Sunday, April 27, 2014

Joe Dimaggio "Cards that Never Were"

Three different reprint-type Joe DiMaggio cards arrived in my mailbox over the past week.  After recently obtaining the 1952 Topps reprint set, I began to feel the void that is Joe DiMaggio at the end of his playing career.  Although he announced his retirement prior to the production of the '52T set,  Joe DiMaggio would have had a card the following year according to today's standard.  In my haste to obtain such a '52T style Joe DiMaggio card, I jumped on the lowest priced one I could find.  The 1995 JSW card shown will fill that void for now, but there are definitely some obvious issues with using this card to represent my '52T version of DiMaggio.  The most obvious one is that the back of the card is nearly blank, which certainly wasn't depicted in the online listing.  On the front, the Yankees logo is replaced with some type of American League logo and DiMaggio's name is replaced with "1941 World Champ" written twice.     

If I had my choice of a 1952 Topps Joe DiMaggio, it'd look like the following picture, which I have not found available online yet. The photograph of DiMaggio looks like what I would expect for a recently retired player--not like the youthful swinging at bat pose of the 2007 National reproduction card.  This card has the Yankees logo on the front with DiMaggio's name and signature.  The back of the card is depicted in the appropriate style of the '52 set.  I will continue to look for a version like this one for a reasonable price.  Other missing '52s that come to mind are Casey Stengel, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial.  

As an avid collector of the '50B set, I found the following depiction of Joe DiMaggio to be a perfect example of a '50B reprint at first glance.  Of course, I didn't realize that the card isn't the same size as other '50 Bowmans, and in fact, doesn't even fit into 9-pocket pages.  Not looking to collect the card for any value, I actually cut the white border frame around the photograph so that it would fit into my 9-pocket pages behind Casey Stengel and in front of Allie Reynolds in my '50B binder.  Of course, I also didn't realize that the back of the card looks nothing like a '50 Bowman.

The following reproduction of a '48B style card is appropriately sized to fit in with my '48 Bowman reprint set, but like my other two acquisitions above, the card back doesn't replicate the style of the card that is supposedly being reprinted.

I am currently batting 0 for 3 with Joe DiMaggio reprints right now, but at least have some type of place holder for a card that belongs in every baseball card set produced prior to 1952.

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