the top 5 or would that be the top 6?

  6. Looks like our respective top-6's are fairly similar. Four of yours make mine, and the two I have to drop back (most likely '60 and '65) to make way for 1995 and 2015 still easily make my top-10.

  7. I sometimes feel like the only person who dislikes 1960 Topps. I don't have a problem with the other 5, but I would drop 1960 and replace it with 1976... or possibly 1971 or 1967 or 1978 or 1988 or 1991...

  8. I always like seeing the thought process other people have when it comes to their tastes. Great list Fuji.

    As for my favorite Topps set, it's 1979 and every other set is fighting for either second place or last place depending on how you look at it.

  9. I'd have 1959 and 1971 in the top 6 with '83, '60, '76, and one of the early/mid '60s, not necessarily in that order. And 2008 and 1987 wouldn't make the cut at all. '55 and '56 would be second tier, I'm afraid.

  10. 1994, 1991, 1987, 1952, 1956 just to name a few off the top of my head. 1995 was good in my opinion as was last years design.

  11. Good list Fuji. I agree 56 at #1. Then 71,67,72,65

  12. jeff - thanks

    night owl - great minds think alike. or maybe i'm lazy and just copied your picks.

    robert - no love for '83? i've been obsessed with that design for the past thirty years

    ko rob - i didn't like the 86 design for decades, but i've got to admit... it's been growing on me. i'd probably put it in the top 30.

    bman - 67 is one of those designs i'm still figuring out. love the color used for the text... but not sure about the rest of the design. can't say i'm in love with it... but don't hate it either

    twitch - love the 2015 set design... but can't see 1995 breaking my top 40.

    shlabotnik - 76 is awesome. 71, 78, and 91 are okay. the jury is still out on 67 for me. and 88 is one of my bottom 10.

    zippy - there's a special place in my collection for 79t. my neighbor gave me a giant box filled with 79's that sort of kicked off my collection. with that being said... i'm not a huge fan of the design.

    gca - 59 is top 20 for me and 71 is top 30.

    jeremya1um - think you and i are split down the middle. obviously i like 56, 52, and 87. 91 is okay. and we're on opposite ends of the spectrum with 94 and 95.

    hoyle - great to see 71 getting some love. and 67 is pretty popular with a few of these guys too.