Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My 10 Fave Brooks Robinson cards

I've been asked more than once why I collect Billy Pierce when my favorite player is Brooks Robinson? It says so right up there in the header to this blog.

It's not so complicated. I collect a lot of players. My Pierce collection happens to be my most complete because he has a finite numbers of items available. They are easy to catalog and, with one or two exceptions, have not been difficult to obtain.

Brooks on the other hand gets a card in just about every single 'throwback' set that's printed and many more as base set inserts. I have far more Brooks Robinson cards that Billy Pierce cards but most of them are just run-of-the-mill modern issues.

Bottom line is that while I love collecting Billy Pierce, Mike Cuellar, Johnny Callison, Denny Martinez, Frank Robinson, Adam Jones, Jim Palmer, Elrod Hendricks, Juan Pizarro etc, etc...my favorite player is, always has been, and always will be Brooks Robinson.

That's significant because when I read a post on Collecting Cutch (who I sort of collect LOL) asking readers to post their ten favorite cards of their favorite player I immediately opened my Brooks Robinson binder.

I will admit that I thought about using Billy Pierce because his cards go back into early 50s sets and some are real beauties. But to be true to myself I went with Brooksie. BTW...this is a contest with some nice prizes but even if it wasn't it's a fun idea for a post.

I set myself a few guidelines...one actually. I would select from 'mainstream' card sets, cards that came from packs. As much as I love postcards, art cards, coins and the like I figured I'd leave those for another post. So without more of my babbling here are my Top Ten Brooks Robinson cards, unscientifically ranked in inverse order:

#10) 2011 Topps Marquee..this is one of two 'modern' cards to make my list. Both have similar qualities, a clear, borderless picture and minimal adornment. It's number #5 (his uni #) of 199 which is good I guess although I'm pretty indifferent about those things. This card would be right here in the same spot without the number,

#9) '64 Topps Standups... I love this set and my Pizarro, Steve Barber or Boog Powell version would make a Top 10 list for any of those players, too.

#8) 1962 Topps All Star...I'm not a huge fan of the '62 set in general but I thought the All Star cards were great. I always like cards with that sleeve patch. 

#7) 1960 Leaf...This one makes Brooks look 'angelic' I recently found the photo Leaf used for this and I'm tracking one down for my collection. 

#6) 1973 Toops..I remember reading in Boys Life magazine a tip from Brooks about fielding. He said he was up on the balls of his feet as every pitch was delivered. I tried to emulate that wherever I played. Not many cards of him show him in a fielding 3rd base. which is surprising. 

#5) 1959 Topps..my favorite vintage set, Brooks in Yankee Stadium, those old school Orioles logos. This card had to make the list, only question was where it would land.

#4) 2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants...the other 'modern' card on the list, and arguably the best looking. Fantastic shot of him in Memorial Stadium. Vibrant colors, classic pose, great setting. A simpler, smaller foil logo would make it better but it's damn near perfect as is. 

#3) 1967 Topps..a high number and a great example of a simple design making a sweet card. Full disclosure--this is a scan of a reprint. My actual '67 is slabbed and I have yet to break it out of it's plastic prison. 

#2) 1961 Topps All Star..I've always loved this card. It wasn't my first card of him but I think it's the first Brooks card I owned that I considered 'special'. I remember having it at my grandparent's place in Brooklyn. 

#1) 1957 Topps, his rookie card...the first 'big ticket' card I bought at a card show. Other cards, most of the ones in this list in fact, are more attractive but none are as significant or mean as much as this one.  

So there they are, my Top 10 Brooks Robinson cards, at least as they sit today. Ask me again tomorrow and I'd likely have a few different cards, at least in the 6 thru 10 slots. I'll do a post with my Top 10 pieces of Brooks Robinson 'non-card' memorabilia one day soon.


  1. Brooks was on a lot of great looking cards

  2. I wonder about the 57 card - is he posing in front of something orange, or did Topps paint the background? A lot of the cards from that set feature the green grass and blue skies of Spring / Summer baseball, but there are also a handful of those that look painted. Jim Bunning's rookie card comes to mind.

    1. I've always thought that Topps tinted or recolored the sky behind him. I'd love to dig thru their archives and look at notes, proofs and stuff like that. I know they sell stuff off but I figure the really old stuff is long gone.

  3. So much vintage in one post! Awesome collection of Robinson. I'd love to one day add his rookie card to my collection... but I think the 64 Standup is probably more my speed.

  4. Great list. I was beyond thrilled when I recently got Brooks to sign TTM for me. One of the top 'gets' of all-time for sure.

    1. Went my aunt sent him a clipping of my son being named Brooks Robinson he sent us a signed pic out of the blue. It was a cool surprise.

  5. The ‘57 Topps card was from a B&W photo. I think in ‘57 Topps used flexichrome artwork to add the color.