Most oddball Topps collectors are familiar with the little 2 1/4" diameter "discs", or "silver paper"" proofs that were intended to be made into pin sets. The plan was for them to be manufactured in Japan and then imported into the US. The two All Star sets are fairly well known, generally referred to as 1967 (24 subjects) and 1968 (28 subjects) issues, with the 68's being quite rare (not that the 67's are easy, mind you). Here is a look at one of each, '67 first:
The scan does the waste area an injustice-it is shiny and foil-like and the reason for the "silver paper" moniker. Here is a 1968 Disc:
I'll save details for the next post but the 68's can be found in various states of production with different backgrounds to boot.
Going back a year, in '67 Topps also produced proofs for a 24 pin San Francisco Giants team set that greatly resembled the two sticker sets from that year. Here is a disc of SF manager Herman Franks:
We again have a "silver foil" background with an incomplete color process (Herman would be green on the final proof run). By the way, Franks had a strange career as player and manager, showing almost a pattern of punctuated equilibrium in his playing and managerial records. He even managed to hit for a career average below the Mendoza Line.
A look at the full set reveals the similarities to the Red Sox and Pirates stickers on this scan I probably nailed from a major auction catalog:
Just look at the bottom right corner where there are five "fun" discs that mirror similar mirthful fare in the sticker sets. Since the set is only sporadically checklisted in the major hobby references, here is the full lineup of Giants discs:
|HAPPINESS IS A GIANT WIN|
|I LOVE THE GIANTS|
|LET'S GO GIANTS|
|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS LOGO|
|WILLIE MAYS FOR MAYOR|
At least one color process proof is also know, although I think this was from a different auction:
Unlike the stickers, the SF Giants discs were never sold at retail and are very difficult to find these days. I count four hall of famers in the set and you also have the extra Willie Mays for Mayor disc to make sure a bunch of high end items end up on HOF collectors wantlists. Too bad these never made it to the store shelves.