Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz

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Is 1953 Bowman my favorite set of all-time?

At heart, I'm a very lazy person. I've always wanted to sit down and make one of those lists about my favorite sets, or maybe the 100 greatest Braves cards of all-time! It's not going to happen though because I'm fairly certain I'd start out with a bang, and then half-ass myself to the finish. So it goes.

For a long time, I was convinced that Warren Spahn’s 1953 Bowman card was the best looking Braves card ever made. The red just pops off the card and the photograph offers that slight hint of the wry Spahn smile. I bought this card about three years ago and I guess it marks another team set where I decided to start with the Spahn. I’m no longer convinced this is the best looking Braves card ever made, but damn, it’s still a mighty fine card.

Just as I’m no longer prepared to say I think the 53 Bowman Spahn is the best looking Braves card ever made, I’m also no longer willing to say that 1953 Bowman Color is my favorite set. I mean, I’m not saying it’s not my favorite set. I absolutely love 1953 Bowman Color cards. In a time where cards where either black and white photographs, paintings, or painted over black and white photographs, 1953 Bowman featured eye-popping color photography. Frankly, I think the colors hold up better than the photos of today’s sets will.

I started with the Spahn, bought a few more 53 Braves over the past few years, and my most recent card from the set is the great Eddie Mathews. I may have three Bowman color cards to go, but I’ve got the two big ones, and another of my favorite old Braves players, Sam Jethroe. That’s a start.