1951 Topps Blue Backs #2 - Hank Majeski
This 1951 set is one of Topps first forays into baseball cards. Topps has a revisionist history that revolves around Mickey Mantle, who first appeared in the 1952 set, so they rarely acknowledge that their Topps Magic set from 1948 had nineteen baseball subjects. Topps will sometimes acknowledge their baseball standalone sets from 1951, but for all intensive purposes, Topps wants you to believe that they hit a home run right from the beginning.
That's not to say that their baseball efforts before 1952 were awful. The Topps Magic set has its charms, but it is a little nondescript. The 1951 set is colorful and vibrant. Topps has trotted the design out quite a number of times, but it's usually downplayed. Last year, it was features as a retail exclusive insert set. The thorn in the side of this set is its size. It's really small compared to the 1952 set. While the game aspect of each card is pretty cool in and of itself, it doesn't fit in with the mythos of Topps.
Hank Majeski only spent two years on the White Sox, so any card of him is a treat. There weren't too many sets to collect back then. Some players were left out entirely. Topps decided to release their two sets like playing cards, so there are 52 cards in each set. The red backs are a little more common than the blue backs.
If you can pick up a 1951 Topps baseball card, I'd recommend doing so. It really doesn't matter who the card features. Any one 1951 Topps card would be a boon to a collection. I'm still chasing all of the White Sox cards from the set. Every time that I've gotten close to winning an auction, the bidding got slightly past my comfort zone. One day, I'll get one.