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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Santo Saturdays

I guess the best place to start my new feature, Santo Saturdays, is with Ronnie's first Topps card, 1961 #35:

I can't find anything not to like about this card. The pose captures the power of the young slugger standing to the left of third base (his position) at a clearly recognizable Wrigley Field. The rookie cup fits in well here especially with the red and yellow color scheme.

The autograph is one of my few TTM's. I got it way back in 1975 right after Ron retired.

In the past decade Topps has reprinted this card in various sets. Here are the four I'm aware of:

Three versions were issued in 2001:

The first was a giveaway at Wrigley Field on June 27. It's serial numbered on a gold strip on the back. Mine is 04643/30000.

The second issue is from the 2001 Archives set. This card has a glossier front side than the giveaway and they changed the size of the font on Santo's name on the back.

The third reprint is the Certified Autograph Issue from the Archives set. The front of the card is still glossy but the card stock is a little smoother and on the autograph issue the back is also glossy and is very yellow. Ron's signature is always great although on this one (and on a second copy I have) he seems to have condensed the "on" of Ron so it looks like "RSanto". Still, nice and bold and legible.

One thing about all three of the reprints from 2001 is that whoever worked on it decided that the area just to the left of Ron's face over the left field wall should be colored green as if it were trees. On the original card from 1961 it's clear that it's a bank of purplish clouds. Artistic license I guess.

The last card is from the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set and is #2 of 150 rookie cup reprint inserts. In terms of the photography it's the most faithful to the original but the card stock front and back are a smooth semi-gloss.


  1. This should be an interesting feature. There was one more place that this photo turned up....the 1968 Deckle Edge cards.


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