The Beckett Blog

Topps adds Jackie Robinson to upcoming Magic football set by Chris Olds


Topps announced on Wednesday that it would be added sports pioneer Jackie Robinson to its forthcoming Magic football set that arrives later this month with stylings remniscent of its 1951 set of the same name. (See previous story here.)

Before he broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson was a star multi-sport athlete at UCLA where he lettered in football, baseball, basketball and track. The Magic set focuses on college football so the baseball Hall of Famer appears in his Bruins football uniform on the card to be found in packs beginning on June 18.

Robinson was a letterman in the four sports — a school first — and he later played semi-pro football for the Honolulu Bears and the Los Angeles Bulldogs.

Each hobby box of Magic includes three autographed cards from a checklist that features more than 250 players. The suggested retail price is $4 per pack.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at


6 Comments so far
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This card bothers me to no end. If it were the actual photo of Jackie playing football, I might feel different. But this is clearly an (ugly) artistic rendition of this real image:

Comment by Newspaperman

I get the feeling that it might look a little better on the printed card.

But they’re also working with the style of the 1951 Topps Magic set.

In recent years, I’ve wondered whether Topps should abandon the Photoshop work on Heritage baseball sets. I think the style and the cards themselves will sell either way … right?

Comment by chrisolds

You know, as much as I dislike this distortion of images for an artistic feel, specifically for cards, you almost need it for certain heritage-type sets because it’s more in line with what was originally produced. What I dislike are variations that are created on purpose.

Comment by Newspaperman

You also need to consider that the Robinson photo was taken in the late 1930s. Photography technology wasn’t great for action.

Most football programs used photographers for “mock” action shots like that up until the 1970s. In fact, some photographers shot entire conferences this way.

Examples from Alabama football — all much later than the 1930s…

John Hannah:

Joe Namath (Alabama photo used everywhere):

Marty Lyons:

Lee Roy Jordan:

Comment by chrisolds

[…] “Topps announced on Wednesday that it would add sports pioneer Jackie Robinson to its forthcoming Magic football set… with stylings remniscent of its 1951 set of the same name.” Who knew Magic wasn’t that creepy witchcraft game? Beckett Blog […]

Pingback by Didn’t Jackie Robinson Play Baseball? Whimsy | myMLB - Athletics

I cannot wait for the season to start! It will be here soon I guess :)

Comment by My NFL Forums

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