Some were funny. Some were dumb. Some made it seem like the players were just like us. The little cartoons on the backs of baseball cards were a staple for nearly 30 years. Who drew them? How did they know all of this stuff?
As kids, we wondered.
The cartoons disappeared for a long time, and while they’ve come back through sets like Heritage, it’s those vintage sketches that make vintage baseball cards so… well…vintage.
ESPN’s Page 2 columnist Jim Caple is a big fan of the hobby and he spent part of this column examining those old cartoons, talking with the original Topps’ workers and even shares on on camera interview with Vernon Wells, whose dad illustrated cards for Upper Deck. It’s a great read.