There’s one guy with a “Card That Never Was” in the 1953 portion of the set. This was Duke Snider. This is (at least) his 2nd card like this where Topps put Snider on the ’53 design. The first was in the Cards That Never Were portion of the 60 Years of Topps insert set in 2011. They used the exact same photo back then – the newer Archives one is cropped a little closer. Snider didn’t have a Topps card in 1953 for the standard reason – he signed exclusive with Bowman.
There are 4 players with either cards in the original 1953 set.
The first is Monte Irvin, who passed away earlier this year. Unlike the Snider card above, it looks like Topps intentionally blurred, or made more grainy, the picture. Probably in an attempt to make it look more like the paintings. It works OK here, some cards better (see the next card).
The 2nd card is Hal Newhouser. As I mentioned, this card and whatever effects Topps used work really well. One of my favorite cards in this set; probably the only one I’d argue competes with the original. Though I like the Tigers logo on the original better.
Ralph Kiner is the 3rd guy in the set. Definitely like the original better – it’s a fairly memorable card from the 1953 set and I again like the logo better.
Last but not least is the immortal Satchel Paige. His 1953 Topps card is pretty iconic, maybe the most notable card in the set. You can’t beat the original, but in this case, the card is really well done and the fact that they’re doing the “Fan Favorite” treatment to such a classic card is very cool. I said above that the Newhouser is one of the better cards in the set – this one probably is my favorite.
The one other card that is worth mentioning in the first 300 is the card for Jim Bunning. Bunning was in professional baseball as early as 1950, when he was signed as an amateur free agent out of Cincinnati’s own St. Xavier high school. He didn’t make his MLB debut until the age of 23, in 1955. Bunning played for the Tigers until 1963, when he was traded to the Phillies. For whatever reason, he seems to be better remembered for playing in Philadelphia, though he played 3 more years in Detroit. Anyway, this isn’t a Card that Never Was – and they have him shown in his 30’s with Philly – but it’s kind of close…