Presenting the 1954 Bowman Duke Snider.
Honestly, is this not one of the most beautiful baseball cards on the planet? Simple but elegant, it's an epiphany bursting forth from cardboard.
- A Boy of Summer with an ivory smile.
- The slightly rumpled iconic jersey with the pinstripe piping and loopy Dodgers script.
- The Brooklyn crown jewel of a cap.
- That Dodger Blue sky and the wispy clouds. With a different background, that'd be considered dead space. With this, well, it'd be a mortal sin to crop out heaven.
Then there's that understated card design, Bowman's best. Note how that nameplate melds into the card but doesn't go across the entire width, creating a slight imbalance. A neat cursive signature tops it off like an artist signing his piece and not forgetting to dot the "i's'' in "Edwin'' and in "Snider.''
Snappy back, too, with a good write up, and the clever bat and ball template that adds an interesting focal point.
I recently picked up The Duke of Flatbush from Greg Morris Cards. When I saw it, I had to bid on it, so imagine my surprise when I got it for $34.33, less than the cost of two Heritage blasters.
The next time someone asks, "Why do you collect baseball cards?'' I'll show 'em this one.