Friday, July 30, 2010

#2 - Hank Aaron Special - '54-'57

In the 1974 Topps set, cards numbered 1 through 6  commemorated Hank Aaron's soon passing of Babe Ruth to become the all time home run king.  Card #1 is Hank's '74 card, while cards #2 through #6 were known as "Hank Aaron Specials."  These extra five cards showed the face of all of Hank's previous Topps cards (with four faces on each card - times five cards.  Hank had 20 previous Topps cards).  Additional information is given on the reverse of each "Special" about Hank's career.

Here is the card showing Topps years 1954-1957.  The first three of these come with two images and a printed autograph.  Look how young he is!  Also notice the error on the 1957 card.  The image is reversed, and shows Hank batting left handed.  I'm sure the "M" on Milwaukee's hat helped out on this one, as "M" is a mirror image of itself.  He's turned inward so the "Braves" across his chest can't be seen, but if you look closely, you can see just the bottom of the reversed numeral "4" in his uniform number "44."  Rookie mistake at Topps.  Hank's list of major league records on the back of this card is impressive.  Because the '54 card is a portrait layout and the '55 and '56 are landscape, it makes it a bit difficult to determine that his photo is the same one on all three cards.  Another curious thing I noticed is that only on the '54 card is he ever named "Henry."  Lastly here, the bottom record on the back shows his then 713 home runs as being the major league record for home runs for the same club.

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