New big addition to the Topps Number Ones collection (’53 Jackie Robinson)

Say what you want about the crappy state of our hobby, but one fact remains true — we all love cardboard. More and more we’ve become accustomed to the thought that shiny and signed is where the money is. I can’t argue with that notion. After all, that is what people will pay top dollar for these days. But we cannot forget the old, smelly cardboard that created the foundation of this hobby. That is why when everyone is going nuts over the 2010 releases of Topps and Upper Deck, I turned the other way and went after a card a half-century old, this 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson.

It’s not mint. It’s not shiny. It features not a signature of the man emblazoned on the card. It is simply a piece of cardboard 57 years old.

This is the latest addition to my Topps Number Ones projection, which you can see on the side bar or by simply clicking this link. When completed, the project will feature the very first card of each mainstream basic Topps baseball set to date. When you see the cards, you’ll notice a common theme — many of them are not mint. That is because I wanted to obtain a version of each card that is true to how the card was handled by their previous owners. I am not interested so much in a mint version of a Number One as I am a card that has seen the battles, changed hands several times and probably at one time was bound to another stack of cards with a rubber band. It’s my tribute to the history of baseball of baseball cards.

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